The Space Race is remarkably similar to that of the arms race because of the parallel between the creation of the atomic bomb and the goal of reaching the moon. The United States’ bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki effectively established its place as the technologically superior nation; however, major milestones in space achieved early by the Soviets damaged America’s reputation. In 1957, Soviet scientists shocked the world by successfully launching the Sputnik 1, the first artificial satellite, beyond the Kármán Line (the boundary of space). This amazing breakthrough “rattled American self-confidence. It cast doubts on America’s vaunted scientific superiority and raised some sobering military questions.” This blow to national pride along with the fear that the Soviets could potentially launch ICBMs from space led to “Rocket fever”. The sudden wave of nationalism and the desire to build a space program worthier to that of the Soviet Union led to the...
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