The Space Race was an heated competition between the United States and the Soviet Union,
as each side tried to match or better what the other side did in exploring outer space.
It involved putting: 1) putting satellites up to orbit the earth, 2) to send man into space, and
3) to land him on the Moon.
The Space Race effectively began after the Soviet launch of Sputnik 1 on October 4, 1957.
What happened because of the success of Sputnik:
Sputnik's success and our first rocket launch failure created fear in the United States. It was
known as that the period is known as the Sputnik crisis, and people thought The Soviet Union
would soon have nuclear weapons flying in space so they could h9it us at any time.
Within a year, the United States Congress passed the law creating NASA, as well as the
National Defense Education Act, the most far-reaching federally-sponsored education
initiative in the nation's history. NASAs Mercury manned space program was initiated by 1959.
Yuri Alekseyevich Gagarin was a Soviet
cosmonaut. On 12 April 1961, he became the first
human in outer space and the first to orbit the
The United States's Apollo 11 was the first manned mission to land on the Moon on July 20,
The United States space agency NASA achieved the first manned landing on Earth's Moon as
part of the Apollo 11 mission commanded by Neil Armstrong. On July 20, 1969, lunar module
Eagle landed on the surface of the Moon, carrying Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin. Armstrong
was the first human to set foot on the Moon and Aldrin the second. Michael Collins orbited
above. Armstrong and Aldrin spent a day on the surface of the Moon before returning to
Earth. To this day, twelve people have walked across the Moon's terrain.
Step onto Moon
July 20, 1969
Example Of Arms Race
Hydrogen Bomb – Next Generation of Atomic Bomb – “A-Bomb 2G”
The nuclear arms race was a competition for the lead in nuclear weapons between the
United States, the Soviet Union, and their allies during the Cold War.
During the Cold War, in addition to the American and Soviet nuclear stockpiles, other
countries also developed nuclear weapons, though none engaged in warhead
production on nearly the same scale as the two superpowers.
U.S. and USSR/Russia nuclear weapons
Governments put massiveamounts of time and money to increasing the quality
and quantity of their nuclear weapons.
Both nations quickly began work on hydrogen bombs and the United States detonated the
first such device on November 1, 1952. (They were much more powerful than the bombs
dropped on Japan.)
Missiles that could travel from one continent to another.
They would eventually would have missiles so powerful that they could fire from Nebraska in
the U.S. and hit Moscow in the USSR.
•This period also saw attempts begin to defend
against nuclear weapons.
•Radar to detect incoming bombers and
•Fighters to use against bombers and
•Special missile systems that could shoot down
•Large underground concrete lined caves were
constructed to save the leadership of
the superpowers, and
•Individuals were told to build fallout shelters
and taught how to react to a nuclear attack
These bombs could killThese bombs could kill
millions in the event of anmillions in the event of an
attack by either side.attack by either side.
Both sides developed a "second-strike" capability,
i.e. they could launch a devastating attack
even after sustaining a full assault from the other side (especially by means of submarines).
This policy was part of what became known as Mutually Assured Destruction: both sides knew
that any attack upon the other would be suicide for themselves as well, and thus would (in
theory) refrain from attacking one another.
Because of this thinking NO One launched a nuclear attack during The Cold War.
Year Warheads Megatonnage
USA USSR USA USSR
1964 6,800 500 7,500 1,000
1966 5,000 550 5,600 1,200
1968 4,500 850 5,100 2,300
1970 3,900 1,800 4,300 3,100
1972 5,800 2,100 4,100 4,000
1974 8,400 2,400 3,800 4,200
1976 9,400 3,200 3,700 4,500
1978 9,800 5,200 3,800 5,400
1980 10,000 6,000 4,000 5,700
1982 11,000 8,000 4,100 7,100
Source: Gerards Segal, The Simon & Schuster Guide to the World Today, (Simon & Schuster, 1987), p. 82
in: Edwin Bacon, Mark Sandle, "Brezhnev Reconsidered", Studies in Russian and East European History
and Society (Palgrave Macmillan, 2003)
Strategic nuclear missiles and throw-weights
United States and USSR, 1964-82
Arms Race:Arms Race:
Look at the label onLook at the label on
the goat.the goat.
Who is in danger?Who is in danger?
This cartoon was done the
time of a Hydrogen Bomb test
on an Island in The Pacific
named “Bikini Atoll”
B-52 Stratofortress – One of the delivery vehicles for U.S. nuclear weapons
In the event of severe tensions between Superpowers , these planes would be launched just in
case we had to deliver missiles
Soviet Bear bomber
It was one of the ways in which Soviets could launch nuclear weapons
U.S. Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (I.C.B.M.’s)