Essay on American History : The Space Race
Modern American History - HIST101
October 13, 2014
The Space Race
Beginning in 1958 the United States government deemed it imperative, due to a multitude of reasons, to expand its aeronautical prowess and space presence. The agency that was spawned from these motivations was non-other than NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Agency). Many would argue that this bureau was developed in direct correlation to the Soviet’s launch of the world’s first artificial satellite, Sputnik. Advancements in a myriad of other scientific fields ensued as the USSR furthered its quest to put Man into space as well. Without the Soviets taking the initiative to broaden their horizons to the final frontier, the United States in all likelihood may not have felt threatened enough to put Americans onto the face of the Moon or even venture into space itself.
The first intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) was successfully tested by the Soviets on August 21, 1957 followed closely by their launch of Sputnik 1 a couple months later on October 4th, 1957. This threatened and in many ways confused the United States as to how the Soviets could have beaten them to these significant milestones. At the time, many of the people involved with the space program didn’t believe the Soviets were even remotely capable of conquering such feats. Jay Barbree, an NBC News space correspondent, said when referring to the Soviet’s launch of Sputnik 1: “People were so upset. They said these…