The Space Race and U.S. Motivations for Going to The Moon

Hey Everybody, today I decided to talk about The Space Race. More specifically I will be focusing on why the Americans shifted their aim towards putting a man on the moon, and how we will reflect that in our game. I wanted to do so as The Space Race is how my group and I are explaining the time travel used in our game. In our canonical universe, The Space Race was a cover-up for a race between Russia and the U.S. to successfully engineer time travel. The Russians wanted to use time travel in order to keep the Americans from winning the Revolutionary War, so that they would have no large enemies to compete with after World War Two. The U.S. then utilizes time travel to keep this alternate future from happening. Our game will mirror the actual space race by having the Russians initially ahead of the United States (why they are able to go back in time first) and then having the U.S. beat the Russians (beating the British and Russians will be almost symbolic of the U.S. going to the moon).  Kennedy’s use of propaganda speech in the game will allude to his motivations for getting a man on the moon.

In reality, the U.S. did technically start the space race, but they were behind the Russians at every step of the journey up until the moon landing. Kennedy, the president who famously pushed for putting a man on the moon, had initially been very dismissive about the importance of continuing to fund NASA’s research and development.  Given America’s firm spot at second place to the Russians and Kennedy’s lack of approval, it is hard to see why he would support such an expensive allocation of his administration’s resources. However, Kennedy needed The Space Race in order to maintain public approval. After the Bay of Pigs failure, Kennedy was desperate to win back the public. By choosing to go to the moon, not only did Kennedy’s administration pick a task far enough into the future that the Americans could possibly beat the Russians, but they were able to generate enough American propaganda to save the presidents approval rate.

For anyone who has grown up in the American public education system, gilded ideas of the Cold War and how we triumphed over the Russians were dominant. The Apollo Moon landing, The Miracle on Ice, and the fall of the Berlin wall are all seen as victories for lofty ideals such as “freedom” and “liberty”. The idea that Kennedy could have possibly had his doubts about beating the Russians in the space race is problematic for the narrative that Americans are expected to believe. it is in this way that it joins The Vietnam War and the Bay of Pigs. The particular era is looked at through rose-colored glasses in a very similar way that the Revolutionary War is. The moon landing is very comparable to the Boston Tea Party or the signing of The Declaration of Independence.

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