_The Arms and Space Race_

*The race between the United States and the Soviet Union for technological advancements in order to be superior. They crated new weapons and fought to control and rule space.*

-----------------------"Weapons are money; no one knows the meaning of enough." -Martin Amis (Arms 2009)------------------------------

What is Brinkmanship?
*"The practice, especially in international politics, of seeking advantage by creating the impression that one is willing and able to push a highly dangerous situation to the limit rather than concede"* (Brinkmanship).

_The Space Race_

October 4, 1957: This marked the beginning of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. *Russia launched the first unmanned satellite, Sputnik 1* (Wade 1997). It was about the size of a normal beach ball, and weighed 183.9 pounds (Space Craft). It was launched from Baikonur, Kazakhstan, in Western Asia (Wade 1997). Once in space, it took about 98 minutes to orbit the Earth. This launch caught the world off guard. People everywhere feared that this might also lead to a possibility of the Soviets sometime later launching missiles from Europe and Russia to the United States (Streissguth). Both the United States and the Soviet Union were competing for the world's number one leader. The United States had their first attempt in December of 1957 when they launched the Vanguard. This was a great failure and derided as a "flopnik". The Vanguard got only a few feet off the launch pad and exploded on live television for all to see. In January of 1958, the Soviet Union launched another larger Sputnik into space, this time with a passenger. The United States tried again with another slender rocket, the Explorer 1. This was a step up from the Vanguard because it fully launched. However, there were some problems with the flight controls. They would not transmit and connect back to earth and there was no signal until the satellite had almost circled the earth completely. Leaders on the Explorer team were waiting in Washington for the news, and when they got it they rushed to the National Academy of Sciences to tell them the good news. This ment that the United States met the Soviet Union's challenge and was officially in the race (Wilford 2008).

external image sputnik.gif (Sputnik).

external image aldrin.jpg(Buzz Aldrin).

The U.S. won the Space Race after the Apollo 11 landed on the moon on July 20,1969.

Important People

Konstantin Tsiolkovsky- a Russian school teacher who developed the basic theory used to propel rockets. He developed a design for a manned, tear-drop-shaped spacecraft powered by liquid oxygen (Irvine 2006).

external image portoftsiolkovsky.jpg

Yuri A. Garagin- Russian, first man to orbit the Earth. His flight lasted for an hour and forty eight minutes. The shuttle was 203 miles above sea level traveling at 17,000 mph (Irvine 2006).
external image Yuj0701.jpg
Wernher von Braun - German rocket scientist who designed V-2 rockets during World War 2. Liquid oxygen and an ethyl alcohol-water mixture powered the V-2 rockets. Von Braun later took his studies and expierements to the U.S (Irvine 2006).
external image USAbraun.JPG
Robert J. Oppenheimer- led a team of U.S. researchers in Los Alamos, New Mexico. He was the first to develope the atomic bomb (Irvine 2006).
external image oppenheimer_robert2.jpg
Alan B. Shepard-
The first U.S. man to travel to space (Irvine 2006).
external image she0-062.jpg
John Glenn- The first American to orbit the Earth (Irvine 2006).
external image G000236.jpg
Neil Armstrong- American, the first man to walk on the moon (Irvine 2006).
external image armstrong.jpg
John F. Kennedy- President of the U.S. during the time of the Space Race and the Arms Race. He was later assassinated on November 22, 1963 (Irvine 2006).
external image t-missile.jpg
Nikita Khrushchev- The leader of the Soviet Union during the Space Race and the Arms Race (Irvine 2006).
external image RUSkhrushchev.JPG

JFK: We Choose To Go To The Moon ! Full Speech!
The Arms Race

August 29,
1949: *In late August, 1949, the Soviet Union exploded their first atomic bomb* (Soviets). Their code name for it was "First Lightning". It was exploded at a remote test site filled with buildings, bridges, and other normal-seemingly structures purposely built to measure the effects of the blast on normal structures. Many animals were also placed in cages nearby to measure the effect on them. This set off action in the United States once they learned of the bomb. Three months later, it was learned that the German physicist who helped the United States build their first atomic bombs was behind it. He was arrested for passing secrets to the Soviets, and even sending them blueprints. This led President Truman to order the development of the hydrogen bomb, thinking that it would be much more powerful than the other atomic bombs. "Mike", the hydrogen bomb, was launched November 1, 1952, only three years after the Soviets. *Increasing tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union lead to military build up from both sides.*

*The U.S. and the Soviet Union both developed a more powerful weapon known as the atomic bomb during the time of the Space Race.* On July 16,1945, the U.S. were the first to test the atomic bomb and were successful. On August 29, 1949, the Soviet Union successfully tested their first atomic bomb.

The Soviet Union spent between $4.8 billion and $10.1 billion on the manned moon programs.The costs for the U.S. are shown below. All numbers are calculated in millions. (Race)

Total NASA
Budget (1)

Mercury (2)

Program (3)

Program (4)













1957: Soviet Union launches Sputnik (Beck 537).
1958: U.S. launches Explorer 1. NASA formed (Beck 537).
1959: Soviet Union launches Luna 2; the first space probe to land on the moon (Beck 537).
October 1959: United States deploys it's first operational intercontinental ballistic named Atlas D (Space).
*1960: Soviets shoot down American spy plane* (Sullivan).
1961: First American in space was Alan Shepard (Beck 537).
1961: Soviet Union sends first man, Yuri Gagarin, to orbit the Earth (Beck 537).
1962: First American orbits earth- John Glen Jr (Beck 537).
1962: Mariner 2 flies past Venus (Beck 537).
June 1963: The United States establishes a radio and telegraph Hot Line with the Soviet Union to prevent unwanted explosions (Space).
1963: First woman in space was Soviet Valentina Tereshkova (Beck 537).
1965: Mariner 4 space probe flies past Mars (Beck 537).
1968: U.S. launches Apollo 8, first manned mission to orbit the moon (Space).
1969: U.S. lands on the moon; Neil Armstrong, Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin, Michael Collins (Beck 537).
August 1970: The United States deploys its first missile with many reentry vehicles named the Minutemen III (Space).
1970: Venera 7 lands on Venus (Beck 537).
1971: First manned space station (Beck 537).
1971: Mars 3 drops capsule on Mars (Beck 537).
1973: Pioneer 7 sent towards Jupiter (Beck 537).
1974: The United States and the Soviet Union signed the Threshold Test Ban Treaty. The treaty limited the testing of underground nuclear weapons (Space).
1975: U.S and Soviet Union launch first joint space mission (Beck 537).

End of The Arms and Space Race

In 1969 the United States had the first astronauts to set foot on the moon. By getting on the moon, the United States won the eyes of the world. The Soviet Union didn't even try to duplicate this. Instead they worked towards a long-duration space station. This space station was successful but not noted at first in the United States because they were involved in space shuttle missions. Despite this, the space race did not officially end until the Cold War ended and the Soviet Union disintegrated. The United States and the Soviet Union then began working together on the International Space Station in stead of fighting in space (Wilford 2008). *Important information (Answers to questions in packet)

Works Cited

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Wilford, John Noble. “Remembering When U.S. Finally (and Really) Joined the Space Race”. Space and Cosmos. The New York Times. 29 January. 2008
66 May. 2009