10 little-known stories of the times of the space race between the USSR and the USA

The cold war has sown in the hearts of the people not onlyfear, but also hope for a better future. Indeed, in addition to rivalry in the development of the military sphere, both sides - the USSR and the USA - tried to increase their superiority over their opponents in more peaceful areas, for example, in the same space. During the period from 1957 to 1991, we witnessed the launch of the first space rocket, the first spacewalk and the first steps of a man on the moon. Mankind, fueled by rivalry between the two superpowers, has achieved such results in scientific and technological progress, which previously no one could even dream of. In today's compilation, we look at 10 very interesting space stories from the times of the Cold War.

The Nazis were the first in space

"For the first time we went beyond the atmosphere thanks to our rocket," the scientist said, happily raising his glass up.

“A new era of transportation is coming - space transportation,” said the scientist that day.

This scientist was Walter Dornberger. It was October 3, 1942, and Dornberger was a Nazi. He and his team finally completed work on the A-4 ballistic missile (better known as V-2), the first time in history launched into space.

When the Nazis lost, their dreams of spacetravels have sunk with them. The victorious nations have disassembled for themselves all the technologies and developments that they were. Stalin persuaded some scientists to cooperate, and he could not convince anyone - he literally made him. The United States, in turn, launched Operation Clip, hiring nearly 500 Nazi scientists to help the Americans reconstruct the A-4 rocket.

In both cases, the development of new projectscrowned with success. The space race began, the NASA aerospace agency was formed, which was actually founded by Nazi scientists forgiven by the United States.

The USSR and the United States argued for the right to own space

When America decided to launch its first rocketto the orbit of the Earth, President Eisenhower was tormented by one question. On land and water, the boundaries of states can be clearly defined, but no one has ever thought about how to mark these boundaries when it comes to height. If the US space probe was over Soviet airspace, this incident could lead to a real war.

Therefore, Eisenhower began to fight for the so-called“Freedom of outer space”. According to the memorandum, everything that is at an altitude of 100 kilometers above sea level should belong to “outer space” and not belong to any of the nations.

With this wording did not agree in the USSR. The Soviet government wanted this border to be much higher.

In the end, Eisenhower got his way, butlost technically. It was the Soviet apparatus, Sputnik-1, that first entered the Earth’s orbit. Of course, at some point this device flew over the airspace of America, so the USSR had no choice but to sign an agreement. It's all about the spy satellites that both Americans and Russians wanted to have in Earth orbit.

US and Russia have agreed not to deliver nuclear strikes on the moon

As soon as space launches became a reality,every science fiction story in the West began to be viewed as a real opportunity. Among the American government, hysteria is beginning to grow over the possible development of events in which Russia could begin a nuclear bombardment of the moon.

Two nations are signing a "space treaty." The main part of the document is associated with promises of free and peaceful conquest and exploration of space. One of the parts of the contract is associated with the moon. It states that our natural satellite should not be presented as a platform for the deployment of military bases. You can’t send soldiers to the moon, conduct military exercises there. In addition, the ban describes the deployment of nuclear or any other weapons of mass destruction in Earth orbit.

In addition, the countries parties to the treaty undertake not to carry out a nuclear bombardment of the moon. Even for the sake of curiosity.

In the USSR, created a space laser gun

In the Land of the Soviets not onlyspace rockets. From the point of view of the West, the USSR did not just strive to get into space - it wanted to win in all space fields and issues, including those related to possible space conflicts. For this reason, a cosmic laser pistol, a non-lethal weapon, was designed to destroy the potential optical devices of a potential enemy, both in closed conditions of a spacecraft and in open space in close combat without the risk of damaging the plating and non-optical equipment.

In the end, the project was closed. Now one of the copies of the Soviet space laser gun is kept in the exposition of the Museum of History of the Military Academy of the Strategic Missile Forces named after Peter the Great.

In space, people still flew armed. For example, a semi-automatic pistol — just in case — was taken by Yuri Gagarin, the first man to fly into space. Americans in this regard, too, did not lag behind. More precisely, in technical terms, they just lagged behind, as they took with them the usual hunting knives, apparently unaware of the possibility of laser shooting.

The USSR and the USA could fly to the moon together.

For a time, the USSR led in each individualspace race, but closer to the mid-60s, the Soviet superpower began to lose ground. In 1963, within the framework of the cooperative program, the Soviet Academy of Science invited scientists from NASA to exchange experience. Scientists from NASA then came to the conclusion that the USSR decided to abandon plans to send a man to the moon.

