I remembered reading that the two nations were rivals not only in armaments and sphere of influence but also in reaching and dominating the space. I then came up with the question: 'Can I find a direct relationship between the Cold War and the space race in Wolf's texts' Although there was little mention of the Soviets, there was enough text that showed implicitly the relationship of the Cold War and the Space Race.
In this composition, I tried to show that the launching of Sputnik and the manned spacecraft of the Soviets provide the momentum to the space program of the United States. It forced them to withhold their cost concerns and pour large amounts of money to hasten the development of technology that would enable them to gain an edge over the Soviets. The advances made by the Soviets made the US fear of its security and made them very eager to find ways and means to maintain their perceived superiority.
The space race issue is the subject of a lengthy discussion because of its socio-political dimensions with many ideas surrounding it. Thus, I feel that the essay I made was very limited because it is relatively short as compared to the voluminous papers on the topic. Also, the discussion was also very limited because only the American perspective was discussed without much concern on the way the Soviets viewed the issue. It would have been more complete if the Soviet's point of view was included.
In Tom Wolfe's book The Right Stuff, we are made aware of the lives of astronauts particularly of the Mercury Seven group and Chuck Yeager. This composition features dramatic re-enactments of the Mercury program and details some events from the private lives of the astronauts, who faced the dual responsibility of making the risky mission and performing as public role models and luminaries. While the book is mainly concerned with the details of how political and public opinion shaped the choice for astronauts, the bigger picture depicts the idea that the United States rapidly developed its space program due to the pressure brought by the launching of Sputnik and manned spacecrafts by the Soviets. The two superpowers would go head to head in the race to achieve superiority in space and win the Cold War.
According to Microsoft's Encarta, the Cold War refers to the post World War II ideological struggle the United States (US) and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) with both sides having their allies. The world watch as the two world superpower waged their intense rivalry in the geopolitical scene but this conflict was unique in that it did not involve open warfare. The US was bent on containing the spread of Communism by the USSR which was in direct conflict with their idea of free enterprise and capitalism. The rivalry would last until the later part of the 1980's when the USSR disintegrated.
The Cold War sparked the race to space because the two superpowers wanted to show the world their technological prowess and the adequacy of the system which they represented. Efforts to reach the space were the result of the intercontinental ballistic missiles developed by both sides. The space race was initiated by the October 4, 1957 launching of the artificial satellite called Sputnik (fellow traveler) by the Soviets (a term used to denote USSR inhabitants). Sputnik is relatively simple in today's standard as it was only made of a 58-cm (23-in)