Sample Essay

Words 1,430

Historically, the role of the greater good in space exploration has not been accepted. Instead, nearly all of the text on the US and USSR’s activities into outer space has focused on “the space race” as an extension of the Cold War, practically ignoring all of the supportive efforts and pacifying words. Fortunately, the twenty-first-century historian has the great advantage of hindsight and is able to see the forest for the trees, so to speak. Despite the fact that it is critical to recognize the strategic or competitive side of US-Soviet space policy, one must place it in its proper and calculated context.

According to traditional research, the landing on the moon is attributed to the cold war and the race to compete and gain more knowledge before the rival. It is against this backdrop of reciprocal rivalry that American space policy was organized. In the immediate post-war years, each branch of the military had its own rocketry program and was unwilling to share knowledge with the others. [1]The shock of Sputnik put things in a whole new context. America could no longer tolerate this competition between the services. [2]A new governmental department was formed to focus on the problem of getting the U. S. into space—NASA. After allowing the Soviets to take the lead in space exploration, American leaders felt that they had to re-establish American superiority in some way.

[1] Gaddis, John Lewis.  The United States and the Origins of the Cold War, 1941-1947. (New York: Columbia UP, 1972, 2000.) p. 145

[2] Charles R Pellegrino, and Joshua Stoff.  Chariots for Apollo: The Untold Story Behind the Race to the Moon. (New York: Avon Books, Inc., 1985) p. 34.

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