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Why did the US beat the USSR to the moon?

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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 30 Mar 2010, 01:20
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Forum Commissar
Post 19 May 2014, 10:43
Interesting post there. Thanks.

Considering how much of an econonic disadvantage the USSR had to contend with it's impressive that they came as close as they did in this story. Admittedly it would have been a nice to have been able to claim the propaganda victory in being first to the Moon, but choosing to prioritize the people on Earth over some abstract form of international prestige isn't something I would criticize them too harshly for.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 19 May 2014, 02:13
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Pioneer
Post 19 May 2014, 16:11
Quote:
Considering how much of an econonic disadvantage the USSR had to contend with it's impressive that they came as close as they did in this story. Admittedly it would have been a nice to have been able to claim the propaganda victory in being first to the Moon, but choosing to prioritize the people on Earth over some abstract form of international prestige isn't something I would criticize them too harshly for.


That was kind of the point I was making. I don't see the choice as either space or people though. Investing in spaceflight whether manned or unmanned feeds back into the economy through the aerospace industry as well as inspires students to go out and invent and acheive higher. They also took a more sustainable approach than the United States in the long run. The US landed on the Moon 6 times between 1969 and 1972 and has never returned since! The US threw away their only space station (Skylab) in 1974 in favor of the Space Shuttle. The Space Shuttle didn't fly untill 1981 meaning there were no human spaceflights by the US between 1975 and 1981. Also the Space Shuttle didn't accomplish anything an expendable launch vehicle couldn't do cheaper, easier, quicker and with no astronaut's lives risked. Between 1974 and 1995 no American spent more than 16 days in space while the Soviets and later Russians were spending over a year in space continously (setting a record of 437 days that remains to this day). It wasn't untill 1995-present that NASA actually started acheiving stuff in long duration spaceflight and that was using Russian/Soviet space stations, launch vehicle, crew vehicles, resupply vehicles ect. The US also launched no Unmanned probes to the planets atall between 1978 and 1989 (the Carter/Reagan era)

By comparison the Soviet Union launched 6 Landers, 2 Orbiters, 6 Flyby Probes and 2 Atmospheric Balloons to venus between 1978 and 1986 when the US was accomplishing absolutely nothing in Space Exploration. The USSR also launched 2 Mars Orbiters and 2 Phobos landers in 1988/1989. Both of the landers and one of the orbiters failed (programming error!) but the second Mars Orbiter was able to deliver fantastic information about Mars and it's Moons (it was also the first Mars mission since the 1976 Viking 1 & 2 mission launched. It would still be untill 1996 that the US actually launched another Mars Mission (20 years later!). The Soviets also launched two spacecraft to visit Halley's comet (the US sent none). The USSR had a robust space station programme and was even doing all this and developing a Space Shuttle/Rocket that would eventually send humans to land on the Moon and Mars (the Energia/Buran). Unfortunately the collaspe of the Soviet Union slowed down this progress but Russia still has a more vibrant Human spaceflight programme than NASA does.

So while the USSR didn't beat America to the Moon, it certainly beat them in the long run and would have done much more if the USSR hadn't collasped.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 30 Mar 2010, 01:20
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Post 20 May 2014, 10:26
You're right about that. I didn't mean to imply that space exploration confers no benefits upon Earthbound inhabitants.

It's more of a long-term consideration though. Perhaps over time space research and exploration will give more to the common man, but when you have people needing resources today it's understandable why they sometimes want to give them preference.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 16 Jul 2014, 21:53
Ideology: Other Leftist
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Post 17 Jul 2014, 00:49
The URSS was pursuing a broad space development.

They had their own agenda and objectives.

US was caught off guard, so they needed a PR stunt.

They unilaterally decided to start a "space race", and declared that the first one to put a man on the moon was the winner (again forgeting to ask URSS what they thought about).

They went on to put the man on the moon, declared themselves winners, and thats it.

At the same time the URSS did :

1st artificial satelite.
1st living being on space.
1st man on space.
1st woman on space.
1st space station and the one longest running.

After all those years, we still use satelites, we still have a space station, yet, no one goes back to the moon.

Going to the moon did almost nothing to advance science (it did provide advances that could have been won by other means).

