Scientific American Frontiers - Hidden Motives
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Cold War – Sputnik (1949-1961)

8. Sputnik (1949-1961) As a consequence of the atomic spies, the Soviet Union joined the nuclear club, and the two superpowers compete to develop their nuclear arsenels. Russia’s launching of Sputnik further hightened a sense of vulnerability in the United States, and results in the rapid development of nuclear-armed missiles, and defence-related education. Blamed for a perceived missile gap, Eisenhower is replaced by John F. Kennedy as US President. The Soviet Union is seen to have taken a solid lead in the space race after Yuri Gagarin’s successful return to Earth. Interviewees include Joseph Rotblat, Boris Chertok, Andrew Goodpaster, Herbert York and Gherman Titov. The pre-credits scene features the first Soviet nuclear test in 1949.

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