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Space Race: A Mission To The Moon

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Table of contents

  1. What happened in Apollo 1 that affected the Space Race Immensely?
  2. What happened to Little Joe?
  3. How did the Friendship 7 impact the Space Race?

Tens of thousands were huddled across the television. Everyone was holding their breath. The date was June 24, 1969, and the United States of America was about to achieve a huge feat: Land a man on the moon. For more than a decade, America and the Soviet Union were competing against each other to be the first astronauts on the moon, and finally, on this day, we would get to know the truth. Not long after that, everyone let cries of joy and relief as Apollo 11 landed safely on the ground and Neil Armstrong taking “one small step, One giant leap for Mankind”. This may have seemed like a simple mission, but it was not. There were many challenges and few triumphs, but thanks to everyone’s cooperation, we were able to make this journey a huge success!

What happened in Apollo 1 that affected the Space Race Immensely?

Taking more than 1 ½ to complete and requiring a crew of 1000, this mission was thought to be a big milestone in Space History. This did not exactly go as planned. On January 27, 1967, during a test before the launch of Apollo 204(Later known as Apollo 1) catastrophe struck. Supposed to be the First Crewed Flight, it was thought to be launched on February 21, 1967. Sadly, the whole crew testing including Virgil Grissom, Edward White, and Roger Chafee lost their lives when a fire started. This mission affected the Space Race tremendously. This taught scientists a lesson on safety and they worked harder than ever to win the race.

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What happened to Little Joe?

Little Joe was released on August 21, 1959. On Wallops Island, half an hour before launch, one of the parts exploded and let out a sudden flash of light and roar. Costing over 200000 dollars in today's money it was supposed to be a success as built by two NASA pioneers Max Fauget and Paul Purser. Although no one was injured, it was still a huge failure. It was obvious that while the capsule and tower combination had been launched, the booster and the adapter clamp ring hadn’t. This caused a huge mishap. The fault was found in the firing done before the launch (premature firing), as there was an electrical link. This taught NASA a life-changing lesson on safety.

How did the Friendship 7 impact the Space Race?

February 20, 1962, is a day that no one will forget. This mission was crucial to the Space Race and leaped America forward. On this day, John H. Glenn Jr became the first American to orbit the Earth three times, using an Atlas Launch Vehicle and a Mercury Spacecraft. Constructed with metal, this rocket was designed to block high temperatures from ruining the structure. This was the sixth launch of this vehicle out of which three had failed. It was the third victorious mission where there was a man in the spacecraft, following the two in the year before. The Friendship 7 mission flight lasted for 4 hours, 55 minutes, and 23 seconds. It reached an altitude of over 162 statute miles an hour and a velocity of 17500 miles an hour. This project had started on October 7, 1958. Most of the systems had worked efficiently, and the mission was considered an engineering feat. This enabled NASA to work further on their mission to the moon and kept everyone's hopes up that one day, they would get on the moon. Today we have bigger ambitions in the Space Industry. And thanks to the Space Race we know we can accomplish them.

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Space Race: A Mission To The Moon. (2022, February 17). Edubirdie. Retrieved December 10, 2023, from
“Space Race: A Mission To The Moon.” Edubirdie, 17 Feb. 2022,
Space Race: A Mission To The Moon. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 10 Dec. 2023].
Space Race: A Mission To The Moon [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Feb 17 [cited 2023 Dec 10]. Available from:
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