Space Race………..Star Wars

In October 1957, the world was introduced to the fear of a missile attack when Sputnik was launched. This was to lead to ICBM’s:  Inter-continental ballistic missiles. As a result, America built the DEW line around the Arctic – Defense and Early Warning system.

What most people fail to remember is that the Soviet Union was not only responsible for putting a satellite into orbit, but was the first to put a living animal in space, put the first man in orbit, achieved the first space walk, and put a multi-manned capsule in space.  Unfortunately, the Soviet Union was also the first to endure the first human fatality of the space race.  As both super powers scampered to sacrifice money and lives to this Cold War cause, the Soviet Union seemed to be leagues ahead of the United Sates.

Sputnik 2 was launched on November 3rd and carried a dog, Laika. They were monitoring her vital signs in order to gain information for later manned missions.  Several other Sputniks were launched to study the earth and provide information for future manned space missions.

The Russians also first tackled one of man’s most incredible feats on April 12th, 1961.  Although this occurred shortly after the first human fatality of the space race, Russian spirits were still very high. Cosmonaut Valentin V. Bondarenko died in a pressure chamber fire that was covered up by Soviet officials.  This did not stop Yuri Alekseyvick Gagarin from becoming the first human to enter space, when he completed one orbit in 108 minute space flight aboard Vostok 1.   It was a victory of a long scientific effort in rocketry everywhere and the result of extraordinary preparations in Russia.


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