Worse. USA currently lacks a way to put people on space. They use russian rockets to do this.

the faithfull soyuz module works almost flawlessly until now.

So i ask, who trully won the space race ?

Sadly, this is an area where the soviets invested heavily (space and nuclear o be exact), yet, even being a substantial part of modern era, those two key technologies did not generate groundbreaking results as expected, at least not on the scale expected.

USA invested more in computers, and computers (internet, robots etc) proved way more decisive economically.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 04 Aug 2014, 01:00
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Post 04 Aug 2014, 03:10
Another potential aspect is that the if the US had started a successful plan of controlled releases of information, via tainted technology. Certainly by Reagan's time, the CIA was ordered to do so, but did it relate to the early 1960's?

"President Reagan invited CIA Director William Casey and ordered to organize the supply of the USSR defective equipment, computer programs, fake scientific and technical documentation, etc. «It was a brilliant plan - remember Richard V. Allen, Reagan’s chief adviser on national security. - We started to feed the Soviets ‘bad technology’: it concerned computers, oil drilling and other industries. We fed it to them all, allowing materials to steal. “Yankees sent Soviet spies a” herd “technological” Trojan horses. “These bombs included computer chips for weapons systems, chemical plants projects, modern turbines etc. "

Probably not, as the above discourse indicated, but true enough the US developed small computers with the IC chip circa 1960 and the USSR was always quite behind in this area. Even correctly copied material usually has a lack of understanding, which means inefficiency and potentially big problems in the harsh region of outer space.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 19 May 2014, 02:13
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Pioneer
Post 13 Aug 2014, 06:07
1957: First intercontinental ballistic missile, the R-7 Semyorka
1957: First satellite, Sputnik 1
1957: First animal in Earth orbit, the dog Laika on Sputnik 2
1959: First rocket ignition in Earth orbit, first man-made object to escape Earth's gravity, Luna 1
1959: First data communications, or telemetry, to and from outer space, Luna 1.
1959: First man-made object to pass near the Moon, first man-made object in Heliocentric orbit, Luna 1
1959: First probe to impact the Moon, Luna 2
1959: First images of the moon's far side, Luna 3
1960: First animals to safely return from Earth orbit, the dogs Belka and Strelka on Sputnik 5.
1961: First probe launched to Venus, Venera 1
1961: First person in space (International definition) and in Earth orbit, Yuri Gagarin on Vostok 1, Vostok programme
1961: First person to spend over 24 hours in space Gherman Titov, Vostok 2 (also first person to sleep in space).
1962: First dual manned spaceflight, Vostok 3 and Vostok 4
1962: First probe launched to Mars, Mars 1
1963: First woman in space, Valentina Tereshkova, Vostok 6
1964: First multi-person crew (3), Voskhod 1
1965: First extra-vehicular activity (EVA), by Aleksei Leonov, Voskhod 2
1965: First probe to hit another planet of the Solar system (Venus), Venera 3
1966: First probe to make a soft landing on and transmit from the surface of the moon, Luna 9
1966: First probe in lunar orbit, Luna 10
1967: First unmanned rendezvous and docking, Cosmos 186/Cosmos 188.
1968: First living beings to reach the Moon (circumlunar flights) and return unharmed to Earth, Russian tortoises on Zond 5
1969: First docking between two manned craft in Earth orbit and exchange of crews, Soyuz 4 and Soyuz 5
1970: First soil samples automatically extracted and returned to Earth from another celestial body, Luna 16
1970: First robotic space rover, Lunokhod 1 on the Moon.
1970: First data received from the surface of another planet of the Solar system (Venus), Venera 7
1971: First space station, Salyut 1
1971: First probe to impact the surface of Mars, Mars 2
1971: First probe to land on Mars, Mars 3
1975: First probe to orbit Venus, to make soft landing on Venus, first photos from surface of Venus, Venera 9
1980: First Hispanic and Black person in space, Arnaldo Tamayo Méndez on Soyuz 38
1984: First woman to walk in space, Svetlana Savitskaya (Salyut 7 space station)
1986: First crew to visit two separate space stations (Mir and Salyut 7)
1986: First probes to deploy robotic balloons into Venus atmosphere and to return pictures of a comet during close flyby Vega 1, Vega 2
1986: First permanently manned space station, multi-modular Mir, 1986–2001, with permanent presence on board (1987–1999)
1987: First crew to spend over one year in space, Vladimir Titov and Musa Manarov on board of Soyuz TM-4 - Mir
1987: Largest launch vehicle since the Saturn V, Energia (100 tonnes to LEO)
1988: First Soviet Space Shuttle Buran
1989: First spacecraft to impact Mars's Moon Phobos (Phobos-2)


