Why Did America Lose The Space Race

“One small step for man”, these were the words that ended the space race; but was America truly the victor? In 1944 the first V2 streaked towards the city of London, this weapon of war that could have turned the tide of the war in Germanys favor was the first major step towards the space race. Despite having the advantage of long range liquid fueled rockets Germany lost the war. America was the first to find the both the remaining V2’s and the rocket scientist. Within only a month most of equipment was moved to the US leaving very little evidence that the rockets existed for the Russians when they were granted ownership of the land. You would think, “America has the man power and the technology, why was Russia still able to be the first to …show more content…
Fast forwarding 9 years the USSR launched the R7 along with its payload that I feel forever changed history; Sputnik. The man who was behind the success was Sergei Korolev, he alone spearheaded the development of the R7, pushed for the launch of Sputnik, and several other accomplishments. “The road to the stars is open.” (Sergei Korolev, 1957) Matter in fact the USSR feared that if America learned of his identity he would be assassinated, so until his death very few knew his name, fewer knew his face; he was truly the “Invisible Man”. Though over the years he began to suffer from health problems from the years of stress. Before his death, he undertook his biggest challenge; developing the N1 rocket. Unfortunately he was pressured heavily to convert its design for lunar landings instead of interplanetary travel. Korolev would never see his N1 fly as he died in 1966, this would land a massive blow to the Russian peoples moral and give the break needed to US for their Apollo program. Only two years later Yuri Gagarin would die in a plane crash landing a second blow to the Russian people. …show more content…
I would argue kinda, it can be argued that the space race did not end after Apollo with the space station programs. But I believe after the failure of the N1 program that America was the declared victor of the moon while Russia was the overall winner. Where the USSR excelled at in the very beginning with manned and unmanned flights, the US struggled tremendously. It was only with the kidnapping of Lunik where America was able to understand what type of rocket needed to be built whereas Russia had done it all on their own through their own trial and error. People will also argue that America was the first and only to land a man on the moon, while this is true Russia was the first to flyby, land, and return from the moon. Not only that, Russia was the first to land a probe on Venus and Mars (and also the first to crash a probe into mars.) Russia had the ball rolling much earlier than America with the first space walk and space station (Salyut 1). There are several accomplishments that are overshadowed by the Apollo

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