Saturday, 28 November 2009

Space Race and the Wall

The Berlin Wall and the Space Race - both frontlines of the Cold War - have developed within similar chronical span. The Space Race started in 1957, when the Soviet Union successfully launched a satellite into the Earth's orbit, and "while the Sputnik launch was a single event, it marked the start of the space age and the U.S.-U.S.S.R space race" (Garber, 2007). The United States launches Explorer I and established NASA in 1958.

In 1961, President John F. Kennedy announced that "before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth" was a goal America should commit to (Kennedy, 1961). 
"This nation will move forward, with the full speed of freedom, in the exciting adventure of space." (Kennedy, 1961)
The speech was made on May 25. In less than 3 months, the Berlin Wall was built. His view that "freedom shall survive and succeed" is also reflected in the speech he delivers in Berlin, after the Wall was built.

Garber, S. (2007) Sputnik and The Dawn of the Space Age. [online]

Kennedy, J.F. (1961) Special Message to the Congress on Urgent National Needs Page 4. [online]

See also:

NASA (2009) The Apollo Missions: Fourty Years Later. [online]