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Communism spread dramatically during the Cold War Russia successfully introduced communism to smaller unstable countries Cuba joined forces with Russia in the effort to advance communism around the world Technology also advanced at breakneck speeds The US and Russia raced to claim the title First Country to Enter Space Russia won that race on April 12 1961 when Yuri Gagarin entered space and orbited Earth The US now needed a goal that would better the Russian success and President Kennedy provided one -- the first man on the moon Kennedys goal of space exploration included landing a man on the moon and safely returning him to Earth Kennedy set this goal in hopes it would bring the US out of the status hole it was in The US sent the first American Alan Shepard into space May 5 1961 Even though this event took place less than a month after the Russian manned space flight Kennedy may have felt that the US was still behind in the technology race Kennedy also proposed the construction of lunar spacecrafts and satellites for world weather and communication These technological goals furthered the research of space technology Kennedys reasoning to launch efforts to accelerate the space program did not come solely from Russias head start on the US On April 17 1961 the attack on Cuba by its exiles failed miserably The CIA trained over 1400 Cuban exiles for an amphibious attack on Cuba to oust Castro The following attempt by the US government to conceal its involvement also proved unsuccessful The diplomatic embarrassment motivated Kennedy to orchestrate a feat great enough to restore the US reputation The Russians head start in space had left the US months behind in research and training This is another reason why Kennedy felt the US needed a spectacular space event If Russias space technology appeared so much more advanced than that of the US the American people might think that
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