Innovations During The Cold War

1047 Words 4 Pages
The Cold War
After the conclusion of the second world war, the US and the USSR stood at a tense stalemate. This period between 1945 and 1991 is commonly referred to as the Cold War. During the Cold War, the American economic ideology of Capitalism clashed with the Russian Communism. Although this period is called the Cold War. No bullets were fired. No blood was shed. Instead, the Cold War Was fought using technological innovations. These advancements stood to symbolize the respective power of each nation, and these new and innovative technologies had profound effects upon history and the world as we know it today (Nelson).

Space Innovations
The Cold War led catalyzed the development of virtually all space related technologies. In the wake
…show more content…
Through the use of radioactive materials discovered decades earlier by Marie Curie, radioactive material could be converted into electrical energy. The newly discovered nuclear energy was highly efficient and produced minimal amounts of waste. Thusly, the US created the Atomic Energy Commision in 1946 in order to develop and improve atomic technology. The AEC would continue to spend over 10 years and upwards of $500,000,000 in order to test and design the first nuclear power plant. And on February 7th, 1957, American engineer Hyman Rickover successfully activated his Pressurized Water Reactor outside of Pittsburgh, creating America’s first nuclear power plant. However the Soviet had beaten Americans to the punch by creating the Atom Mirny-1 reactor and activating it on June 1st, 1954(Nelson). However, nuclear energy was not without risks and dangers. These dangers were displayed to the world on March 28th, 1979. On this day, the Three Mile Island power plant had experienced coolant failure due to human error, and was forced to vent radioactive gas into the atmosphere. This prompted the evacuation of over 140,000 Americans. Further disasters, such as the Chernobyl catastrophe of April 1986, led to an increasing global sentiment against the use of nuclear energy. However, this sentiment seems to be forgotten, as over 14%, a figure that continues to increase …show more content…
Starting at the end of WWII, the rate of technological advancement increased exponentially. The invention long range missiles, nuclear reactors, and rockets capable of space travel prompted the development of a newly emerging technology; electronic computation and communication. Near the end of WWII, british scientist Alan Turing created one of the first functional digital computers in order to crack a secret German code. After the war ended, computational technology to advance. In 1946 Turing was tasked with creating a computer with the ability to perform nuclear calculations. His response to this challenge was the Mathematical Analyzer Integer And Computer, or MANIAC for short. The MANIAC was the first functional and reliable computer that operated using binary, the language that all modern computers rely on. Computational technology was also fostered with the advent of NORAD. NORAD, officially known as the North American Air Defence Agreement, was developed established in 1958, and catalyzed the improvement of radar technology. In 1962, NORAD’s Ballistic Missile Early Warning System, popularly known as the BMEWS, was operational. The BMEWS was revolutionary, and was able to detect and locate any ICBM launched from Russia and the area surrounding it. An additional technological development was based in communication. In the aftermath of the Cuban missile crisis, where

Related Documents