At that time, Kennedy did not believe this conclusion, but nonetheless wondered. Shortly after this trip, he made a proposal for the two nations to work together.

“There are prerequisites for new cooperation. Among the opportunities I include a joint expedition to the moon, ”the US president said at the time.

If you believe the son of Khrushchev, the leader of the USSR was readyagree to this level of cooperation. However, Kennedy was soon killed, and Khrushchev did not trust the Lyndon Johnson who came to his place. As soon as the USA had a new president, plans to jointly conquer the moon were immediately abandoned.

During the historic landing on the moon, the Soviet space probe fell on the satellite

At the time of the Apollo space missions, the Sovietthe party decided to resort to another plan. The USSR wanted to send a robotic probe to the moon and collect samples of lunar soil. This device was supposed to be the "Moon". Specifically, the apparatus "Luna-15" went to the Earth satellite for three days before the launch of "Apollo 11".

Both countries exchanged their flight plansto avoid the risk of spacecraft collisions. It is noteworthy that in fact the USSR hid the plans and tasks of the Luna-15 space probe, but nevertheless shared with America information about where the device was going to avoid a possible collision during flight and landing.

While Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin didits first steps on the moon, the Soviet probe descended to the surface of a natural satellite. The vehicle crashed against the moon mountain while landing and was completely destroyed.

Neil Armstrong brought to the moon one of the medals of Yuri Gagarin

Before the flight to the moon between Neil Armstrong,Buzz Aldrin and the wife of Yuri Gagarin had a conversation. The first man, who was in space, died a year earlier, and his wife asked the astronauts about one thing: to take one of the memorable medals of the deceased husband to the moon. The astronauts fulfilled this request, leaving the Medal of Gagarin, among other medals and name plates of other astronauts and astronauts, on the Moon.

As part of the Apollo 15 mission,similar ceremony. The spacecraft team brought a sign with the names of each astronaut and cosmonaut who died for one reason or another to the moon. The astronauts thus paid tribute to and respect for those people, one way or another thanks to which they are now on the moon. Astronaut Dave Scott later told the space mission control center that within the mission he was moving behind the moon rover and secretly dropped a sign and a small figure with the signature “Fallen Astronaut”.

The USSR went to rescue the crew of the crew of "Apollo-13"

The Apollo 13 mission failed. The fuel cells of the service module exploded, taking half of the oxygen reserves with them into space. The mission team had no choice but to deploy the device and try to return back to Earth alive.

The Soviet Union found out about this incident and wasready to help. When the American apparatus began to enter the atmosphere of the Earth, the USSR considered that the waves of Soviet radar stations could adversely affect an emergency landing. Therefore, it was decided to turn off absolutely all radio channels using the same frequency with Apollo-13.

In the Pacific and Atlantic oceans went several Soviet ships, ready to conduct emergency rescue operations. In the end, the module with the crew was picked up by an American ship.

The last Apollo mission was carried out together with the USSR

The USSR and the USA never flew to the moon together,however, cooperation in outer space between the two powers was. In 1975, the dream of President Kennedy became a reality. The last Apollo mission turned out to be joint, and within its framework it was docked with the Soviet spacecraft Soyuz.

Two spaceships started at intervals30 minutes. Two days later there was a docking. Over the next two days, the crews of both ships conducted joint scientific experiments, after which, undocking the vehicles, they returned to the ground.

To communicate more effectively before the flight, both teams learned each other’s languages. Every Soviet cosmonaut taught English, and every American astronaut taught Russian.

The USSR and the United States considered a joint mission to Mars

After the Americans landed on the moon,Gorbachev expressed his desire to conduct a series of joint unmanned space missions, the key task of which was to send a spacecraft and explore Mars by the year 2000. The idea found support in both countries, and the US congressmen even wrote to President Reagan, urging him to agree.

In 1988, the American side made the firststep towards the implementation of this plan. They agreed to help the Soviet side launch spacecraft to Mars in 1994. However, within a few days it was decided to abandon this idea. Reagan was worried about the extra financial costs. And then the USA in general ceased to be considered by the USSR as the main player in the space race.

In this spirit of cooperation between the two countries andis over. After a few years, the Soviet Union collapsed, and the spirit of competition between the two countries evaporated. Thus, the space race has come to an end.