The Space Race and the Cold War during the 1960s

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The cold war is a new type of conflict that started after World War II. There were two sides against each other in this conflict, which were Eastern Bloc (Formed by USSR and other communism countries) and Western Bloc (led by U.S., NATO, and other countries). As its name suggests, there were not any large-scale war happened. However, there were still lots of different kinds of conflicts that happened. The two these conflicts are the arms race and the space race. These two races happened because both sides didn't want each other to become overpowered, and they also wanted to prove they had battle technology, military power, economy, and so on.

First of all, during the space race, there were many new kinds of technology invented, which helped people to solve many problems that had been perplexing humans for a long time, it also allowed humans to see further into the universe. Secondly, the space race also let the U.S. receive the final winning of the cold war. Finally, the space race also gave the U.S. a chance to improve national security and military defense benefits by using satellites, which can monitor almost all the places on the planet, that's why America can find out that there were missiles in Cuba. Moreover, many technologies related to rockets could also be used on missiles and nuclear weapons. Therefore the space race also contributed to the arms race.

Space races also have many consequences on the environment and economy. During the Beginning of the Space Race, Kennedy had clearly said that to make the dream of landing on the moon come true then, Americans must sacrifice. And the sacrifice generally means that the American people needed to pay more taxes, and this gave more stress to the American people. Another consequence was the pollution caused by the disposal of rocket parts in space. This kind of pollution is produced when some of the fuel tanks and boosters become dead weight when the rocket exits the atmosphere. So it will be more effective if it can get rid of these parts.

The arms race was very drastic because both sides wanted to show people that there more powerful than another. And one of the most important parts of the arms race was nuclear weapons. It is true that the power of nuclear weapons is very deadly, during the final part of WWII, the U.S. dropped two nuclear bombs on Japan, which caused approximately 200 thousand people's death in a very short time. With the continuing arms race, both sides greatly improved the power of nuclear weapons, and they could also be produced very quickly. The number of nuclear weapons the USSR and U.S. had owned during the Cold War could destroy Earth around 34 times. Therefore, both sides clearly knew that the war between the USSR and the U.S. should never happen. Because if the war really happens, there will be no doubt that both sides will use their own nuclear weapons, and the war will change to a nuclear war eventually.

As long as the nuclear war is happening, it will become the end of the world. Therefore, there were never any wars happened between USSR and U.S., no matter whether it was a nuclear war or a war fought by conventional armies and weapons. So both sides only keep their unclear weapon as deterrence. For example, during the Cuban missile crisis, both sides were ready to start the war, however, there was nothing happened at last because both Kennedy and Khrushchev knew that they must stop the war considering the horrible power of nuclear weapons, as a result, they solved the conflict by having a compliment. Furthermore, when two countries built up more and more nuclear weapons, it also potentially and slowly ended the cold war. Because it will cost lots of money and men power to store those nuclear weapons. It was not a big deal for Americans, but it was much harder for USSR because they needed to make sure that they generally had the same amount of nuclear weapons as American, but they had less money and less population. It costed more problems for USSR, so it also speeds up the end of the cold war.

All in all, although there was not any large-scale war during the cold war, the space race and arms race also costed much pressure on people. And the victory of America was also meaningless and unnecessary. Therefore, we should value peace nowadays, try to improve the relationship between different countries, and prevent the happening of similar events or wars.

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The Space Race and the Cold War During the 1960s. (2023, Mar 11). Retrieved October 2, 2023 , from

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