The space race was a tense confrontation between the US and the Soviet Union. Unspoken competition, II. It started immediately after World War II.
However, it began to unravel after Neil Armstrong ‘s foot on the moon on July 20, 1969. The USA had won. The race ended suddenly after the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991.
Maybe even though we know some common facts about space racing (like when the USA is trying to hit the Moon), there are other facts we’ve never heard of.
Like how Zambia participated in the space race, how the Soviets offered assistance to the American Space Program, and the Soviet Union’s attempt to destroy the Moon.
10: he participated in the Zambian Space Race
Zambia is a country we do not hear about frequently, a land country stuck somewhere in the center of South Africa. He participated in the space race in 1964 and planned to bring a person to the Moon before the US or the Soviet Union did. This was five years before Neil Armstrong set foot on the Moon.
The Zambia Space Program was the special project of Edward MukukaNkoloso, founder and teacher of the Zambia National Academy of Science , Space Research and Philosophy. Mukaka hired 12 people to become the future astronaut, including a girl named MathaMwamba, for landing on the planned moon.
Mukaka lacked sufficient capital for the space project. The Zambian government was not interested in joining the partnership, and the United Nations, the US, the Soviet Union, and Israel ignored funding requests. Despite this, he continued to train his astronauts with an old drum he found.
The novice astronauts entered the drum and rolled around a tree or down a hill to mimic flight conditions. Astronauts also learned how to walk on their hands that Mukaka claimed that this was the only way a person could walk on the moon.
Everything was so funny that international reporters began to see it as a joke. Mukaka never revealed his intention, even if it seemed too serious about this issue. “I will be laughing the day I plant Zambia’s flag on the moon,” he once told an interviewer.
When novice astronauts started asking for money, the space program was disbanded. Two of Mukaka’s best astronauts became alcohol addicts and never returned for training. One-third joined a film crew. The program eventually ended with the single female trainee astronaut becoming pregnant.
9: Astronaut, Cosmonaut or Taykonot?
Why does the USA, the Soviet Union and China use different names for space passengers? NASA calls astronauts to space passengers, Russia calls them cosmonauts, and China says they are taconos. (In this article, the term ‘astronaut’ is used for astronauts, cosmonauts and taiconotes.)
It all started during the space race. The U.S. and the Soviets were rivals too hard for space passengers to agree on a single name. While the Soviets preferred the ‘cosmonaut (cosmos passenger), the USA decided to’ astronaut ‘(star passenger). International astronauts boarding Russian or American spaceships are defined by the term used by the host country.
When China started sending humans into space, he found a name for his astronauts. He thought of calling them ‘Chinanaut’ before deciding to Yuhangyuan (space traveler). However, ‘taikonot’ (space traveler) is used more commonly because it ends with ‘naut’ and is easier to pronounce for those who do not speak Chinese. J
8: Children’s Playgrounds Designed to Revive Interest in Space Travel
The space race had extended to children’s playgrounds. During the period, the US and the Soviet Union designed playground equipment to keep kids interested in space travel. Playground equipment was built to imitate rockets, satellites, towers, submarines and even planets.
Space-inspired playground equipment in the U.S. began to disappear when Congress established the Consumer Product Safety Commission in 1973. The commission showed interest in playground accidents and asked manufacturers of playground equipment to develop safer materials. This sense of security and practicality left the design behind.
A second blow was brought down twenty years later, when the guides demanded that sand and rubber be used instead of asphalt, dirt and grass in the playgrounds, some schools chose to destroy the playgrounds instead of adapting.
7: Soviet Union Offers Technical Assistance to USA to Develop Countries
When the Soviet Union launched Sputnik 1 on October 4, 1957, he started the space race, thirty days later, the launch of Putnik 2 followed by a dog named Laika on the ship. These developments surprised the USA, which sees itself as a global leader in science and technology. The USA soon decided to launch its own rockets into space.
This happened almost immediately on December 6, 1957, when the US attempted to launch the Vanguard 1A rocket. More than 100 journalists and television were there to report the incident. all were watched live.
The USA became a mockery right after this incident. US journalists used words such as “flopnik” and “caputnik” to describe the incident. The New York Times even published an article criticizing the US space program. Soviet Union technical to the USA, developing countries, so as not to miss this great opportunity. offered your help. The USA ignored the offer.
6: The Soviets Also Plan to Destroy the Moon
Many would have learned about the embarrassing project A119. This was the U.S. attempt to blow up the Moon. Interestingly, the Soviet Union seems to have similar ideas. Apart from proving that both nations were leaders in the space race, there was no practical reason to hit the Moon.
The Soviet Union planned to bomb the Moon right after stepping on the foot, the idea was to place a human on the Moon and have it erected on the Moon, then left a nuclear weapon just to prove they landed on the Moon. it could be seen by people watching from the world.
The Soviets later acknowledged that bombing the Moon was a terrible idea. The lack of atmosphere meant that the nuclear cloud would never form. The blast of the explosion will be so short that people watching the world would not even realize something was happening. Instead, the Soviets later decided to send a turtle to the Moon.
5: Some Think the Soviet Union Won the Space Race
When Neil Armstrong and BuzzAldrin set foot on the Moon on July 20, 1969, the US won the space race. Some observers, however, think that the footsteps of the Moon were before the US success, and that the real winner is the Soviet Union. The Soviets have reached more stages than the US has achieved.
