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Why the Soviet Union lost the space race

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Soviet cogitations: 57
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 16 Aug 2010, 14:35
Pioneer
Post 16 Aug 2010, 19:21
The Soviets lost the race to the moon due to several reasons:
- The main designer of Soviet spacecrafts and propulsion systems, Koroljev, died.
- The N1 rocket, the enormous tall and heavy moonrocket (even heavier and longer then Saturn V), didn't use the most advanced rocket propulsion system.
- The moonrace had insufficient priority in the polit-bureau, and when it did, they were already lagging behind.
- Actually, the organisation of NASA, was more "socialist" (everything lead centrally by a government organisation), then the Soviet space organisation (competition between different design bureaus).
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Soviet cogitations: 9816
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 19 Apr 2008, 03:25
Embalmed
Post 18 Aug 2010, 06:28
Yeah they lost to the moon, but did they lose the space race? They had the first object in space, first life form in space, first man in space, first woman in space, and the first to probe the moon. Yes the US landed on the moon first but my my count the score is 5-1 in favor of the Soviets.
Once capitalists know we can release the Kraken, they'll back down and obey our demands for sure.
_Comrade Gulper
Soviet cogitations: 57
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 16 Aug 2010, 14:35
Pioneer
Post 19 Aug 2010, 00:00
That's my error, the post should have been named why the soviets lost the race to the moon, and should 've been posted in the existing topic "Why did the US beat the USSR to the moon?", but I accidently created a new thread.
Soviet cogitations: 2
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 12 Feb 2012, 20:04
New Comrade (Say hi & be nice to me!)
Post 12 Feb 2012, 20:13
There are rumours that USA has never been in moon. They can manage informations and videos. The videos and pictures are something not much reliable...
Soviet cogitations: 2
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 12 Feb 2012, 20:04
New Comrade (Say hi & be nice to me!)
Post 13 Feb 2012, 01:32
There are rumours about USA going truly to moon. The videos and pictures are not reliable, and there is a lot of discussion about it.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 28 Feb 2012, 16:12
Ideology: Left Communism
Pioneer
Post 12 Mar 2012, 12:30
First Satellite in Space. (Sputnik)
First Man In Space. (Yuri Gagarin)
First Extraterrestrial Probe (Luna 1).
First Space Station.


Did the Soviets lose at all? They only lost two events in the race: First Solar Probe and First Man in the Moon.
Cm'on baby, eat the rich!!! - Motörhead
Soviet cogitations: 1
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 16 Mar 2012, 11:23
New Comrade (Say hi & be nice to me!)
Post 16 Mar 2012, 11:51
UHM the Race had a purpose. get the first man in space , or basically Get to space first. soviets did that.... MANY TIMES.... sooo the USA got a MAN on the moon, soviets already had two probes their...so technically...the soviet union....kicked the US's ass in the space race. SOVIET VICTORY! Try to avoid such a 'colourful' language.
JAM
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Soviet cogitations: 172
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 09 Mar 2012, 02:37
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Pioneer
Post 17 Mar 2012, 06:16
I don't believe they lost the race, by the contrary. Overall, the soviet achievements in this field were much more important than the american ones. Putting a man in space for the first time seems to me much more relevant than putting in the moon. The USA are generally considered the winners because of the enormous power of the western propaganda, nothing more. If USA were the first to put a man in space and USSR the firsts to put it in the moon, they still would be considered the winners. It's pure western propaganda which is much more sophisticated than others. It's not by chance that Stalin once said: "If I could control Hollywood I could control the world".
"If I could control Hollywood, I could control the world." -Joseph Stalin
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 30 Oct 2007, 23:49
Ideology: Social Democracy
Komsomol
Post 07 Jun 2012, 05:21
The Soviets by far won the Space race. I almost miss the rivalry that spurred innovation and exploration. Without the USSR to compete against, the US has whored out it's exploration and scientific endeavors to people looking to make a buck.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 07 Oct 2004, 22:04
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Resident Soviet
Post 07 Jun 2012, 17:37
Soviet Sindorin wrote:
The Soviets by far won the Space race. I almost miss the rivalry that spurred innovation and exploration. Without the USSR to compete against, the US has whored out it's exploration and scientific endeavors to people looking to make a buck.


