Friday, July 19, 2019

Reinforcing Fears: Space Race and Sci Fi in the Cold War Essay

Throughout history, science and technology has been relied on to advance humanity. In the Cold War period, this was no different. In fact, the Cold War period was characterized as much by scientific and technological innovation as it was the clash of East and West. From missiles to the space race, science and technology reassured both superiority and mutual destruction throughout the era. The space race, in particular, was a longstanding battle for domination between American and Soviet minds. No longer was space travel confined to science fiction, but a reality that needed to be explored in order to maintain the grasp on victory in the Cold War. This paper will argue that although the domination for space acted as a metaphor for Cold War superiority, ultimately space colonization was the catalyst to American exploration in science fiction and Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs) propaganda. As a result, when the Americans landed their astronauts first on the moon, it was a victory for America’s policy, imagination, and people. First, an exploration of the history and politics of space travel in the United States and Soviet Union will be discussed. From there, both political cartoons and the development of science fiction will be developed alongside the events that lead up to Sputnik’s launch and Apollo 11’s moonwalk in order to draw the parallel that interest in space fuelled science fiction phenomena. Although this paper focuses on the events leading up to Apollo 11, a discussion of the declining role of science fiction and interest in space as a means to win the Cold War will be put into focus. Lastly, the climatic events of the 1950s and 1960s space age will be compared and contrasted with contemporary events in order to determi... ...o a new level. Moreover, a subtle war was emerging between the Soviet Union and the United States. Both nations had power, people, and prosperity, and a drive for success. As early as 1948, Soviets expressed discontent towards the United States in science fiction. For example, a publication called â€Å"The Incredible Slingshot Bombs†, written by an American, was critiqued by the Soviets (Major 77). In the story, a boy gains possession of miniscule bombs and uses them to wreak havoc using a slingshot (Major 77). The Soviets jabbed at both the story and the United States, claiming a â€Å"hooligan with an atomic slingshot, isn’t this the true symbol of modern imperialism?† (Major 77). After the atomic bomb, the world was under the United States’ ruling hand – dwelling on both Huxley’s predictions and suggesting the future of Soviet-American interactions for years to come.

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