The Soviet Union orbited the first satellite in 1957, and sent the first animal to space that same year. Four years later, on April 12, 1961, the Soviets dispatched the first man to space. That man was YuriGagarin.
Gagarin’s flight was followed by another with two cosmonauts on the ship. This was the first of two people’s journey into space on the same spacecraft. In 1963, the Soviets sent the first female cosmonaut, ValentinaTereshkova, into space. Two years later, AlekseyLeonov held the first spacewalk.
The Soviet Union could not maintain its superiority for financial reasons. The state needed money for more important things like its citizens’ food and household needs. This led to a recession in the space program, and the US quickly stepped forward. Finally, he lost when the USA landed on the Moon.
4: Buzz Aldrin Must Be The First Man On The Moon
While the world is waiting for Apollo 11 to launch into space, journalists and NASA officials stated that BuzzAldrin would be the first man on the Moon, given that the astronaut in the right seat of the previous Gemini spacecraft was the first person ever to leave the spacecraft (replaced by Apollo). it must have been true.
Aldrin was in the right seat of Apollo 11.However, Apollo’s door had moved to the left. This meant that the man on the left seat – in this case, Neil Armstrong – would land first.
Aldrin tried to climb over Armstrong here during trials around the world. It failed and damaged the test module. Also, some senior NASA officials thought that Neil Armstrong had to accept the first footing privilege to the Moon because he was the module commander.
3: US Air Force Smeared the Space Shuttle
It was thought that the space shuttle would revolutionize space travel. The first spacecraft were single-use rockets. The space shuttle can be reused. NASA kept saying the space flight of the shuttle would be cheaper. He even envisioned to start a space flight with shuttle every week for $ 20 million per flight.
This was like $ 1 billion for 50 flights a year. This is cheaper than water for a space flight. Unfortunately, this never happened. The space shuttle flew only 134 times in 29 years – between 1981 and 2010. The entire program cost NASA $ 209 billion. That’s $ 1.6 billion per flight.
Moreover, the maximum range of the shuttle was several hundred miles beyond the earth’s atmosphere. That’s why astronauts never returned to the moon. If that wasn’t bad enough, the shuttle got more deadly than the rockets it replaced. In two of 134 flights, 14 astronauts died due to the explosion. This is a bad record for an aircraft.
The U.S. Air Force was accused of the failure of the space shuttle, the original design was perfect until the air force requested a shuttle capable of launching US satellites and capturing Soviet satellites, which meant that the shuttle needed larger fuel tanks and cargo compartments than originally planned.
The Air Force also wanted the shuttle to fly over the poles, so they could secretly spy on the Soviet Union, which allowed NASA to set up a $ 4 billion launch facility at the California Vandenberg Air Force Base. This facility has never been used.
The modified space shuttle then proved useful to the US space program. Hubble was big enough to launch the space telescope and deliver the parts to the International Space Station. The original one was never going to throw the telescope or deliver many parts because it was small. It also helped ruin the Soviet space program, as we’ll discuss below.
2: Space Shuttle Turns Soviet Space Program into Wreck
While Russia preferred to remain silent, the Soviet Union built a space shuttle, which looked exactly like an American space shuttle. This part was no coincidence, because the Soviets used plans stolen from NASA.
The US has left the design plans of the space shuttle open to the public. This allowed NASA to upload to public online databases. All that KGB (CIA’s Soviet equivalent) had to do was find those who built it. The prizes were a space shuttle called Buran.
The Soviets were planning to use Buran to place it in the Mir space station owned by the Soviets. However, the shuttle flew only once before it was abandoned in 1990. It was never clamped into the Mir space station and was taken out of service in 1994.
(Mir is a space station that remained in low Earth orbit from 1986 to 2001, led by the Soviet Union and then Russia. Its first module was sent to space on February 19, 1986. It is the first space research station in which humanity regularly lives in space for a long time.)
As we mentioned in the previous introduction, the space shuttle program was expensive for the USA. The effect was worse for the Soviet Union, which suffered from cash. Space programs went bankrupt shortly after spending their small amounts on the failed shuttle project . The fact that the Soviet Union collapsed a year later did not solve the issue.
The fact that the shuttle plans were stolen later benefited the USA in 1995 when a NASA shuttle anchored to the Mir space station. The shuttle used the same facilities the Soviet Union intended to use for Buran.
1: Space Race Was Actually A Arms Race
Rockets are a dual-use technology. So, they have both peaceful and military practices. Put it on a space capsule or shuttle and become a spacecraft . Replace this capsule with a warhead and you will have an intercontinental ballistic missile. The space race was part of the nuclear arms race between the US and the Soviet Union.
USA and Soviets, II. After World War II, they increased their nuclear weapons programs. At the same time, both countries have developed means to deliver their weapons to another. While the Soviets preferred long-range rockets, the U.S. designed long-range bombers.
When the space race appeared, these Soviet rockets worked. In fact, they were the reason for the Soviet Union’s supremacy at the start of the space race.
The U.S. began taking the rocket program seriously only after the Soviets launched Sputnik 1 into space in 1957. This launch frightened President Eisenhower. The Soviets could use one of the rockets to throw a nuclear warhead on the US mainland, where these fears led to the space race.