U.S. History/The Space Race

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Question
Hello, my name is Madison and I would like to know if you could answer a couple of questions about the Space Race.
1. How did the Space Race expand science education?
2. How did the Space Race impact technology?
3. Where do you think we would be today if the Space Race never happened?
4. Did the Space Race really impact science and education?
Thank you for your time!

Answer
1.  Following the Russian launching of Sputnik in October of 1957, President Eisenhower signed appropriate legislation to pour money into the American education system out of a fear that we were falling behind the Russians in science and mathematics.  Schools weightlessness the land received generous grants of government to improve their science and mathematics' programs in hopes to raising a generation of scientific scholars to compete with the Soviet Union.

2.  With the formation of NASA in January of 1958 ALL appropriate technology concerning space exploration had to be developed from ***ahem*** "the ground up."  There had never been rockets built before, weightlessness was known about but never experienced, long term storage of food and oxygen had to be perfected before humans could enter the vacuum of outer space.  Private engineering firms like Morton-Thiokol, Grumman, and others assembled teams of the smartest engineers, scientists, and chemists to conduct the research, development, and production of the space craft that would carry men to the moon and back.  If you have the ability get a copy of the HBO series "From the Earth to the Moon" and watch the episode titled "Spider".  This will show you first-hand how this was done.

3.  To be perfectly honest, as a historian I don't spend a lot of time examining "what would have happened if..." I leave that up to philosophers, social scientists, and cocktail party "experts.  So I really don't know the answer to this particular question...sorry.

4.  Yes.  This is a booming "yes."  We are much more technologically advanced today thanks to the research that went into send men into space.  Here is a partial list of some of the everyday items we have thanks to the research and development that went into the space race:

dried foods
Golf clubs #non-metallic shaft#
Long-distance communication
Invisible braces
MRI and CAT scans
Memory foam
Safer highways
Solar panels
Shoe insoles
Ski boots
Adjustable smoke detector
Water filters
UV-blocking sunglasses
GPS navigation for our cars
Satellite television communication
Cell phones



Hope these help.

U.S. History

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Steve Anderson, MA

Expertise

Any area of American History, EXCEPT military history or economic history, these are not strong points of mine. Areas of particular expertise include the assassination of John F. Kennedy, 19th century women's history, 1950s-1960s popular culture, 1920s, Colonial America, Jacksonian Era, migration west, immigration, ethnic history, presidential decisions, treaties, tariffs, causes and results of wars, and entertainment history since World War II (television, movies, and music.)

Experience

Twenty-five years of teaching Advanced Placement American History, Bachelor's and Master's Degrees in American History, thirty post-graduate hours in American History

Organizations
Member of Phi Alpha Theta--The History Honor Society (November 2001), California Teacher's Association

Education/Credentials
American History Teaching Credential, Recognized by the University of Chicago as an Outstanding Educator

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