The Space Race

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In the aftermath of the second Great War, Europe stood in destitution. Towns, cities, roads, homes, all were devastated in the conflict leaving most of the once great and powerful European powers unable to retain their previous power. This left but two superpowers, the polar opposites in every circumstance. Their struggle for supreme power was a conflict bordering on mutual devastation, though, was not fought with armies, navies, or air forces but through a race to the final frontier: Space. Since the United States had been able to harness the power of nuclear energy to create a weapon so deadly destructive that an unequal balance of power could only be equalized after the Russians were able to create a similar weapon. The advent of nuclear weapons left the world in a constant sense of impending doom. But in order to fight, the two instead retreated to a competition of one-upmanship in national prestige with one goal in mind: reaching space. The space race became so intertwined in national politics that in a sense in became the most reasonable means of fighting. Therefore, I submit, that the space race was the most meaningful scientific and prestigious endeavor humankind had undertook culminating into one of the most impressive and striking moments of history, not just for the United States but the world, on April 11, 1961.

As history has proved time and time again, war provides the world with endless amounts of new inventions and technology. During World War II, such inventions as radar and rocketry came into existence. At the forefront of the emerging field of rocketry was a young and jovial German of aristocratic background by the name of Wernher von Braun. During the war, he and other prominent German rocket scientists were...

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...lized within the hearts of the people and in their colleagues who bravely took up their cause. The space race illustrated not only the American resiliency but their ability to look beyond past prejudices and work together, unified under one aspiration; to shoot for the stars.

Works Cited

Breuer, William B. Race to the Moon: America's Duel with the Soviets. Westport, CT: Praeger, 1993. Print.

Compton, William David. Where No Man Has Gone Before: a History of Apollo Lunar Exploration Missions. Washington, DC: National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Office of Management, Scientific and Technical Information Division, 1989. Print.

Newkirk, Dennis. Almanac of Soviet Manned Space Flight. Houston: Gulf Pub., 1990. Print.

Spangenburg, Ray, and Diane Moser. Wernher Von Braun: Space Visionary and Rocket Engineer. New York: Facts on File, 1995. Print.

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