Was the space race a bad thing?

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The space race was an extreme competition between America and the Soviet Union during the 20th century. There is divided views about whether it was a good thing. In my opinion, it was an extremely helpful event in history that revolutionised space exploration.

Firstly, there are several reasons for my argument. One of these is that the rivalry led to the first man going into space. This was a monumentous occasion in history as Yuri Gagarin was launched into space on April 12 1961. Previously, it had been a mere dream that anything could go into space so a man going to space was the most bizarre thing ever. In addition, another reason why the space race was a positive thing was that the first man on the moon would never of happened if the space race had not occured. Neil Armstrong was put into space as a retaliation to Yuri Gagrin going to space. If there had never been the space race, man may never have made the giant leap of going to the moon. Another reason that the space race was positive was that the first satelite was sent into space. This was good as satellites help to track climate change, help radios and help weather forecasts. This means that the space race was a good thing because it helped develop - not only space exploration- but life on earth as well.

Finally, another reason , and ,in my opinion, the most important reason, that the space race meant that everyone worked together to win. In the era that the space race happened, black people were generally treated poorly by white people just because of there race - which was disgusting. However, because NASA desperately wanted to beat the Soviet Union, they turned to three black women - which was also shocking because of their gender- to help them. Katherine Goble was an amazing mathematician. She calculated the exact coordinates that the Atlas 7 , John Glenn's shuttle, had to land at if it was to suceed. She also helped with the moon landings. She had to do all of this while running half a mile to the toilet because there were no "coloured toilets" in the building and she suffered severe racism from several of her collegues. She was an amazing woman who contributed immensely to space exploration. Another of these three woman was Mary Jackson. She helped with engineering the shuttles that John Glenn, Gus Grissom and Alan Shephard went to space in. She also managed to get into an all white evening school. This was a fantastic achievment. The final women , Dorothy Vaughan, contributed to the working of the IBM. This was the machine that helped get the shuttles to space. When none of the engineers who were trained to work the computer could turn it on, she could. She also managed to get all the black women in her department promoted. This shows that the space race was positive because it helped to promote equality between the races and the genders and showed that we are all smart - no matter what we look like.

However, there are some reasons why it could be a bad thing. Firstly, the satellites that were created to do lots of great things ;nevertheless, they can also spy on us. This is bad because it is an uncomfortable thought that people can see what you are doing all of the time. In addition, it is negative because the developments the space race has made could lead to bad side effects. For example, people can send nuclear weapons through space amd at another country. This shows that the space race was a negative event because it makes people feel uncomfortable and it could be dangerous.

In conclusion, the space race had negative side effects but it was generally an amazind development into space exploration and people's beliefs in other aspects of life.

Information found at :https://www.history.com/news/from-sputnik-to-spacewalking-7-soviet-space-firsts

https://www.britannica.com/biography/Katherine-Johnson-mathematician

https://www.nasa.gov/audience/forstudents/5-8/features/nasa-knows/what-is-a-satellite-58.html

Comments (14)

  • tom Tom @ the BNC
    12 Nov 2019

    Well done for identifying a topic we haven't yet discussed on the Hub and giving an open-minded post on it. I'm glad you'e brought the story of the three women to our attention - a film has been made about them called 'Hidden Figures', based on the book by Margot Lee Shetterly -you can find the trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5wfrDhgUMGI

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      1. tom Tom @ the BNC
        honorable_conclusion's comment 13 Nov 2019

        Fantastic. Could you give us a review?

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  • Crampton-logo-250x250.jpg reserved_context | Crampton Primary School
    12 Nov 2019

    In my opinion I think the space race is a good thing because it could have been a motivation for all countries to try harder. But on the other hand this could be a disadvantage because the countries that were competing could have rushed their project causing failure and causing more money to be used on space exploration and causing people to die.

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    1. tom Tom @ the BNC
      reserved_context's comment 13 Nov 2019

      A balanced comment, reserved_context. Can you find any evidence to show that countries rushed their projects, causing failure?

