full transcript

From the Ted Talk by Jeff Steers: Who won the space race?

Unscramble the Blue Letters

On October 4, 1957, the world watched in awe and fear as the Soviet Union launched Sputnik, the world's first man-made satellite, into space. This little metal ball, smaller than two feet in diameter, launched a space race between the U.S. and U.S.S.R. that would last for eighteen years and chngae the world as we know it. Sputnik was actually not the first piece of human technology to enter space. That superlative goes to the V-2 rocket used by Germany in missile attacks against Allied cteiis as a last-ditch effort in the final years of World War II. It wasn't very ecivftfee, but, at the end of the war, both the U.S. and U.S.S.R. had captured the technology and the scientists that had developed it and began using them for their own pejcrots. And by August 1957, the Soviet's sulsfcesulcy tested the first intercontinental ballistic missile, the R-7, the same rkecot that would be used to launch sntpuik two months later. So, the scary thing about Sputnik was not the otibring ball itself, but the fact that the same technology could be used to launch a nuclear warhead at any city. Not wanting to fall too far behind, President Eisenhower oedrred the Navy to speed up its own project and launch a satellite as soon as possible. So, on demceber 6, 1957, excited people across the nation tuned in to watch the live broadcast as the Vanguard TV3 satellite took off and crashed to the ground two sncdeos later. The Vanguard failure was a huge esnaserambmt for the United setats. Newspapers pneritd headlines like, "Flopnik" and "Kaputnik." And a soevit delegate at the U.N. mockingly suggested that the U.S. should reiceve foreign aid for developing nations. Fortunately, the Army had been working on their own parallel project, The Explorer, which was successfully launched in January 1958, but the U.S. had barely managed to catch up before they were surpassed again as Yuri Gargarin became the first man in space in April 1961. Almost a year passed and several more Soviet astronauts cplemoted their missions before Project Mercury succeeded in mniakg John Glenn the first arceiamn in orbit in February 1962. By this time, President Kennedy had realized that simply catching up to each Soviet advance a few months later wasn't going to cut it. The U.S. had to do something first, and in May 1961, a mtnoh after Gargarin's flight, he announced the goal of putting a man on the moon by the end of the 1960s. They succeeded in this through the Apollo program with Neil Armstrong taking his famous step on July 20, 1969. With both countries' next turning their ateonittn to orbital scpae stations, there's no telling how much legonr the space race could have gone on. But because of improving rilaentos negotiated by Soviet Premier Leonid brnsheev and U.S. prsedient Nixon, the U.S.S.R. and U.S. moved toward cpieoatroon rather than competition. The successful joint mission, known as Apollo-Soyuz, in which an American Apollo sacpercfat dkceod with a Soviet Soyuz craft and the two crews met, shook hands, and exchanged gifts, maekrd the end of the space race in 1975. So, in the end, what was the point of this whole space race? Was it just a massive waste of time? Two major spuopeerrws trying to odtuo each other by pursuing symbolic projects that were both dangerous and expensive, using resources that could have been better spent elsewhere? Well, sure, sort of, but the biggest benefits of the space program had nothing to do with one cnourty beating another. During the space race, findnug for research and education, in general, increased dactaralimly, leading to many advances that may not have otherwise been made. Many NASA technologies developed for space are now widely used in civilian life, from memory foam in mattresses to freeze-dried food, to LEDs in cancer treatment. And, of course, the satellites that we rely on for our GPS and mobile phnoe signals would not have been there without the space program. All of which goes to show that the rwredas of scientific reaercsh and advancement are often far more vast than even the people pursuing them can imagine.