Between 1973 and 1991 the Soviet Union launched 7 Manned Space Stations and a total of 56 Manned Space Missions lasting months to years.
Between 1978 and 1989 the Soviet Union launched 8 Planetary Space Missions to Venus, Mars and Halley's Comet. This included, Orbiters, Landers, Balloons, Flyby spacecraft etc.
Venera 11 & 12
Venera 13 & 14
Venera 15 & 16
Vega 1 & 2
Phobos 1 & 2

Between 1973 and 1991 the Americans launched 0 Space Stations and a total of 40 Manned Space Missions all lasting under 10 days.
Between 1978 and 1989 the Americans launched 0 Planetary or Lunar Space Missions.

The Soviets did all that, with half the budget the Americans had.

Soviet Spaceflight was also safer. A total of 14 American astronauts have died in two relatively recent spaceflight disasters (Challenger in 1986, Columbia in 2003). Only four Soviet cosmonauts have died and that was in the early years of spaceflight (Soyuz 1 in 1967 and Soyuz 11 in 1971).

In 1987 the Soviets had already developed the Energia launch system (as powerful as the Saturn V) it was designed to build a Space Station (Mir-2), Launch Space Shuttles and send Men to the Moon/Mars. It was cancelled by the drunkard Boris Yeltson who crashed the Russian Economy. We would today (2014) already have humans on Mars if the original plan in the 1980s of using Eneriga and nuclear rockets had continued.

US hasn't been back to the Moon since December 1972. Even now they rely on Russian Soyuz spacecraft to reach the International Space Station which is mostly Russian modules, solar panels, radiators, truss section etc launched on Russian Proton rockets. Today Russian Proton rockets are the largest, most reliable and lowest cost Launchers in the World. Other than Russia the only country in the world that has a Space Station and Manned Spacecraft is China.
China and the former Soviet Union. Why is it that only communist/former communist countries are the only countries advanced and capable of Manned spaceflight.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 16 Dec 2011, 00:54
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Komsomol
Post 13 Aug 2014, 07:01
Murga wrote:
Another potential aspect is that the if the US had started a successful plan of controlled releases of information, via tainted technology. Certainly by Reagan's time, the CIA was ordered to do so, but did it relate to the early 1960's?

"President Reagan invited CIA Director William Casey and ordered to organize the supply of the USSR defective equipment, computer programs, fake scientific and technical documentation, etc. «It was a brilliant plan - remember Richard V. Allen, Reagan’s chief adviser on national security. - We started to feed the Soviets ‘bad technology’: it concerned computers, oil drilling and other industries. We fed it to them all, allowing materials to steal. “Yankees sent Soviet spies a” herd “technological” Trojan horses. “These bombs included computer chips for weapons systems, chemical plants projects, modern turbines etc. "

Probably not, as the above discourse indicated, but true enough the US developed small computers with the IC chip circa 1960 and the USSR was always quite behind in this area. Even correctly copied material usually has a lack of understanding, which means inefficiency and potentially big problems in the harsh region of outer space.

I read an article once about a Fuel Mix that was designed to be flawed that was leaked to the Soviets but resulted in the Soviets actually figuring out a way to make it work!


Only problem was it was super volatile and super toxic. Apparrantly production wa set to begin for field testing but Chernobyl disaster disrupted any and all plans in both production and testing.

Fall of the USSR caused by Gorbys Sabotage after killed all but any chance of continuance.
"A shiny bauble from Capitalism is worthless when the cost is Children & the Elderly going hungry, The Infirm & Sick dying because of Greed & Education reduced to a token few to placate the masses with Illusions of freedom."
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 28 Feb 2012, 16:12
Ideology: Left Communism
Pioneer
Post 18 Aug 2014, 23:16
The Soviet people couldn't afford to let Khruschev reach the moon, he'd have tried to plant corn there.
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