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Ebba Kurt (12)

Lec 9

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University of Toronto St. George
Ebba Kurt

HIS344 – Conflict and Cooperation in the International System Since 1945 Lecture 9 – Scientific Competition • second wave of decolonization –Algeria and Congo ◦ competition between Soviet Union and US; first appearance by USSR inAfrica ▪ however, undermined USSR in the long-term • nothing symbolized the East-West relations more than the science race – space race ◦ became most important face of the competition – gain advantage in political and ideological term ▪ success with science space race equated success in political terms – immediately implied that one or the other system was better • Soviet scientific community existed in a vacuum from the rest of the world – for the first time scientists from both states attended conference, cooperation • July 1955 – InternationalAstronomical Conference ◦ US wanted a space program, have satellites orbiting around the world but for peaceful means – the federation was set up to explore space as well as earth ◦ when the federation met for the first time both announced their plans – beginning of space race ◦ 1957-8 – international geophysical year ▪ wanted to research phenomenon like aurora borealis, gravity, solar flares ▪ score more and more successes • what Eisenhower wanted in producing both the geophysical year and space exploration was to find other means to spy on the Soviet Union ◦ the only way was to take the US spy program above the earth and putting it into space ◦ sovereignty over airspace was not yet declared or limited – if you were caught spying over the other state it was tantamount to declaration of war ▪ given USSR was trying to catch up to US it was imperative that the US knew how far the Soviet Union had progressed – pictures of military airfields, missile test bases etc. ◦ genuine space exploration was a distant second objective ◦ likewise Soviet program was initiated for the same reasons – rather than provide data and information onAmericans, but also spectacular successes to prove the superiority of the Soviet Union and communist system ◦ wanted to build a rocket capable of delivering a satellite into orbit • Friday, November 4 1957 – 7 o'clock, 5 minutes into the show was interrupted, Russians managed to beat theAmericans and put a satellite into orbit (Sputnik) ◦ throughout the US most could intercept the satellite's signals, placing satellite into orbit ◦ beat US in the space race, implying that they do have missiles capable of delivering not only a satellite into orbit but delivering nuclear warhead into the US ◦ a week thereafter a new Soviet satellite with a passenger (dog) – unprecedented Soviet success • Americans also tried to manage the Russian success – December 1957 ◦ the entire launch was televised, missile fired up, rose two meters and exploded – incredible humiliation of the US (nicknamed Staynik and Kaputnik) • USSR scored a spectacular victory over the US by launching the first man into orbit –April 12 1961, in orbit above the atmosphere, 2 1/2 hours, broke records ◦ first state to achieve milestone in space exploration ◦ Soviet Union never as rich or as well-developed as the US, in the 50's and 60's barely able to feed its own people • a month later US sentAlan Shepard sent up, but never went into orbit – took an entire year for US to catch up to USSR, to send an astronaut to orbit the earth • August 1961 – sent another astronaut into orbit for a whole day ◦ steady advantage over the US ◦ two spaceships sent up into orbit together – looked upon as a symbol of communist victory ◦ first woman sent into space – demonstrated that women are equal to men, equal society • spring 1965 – two spaceships capable of hooking up with each other, allowing crew from one spaceship to walk over to the other ◦ no way thatAmericans could catch up with them ◦ third world looked as USSR for scientific aid (could never matchAmerican economic aid) • breaking so many scientific barriers came at a heavy price – not willing to share information with each other, scientific communities did not want to share information • catastrophic explosion, 150 scientists died ◦ did not share secrets, Apollo 1 tried to use pure oxygen as well • mid 1960's – first to walk out into space, very risky ◦ both were willing to take tremendous risk to score propaganda victory • Americans had to respond in kind – what field should they explore to make sure USSR would not beat them:Americans must land first on the moon ◦ end results were so loaded with diplomatic and political implications that US could not allow USSR to continue these successes – every single Soviet victory is political victory, US could not afford to lose political battles • developed two programs,Apollo and Gemini ◦ July 1969 – delivered man to the moon, clearly demonstratedAmerican superiority ◦ understood immediately as a defeat – several unsuccessful attempts to do the same, but so risky that they could not control the program to make sure astronauts would come back alive so they never launched the rockets ▪ eventually Russians ab
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