Space Race - Name Date Period The Space Race For over a decade the United States and the Soviet Union were engaged in a heated competition\u2014the

Space Race - Name Date Period The Space Race For over a...

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Name ___________________________________ Date _______________________ Period _______________ The Space Race For over a decade, the United States and the Soviet Union were engaged in a heated competition—the space race. The space race began in 1957 when the Soviet Union launched the first artificial satellite, Sputnik. The Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev and the American presidents Dwight Eisenhower, John Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon all agreed that conquering outer space was very important. Both countries wanted to win—to prove their scientific superiority and to show their military strength. Soviet Premier Khrushchev wanted to show that communist technology was superior. President Kennedy wanted to beat the Soviets to the moon. Speaking about the prospect of sending astronauts to the moon in 1961, Kennedy said, "No single space project in this period will be more impressive to mankind, or more important for the long-range exploration of space. And none will be so difficult or expensive to accomplish."

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