How did the space race begin the age of extraterrestrial exploration?

چگونه مسابقه فضایی، عصر اکتشافات فراتر از زمین را آغاز کرد؟

Cold War tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union turned into a space race that culminated in the first human landing on the moon.

In the morning April 12, 1961Tensions in the Soviet Union were preparing to launch the first man into space.Baikonur Cosmodrome” Raised. From 16 attempts Half of them had previously failed to launch the Soviet Vostok missile into orbit.

According to reportsTwo senior space program engineers that day, while waiting for the launch, were enduring so much stress that they had to take sedatives.

But “Yuri GagarinHe was calm in the capsule above the rocket. After months of strenuous physical training, the astronaut 27 years old Was selected for this historic flight. In a note written by Soviet Air Force doctors and dated “آصف صدیقی“Gagarin is smart, diligent and superior to all those who competed,” it said. “He understands life better than anyone.”

Per hour 9:07 AM, Gagarin heard the confirmation of the launch and the rocket took off. He shared his experiences with those who were on the ground, because the speed of the rocket to 17,000 miles per hour arrived.

“I see the earth,” Gagarin said. I feel the effort to overcome the gravity of the earth. I feel very good. “I see the clouds.”

Moments later, the Soviet astronaut was the first to orbit the planet. This was an important moment in the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union that put man on the moon for the end of a decade. But this is not where the story of human spaceflight really begins.

This path was successfully drawn from the Soviet Union many years ago.

The beginning of the space race

Although the United States and the Soviet Union were united during World War II, the war was approaching. [1945, Became suspicious of each other. The United States at the time recently undermined its ability to destroy entire cities by launching atomic bombs.Hiroshima” And “ناکازاکیHe had shown it to bring Japan into surrender.

Thus began the Cold War. The United States and the Soviet Union were each trying to dominate the world.

To prove their technological prowess, the two countries began building massive nuclear reactors and missiles that could revolutionize the world.

In the middle 1950Both countries have announced plans to use the missiles to launch artificial satellites into space. While the United States throws itself for years 1958 Planned, the Soviets decided to quietly defeat the Americans.

At October 4, 1957When the Soviet Union announced a satellite called «SputnikSends into Earth orbit, the world was taken by surprise. Although the satellite was not very large and equipped, the Americans were shocked to hear this news.

Space Race

The then President of the United States «Dwight D. EisenhowerHe had his own concerns. White House officials were concerned about whether the world would recognize the Soviet Union as a superpower or whether the United States was still in power.

In its domestic reports, the United States called the Sputnik launch a myth and a superstition and urged people not to believe it.

The United States was trying to take over the space. NASA National Aeronautics and Space Administration thus in July 1958 Established to seriously pursue spaceflight.

The first human flights into space

Human space travel in the decade 1950 It was nothing new. The United States since the late decade 1940 It launched rockets with animals – including flies and monkeys. This country in the year 1951 Also sent a dog into space.

The Soviets also a few weeks after the launch of Sputnik 1957A famous dog named «لایکاHad sent into space. Unfortunately, Leica died of heat and stress a few hours after the flight.

But the ultimate goal was to send man into space. In the year 1958NASA Project «MercuryHe defined three purposes: launching an American into Earth orbit, examining the human body’s ability to withstand space flights, and the safe return of astronauts and spacecraft to Earth. Undeclared goal: Do all this before salinity.

However, the United States was shocked again. Gagarin’s historic flight a month earlier than «Alan ShepardAmerican astronaut in May 5, 1961 To be sent into space, was done. Although flying 15 Shepard submarine minutes with rocket «Freedom7It was a key turning point in the US space industry, but it was overshadowed by Gagarin’s flight.

Space Race

A few weeks after Shepard’s flight, the then president “John F. KennedyStood in front of a joint session of the US Congress. Acknowledging that the country has not dealt with space exploration urgently enough, he posed a new and serious challenge: An American must walk the moon by the end of the decade!

“No space project in this period is more important to humans than being on the moon,” Kennedy said. We should not underestimate it. “We must make our nation happy and proud by carrying out this expensive and difficult project.”

Reach the moon behind the space race

Before NASA could travel to the moon, its scientists and engineers had much to learn. The space agency launched the Mercury project and “John GlennBecame the first American to enter February 1962 He spun around the earth.

«Gordon Cooper” At May 1963 Made an orbital flight – a journey that approx 34 hours and 20 minutes It took. one month later “Valery Bykovsky” Russian, Four days and 23 hours – which still holds the record for the longest solo space flight. «Valentina TershkovaShe also became the first woman to fly into space.

After Mercury, NASA expands its space flight capabilities with Project «Jemini»Upgraded. Gemini’s goal was to be in orbit, perform new maneuvers and determine the length of space flight and its impact on humans. Gemini can be considered as a bridge to gain knowledge in traveling to the moon.