Open Cloze

On October 4, 1957, the world watched in awe and fear as the Soviet Union launched Sputnik, the world's first man-made satellite, into space. This little metal ball, smaller than two feet in diameter, launched a space race between the U.S. and U.S.S.R. that would last for eighteen years and ______ the world as we know it. Sputnik was actually not the first piece of human technology to enter space. That superlative goes to the V-2 rocket used by Germany in missile attacks against Allied ______ as a last-ditch effort in the final years of World War II. It wasn't very _________, but, at the end of the war, both the U.S. and U.S.S.R. had captured the technology and the scientists that had developed it and began using them for their own ________. And by August 1957, the Soviet's ____________ tested the first intercontinental ballistic missile, the R-7, the same ______ that would be used to launch _______ two months later. So, the scary thing about Sputnik was not the ________ ball itself, but the fact that the same technology could be used to launch a nuclear warhead at any city. Not wanting to fall too far behind, President Eisenhower _______ the Navy to speed up its own project and launch a satellite as soon as possible. So, on ________ 6, 1957, excited people across the nation tuned in to watch the live broadcast as the Vanguard TV3 satellite took off and crashed to the ground two _______ later. The Vanguard failure was a huge ____________ for the United ______. Newspapers _______ headlines like, "Flopnik" and "Kaputnik." And a ______ delegate at the U.N. mockingly suggested that the U.S. should _______ foreign aid for developing nations. Fortunately, the Army had been working on their own parallel project, The Explorer, which was successfully launched in January 1958, but the U.S. had barely managed to catch up before they were surpassed again as Yuri Gargarin became the first man in space in April 1961. Almost a year passed and several more Soviet astronauts _________ their missions before Project Mercury succeeded in ______ John Glenn the first ________ in orbit in February 1962. By this time, President Kennedy had realized that simply catching up to each Soviet advance a few months later wasn't going to cut it. The U.S. had to do something first, and in May 1961, a _____ after Gargarin's flight, he announced the goal of putting a man on the moon by the end of the 1960s. They succeeded in this through the Apollo program with Neil Armstrong taking his famous step on July 20, 1969. With both countries' next turning their _________ to orbital _____ stations, there's no telling how much ______ the space race could have gone on. But because of improving _________ negotiated by Soviet Premier Leonid ________ and U.S. _________ Nixon, the U.S.S.R. and U.S. moved toward ___________ rather than competition. The successful joint mission, known as Apollo-Soyuz, in which an American Apollo __________ ______ with a Soviet Soyuz craft and the two crews met, shook hands, and exchanged gifts, ______ the end of the space race in 1975. So, in the end, what was the point of this whole space race? Was it just a massive waste of time? Two major ___________ trying to _____ each other by pursuing symbolic projects that were both dangerous and expensive, using resources that could have been better spent elsewhere? Well, sure, sort of, but the biggest benefits of the space program had nothing to do with one _______ beating another. During the space race, _______ for research and education, in general, increased ____________, leading to many advances that may not have otherwise been made. Many NASA technologies developed for space are now widely used in civilian life, from memory foam in mattresses to freeze-dried food, to LEDs in cancer treatment. And, of course, the satellites that we rely on for our GPS and mobile _____ signals would not have been there without the space program. All of which goes to show that the _______ of scientific ________ and advancement are often far more vast than even the people pursuing them can imagine.

Solution

  1. cities
  2. december
  3. embarassment
  4. phone
  5. country
  6. outdo
  7. relations
  8. longer
  9. completed
  10. funding
  11. orbiting
  12. seconds
  13. dramatically
  14. making
  15. projects
  16. states
  17. space
  18. change
  19. cooperation
  20. attention
  21. ordered
  22. superpowers
  23. docked
  24. soviet
  25. effective
  26. spacecraft
  27. receive
  28. breshnev
  29. month
  30. printed
  31. marked
  32. rewards
  33. sputnik
  34. american
  35. rocket
  36. president
  37. research
  38. successfully

Original Text

On October 4, 1957, the world watched in awe and fear as the Soviet Union launched Sputnik, the world's first man-made satellite, into space. This little metal ball, smaller than two feet in diameter, launched a space race between the U.S. and U.S.S.R. that would last for eighteen years and change the world as we know it. Sputnik was actually not the first piece of human technology to enter space. That superlative goes to the V-2 rocket used by Germany in missile attacks against Allied cities as a last-ditch effort in the final years of World War II. It wasn't very effective, but, at the end of the war, both the U.S. and U.S.S.R. had captured the technology and the scientists that had developed it and began using them for their own projects. And by August 1957, the Soviet's successfully tested the first intercontinental ballistic missile, the R-7, the same rocket that would be used to launch Sputnik two months later. So, the scary thing about Sputnik was not the orbiting ball itself, but the fact that the same technology could be used to launch a nuclear warhead at any city. Not wanting to fall too far behind, President Eisenhower ordered the Navy to speed up its own project and launch a satellite as soon as possible. So, on December 6, 1957, excited people across the nation tuned in to watch the live broadcast as the Vanguard TV3 satellite took off and crashed to the ground two seconds later. The Vanguard failure was a huge embarassment for the United States. Newspapers printed headlines like, "Flopnik" and "Kaputnik." And a Soviet delegate at the U.N. mockingly suggested that the U.S. should receive foreign aid for developing nations. Fortunately, the Army had been working on their own parallel project, The Explorer, which was successfully launched in January 1958, but the U.S. had barely managed to catch up before they were surpassed again as Yuri Gargarin became the first man in space in April 1961. Almost a year passed and several more Soviet astronauts completed their missions before Project Mercury succeeded in making John Glenn the first American in orbit in February 1962. By this time, President Kennedy had realized that simply catching up to each Soviet advance a few months later wasn't going to cut it. The U.S. had to do something first, and in May 1961, a month after Gargarin's flight, he announced the goal of putting a man on the moon by the end of the 1960s. They succeeded in this through the Apollo program with Neil Armstrong taking his famous step on July 20, 1969. With both countries' next turning their attention to orbital space stations, there's no telling how much longer the space race could have gone on. But because of improving relations negotiated by Soviet Premier Leonid Breshnev and U.S. President Nixon, the U.S.S.R. and U.S. moved toward cooperation rather than competition. The successful joint mission, known as Apollo-Soyuz, in which an American Apollo spacecraft docked with a Soviet Soyuz craft and the two crews met, shook hands, and exchanged gifts, marked the end of the space race in 1975. So, in the end, what was the point of this whole space race? Was it just a massive waste of time? Two major superpowers trying to outdo each other by pursuing symbolic projects that were both dangerous and expensive, using resources that could have been better spent elsewhere? Well, sure, sort of, but the biggest benefits of the space program had nothing to do with one country beating another. During the space race, funding for research and education, in general, increased dramatically, leading to many advances that may not have otherwise been made. Many NASA technologies developed for space are now widely used in civilian life, from memory foam in mattresses to freeze-dried food, to LEDs in cancer treatment. And, of course, the satellites that we rely on for our GPS and mobile phone signals would not have been there without the space program. All of which goes to show that the rewards of scientific research and advancement are often far more vast than even the people pursuing them can imagine.

