WorldHow the Soviet Union Lost the Space Race

02:20  18 july  2019
02:20  18 july  2019 Source:   ozy.com

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The Soviet Union 's space program was years ahead of the USA's. So how did they lose the space race ? Here in the United States and all across the world, humanity is currently celebrating the 50th anniversary of the culmination of the Space Race : the quest to put a human being on the Moon and

Thursday, 18 July 2019 How the Soviet Union lost the space race | Sky U.K Up through the mid-1960s, the USSR was winning the race to the moon. So what

How the Soviet Union Lost the Space Race© Provided by Ozy Media, Inc. N1 3l in mik without payload

The Eagle lunar module landed 50 years ago this week, on July 20, 1969. The United States astonished the world by putting humans on the moon with its Apollo 11 mission, cementing its superiority in space and essentially finishing the space race.

It was an amazing feat. But many were just as amazed by the fact that it was the U.S. and not the Soviet Union (USSR) that was responsible for the final breakthrough. For the majority of the contest between the two countries, it was the USSR that had been in the lead: It put the first satellite in orbit in 1957, crashed the first object on the moon in 1959, sent the first human into space in 1961 and made the first successful unmanned moon landing in 1966.

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The Soviet Union 's hopes of winning the race to launch the first supersonic airliner was dealt a devastating blow in 1973 when their plane crashed at In the early 1970s the Anglo-French Concorde and the Soviet -built Tupolev Tu-144, dubbed Concordski, were vying to become the world's first

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Indeed, for American spectators, it seemed that all the U.S. could do was play catch-up — an embarrassing position for a country that had long fancied itself technologically superior to the Soviet Union. For the Soviets, their seemingly unstoppable string of victories served as valuable propaganda for their country and way of life. But behind the scenes of those many space conquests lay a chaotic program that, by the mid-1960s, was beginning to come apart at the seams.

Perhaps the clearest indicator of the bloated nature of the Soviet space program was its N1 Rocket, the design that was intended to bring a manned mission to the moon. Designed to compete with the Saturn V, the N1 ended up being one of the Soviet Union’s biggest engineering catastrophes. While the Saturn V had five engines, the N1 — limited by a chronic inability to produce small, efficient parts in the USSR — had a stunning 30. And they still didn’t work: Not only did all four attempts to launch the N1 fail, but its second attempt also resulted in one of the largest explosions in human history, devastating the launching pad when the rocket crashed back into it.

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After the Soviet Union launched Sputnik in 1957, the United States entered a fierce competition with their Communist rivals for dominance in space . With the Americans and Soviets still engaged in an all-out sprint to win the Space Race , both sides of the Iron Curtain launched a battle for supersonic

The space race was a series of competitive technology demonstrations between the United States and the Soviet Union , aiming to show superiority in spaceflight. On April 12, 1961, the Soviets obtained another spectacular victory with the successful flight of Yuri Gagarin, the first person to fly in space .

Part of the failure behind the design of the N1 was the unexpected death of leading Soviet engineer Sergei Korolev in 1966. Not only were Korolev’s brilliant designs instrumental in early Soviet successes in the space race, but, according to Francis French, author of Into That Silent Sea: Trailblazers of the Space Era 1961-1965 and former director of the San Diego Air & Space Museum, “he had been the person able to manage overexcited politicians’ demanding results, and for the most part keep the competing, arguing design bureaus working in a common direction.”

That wasn’t the only crushing death. On April 24, 1966, the Soviet cosmonaut Vladimir Komarov became the first person to die in a space flight as the parachute of his spacecraft malfunctioned upon reentry and slammed into Earth. Komarov, along with many other cosmonauts, considered the Soyuz spacecraft to be a death trap; before the mission, Komarov even joked that he wanted his funeral to feature an open casket (a wish that was carried out). Komarov’s death not only demoralized the cosmonaut community and damaged the reputation of Soviet engineering prowess, but it also resulted in a yearlong hiatus of Soviet space flights at a time when the U.S. was quickly catching up.

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The Soviet Union was completely unprepared to beat the US in the space race . The Russian Buran space shuttle repeated the tragic fate of the Moon program. There is reason to look into the reasons of its The USSR lost the technical race with the USA, despite the technical genius of Soviet designers.

An important factor was that the Moon was never a priority to the Soviets . Americans like to brag that they “won the Space Race ”, but the Soviet space programme was basically a military programme. Now the Soviets were developing two rocket systems that could go to the Moon but could also do

The early successes of the Soviet Union were about turning its shortcomings into strengths. “The rockets that America and the Soviet Union used at the dawn of the Space Age were initially designed to hurl nuclear bombs at each other,” French says. “The Soviets were not able to build electronics as small and sophisticated as America could. They had to build bigger bombs — and more powerful rockets to carry them.” Those same rockets became useful in the early days of the space program. But while these larger machines proved useful at first, the U.S. eventually pulled ahead with rocket design, culminating with the Saturn V rocket in 1967, the rocket that would take America to the moon.

Soviet design was hampered by an ironic twist in the structure of the Soviet and American space programs. “What would seem a more socialist-style program — a government-run agency, funded by the nation — was how America ran its program,” he explains. “And the Soviets had a number of competing design bureaus — more a traditionally capitalist model.” When it came to the enormous scientific and financial demands that were required for a manned moon mission, the unified nature of NASA eventually outperformed its Soviet counterpart, which was beset with infighting, needless duplication of efforts, and experimental dead-ends.

On July 21, 1969, as the astronauts of Apollo 11 were preparing to lift off from the moon and return to earth, an unexpected interloper began its own approach to the moon: the Soviet Luna 15 Mission. The unmanned spacecraft was a last-ditch hope to upstage the Apollo mission: It would make a moon landing, collect rock samples and make its way back to Earth before Apollo 11 could return. Instead, it slammed into the moon, never to return.

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