October 4th is celebrated as the begining of space exploration
It is definitely pleasant to be the “king of the world,” a great title for the Western world. The United States cannot cope with the idea that there might be someone else in the world who wants the throne as well. A throne is meant only for one. The Soviet Union was one of those who sought this throne. The USSR was doing its best to catch up with the United States.
America's shock came in 1957, when the USSR launched the first satellite into space. Several years later, in 1961, Yury Gagarin, a Soviet national, became the first man in space. The Americans tried to understand how it could be possible, and they studied a lot of old Soviet newspapers and technical magazines.
Everyone was sure that the center of the world science was the USA. There were rumors that the USSR stole its A-bomb technology from the USA. As far as the intercontinental missile is concerned, the Soviet Union could not steal it from anyone, since no one had it. The USSR had the A-bomb and a way to deliver it to any place on the planet. The cost of a Soviet missile was much lower than anyone else’s.
Needless to mention that the Americans became very excited about that. They increased their scientific, designing, and research works. The scientific personnel increased in its number from 460 thousand to 750 thousand people during the period 1960-1982. Spending on military scientific research was increased from nine to fourteen billion dollars.
The Soviet Union spent ten billion rubles on science; including defense research, 49 million. The prime cost of Soviet scientific research was much lower than what America had spent. Each scientific discovery in the West was basically evaluated with by number of dollars spent. In Soviet Union, it was not about the money; it was about the level of intellectual satisfaction. The Soviet people had an idea they believed in. They were ready for anything.
The Americans ought to be grateful to the USSR for the launch of the first satellite. The USA rushed forward, leaving the Soviet Union behind in certain aspects. Therefore, the American miracle, which is a common theme of western propaganda, was actually made by Russians.
Dmitry Chirkin PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Dmitry Sudakov
The choice of the city of Helsinki is not incidental as the capital of Finland had hosted US-Soviet negotiations on the limitation of nuclear stockpiles in 1969