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NASA’s Space Race Programs: The History and Legacy of NASA Missions in the 1950s and 1960s - cover
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NASA’s Space Race Programs: The History and Legacy of NASA Missions in the 1950s and 1960s

Charles River Editors

Narrator Bill Caufield

Publisher: Charles River Editors

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Summary

Today the Space Race is widely viewed poignantly and fondly as a race to the Moon that culminated with Apollo 11 “winning” the Race for the United States. In fact, it encompassed a much broader range of competition between the Soviet Union and the United States that affected everything from military technology to successfully launching satellites that could land on Mars or orbit other planets in the Solar System. Moreover, the notion that America “won” the Space Race at the end of the 1960s overlooks just how competitive the Space Race actually was in launching people into orbit, as well as the major contributions the Space Race influenced in leading to today’s International Space Station and continued space exploration. 
The Apollo space program is the most famous and celebrated in American history, but the first successful landing of men on the Moon during Apollo 11 had complicated roots dating back over a decade. Landing on the Moon presented an ideal goal all on its own, but the government’s urgency in designing the Apollo program was actually brought about by the Soviet Union, which spent much of the 1950s leaving the United States in its dust (and rocket fuel). In 1957, at a time when people were concerned about communism and nuclear war, many Americans were dismayed by news that the Soviet Union was successfully launching satellites into orbit. 
Throughout the 1960s, NASA would spend tens of billions on missions to the Moon, the most expensive peacetime program in American history to that point, and Apollo was only made possible by the tests conducted through earlier missions. Of course, by the time it was all done, Americans sure felt the cost was worth it as they watched the first live shots of astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walking on the Moon. As he left his first footprint on the Moon, Armstrong transmitted one of the 20th century’s most famous phrases: “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”
Duration: about 8 hours (08:15:08)
Publishing date: 2023-07-18; Unabridged; Copyright Year: — Copyright Statment: —