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Word Count: 2,221
A Decade in Europe The 1960s Europe is an ever-changing landscape of culture and society Many major advances in technology and knowledge were introduced to this scene in the nineteen-sixties Political transformation took place in this decade as well as social and ethnic changes The beginning of the Space Age marked scientific enhancements just as the second Vatican Council meeting was a sign of cultural attempts to bring a group up to date with the times The building of the Berlin Wall signaled feuding between governments and their differences The Space Age was inaugurated with the launching of Sputnik I on October 4 1957 Yet astronautics originated in the early nineteenth century As early as 1819 Konstantine E Ziolkovsky the founding father of Russian space science predicted the of a space rocket employing liquid fuel and liquid oxygen capable of thrusting man into space From 1957 to 1961 Russian spaceships were the first top carry live animals to reach the vicinity of the moon and orbit the sun and to photograph the far side of the moon While America was reaching significant scientific progress Russia clearly dominated the excitement of space exploration In March of 1961 Premier Nikita Khrushchev announced that the Soviet Union would soon place a man in space Within a few weeks on April 12 Yuri Gagarin became the first man in space The spaceship Vostok I weighed 10395 pounds orbited the globe in eighty-nine minutes at a top speed of seventeen thousand miles per hour Gagarins journey was incredibly smooth He reported writing a note drinking and eating Reentry into Earths atmosphere more rapid than anticipated marred his capsule but Gagarin landed safely four hundred miles southeast of Moscow The United States and Russia were both struggling for world prestige This advance in exploration sparked the fire that would launch every spaceship following It created a bloodless battle between capable nations to reach above and beyond its competitors successes
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