Cold War Essay

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18 Νοε 2013 (πριν από 3 χρόνια και 9 μήνες)

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Alex Rubinstein

3/30/12

Cold War Essay

The Cold War. Spanning for many years, this indirect war between the U.S.A and
U.S.S.R impacted the world in many ways, and drastically changed the way of life for people
everywhere
.

The Cold War
was basically a
rivalry between America and U.S.S.R which sta
rted
from clashing political beliefs; America wanted Democracy and to trade freely to other countries
and U.S.S.R wanted to spread Communism and to be shut off from the rest of the world. During
this breakthroug
h, much advancement in many forms were made, but one the most impacting
was the technological breakthroughs made; sped up by the strong sense of competition between
these two superpowers.

What improvements were made during this period of intense competitio
n
between the world’s two superpowers?


Technological growth occurred in tremendous amounts
in the following three categories:
aeronautics, weaponry and
consumer

items.

One of the most memorable events in human history was when Lance Armstrong made
that
first step on to the surface of the moon
. This amazing event

was

forever transcribed into
history was the fruit of labor of the Space Race; the astronomic factor that America and U.S.S.R
were competing in. This competition, known by many as the Space Race,

led to the
development, improvement, and creation of many inventions and technology that pertain to
ae
ronautics. One type of aeronautics developed during the Cold War was satellites. Satellites
were the factor that started the Space Race, with the launch
of Sputnik, the world’s first satellite,
lau
nched into orbit by the Russians (
Launius)
.

This satellite
launch basically jolted the U.S.A,
and public’s exaggerated and horrified response to Sputnik produced massive focus on aerospace
technology by the Ameri
can part. In retaliation to Sputnik, America created project Explorer
which launched the satellite Explorer, which verified the existence of Earth’s magnetic field
an
d
2


the Van Allen radiation belt, which is a “belt” of electrically charged particles held i
n place by
Earth’s magnetic field

(Irvine)
.

The success of Explorer led to project Vanguard which launched
the satellite Vanguard, which provided more verification the Van Allen belt. These satellites led
to the modern satellites we have today, along with ones that took pictures of the moon, Venus,

and s
atellites that pinpoint missiles. Satellites were an invention that was created as a result of
the Space

Race, which was part of the Cold War. This invention helped us find information that
answered many questions we had about space, and improved our

lives.

As said before, one of the most remembered events related to space was when Lance
Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed on the moon. This could not have happened without the Cold
War sparked focus on aeronautics, which the best topic of interest was hum
an space exploration.
The U.S.A and U.S.S.R made great strides in rivalry against each other, and the first man to orbit
the Earth was sent out, a man named Yuri A. Gagarin who was on the first ma
nned rocket; the
Soviet Vostok I

(Irvine)
.

The Soviets achie
ved many of the early milestones such as first man to
orbit Earth and first woman to go up in space, but America won the race to the moon, but it was
a very bumpy journey to achieve it. An example would be Apollo 1, when all the astronauts on
board died in

a tragic fire. In this section of the Space Race,
many milestones in aeronautics
were achieved, and many inventions to go along with them, such as the space shuttle and GPS
technology.

Another section of aeronautics is Orbital Space Stations. The Soviet
Union concentrated
on space stations after losing the race to the moon. The first OSS was the Saylut 1 lab made by
Kerim Kerimov, a soviet scientist. The first American OSS was Skylab, which stayed in orbit for
five years. Many space stations were sent up
during this time period.

3


Unmanned vehicles and probes were also important inventions created during the cold
war, which started with the Soviet Lunokhold spacecraft series, which were unmanned robot
rovers that collected material from the surface of the mo
on.

Daily Use/Commercial Use
technology was being created and improved vastly during the
Cold War, whether because some inventions were commercial offshoots of military inventions,
or others were just created during that time period. Wireless Technology w
as improved
massi
vely during the Cold War period,

and an example of this was ARPANET, which was
created by the U.S department of defense as a way to protect the flow of information, which led
to the creation of the Internet after many struct
ural improvemen
ts to the system

(Bellis)
.