I think the nature of capitalism plays a big role here. While the socialist alternative existed, the capitalist countries of the West did much to try to prove to their populations and to the opposing side the superiority of their system. This extended to every sphere of life, and prestige projects like the space race was one of them. As you've noted, once the socialist threat disappeared, so too did the economic justification for continuing to spend large amounts of money on something that doesn't bring much return, resulting in a stagnation in present activity, and plans for future, privatized activity in the areas of space tourism, resource extraction, etc. In the Soviet case, there is no question that competition with the United States fueled the initial decision to make the initial foray into space. However, I think that eventually, space exploration became tied inexorably with the dreams and ideals of communism itself. Writers, singers, and film directors heavily romanticized the idea of humanity in space (in a positive way), while ordinary people could dream of 'apple trees on Mars' and of their future kin traveling the galaxy once communism prevailed over all of Earth. Eventually, space endeavor became as much if not more an ideological matter (a dream, like communism, for which society aimed) as it was a matter of political and military competition with the opponents of socialism.
"The thing about capitalism is that it sounds awful on paper and is horrendous in practice. Communism sounds wonderful on paper and when it was put into practice it was done pretty well for what they had to work with." -MiG
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Soviet cogitations: 2820
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 16 Feb 2005, 02:51
Party Bureaucrat
Post 17 Jun 2012, 02:04
The Soviet Union lost the race to the moon largely because it was behind the US in precision manufacture, electronics, certain areas in chemistry and material science, and management practices, simply because the US has been industrialised for much longer than the Soviet Union. These shortcomings weren't readily apparent in the comparatively simpler early endeavours, and could be compensated to an extent by the genius of Korolev, but by the time of N1 rocket, the problems became impossible to overcome.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 30 Mar 2010, 01:20
Ideology: None
Forum Commissar
Post 17 Jun 2012, 02:57
Some interesting reading on the Soviet space program here:
http://www.space.com/10764-soviet-moon- ... ealed.html

http://www.space.com/10763-soviet-moon- ... aphic.html

Image


(The image is more legible on the link)
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Soviet cogitations: 200
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 29 Jul 2011, 11:37
Ideology: Other Leftist
Pioneer
Post 05 Aug 2012, 14:39
USSR landed a probe on Venus and took pictures of the surface while many American books still write gems like "Venus is too inhospitable to land anything on it" 50 years after the Venera probes landed on it.
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Soviet cogitations: 4032
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 27 Oct 2006, 23:10
Politburo
Post 05 Aug 2012, 15:13
All this info on soviet space programs is scattered all over the place;
i want a central, structured resource which details the stuff.
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Soviet cogitations: 981
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 08 Aug 2011, 22:59
Ideology: Other Leftist
Komsomol
Post 09 Aug 2012, 17:49
Fitzy wrote:
All this info on soviet space programs is scattered all over the place;
i want a central, structured resource which details the stuff.

http://astronautix.com/articles/sovjects.htm
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Soviet cogitations: 26
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 28 May 2012, 05:16
Pioneer
Post 21 Sep 2012, 00:56
Who decided that the moon was the finishing line in this race? Space is infinite, the race is still on with the U.S.A. dropping out and China in the lead.
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Soviet cogitations: 26
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 28 May 2012, 05:16
Pioneer
Post 21 Sep 2012, 01:13
James Kennedy wrote:
The Soviet Union lost the race to the moon largely because it was behind the US in precision manufacture, electronics, certain areas in chemistry and material science, and management practices, simply because the US has been industrialised for much longer than the Soviet Union. These shortcomings weren't readily apparent in the comparatively simpler early endeavours, and could be compensated to an extent by the genius of Korolev, but by the time of N1 rocket, the problems became impossible to overcome.