Space Race

The Soviets, meanwhile, were still setting records. At March 1965Astronaut «Alexei LeonovRossi was the first to get off a rotating spacecraft. This space march that 12 minutes It lasted, it was very heartbreaking.

Leonov’s space suit was so dry and rough that he had trouble re-entering the spacecraft. He eventually had to take off some of his clothes so he could lock himself behind the doors.

Ten weeks later, «Ed WhiteHe became the first American to walk in space 23 minutes Suspended in space. This was while he and another astronaut named “James McDavit“In the capsule”Gemini 4They spun around the earth at seventeen thousand miles per hour.

After that, the United States gradually took over the game: in December 1955Astronauts riding on «Gemini 7They set the record for the most time in space during a two-week mission. «Gemini 8It made its first space load in 1966 – although a small defect caused the spacecraft to spiral out of control, but by «Neil ArmstrongThe 35-year-old, who was the flight commander, got everything back to normal and under control.

After ten flights with the crew over five years, Gemini’s missions with “Jemini 12On November 15 1966 Completed – a mission in which the record 5 hours and 30 minutes Explore outside a spacecraft by «Edwin Baz AldrinIt was broken. Now it’s time to walk on the moon.

Human footprints on the moon

“While NASA was conducting Gemini missions, it was developing a spacecraft for the”ApolloHad begun. The spacecraft consisted of a steering module that flew to the moon and entered orbit. There was also another module component that opened for landing and reconnected back to the steering module.

Space Race

But the Apollo program had a sad start. At January 27, 1967astronauts “Gus Grisom»،«Ed White” And “Roger ShafiThey died during a ground test for a planned mission in a fire on the launch pad.

Investigations have shown that the fire was caused by a short circuit in the wires near the grissom chair and spread rapidly due to the high level of oxygen at the site and flammable materials.

After re-evaluating the design and safety of the spacecraft, Apollo’s first mission with the crew October 11, 1968 – when “Apollo 7It exploded in Earth orbit – it was launched into space. On the first day of life 11 days In space, the occupants all caught a cold and realized that the mucus could not be removed from the nose due to weightlessness in space.

The mission was accompanied by the first flight to the moon at a distance of more than two hundred and thirty thousand miles from Earth. before that, “Apollo 8»Man only up to a distance 850 miles The earth had advanced.

Crew between 24 and 25 December exactly 10 times They orbited the moon and read books from space to their audiences during the Christmas Eve radio broadcast. These three astronauts were the first to see the moon up close with their own eyes and to see the darkness caused by the shadow of the earth on the surface of the moon.

Space Race

«Apollo 9It was the first lunar module flight to test the spacecraft in Earth orbit. «Apollo 10He brought the module closer to the surface of the moon by a distance of fifty thousand feet. Finally in history July 16, 1969، «Apollo 11” exploded.

On the fifth day in space, astronauts Neil Armstrong and Baz Aldrin began preparations for the Rigel module to land on the moon. They are exactly on the clock 3:17 pm Landed – By Houston Time July 20. An hour later at 9:56 pm“This is a small step for man, a big leap for humanity,” Armstrong was the first to step on the moon.

Over the next two hours, Armstrong and Aldrin collected soil and rock samples and performed experiments. They hoisted the American flag on the surface of the moon. “We are at peace with all of humanity,” they also wrote on a plaque.

Next moon explorations in space racing

The United States made five more successful trips to the moon in the following years. The astronauts collected samples, performed scientific experiments and tested a lunar.

This app in December 1972 With “Apollo 17“It ended that the astronauts”Eugene Sernan” And “Harrison SchmidtThey lived more than three days a month.

After successful missions to the moon, the United States and the Soviet Union began to work together. In the year 1975The first joint mission of the two countries called «Apollo-SoyuzIt took place in which American and Soviet spacecraft successfully anchored each other in orbit and allowed the crew to meet in space.

Space Race

After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991The United States and Russia continued to cooperate in the field of space affairs and eventually succeeded in building an international space station in cooperation with each other.

Since then, several countries have made unmanned trips to the moon, but the United States is the only country whose astronauts have landed on the moon. NASA plans for years 2025 With the program «ArtemisReturn the astronauts to the surface of the moon. Other countries, such as China, plan to send humans to the moon in the coming decades.

In the future, humans may walk to Mars. Such a journey requires very advanced technologies that are not available to us now. But we must not forget that the Apollo missions were in the same situation.

Kennedy in his speech of the year 1962 “We choose to go to the moon and achieve a lot,” he said. These things are not easy. They are very difficult, because there are big challenges ahead of us, but we want to win. “So we accept them.”

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