Текст Space Race

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Space Race

The space race started on October, 4, 1957, when the USSR surprised the world and launched the first satellite: Sputnik 1. Until that moment Americans believed that their nation was the most powerful on Earth. But then the Russian satellite was in space and shocked them all.

It was the time of the Cold War. Both the USA and the Soviet Union were building rockets to use as new weapons. Americans were afraid to lose the war of technologies. Moreover, the world was shocked again on April 12, 1961 when Yuri Gagarin became the first man in space.

Americans did not want to be left behind and set a new organization for the Space Race (NASA) that controlled all of the government’s high-technology work. In May 1961, the American president, J.F. Kennedy, promised to put a man on the moon before 1970. Eight months later, John Glenn became the first American to orbit the Earth. In 1969, three other Americans made the first historic moonlanding flight.

Russians answered with new successes: the first space flight by a woman, Valentina Tereshkova, and the first space walk by Alexey Leonov.

The 1970s were the time of space stations: Soviet Salyut and American Skylab. At last, in 1975, American and Soviet astronauts made a space flight together.