In other words, you're saying they lost because they had an inferior political and economic system. Don't believe most of the nonsense that is spouted about how, for instance, Soviet technological innovation is (or was) behind that of the West, and that in order to compensate for their deficiencies they had to rely solely upon espionage. That's (obviously) just propaganda. In many respects, the Soviet Union was actually ahead technologically (ex. the Luna probes, Lunokhod unmanned rovers, Salyut space stations etc.).
By the way, the U.S.A. may have made it to the moon, but since 1972 have they returned to establish bases there? No, they simply gave up because it was considered to be 'too expensive' and it no longer had 'popular support' - how pathetic. It looks like the Chinese will establish that all-important next step, and when they do we will (hopefully) no longer hear about how the Americans are so much better at everything than everyone else.
Soviet cogitations: 88
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 03 Feb 2013, 00:37
Pioneer
Post 03 Feb 2013, 21:48
USSR never knews about the "Space Race", much less that it was a "contestant". USSR laughed at US pretensions of "First man on Moon", because was doing far more important things: the Space probes (Venera was the most famous), the Soyuz spaceship and the Salyut space stations.
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Soviet cogitations: 221
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 04 Feb 2013, 06:55
Ideology: Democratic Socialism
Pioneer
Post 05 Feb 2013, 02:49
Sure the Soviet's lost the race to the moon, but lets look at it like this, they launched the first satellite, the first animal into space, the first man into space, the first robot or rover on the moon, the first woman in space, the first man to walk out into open space, and they launched the very first space station. So the Soviet's really didn't lose the space race.
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Soviet cogitations: 54
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 19 May 2014, 02:13
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Pioneer
Post 19 May 2014, 03:56
Quote:
By the way, the U.S.A. may have made it to the moon, but since 1972 have they returned to establish bases there? No, they simply gave up because it was considered to be 'too expensive' and it no longer had 'popular support' - how pathetic. It looks like the Chinese will establish that all-important next step, and when they do we will (hopefully) no longer hear about how the Americans are so much better at everything than everyone else.

I completely agree.

Between 1974 and 1995 the United States accomplished absolutely nothing in Manned spacflight. Absolutely nothing.
The only American space station (Skylab) which was breifly able to beat the Soviet long duration record was thrown away and allowed to burn up in the Earth's atmosphere as it fell out of orbit.
The Space Shuttle accomplished almost nothing except maybe repairing the Hubble. It just orbited the Earth, deployed satellites or experiments that would be cheaper to launch on an expendable rocket and take astronauts along for the ride (risking their lives for no reason). Between 1974 and 1995 no American spent more than 16 days in Space! The soviets had been flying in space for that long since 1970!

The Soviets took a more sustainable aproach where they launched unmanned Moon, Mars, Venus and Comet probes while also having a space station program that built up the ability to stay in space for long periods of time (the Salyut and later Mir Space Stations). They did all this while also developing a launch vehicle (the Energia) capable of launching Manned Missions to the Moon or Mars or alternatively, launching their own Space Shuttle to the Mir space station. The Americans by contrast flew no Unmanned space probes between 1978 and 1989, built no space station and only flew the space shuttle.

By 1995 the US space shuttle was docking to the Russian Mir Space Station for long duration missions. By then the longest a Russian cosmonaut had spent in space non-stop was 437 days while the Americans hadn't flown longer than 16 days since 1974.

Further while only four cosmonauts have died in the very earliest phase of the Soviet space program in 1967 and 1971 (three of which was just from the policy of not wearing spacesuits during reentry and wasn't a technological issue) the American program managed to lose 14 in 1986 and 2003 while accomplishing next to nothing.

Granted the Americans have done some impressive things in the unmanned space program since 1989 (Galileo, Cassini, the Mars Rovers, Magellan ect) and the Russians haven't done much in terms of unmanned missions since 1989 (because of the collaspe of the Soviet Union) but they still couldn't build a space station without Russian cooperation, which they now needs Russian rockets to supply and launch crews to mostly Russian modules. The Americans haven't sent a single American on an American rocket in three years! And now China is landing a rover on the Moon and has a small Space Station just ten years after they first sent a Man into space.
But the Americans still won the Space Race?

The Soviets and Chinese look like they have beat the US in the long term by playing a slow sustainible affordable program that builds on previous successes rather than a crash program to reach the Moon and never go back.
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