What was the outcome of the Kennedy Moon space race for the United States – Rosario Mestria

What was the outcome of the Kennedy Moon space race for the United States - Rosario Mestria

When Gagarin once again overtook the Americans, Kennedy declared in a speech to the nation on September 12, 1962, “We have chosen to go to the moon.”

Looking carefully into the past, we’ll see that Kennedy’s space race to the Moon put the United States back against China and Russia by 62 years, if you think I’m exaggerating let’s get to the facts.

When, on October 4, 1957, the Soviet Union put into orbit a small satellite, Sutinik I, that broadcast only a beep signal from space. The president of the time, Dwight Eisenhower, knew full well that the Soviets had the technology to do so and that if there was minimal effort on the part of the Americans, they could reproduce the feat in a few dozen months. could do and move on. life as they were leading. On April 12, 1961, that is, practically four years after Sputnik I, the Soviets put into orbit Yuri Gagarin, a cosmonaut who circled the Earth three times to land in Kazakhstan.

These two events had two distinct effects on the two presidents, Eisenhower, realizing that the physical and mathematical sciences were weak in his country, launched the National Defense Education Act, which subsidized students in universities, reformed curriculum. and started giving out research grants. But since this was still the era of McCarthyism, to receive this funding one would have to sign a declaration denying belief in the overthrow of the US government, the clause, which we would consider a violation of the principle of chair autonomy, Was canceled only in years. Later in 1962.

On the other hand, when Yuri Gagarin once again overtook the Americans, the president was in vain John Fitzgerald Kennedy, who declared in a speech to the nation on September 12, 1962, “We chose to go to the Moon.”

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Everyone thinks that the arrival of the Americans on the Moon only put them in a certain vanguard, although to satisfy the costly Apollo program (attention Apollo is the god of beauty), the Soviets spent what they didn’t have and the Americans threw away. The given space program that would produce the actual development, which was Program X.

In 1944 a joint program was created between the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA), the United States Navy (USN) and the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) to develop research into high-speed, high-speed aircraft. The famous series of X planes. It begins with the X-1 which is the first aircraft to cross the sound barrier in level flight in 1946, the X-2 in 1952 which is the first to exceed Mach 3 (three times the speed of sound), Eventually the X-15 was the first to fly at hypersonic speeds in 1959, the X-15A-2 flying at Mach 6.7 in 1964 by North American Major Pete Knight, pilot of the X program. Speed ​​record.

The program’s X designation is only carried by some odd vertical take-off aircraft with turboprop engines that end in failures or accidents. The last attempt to revive the X name was through the 1992 Joint Strike Fighter program, resulting in the X-35A, B and C, which cost almost twice the initial budget of the project and the concept of this type of aircraft. Despite. Based on its “invisibility” to conventional radar, the characteristics that brought American aircraft fame at the end of the last century were not much different from Russian and Chinese fighters, with no apparent dominance.

Although the main disadvantage of the Americans in the development of hypersonic missiles is obvious, while Russia and China already have the equipment in use, the development of these missiles is patina. In other words, in the 50s and 60s manned aircraft achieved hypersonic speeds, something that would make it much easier to place missiles in this feature.

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The most interesting thing is not the inability to produce weapons with the characteristics that began to be mastered more than half a century after technological development, but to reproduce existing technologies, that is, the loss of memory of existing technologies Happened. One might find it surprising that project details, calculation memories, plans and other document components relating to sensitive and extremely sensitive equipment can be lost over time, but unfortunately this happens throughout the technical field. When the projects were carried out until the 1960s, all their data was stored on paper. As most companies making projects do not give all information to governments in the form of books or detailed reports, over the six decades these companies have changed ownership and custodians of the memories, if there is not a continual resale of the ideas developed. The possibility of getting lost around the same topic is very high. To give just one example, the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor fighter, considered the best North American fighter ever produced, was produced until 2011, a few months before the company Lockheed Martin began manufacturing perishable parts. was required to do. are usually too small to employ engineers specializing in reverse engineering to recreate the blueprints of these parts that might have been lost.

Other factors that cause this loss of memory, in part, are due to the disposal that people responsible for keeping documents make with old papers that they think are out of date and out of date. harmful to the custody of documents that were considered important and in one or two generations of professionals in the field the decision of the need for their custody is blurred and in the absence of space or in the modernization of the storage method (paper plants, discs (magnetic and even the microfilm is omitted or even there) there is no possibility to read them) if they think it is not possible the elders will try to read that What was stored on floppy disks from the 70s to the 90s!

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Another factor in memory loss is the memory of those who worked on a given project in their 60s, assuming that the lower members of the technical hierarchy of those years would still be alive if they were 30 years old. At his age, that is, except in exceptional cases, only 10% of what he did will be remembered.

But going back to the beginning of the text, the “sever-fair” developed until 1964, when the last X-15 flew and did not continue due to the “great feat” of reaching the Moon, picking up some stones and ending up just propaganda. The work by which the United States was 60 years ahead of the former Soviet Union and if the same path is not followed as the Chinese are doing today, as the saying goes, there is no use crying over spilled milk, because it was lost.

This article does not represent the opinion of Brasil 247 and is the responsibility of the columnist.

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About the author: Cory Weinberg

Cory Weinberg covers the intersection of tech and cities. That means digging into how startups and big tech companies are trying to reshape real estate, transportation, urban planning, and travel. Previously, he reported on Bay Area housing and commercial real estate for the San Francisco Business Times. He received a "best young journalist" award from the National Association of Real Estate Editors.

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