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Lecture 11: The Cold War and the Space Race


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Lecture 11 of the course Our Moon: From Imagination to Exploration. In this lecture, I continue with politics of the Moon with a focus on the Cold War and the Space Race. The period covered in this lecture is between April 12th, 1961 to March 31st, 1966. Please see presenter notes for what I said about each slide in class.

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Lecture 11: The Cold War and the Space Race

  1. 1. Our Moon Lecture 11 The Cold War and the Space Race
  2. 2. Vostok 1 Image: The Huntsville Times Yuri Gagarin first human in space Launched April 12th, 1961 “Vostok” means east Image: Arto Jousi
  3. 3. Image: Cecil W. Stoughton Mercury—Redstone 3 Freedom 7 Launched May 5th, 1961 Alan Shepard first American in space Suborbital flight
  4. 4. 20 days later… John F. Kennedy Speech to Congress on May 25th, 1961 For context, at the time: Number of Americans in space = 1 Number of Americans who orbited the Earth = 0 Total American time in space = 15 minutes Image: Cecil Stoughton
  5. 5. Vienna Summit Image: U.S. State Department Only face to face meeting between Soviet Union Premier Nikita Khrushchev & United States President John F. Kennedy On June 4th, 1961 in Vienna, Austria Minor point during discussion, Kennedy proposed joint Moon mission, Khrushchev not interested
  6. 6. Vostok 3 & 4 Vostok spacecraft model Image: Bricktop August 11th to 15th, 1962 Vostok 3 launched, next day Vostok 4 Cosmonauts Andriyan Nikolayev & Pavel Popovich First time two people were in space at the same time Communicated with each other via radio
  7. 7. Image: NASA von Braun & Kennedy Marshall Space Flight Center Huntsville, Alabama September 11th, 1962
  8. 8. Kennedy’s Speech at Rice University “We choose to go to the Moon” Houston, Texas September 12th, 1962 Image: NASA
  9. 9. Video: NASA
  10. 10. Vostok 6 Valentina Tereshkova First women in space (only woman to have flown in space solo) June 16th, 1963 Final Vostok flight Next: Svetlana Savitskaya (1982) & Sally Ride (1983) Image: Alexander Mokletsov
  11. 11. John F. Kennedy 35th U.S. President James E. Webb 2nd NASA Administrator Meeting on September 18th, 1963 Kennedy: The difficulty is that I’m not sure how much, right now, I don’t think the space program has much political positives. Webb: I agree, I think this is a real problem. Kennedy: I mean if the Russians do some tremendous feat, then it would stimulate interest again, but right now space has lost a lot of its glamour. Webb: Well that’s why I want to talk to you because I think there is some strategy issues relating to the election in ’64 that we’ve got to face. Text & Audio: John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum
  12. 12. Audio: John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum Kennedy’s Speech at the United Nations 18th General Assembly September 20th, 1963 “Why, therefore, should man's first flight to the Moon be a matter of national competition?” Art: Aaron Shikler
  13. 13. Kennedy Assassinated Image: Cecil W. Stoughton November 22nd, 1963 Dallas, Texas Lyndon B. Johnson became President of the United States
  14. 14. New Leader in the Soviet Union Image: Heinz Junge Image: Ulrich Kohls Nikita Khrushchev (1953-1964) Leonid Brezhnev (1964-1982)
  15. 15. Voskhod 1 “Voskhod” means sunrise Launched October 12th, 1964 First three-person crew No spacesuits, no launch escape system Launched with Khrushchev as leader, returned to Brezhnev as leader Image: Andrew Gray
  16. 16. Voskhod 2 Launched March 18th, 1965 Two person crew First space walk (12 minutes) Alexei Leonov Video: Soviet space program
  17. 17. Gemini Program (‘knee’ not ‘eye’) Images: NASA
  18. 18. Gemini 4 2nd crewed Gemini mission Launched June 3rd, 1965 First American space walk Ed White Video: NASA
  19. 19. Gemini 6A & 7 Launched December 15th & 4th, 1965 (first rendezvous in space) Images: NASA Gemini 7Gemini 6A
  20. 20. Gemini 6A First to perform music in space Images: Smithsonian Institution Harmonica Jingle Bells
  21. 21. Image: Horyzonty Techniki Sergei Korolev Died on January 14th, 1966 Worked to put first satellite, first animal, first man, and first woman into space
  22. 22. Luna 9 February 3rd, 1966 (First soft landing on the Moon) Image: Jodrell Bank
  23. 23. Gemini 8 Image: NASA Launched March 16th, 1966 First docking in space Major problem, ended mission early
  24. 24. Gemini 8 Video: NASA
  25. 25. Luna 10 Image: Soviet space program Launched March 31st, 1966 First spacecraft to orbit the Moon Active for 60 days Weak/no magnetic field Mass concentrations (mascons)