The Space Race
The years after World War II was a time of great scientific and technological advancements. With these advancements came great tension and rivalry between the United States and the former Union of Soviet Socialists Republic (USSR). The biggest rivalry between the two superpowers was the advancement in space technology. In 1952, the International Geophysical Year (IGY) was established in which scientists stated that in the time between July 1, 1957 and December 31, 1958, solar activity would be at a high point. The IGY made it so that both the US and the USSR became determined to be the first to reach space, and so the space race was born. During the space race, the USSR made many launches that were very advanced and superior to the US.
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The first accomplishment in the luna program was on September 14th, 1959 as Luna 2 became the first spacecraft to land on the moon. It had a spherical shape and during its voyage released an orange cloud of gas so scientist could determine the behavior of gas in space. On September 14th, after 33.5 hours of flight, Luna landed on the moon. About two months after Luna 2 landed on the moon, the US tried to do the same with th Pioneer 5 linear Orbiter, but failed. The US's failing attempt to catch up with the USSR proves that they didn't have the technological abilities of the Soviet Union and the USSR was unquestionably superior. The next feat in the Luna program was Luna 9, the first spacecraft to achieve a soft landing on the moon and to transmit photos to Earth. "The landing probe inside the Luna 9 contained radio equipment, heat control systems, and a TV system"(Jones). On February 3rd, 1966, the spacecraft softly landed on the moon's surface. It then began a photographic survey of the surrounding environment. When finished, the photographs gave a panoramic view of the lunar surface including nearby rocks and the horizon. Luna 9's technology gave a new incredible look at the lunar environment. About four months after Luna 9's expedition, the US finally completed a soft landing on the moon without photographs after many attempts. The Luna 9 was able to achieve a soft landing on