The Continued Space Race

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October 4, 1957: The Russia launched Sputnik into space. Thus began the seemingly-eternal battle for control of space exploration. Who would get the first man into space; to the Moon, to Mars? Everything that could be done by either country was being done to give the edge. It soon became obvious to all that neither country was going to back down from the challenge. However, a lot has changed since 1957, governments have slumped, privatized exploration has taken charge. . . what happened? Where is space exploration going? Where is the human race, today? NASA, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, was formed in 1958 shortly after the Russia launched of Sputnik and the R-7 ICMB Rocket. The administration was formed to research and progress anything that had to do with space, flight, or other aeronautics. Just over a year after the launch of Sputnik, on October 11, 1958 NASA launched its first rocket: Pioneer I. The primary purpose of this rocket was to measure magnetic fields around the Earth. Although the Sputnik projects had many of the same capabilities, the US having finally launched a rocket meant that they were really in the race. On April 12, 1961 Russia became the first to send a manned craft into space. The craft’s name was Sputnik 11, also known as Vostok 1. Yuri A. Gargarin became the first man to view Earth from Space. The flight lasted a mere one hour and forty-eight minutes before returning Gargarin safely to the Earth’s surface. This occurred only twenty-five days prior to NASA’s first suborbital flight. This only added fuel to the fire in America’s passion to become the first nation to send a man to the moon, thus gaining an edge on Russia in total accomplishments in space. This, however did not come unti... ... middle of paper ... ... learn to accept. The question is not should space be privatized but should space continue to be privatized. SpaceX, Orbital Systems Co., Reaction Engines, Sierra Nevada Corps., all of these companies are working day and night to try and make the promise of life beyond Earth a possibility. Mankind has been, for hundreds of years, looking for the opportunities that are present today. Privatized space is finally making a breakthrough in science and technology that is strengthening the financial and emotional state of the United States simultaneously. After all, space is the final frontier, let it be conquered. Governments have tried and failed, privatization may be the key to unlocking secrets, give it a chance. Give private companies a chance to become recognized, let space be their drawing board. Let space be their accomplishment, let them lead the way for humanity.

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