Frequently Occurring Word Combinations

ngrams of length 2

collocation frequency
space race 3
space program 2

Important Words

  1. advance
  2. advancement
  3. advances
  4. aid
  5. allied
  6. american
  7. announced
  8. apollo
  9. april
  10. armstrong
  11. army
  12. astronauts
  13. attacks
  14. attention
  15. august
  16. awe
  17. ball
  18. ballistic
  19. barely
  20. beating
  21. began
  22. benefits
  23. biggest
  24. breshnev
  25. broadcast
  26. cancer
  27. captured
  28. catch
  29. catching
  30. change
  31. cities
  32. city
  33. civilian
  34. competition
  35. completed
  36. cooperation
  37. country
  38. craft
  39. crashed
  40. crews
  41. cut
  42. dangerous
  43. december
  44. delegate
  45. developed
  46. developing
  47. diameter
  48. docked
  49. dramatically
  50. education
  51. effective
  52. effort
  53. eighteen
  54. eisenhower
  55. embarassment
  56. enter
  57. exchanged
  58. excited
  59. expensive
  60. explorer
  61. fact
  62. failure
  63. fall
  64. famous
  65. fear
  66. february
  67. feet
  68. final
  69. flight
  70. foam
  71. food
  72. foreign
  73. fortunately
  74. funding
  75. gargarin
  76. general
  77. germany
  78. gifts
  79. glenn
  80. goal
  81. gps
  82. ground
  83. hands
  84. headlines
  85. huge
  86. human
  87. ii
  88. imagine
  89. improving
  90. increased
  91. intercontinental
  92. january
  93. john
  94. joint
  95. july
  96. kennedy
  97. launch
  98. launched
  99. leading
  100. leds
  101. leonid
  102. life
  103. live
  104. longer
  105. major
  106. making
  107. man
  108. managed
  109. marked
  110. massive
  111. mattresses
  112. memory
  113. mercury
  114. met
  115. metal
  116. missile
  117. mission
  118. missions
  119. mobile
  120. mockingly
  121. month
  122. months
  123. moon
  124. moved
  125. nasa
  126. nation
  127. nations
  128. navy
  129. negotiated
  130. neil
  131. newspapers
  132. nixon
  133. nuclear
  134. october
  135. orbit
  136. orbital
  137. orbiting
  138. ordered
  139. outdo
  140. parallel
  141. passed
  142. people
  143. phone
  144. piece
  145. point
  146. premier
  147. president
  148. printed
  149. program
  150. project
  151. projects
  152. pursuing
  153. putting
  154. race
  155. realized
  156. receive
  157. relations
  158. rely
  159. research
  160. resources
  161. rewards
  162. rocket
  163. satellite
  164. satellites
  165. scary
  166. scientific
  167. scientists
  168. seconds
  169. shook
  170. show
  171. signals
  172. simply
  173. smaller
  174. sort
  175. soviet
  176. soyuz
  177. space
  178. spacecraft
  179. speed
  180. spent
  181. sputnik
  182. states
  183. stations
  184. step
  185. succeeded
  186. successful
  187. successfully
  188. suggested
  189. superlative
  190. superpowers
  191. surpassed
  192. symbolic
  193. technologies
  194. technology
  195. telling
  196. tested
  197. time
  198. treatment
  199. tuned
  200. turning
  201. union
  202. united
  203. vanguard
  204. vast
  205. wanting
  206. war
  207. warhead
  208. waste
  209. watch
  210. watched
  211. widely
  212. working
  213. world
  214. year
  215. years
  216. yuri