The Tragedy of the Space Race and the Triumph of Its Ending

The space race between the United States and the Soviet Union was a competition between the two nations for superior space technology. This race had both triumphs and tragedies. The first tragedy of the space race was that it even happened. During Eisenhower's presidency, the US initially intended to not become involved in a space race with the USSR. Eventually, however, it did. The two nations were already involved in the bitter rivalry of the Cold War, and the space race served only to increase this rivalry.

Later, despite efforts between President Kennedy of the US and Premier Khrushchev of the USSR to establish a joint space program, the space race continued, with a declaration by Kennedy that the winner of the race would be the first nation to send men to the moon. The race to the moon had its own tragedies, wherein space missions failed, resulting in the deaths of the crewmembers.

However, the efforts between Kennedy and Khrushchev to establish a joint space program were not entirely made in vain. Small joint space efforts took place between the US and the USSR, culminating in the triumphant end of the space race in 1975: the Apollo Soyuz Test Project.

This video of the Apollo 11 launch is courtesy of NASA.
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