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The Space Race and NASA

Michael Collins once proclaimed that, “It’s human nature to stretch, to go, to see, to understand. Exploration is not a choice really; it’s an imperative.” People have always been fascinated by space exploration and it was during the 1950’s that the “race to space” took off. Both Russia and the United States wanted to be the first to travel into space and the first ones to land on the moon. Today, nations are still active in space exploration. This includes NASA (the U.S.), the Russian Federal Space Agency, CNSA (China), JAXA (Japan), ESA (Europe), ISA (Italy), ROSA (Romania), and the Soviet Union. Now, some may argue that the United State’s space program has slowed down or even stopped having interest in space. However, there is a great deal of evidence that shows that NASA is still very much interested in space. On October 4th, 1957, history was made when the Soviet Union launched Sputnik I, the first artificial satellite. The Sputnik I was only the size of a beach ball, it only weighed 183.9 lbs., and it was the marker for the “space race” between the U.S. and the Soviet Union. It was a huge technological achievement that caught the world’s attention and wound up making Americans disappointed that the U.S. did not send the first satellite into space. U.S. citizens were also concerned that if the Soviet Union could send satellites into space then they could posses the power to send ballistic missiles or nuclear weapons. Then, the Soviets raised the bar by sending Laika, the first living thing in space with a much heavier payload on November 3rd. Laika, meaning “barker” in Russian, was a stray mutt that was only three years old when she went to space. Laika was sent to space in a restrictive spacecraft that only had enough room... ... middle of paper ... ... they complete certification and at least one crewed demonstration mission to the space station, which is expected in the fall of 2017.” And lets face it, any spaceflight coming out of the U.S. is going to be far more comfortable for our astronauts than one that takes place in another country outside of their home. Works Cited . http://history.nasa.gov/sputnik/ . http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/shuttle/sts1/gagarin_anniversary.html . http://www.nasa.gov/audience/forstudents/k-4/stories/first-person-on-moon.html . http://history1900s.about.com/od/1950s/p/laikathedog.htm . http://www.space.com/19743-space-exploration-priority-nasa.html . http://www.informationweek.com/nasa-tests-technologies-for-deep-space-exploration/d/d-id/1204527 . http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2011/08/shut-a19.html . http://spaceflightnow.com/news/n1405/27soyuz/#.U4d-P9yprwI

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