There were a lot that led up prior to the space race. The United States came out of World War II with a huge amount of strategic bomber force and they already used atom bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan. Since the Soviet Union did not have equal amount weapons and bases, they started producing rockets and ballistic missiles capable of intercontinental range. Policymakers of USA felt that the diplomacy of the State Department was no longer adequate to contain the USSR in light of the tension between the Soviet Union and the United States .The National Security Act of 1947 created the National Security Council. The function of the NSC as outlined in the 1947 act was to advise the President on integration of domestic, foreign, and military policies relating to national security and to facilitate interagency cooperation. At the President 's direction, the NSC could also assess and appraise risks to U.S. national security, consider policies, and then report or make recommendations to the President. The United States faced a new uncertainty beginning in September 1949, when it lost its monopoly on the atomic bomb. Given this new danger, the United States participated in an arms race with the Soviet Union that included development of the hydrogen bomb, as well as inte...
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..., the first space probe to hit the moon. In April 1961, the Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first person to orbit Earth, traveling in the capsule-like spacecraft Vostok 1. For the U.S. effort to send a man into space, dubbed Project Mercury, NASA engineers designed a smaller, cone-shaped capsule far lighter than Vostok; they tested the craft with chimpanzees, and held a final test flight in March 1961 before the Soviets were able to pull ahead with Gagarin’s launch. On May 5, astronaut Alan Shepard became the first American in space.
Later that May, President John F. Kennedy made the bold, public claim that the U.S. would land a man on the moon before the end of the decade. In February 1962, John Glenn became the first American to orbit Earth, and by the end of that year, the foundations of NASA’s lunar landing program dubbed Project Apollo were in place.
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- After World War II drew to a close in the mid-20th century, a new conflict began known as the Cold War, this battle pitted the world’s two great powers the democratic, capitalist United States and the communist Soviet Union against each other. Beginning in the late 1950s, space would become another dramatic arena for this competition, as each side sought to prove the superiority of its technology, its military firepower and by extension its political-economic system. There were a lot that led up prior to the space race.... [tags: Cold War, World War II, Nuclear weapon]
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