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The 1960's
Ready, Set - The Space Race Begins



Ready, Set - The Space Race Begins
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 5 to 7
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   5.97

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    centrifugal, Wernher, radiation, launched, competitive, orbit, satellite, scientist, propel, entire, gravity, conquer, equipment, natural, battle, travels
     content words:    Soviet Union, United States, Explorer I., Van Allen Belt, United States Congress, National Aeronautics, Space Administration, Space Race


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Ready, Set - The Space Race Begins
By Jane Runyon
  

1     For thousands of years, man has looked up into the sky in wonder. What was out there beyond their home? Were there warriors out there who had died bravely in battle? Were there dragons and monsters? What were the stars made of? How hot is the sun? Is there life on other planets? Was there a man in the moon? It wasn't until the mid 1950s that scientists developed the technology needed to explore the mysteries of space.
 
2     Scientists can be very competitive, just like athletes. It was understood in the scientific world that the first country to conquer space would become the most powerful country on Earth. The Soviet Union and the United States became the top contenders in this space race.
 
3     Think of some of the problems connected to exploring space. The next time you are in an open field, pick up a rock and throw it as high and as hard as you can. What happens to the rock? It will go a short distance and then fall back to Earth. How then, can scientists propel a heavy object into the sky and have it stay there for long periods of time? Years of research and study had to go into this problem.

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The 1960's
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