How American and Soviet Compete to Win in Space Race

The Soviets succeeded in delivering Yuri Alekseyevich Gagarin was the first human to succeed in space.

Humans have known the moon for a very long time. In addition to looking at it with the naked eye, scientists such as Galileo Galilei, Johannes Kepler, and Tycho Brahe after the discovery of the telescope routinely observe the moon and view the moon as a territory that has no owner.

However, curiosity about the moon is not only purely scientific reasons. There are also reasons for the cold war between the United States and the Soviets. Countries that want to carry the title of superpower are competing to send their aircraft and pilots to go to the moon. Soviet Sputnik II was recorded as the first drone that successfully orbited the Earth in 1957.

The first living creature to space

The Soviets won the first few rounds of space missions. The first win was due to Sputnik II. The second victory followed because of their success in sending a Laika dog, which is a type of hunting dog that used to live on the streets to be sent out of Earth’s orbit. This mission succeeded, making the United States feel threatened and forming NASA in 1959.

Laika was chosen between two other dogs, Albina and Mushka. All three are trained to survive in a narrow space and are accustomed to hearing sounds and vibrations that are loud enough, and also accustomed to wearing special space dog clothes. All three showed a good performance, even though Laika was chosen because of her exceptional composure. When about to be sent in a small rocket, Laika was anesthetized with a low dose, and her body was attached with sensors to record heart rate, breathing, blood pressure, and other metabolic indicators as an indication that Laika was still alive.

However, because the Soviets did not prepare plans for how to re-enter Earth’s orbit, Laika could not return and had to die in space. The Soviet reason at that time was because they only built a rocket within three weeks, so they did not prepare a re-entry plan. Laika’s death sparked much debate about the experimental ethics of animals. According to the official Soviet announcement, Laika died only hours after exiting Earth’s orbit due to extremely hot temperatures inside the plane. After his death, Russia holds the title of being the first to send living things into space successfully. Laika came to be known as a canine hero and made her statue as a memorial in 2008 near a military camp near Moscow.

The First Man to Space

Although almost all of us know that Neil Armstrong was the first person to set foot on the moon successfully, not many people know who was the first person to succeed in going into space. He is Yuri Gagarin, a Soviet air force pilot who, in 1961, managed to record a record as the first man to succeed in space. Again the Soviets won to be first. While the first to successfully land an astronaut on the moon was the United States through the Apollo 11 mission in 1969.

Why continue to explore the moon?

During the Apollo missions, the research astronauts carried around 382 kg of material from the moon to the Earth. When these rocks are examined, it can be predicted how the moon is now formed from fragments of the universe. What crashed the moon became the form of the moon we see today. Even research has reached the level of mapping the area on the moon based on its gravity. Because the moon has water and oxygen, if the water is processed, it will be additional fuel for the spacecraft. While the oxygen found could be used to supplement oxygen reserves of astronauts. That is why the moon is thought to be a temporary stop before astronauts and spacecraft can explore our galaxy to a further point. Not only the United States and the Soviet Union, but now the research mission on the moon is also joined by many other countries, such as Japan, European countries, China, and India.

End of the Cold War: Evidence of the Victory of US Liberalism over Soviet Communism

During the cold war, there was a pattern of competition between the United States and the Soviet Union, affecting the stability of the security of the European region. The ideological conflict between the two superpowers is capable of influencing all interactions of life. So it is with security issues in the European region.

In 1952, Europe sought to raise security forces from within its regional territory, among European Countries and European Community (ECSC) Prime Minister of France, Rena Pleven for input from Jean Monnet proposing the establishment of the European Defense Community (EDC), but this was rejected by member countries, including by France itself. But two years later, in 1954, the ECSC countries again negotiated the formation of a security and defense system called the Western European Union (WEU) Agreement. In meetings attended by France, Britain, Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and Italy, agreed to integrate themselves into an armed force. At that meeting, a council of ministers, a small secretariat, a consultative assembly, and armed forces were formed. Previously this forum was only a coordinating council on the foreign policy of its member countries.

Although European countries have formed defense alliances in creating regional security, two defense pacts, NATO and Warsaw, still hold the key to the security of European countries. Both are mutually balancing and military maneuvers indirectly against countries that are considered as ideological opponents. Although it has become a military alliance, inevitably, the interests of America and the Soviets are the main priorities of the performance of the two Defense Pacts.

Instead of creating political stability and world peace, the Warsaw Pact emphasized opposition with the Allies. This was seen when the Soviet Union with Warsaw carried out military aggression against Czechoslovakia in 1968. Only because of the accusation of the Czechoslovak leader were the Liberalist minions, the Soviets with their fleet of war destroyed the country.

At this time, military power has an important bargaining position as a form of political power balance. Even nuclear weapons have become a vital factor in national defense. In this era, it indirectly affected the basis of the overall European regional defense system. But the movement of change made by Mikhail Gorbachev through the Priostoika program has changed the situation. With the uprising of the workers as a pro-democracy movement led by Lech Walesa in Poland, spread to other countries such as the Czech Republic, Hungary, Bulgaria, East Germany, and Romania. The climax of the movement was the desire of East German and West German citizens to reunite. With the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of communist power with the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1989, America’s influence on the world became more dominant.

End of Warsaw Pact Defense Journey

After the Soviet Union broke up and the union of West Germany and East Germany, the security situation in Europe began to change. This is due to the economic crisis that took place in Europe. On November 19, 1990, in Paris, 32 European countries with the US and Canada signed an agreement known as the “second Magna Carta,” which each party agreed to eliminate military disputes and work together to form peace. Previously there were agreements to reduce conventional weapons between 22 NATO countries and the Warsaw Pact. The economic crisis that hit the Eastern European region made the country’s leaders consider the existence of the defense pact because the most important thing needed was economic-political cooperation. So on February 25, 1991, in Budapest, the leaders of the Warsaw Pact alliance defense alliance gathered and agreed that the alliance was dissolved.

In 1992 the European desire arose to form a European economic community (EEC), the rapid pace of European economic growth led to a desire for Europe itself to be independent in all fields, both economic, political, and security.

So in terms of its military function, NATO is certainly no longer needed to stem the Soviet forces in the European region after the collapse of the communist state. However, until now, America has continued to strive to declare that NATO is the most suitable alliance to be implemented in Europe. This is closely related to the US foreign policy agenda, which is to keep NATO in Europe as a guardian of political and economic stability in order to support and accelerate the pace of US economic growth.