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How is the space race an aspect of Cold War?

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Par   •  24 Avril 2019  •  Chronologie  •  438 Mots (2 Pages)  •  97 Vues

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We got two documents to analysis, an extract from the speech of J.F. Kennedy (September 12, 1962) and a cartoon from Patrick Oliphant (1965). They both talk about the American and USSR course for the conquest of space. In fact, the cold war as started with the end of the second world war in 1945, and the space race in 1957 with the launch of Sputnik, the world’s first artificial satellite and the first man-made object to be placed into the Earth’s orbit, by the eastern bloc. Beginning in the late 1950s, the space race has become another dramatic arena for the cold war, as each side sought to prove the superiority of its technology, its military firepower and by extension its political-economic system.

How is the space race an aspect of Cold War?

We will answer this question in two points: first, because it’s a fight between two systems of production. Finally, it’s an ideologic and technical race, and a chase for power.

The space race is the confrontation between capitalism and communism system. Indeed, during the cold war the US and Soviet Union wanted to destroy each other because of the opposition of their economic system. Where the communist builds space engines, the machinist were on strike at NASA. Like we see on the cartoon, it’s ironic because the Russians says “Comrade, there goes something we could never build in Russia” because they build spaceships that Americans can’t build, and Americans only make strikes that Russians can’t build.

It’s also a contest between two different type of government: a democracy and a Federal Marxist–Leninist one-party socialist republic. Space is just another area of conflict, very illustrative for all the world where they can show their technical and military power. We can understand this from all the speech of Kennedy but more precisely: “Some 40 of them were “made in the United States of America” and they were far more sophisticated and supplied far more knowledge to the people of the world than those of the Soviet Union.”, he says that by using those new technologies American people will have a better life, where in Soviet Union people won’t be able to use them.

As a conclusion, the space race is a big part of the cold war because of it influence on all over the world. This event was to show to humanity what each country (USA and USSR) what they could do and by this principle to show which one had the best system of production and type of government. It was also a way to show each other their power and how they were superior to the other one.


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