2) The space race

V0.2 - 17-04-2020

The space race

Almost as soon as world war 2 ended, the space race between the Soviet Union and the USA started. These chapters describe the different phases of the space race, from reaching space to the crewed moon landings and robots on Mars and Venus.

2.1 - First rockets

With the invention of the rocket, the intercontinental ballistic missile soon went from a dream to a reality. This ushered in a new era of global thread, but also demonstrated the technical challenges of high-speed atmospheric flight. Engineers soon realised that thermal protection would be required to withstand the itense heat of re-entry. 

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2.2 - First spaceflight

As soon as rockets became (a bit) more reliable both Russia and the US started experimenting with living creatures onboard their rockets. A generation of dogs, turtles, mice and cats became the first animals in space. 

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2.3 - Poyekhali!

When Gagarin lifted off from Baikonur on the Vostok 1 flight, he did so with the words "Поехали" or "Let's go". This marked the first launch of a human being into space, closely followed by the American Alan Shepard. This section takes a closer look into human spaceflight over the years and the challenges posed on the EDL system when flying a crew. 

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2.4 - Landing on a different world

During the space race, the goal was placed further and further. After the first successful earth satellites, and a human in orbit the race went on to the Moon, Mars and Venus. Not just exploring these worlds from Space, but also landing on them.

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