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  • Braiswick Primary School succinct_leaves | Braiswick Primary School
    13 Nov 2019

    In my opinion, the Space Race was a good thing as now we could go to into space or to the moon, people could believe that we could anything if we worked hard enough. This was good for companies and the economy as we had harder working people which helped a lot obviously. Expanding on your idea, satellites are incredible as they are a huge help and it wouldn't have been possible to make the internet without them. This is important as we use the internet every day, for shopping, communicating and logging into websites, like this one! We might even use it without even realising it, this is how big the internet has become now. I also don't think that satellites are meant to spy on people and they only take pictures of Earth to help us with the things you said. On this point, I agree with you: the Space Race helped make black people equal to white people and that is incredibly important.

    The main negative is, however, that countries were ready to race each other to be the first in space and on the moon. This means in the future we will probably race to Mars and other places and goals. You could say this is a good thing as it motivates us to do things but we should help each other as countries might not be able to afford the price to send someone to Mars on their own so it could make a mission there dangerous. Finally, do countries send missiles through space? I'm not saying your wrong, because you probably aren't, but I didn't know that.

    succinct

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    1. tom Tom @ the BNC
      succinct_leaves's comment 13 Nov 2019

      Could you look into that last question and let us know what you find out?

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  • Braiswick Primary School succinct_leaves | Braiswick Primary School
    13 Nov 2019

    I was wrong, sorry, they do send some missiles through outer space and sometimes they are made and kept there. If you want a more accurate and in-depth answer, go to en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Militarisation_of_space where you will find a short paragraph about missiles in space.

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  • Hillyfield School logo considerate_construction | Hillyfield Primary Academy
    14 Nov 2019

    The space race is bad because it could case rivalry between Russia (then Soviet Union) and the USA in other things, like economy and democracy

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  • Crampton-logo-250x250.jpg reserved_context | Crampton Primary School
    15 Nov 2019

    Could the space race be a disadvantage? Well many people may feel this subject is of total irrelevence but after Tom @ the BNC asked me if i can find reasoning to back up my comment i said sure thing so i have deicided to discuss the matter. And do some digging.
    I thougt the space race could be a disadvantage because the countries that were competing could have rushed their project causing failure and causing more money to be used on space exploration and causing people to die.The first attempt to launch a satellite into orbit was a fail this was in December 6th, 1957.It is known 2 seconds after leaving the launch pad the rocket lost thrust and sank back down rupting and exploding the tank engine.
    In my opinion, this could have been a rushed project beacause if the builders of the rocket did a thorough check this would have not happened.There is not any clear evidence these project to outerspace were rushed but from reading about the failed launches its likely these projects were rushed to some extent.
    Refrences:
    https://www.wired.com/2009/02/launchfailures

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  • Hammond School logo radical_koala | Hammond Junior School F
    22 Nov 2019

    Personally, I agree. If the space race wasn't a thing, I doubt we would actually be intrested in it in he first place. Great reasoning to justify your answers though.

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  • Hammond School logo versatile_molecule | Hammond Junior School B
    22 Nov 2019

    I think the space race was a bad thing because it caused extensive pollution and intense rivalry but it motivated other countries to try and that has led to the ISS which did cost a lot of money which could be spent on other things but it has opened up domains in science and technology. In addition to this now we have satellites, this has been hugely beneficial to the media, we get to know about things quickly which has saved lives.There was huge risks involved with the space race but it has benefited us in many ways however it sparked further interest in space exploration which could be bad for the environment unless scientists are willing to invest time and money into making space exploration eco which has it's positives and its negatives. The positives are making eco rockets and generally making space exploration more environmentally friendly will deplete space exploration's carbon footprint if not wipe it out entirely. The negative is it will cost a lot of money so scientists should start to find ways to make cheaper rockets and telescopes. My idea is inflatables but the strength of such things is questionable and therefor it is incredibly risky.

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    1. tom Tom @ the BNC
      versatile_molecule's comment 22 Nov 2019

      Do you think the space race contributed to the more eco-friendly approach to space that we now see?

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