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The nucleur and space race

Module by: Siyavula Uploaders. E-mail the author

Social Sciences

HISTORY

Grade 9

THE NUCLEAR AGE AND THE COLD WAR

Module 13

THE NUCLEUR AND SPACE RACE

ACTIVITY 1:

To historically research the Cold War by the use of cause and effect, continuity and change, comparisons and conclusions: THE NUCLEAR AND SPACE RACE

[LO 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 2.4, 3.2, 3.3]

SOURCE A:

Interview with Harold Agnew, circa 1949, American nuclear physicist

After the destruction of the Second World War, nobody expected the Soviet Union to have the infrastructure to produce a nuclear bomb. They certainly did.They had to possess information on the Manhattan Project.

SOURCE B:

Commentary of Robert Oppenheimer, American Nuclear expert

If another world war breaks out, mankind will be destroyed. We should ask ourselves whether mankind is doing enough to prevent it.

SOURCE C:

Interview with the Soviet military strategist, Valentin Laryonov, 1950

Malkenkov warned the whole nation and world population that an atomic war would destroy the entire world and that such a war should be avoided at all costs.

SOURCE D:

Comment of Galina Mishina, baker in Moscow, circa 1989

In the fifties we did not realise that the Americans were afraid of a Russian attack. We were under the impression that they knew that we pursued peace and that we wanted to live in peace. We wanted to develop our country, it is written nowhere that we wanted to invade any country.

SOURCE E:

Comment of Jean Asam, American student during the fifties

We wanted to protect ourselves against bombs and run no risks. Therefore we built bunkers and shelters in our backyards. It happened quite commonly in American suburbs.

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SOURCE F:

An eyewitness account by Harold Agnew, American Nuclear physicist on the experimental nuclear explosion in the Pacific Ocean in 1954

We were not prepared for such a powerful explosion and large fall-out area. A Japanese fishing vessel, “ The Happy Dragon” was contaminated through the nuclear fall out. The vessel was quite a distance from the test site. Before we realised what had happened, the fishermen were radio-actively contaminated. The fishermen were 120 km away from the explosion. One out of 24 crewmen survived. A mistake was made. The wind carried the radio-active fall-out farther than expected. It is regrettable that people were contaminated…

SOURCE G:

Comment by Oleg Troyanovski, Kruschev’s adviser on satellites

In Kruschev’s opinion, warships and bombers have become obsolete and that in future missiles will take their place. For that reason technicians from all over the Soviet Union got together in the desert at Baikonur in Kazakstan to work on satellite development. On 4 October 1957 we launched the first space satellite, Sputnik (means travelling companion of the Earth). The Americans always pretended that they were the richest and technologically the most advanced country in the world. With Sputnik that travels around the earth, this perception changed.

SOURCE H:

The Spacecraft

Russian Soyuz TM-34 capsule.

Length: 7,5 metres.

Weight: Just over 7 tonnes.

Reaches space in approximately 8 minutes powered by a Soyuz rocket.

Takes one day to reach the international space station.

Launching site:

The Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakstan (Asia), the world’s oldest launching site. The world’s first satellite, Sputnik was launched from here in 1957.

Four years later, the first man in space, Yuri Gagarin, was also launched from here.

Destination:

The international space station; a gigantic manned station which is still being built while it orbits 400 km above the earth.

Joint project of 16 countries that costs billions of dollars.

SOURCE I:

In April 2002, a South African, Mark Shuttleworth, became the second space tourist when he travelled from Baikonur to the space station in a Soyuz spacecraft. Mark carried out several scientific experiments in the space station.

FORM OF ASSESSMENT: SOURCE BASED ACTIVITY

  • Study all the sources and answer the questions that follow::
  • Study sources A to C

1. Which similarities and differences can you identify in these sources?

2. What do the two people agree on in sources

B and C?

  • Study sources E and F

4. Study source E. Was it necessary for the Americans to build bomb shelters? (Source F)?

  • Study sources G and H

5. What is the similarity between these two sources?

6. Explain the consequences of nuclear weapons for mankind by studying these two sources

  • Study sources G and H

7. Study source G. How did the launch of Sputnik affect the USA?

8. Sources G, H and I mention the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakstan. Use the three sources and your knowledge and write a paragraph in which you explain how the Russian and American space programs have changed since the Cold War and how this can be used to the advantage of mankind.

Assessment

Learning outcomes (LOs)

LO 1

Historical investigation

The learner is able to use research skills to investigate both the present and the past.

Assessment standards (ASs)

We know this when the learner:

1.1 investigates a topic by asking key questions and identifies a variety of relevant sources to explore this topic [finding sources];

1.2 asks significant questions to evaluate the sources (e.g. to identify bias and stereotypes, omissions and gaps) [working with to sources];

1.3 analyses the information in sources [working with sources];

1.4 presents an independent line of argument in answering questions posed, and justifies (using evidence) the conclusions reached [answering the question];

1.5 communicates knowledge and understanding by constructing own interpretation and argument based on the historical sources; uses information technology where available and appropriate [communicating the answer].

LO 2

Knowledge and Understanding of History

The learner is able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of history.

We know this when the learner:

2.1 places events, people and changes in the periods of history studied within chronological framework [chronology and time];

2.2 identifies categories of cause and effect (e.g. immediate and long-term, direct and indirect) [cause and effect];

2.3 explains and analyses the reasons for and results of events in history [cause and effect];

2.4 recognises that change and development does not always mean progress [change and continuity].

LO 3

Interpretation of History

The learner is able to interpret aspects of history.

We know this when the learner:

3.1 understands the contested nature of content, and that historians construct histories when writing about events from the past [source interpretation];

3.2 constructs an interpretation based on sources, giving reasons for own interpretation [source interpretation];

3.3 analyses issues which influence the way history has been written [influences on interpretation];

3.4 explains the ways in which symbols are used to remember events and people from the past, and how oral histories can contribute to our understanding of the symbols [representation of the past].

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