Anonymous
Anonymous asked in Science & MathematicsAstronomy & Space · 2 months ago

Did the United States really win the space race?

Soviet Union:

- First satellite in space (Sputnik, 1957)

- First animal in space (Laika, 1957)

- First object on the moon (Luna 2, 1959)

- First man in space (Yuri Gagarin, 1961)

- First woman in space (Valentina Tereshkova, 1963)

- First space station (Salyut 1, 1971)

- First rover on Mars (Mars 3 lander, 1971(

- First rover on Venus (Venera 9 lander, 1975)

US:

- First lands humans on the moon, a completely pointless exercise with no practical benefit, a similar program cancelled by Soviet government after criticism of being a huge waste of money.

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  • 2 months ago
    Favorite Answer

    You left out first rover on the moon, 1969.

    This achievement foreshadowed the extensive use of robotics we have today when anything in space needs to be seriously explored.

    But the US did put the first (and only) astronauts on the moon, and that is generally what is meant by the "space race" of the sixties. Even though it was spectacular and served political and military goals, like most races it was a pretty pointless exercise in itself, as the Soviets proved that the same science could be achieved far easier, cheaper, and safer using robots.

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  • 2 months ago

    No one has won the space race yet, it will probably be ongoing for quite some time 

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  • DKG
    Lv 6
    2 months ago

    Laika wasn't the first animal in space, only the first to orbit.

    Fruit flies were sent into space sub-orbitally in 1947, a Rhesus monkey "Albert II" in 1948, both using the V2 launch vehicle.

    Even before that it is possible that accidental inclusion of bacteria or even small animals on the assembled rockets may have been carried into space on earlier launches.

    Soviet launches of Tyzan and Dezik, two dogs launched sub-orbitally were the first mammals recovered alive on re-entry in 1951. This mission used the R1 copy of the V2.

    Laika followed on a more powerful orbit capable Sputnik developed from the R7 ICBM, but died at around 6 hours into the mission from thermal stress.

    The first animals to orbit and be recovered alive were the Soviet launched dogs Belka and Strelka - on a mission launched in 1960, again on the R7 derived launch vehicle.

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  • Adam D
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    The Soviets took an early lead, sure.  But the only humans who have ever set foot on a body other than Earth are Americans.  That's a big deal - bigger than rovers or (failed) soft landings.  There are some things robots still can't do.  And that list was a LOT longer in the 1960's.

    The United States also OWNED the Soviets when it came to Mars.  Almost everything they did resulted in a string of failed missions.  This includes the Mars 3 lander.  It did achieve a soft landing - right before it shut down without doing anything useful at all.

    • skeptik
      Lv 7
      2 months agoReport

      Yeah, it's hard to view less than a minute of transmission as a "win."

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  • 2 months ago

    Since Kennedy stated he wanted to be 'first on the Moon' - and, we planned and built ships for that purpose... I have to say, yes - at least, in that respect. 

    However - what you say has merit, although it was not completely pointless, and had tons of practical benefits.  And, a similar program *was* canceled in the Soviet Union - but... not a single word about it's cancellation was ever publicly revealed at the time. 

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  • NONAME
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    nobody won...we just didnt lose as bad

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  • Bill
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    Without the space shuttle the international space station couldn't be built. The US had Skylab and the Soviets had Salyut and Mir, but the ISS is bigger.

    • ISS is bigger but also not "American", it's international. 

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  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    They one some battles but the prize was to get a man on the moon .

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  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    The Russians were definitely ahead at the beginning and they currently have the only rockets capable of reaching the ISS.

    • skeptik
      Lv 7
      2 months agoReport

      Technically, the Space Shuttles still exist physically, and could reach ISS if reactivated.
      Also, the SpaceX Dragon went to ISS back in 2012.
      And both the Dragon and Boeing's Starliner are scheduled to make manned flights to ISS over the next few months.

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  • 2 months ago

    Well they got the Moon Landings and wasn't that enough ?

    • More than enough, apparently. Seeing nobody bothered to go back since.

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