The origin of humanity’s exploration of space was in no way a peaceful one, it was born out of war and the fierce rivalry between the United States and the Soviet Union. Even the origin of space rockets can be traced back to the deadly NAZI weapon of the Second World War that can soar though the sky and spread death and destruction over any region in Europe, the V2 rocket. It was the first rocket that could travel into space, designed and developed by Werner Von Braun, aerospace engineer, space architect and a Major of the NAZI SS forces, the same person who would later land the first man on the Moon.
September 1945, following the death of Hitler and the dropping of the atomic bombs by the United States, the Second World War has come to an end. However, this was just the beginning of yet another war. Until then the deadliest weapon on the planet was the hydrogen bomb, first created by the American and later by the Soviets. The first H-bomb tested by the U.S was an astonishing one-hundred times more powerful than the one dropped in Hiroshima, Japan.
Both the U.S and the U.S.S.R have begun a race to create a more powerful weapon than the H-bomb. Soon both the sides realized than they don’t really need more powerful bombs, instead they looked into the newly developed rocket technology of the Germans. By combining the atomic bomb and the German rocket, both the Americans and the Russians saw the possibility for attaining ultimate superiority in the arms race.
However, Von Braun was not the only space visionary at that time. He had a rival. His name was Sergei Korolev, Soviet rocket engineer and spacecraft designer, his brilliance made possible the first inter-continental ballistic missile, the first satellite and the first man in space.
Humanity’s exploration of space began as a race between these two visionaries, their dreams have locked two of the world’s most powerful superpower into a race that will define humanity’s future on this planet and beyond…
Hear the real story of the struggles and breakthroughs that took humanity to space in our new weekly post and video series, ‘The Race to Space’, every Friday on futurestica.com and our YouTube channel.
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