ARPANET was basically the grandfather of the Internet, because it led to NFSnet, then the
Internet.


GPS tracking was first used during the Cold War as a way to track the space shuttle on
its journey towards the moon. It was held

as a military secret until it was a released for safety
purposes because

a Korean airliner was shot down by Soviet AA guns.

Electronic Devices was another category in Daily Use Technology that was improved
hugely by the Cold War. The invention of the transistor completely revolutionized electronic
devices, especially computers. The first computer, called ENIAC, was created befo
re the
transistor and thus had to use thousands of vacuum tubes and didn’t work for more than an hour.
Other inventions used widely by people all over the world was the invention of the microwave
oven, made when the inventor realized that microwaves melted

a chocolate bar in his pocket, and
the smoke detector, invented as a safety precaution for astronauts on space stations.

Weaponry was yet another category that was improved massively during the Cold War.
Nuclear Weapons, which were the main reason why Am
erica and the Soviet Union did not have
a direct war, accounted for a quarter of the government’s military spending. Nuclear weapons
4


were actually relatively cheap compare
d to other types of weaponry. Nuclear weapons created
during the Cold War had a large

range of potency; bombs were ranged from 100 times the
damage on Hiroshima to 1/100
th

times t
he damage

(Huxley)
.

Research was done in this type to of
weaponry to increase power output and to make weight reductions, which reached its limit in
1980.

Convent
ional weapons were also a subject of research for both of these superpowers
-

75% of the U.S’s budget was focused on it. War has steadily evolved from soldiers in open
combat to operators using was machines

(Dasgupta)
.


A major type of weaponry improved wer
e
ballistic missiles, which were held in high regard by Western and Soviet analysts alike. Ballistic
had all the components that were created during this time period, like the guidance system (GPS)
and the form of propulsion (Chemical Propulsion). Missiles

kept steadily improving over time,
and new ideas were put into effect for missiles, like missiles retrofitted with multiple warheads.

Vehicle Weaponry was a major type of weaponry improved during the Cold War, and
many military vehicles were improved. Sev
eral types of airplanes were created for the action of
bombing, and tanks were improved with better armor and other utilities. The large battle tank
became obsolete and the medium tank became the new battle tank
. Vehicles that ran on nuclear
power were als
o created during this time, such as nuclear powered submarines. These subs were
quieter and could stay underwater for a much longer period of time. Bomber planes were also
equipped with cruise missiles.

The Cold War
incentivized massive technological growt
h in the mid to late twentieth
century. The socioeconomic and military

rivalry of the
world’s two
superpowers

spurred
scientific innovation in quantities greater than ever recorded before in human history. Many of
5


the inventions and improvements created du
ring this period of international tension are

still used
today in some form by either the military or international consumers.











































6


Bibliography


Bellis, Mary. “ARPAnet
-
The First Internet.” Inventors.about.com. N.p.,
n.d. Web. 12, February

2012
.


Dasgupta, Partha. “War and Progress” cactus.eas.asu.edu. N.p., n.d Web. 11
,

February 2012.


Haxley, Aldous. “Weapons of the Cold War.” .is.wayne.edu. N.p., n.d. Web. 12, February 2012.


Hillstrom, Kevin. The Cold War. Omnigra
phics, Inc, 2006. 536. Print.


Irvine, Tom. “The Cold War and Space Race Era.” vibrationdata.com. N.p., March 11, 2006.

Web. 6 February 2012
.


Launis, Roger. “Sputnik and the Origins of the Space Age.”
history.nasa.gov.
N.p., n.d. Web, 6

February 2012
.


Lewis, John. The Cold War: A New History. New York City: The Penguin Press, 2005. 333.

Print
.

Pynn, James.
“The Cold War and GPS.” artipot.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 February 2012.


Winkler, Allan.
The Cold War: A History in Documents.

Oxford: Oxford Univers
ity Press, 2000.

159. Print
.