October 4, 1957, 7:28 PM the Soviet Union launched Sputnik. Sputnik was the first satellite to be launched into space by any country in the world at the time. Sputnik was a major surprise to the United States as the Soviets had launched a new strange product that was going to be launched into space, this freightened the U.S as most believed they were superior in technology. This sparked the space race, the race to make satellite intelligence and send it into space to spy on other countries and communicate back to governments to gain information of great use.  This caused a panic for Americans as they were under the impression they had superior technology but were shocked when they heard and saw of the first satellite Sputnik, with everyone in a panic the U.S. citizens began to believe they would never send anything into space and were falling behind. “Sputnik was circling Earth every hour and a half, and it used a radio beacon that was able to pinpoint spots on Earth.” This caused conflict between the Soviet Union and the United States which seemed to have no compromise. The United States felt threatened as they didn’t know what the satellite was being used for and it could have been dangerous for the country if it were for spying as at the time the two nations were no longer allies and were fighting and threatening to use nuclear bombs during the Cold War when sputnik was launched. After the launch of sputnik it was crisis all over again and the U.S needed to step up their game if they were to win this space race. Sputnik caused even greater conflict between the Soviet Union and the United States which seemed to have no compromise, both fighting in a war against each other and now both wanted to be the first to prove that the other was inferior to the dominant nation and to explore space and make advancements in technology with the Soviets ahead and the U.S struggling behind. After the chaos of Sputnik several German rocket scientists went to both the Soviet Union and the United States to focus their efforts and knowledge to the uprising of satellite technology and to establish themselves as the frontier for rocket research and development, assisting them in the Space Race. It was to demonstrate military dominance, in part a battle of capitalism and communism using space as the frontier. This led to the funding of NASA and the production of satellites to prove to the Soviets that the U.S is superior and won’t lose this race, “The Sputnik launch changed everything. As a technical achievement, Sputnik caught the world’s attention and the American public off-guard. Its size was more impressive than Vanguard’s intended 3.5-pound payload. In addition, the public feared that the Soviets’ ability to launch satellites also translated into the capability to launch ballistic missiles that could carry nuclear weapons from Europe to the U.S.” The U.S was not ready to lose this race and were prepared to put everything they had into beating the Soviets however some still asked if it was worth the money and time and if space was really the future. While it still hasn’t lead the world to other places it gave insight and great strategy on an enemy when using a satellite and the option of gaining useful information as an advantage over the Soviets. Satellites are a great technological advancement with many utilities that lead to even more possibilities like space travel. With the unknown use of Sputnik the U.S started focusing on the capabilities of satellites and what they have to offer as a weapon like the unknown use of Sputnik could have been. With so many questions the nation couldn’t decide what to do, “The launch also sparked soul-searching among Americans, who had felt a sense of technological superiority amid a post-war economic boom. Was the United States falling behind? Could Sputnik be a play on the part of the Soviets to put arms in space? Is space a worthy place to compete for world prestige?” The mass concern over the use of satellites forced the hand of the U.S to make a decision whether the population liked it or not the clear option was to invest in satellite and pace research to find the best use of this new and advanced technology. The U.S was at a stand still not knowing if the production of satellites would actually be worth the money and effort, while scientists pushed this new and exciting idea towards the government most politicians were against such and idea due to the economic failure if the research wasn’t worth the problems it could cause. Politicians and government were at a stand still until the Soviets announced another new satellite they were launching, this satellite was Sputnik II. This caused a major uproar towards the government as citizens wanted answers,  “Then the Soviets struck again; on November 3, Sputnik II was launched, carrying a much heavier payload, including a dog named Laika. Immediately after the Sputnik I launch in October, the U.S. Defense Department responded to the political furor by approving funding for another U.S. satellite project. As a simultaneous alternative to Vanguard, Wernher von Braun and his Army Redstone Arsenal team began work on the Explorer project.” The launch of Sputnik II was the perfect surprise, this launched a massive scale funding for satellite research and production, the U.S was now on it’s way to space and wasn’t going to lose along with the government being determined to win it also inspired the people and cause a surge of national pride and sent a boom into citizens everywhere, with these new developments the U.S was on a course of victory with only one competitor. As the U.S produced satellites and new technology the Soviets were advancing far faster than the U.S with no hope of catching up the nation continued to race and made it their goal to send a man to the moon, the ultimate goal of both competitors was to achieve sending a person into space to land on the moon. The space race was a time of great achievement with both countries heading towards a nuclear war the U.S decided to push forward with a major effort to win, the U.S created success when they finally got a man to the moon. Not to say the Soviets didn’t achieve anything, they completed several other tasks the U.S didn’t, “The Soviet space program went on to achieve a series of other space firsts in the late 1950s and early 1960s: first man in space, first woman, first three men, first space walk, first spacecraft to impact the moon, first to orbit the moon, first to impact Venus, and first craft to soft-land on the moon.” The Soviets had made great progress in the space race with many more accomplishments than the U.S. The Soviets were happy with what they had achieved however the U.S wanted more. The nation began funding more programs and allowed more science classes to prepare the younger generation for a space frontier. The government believed that space was most important than other ideas as it lead to great technological advancements and to achieve the impossible. The U.S pushed for more space travel and they finally completed their goal the nation felt secure and strong, like it had been before, “However, the United States took a giant leap ahead in the space race in the late ’60s with the Apollo lunar-landing program, which successfully landed two Apollo 11 astronauts on the surface of the moon in July 1969.” The U.S was proud of its determination to put a man on the moon. After achieving this astounding goal the U.S continued to grow with progress and developed new advancements of technology, wanting to expand on the idea of space the U.S kept funding schools to teach the efforts needed for space. The U.S wanted a new generation of space enthusiastic teens to lead the future with funding for schools increasing the government was proud of the progress they had made, “At the same time, social changes were beginning to transform the United States. A great struggle to achieve a more egalitarian society was beginning.” The U.S was starting a new idea of space as the leading role, most students aspired to be an astronaut or another profession that dealt with space. With a great increase of nation pride the country was flourishing and completing achievements no one thought to believe were possible. The U.S accomplished several more goals after they achieved getting a man to the moon, their next goal was to send more men and have surveillance of the moon with technology like rovers. Sputnik was a major surprise to the United States as the Soviets had launched a satellite, this freightened the U.S as most believed they were superior in technology, and hadn’t learned of this technology yet, with most scared of the power this product had as most were uncertain of the function of the device. This caused conflict between the Soviet Union and the United States which seemed to have no compromise. Some believed it was a weapon and others waited for the U.S government to make an opinion on the matter first. With all the comotion the U.S began falling behind until they decided to fund schools and start NASA, leading a new generation to a technology based world and the influence of school made most proud of their country.  

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