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The Cold War Era

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The Cold War Era

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The late 1940s to the mid 1980s the American society saw what could quite possibly be titled the biggest technological effect on society. This era, The Cold War, was a period in which fear of attack or invasion and a need to be superior reigned in the American society. It led to the development of space technology, during the Space Race, communication systems, and military technology in what has been appropriately deemed the Arms Race.

On October 4, 1957 [1] a huge change concerning technology in society occurred. On this date, the United Soviet Socialists Republic (USSR) launched Sputnik into outer space. The launch of Sputnik instilled a fear in the American society and an urgent call to increase technological capabilities to protect the homeland from Soviet attacks and also to prove the United States’ superiority.

The United States’ official involvement in what has commonly been termed the “Space Race” began in 1958 after the creation of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, NASA. When created, NASA immediately began working on the idea of human space flight. The first high profile program was titled Project Mercury. In this program, NASA’s main course of action was to find if human beings were capable of surviving in space. Projects that followed included Project Gemini and Project Apollo [2] and, slowly, America made its way into the forefront of the space race. The sketches and preliminary drawings for Project Mercury are seen to the right. Although ot a new technological advancement, the idea of being able to put human beings into space was a new idea that required an incredible amount of advancement in technological fields not yet understood by man....

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...Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty was signed by the United States and USSR on December 8, 1987 and ratified by the United States Senate on May 27, 1988. This is considered to be the end of the Cold War as the mass elimination of weapons developed during the era commenced, including the elimination of the PERSHING. The last of the PERSHING missiles were eliminated in May 1991. [8]

The Cold War Era was an era in which the fear of technology and the impending need for developments became the central focus of the society. This era epitomizes the power technology has over an American society and, consequently, the world. Over twenty years were spent developing technologies to protect the nation against the technologies of another. The impact of technology during this era, although not in every home to the degree that it is today, was one of massive proportions.
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