World War II
The most significant scientific achievement
of this time period is the invention of the atomic
and the subsequent
developments in nuclear power usage.
The Manhattan Project was a top secret endeavor of
scientist from the United States and Europe to create a
weapon to stop Germany and Japan during World War II.
Dr. Robert J. Oppenheimer was the chief scientist behind
the project which was primarily developed in Los Alamos,
New Mexico. Started in the spring of 1943, the
first atomic bomb was produced by July of 1945.
Two atomic weapons were used on Japan. One was dropped
on the city of Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, and another
was dropped on the city of Nagasaki three days later.
Over the next several decades research into nuclear
energy and its use became one of America's top
In 1957, the Soviet Union launched Sputnik,
a satellite into orbit around the earth. Soon
after, the United States Congress created the
National Aeronautical and Space Administration, or
NASA to develop American space technology. This
created the Space Race during the Cold
War. The Soviets put the first man into
space in 1961, and the U.S. put the first man on the
moon in 1969. Both countries also developed
military applications for space, such as spy satellites.
Satellites and Deep Space Probes:
From the 1970s through today many countries have sent
satellites and probes into space. The U.S. leads the
way today with the largest space program. In the late
1970s the U.S. developed a reusable space
vehicle, the Space Shuttle. The
shuttle has been used to launch hundreds of satellites
and probes. Today these include, weather,
television and communication, navigational,
and military satellites. Probes have been
sent to the ends of our solar system and have explored
planets such as, Mars and Venus. The
Hubble Space Telescope has been able
to send back amazing pictures of other solar systems,
some similar to our own.
High flying spy planes were part of the
general space research. Aircraft such the U-2 and
the SR-71 flew missions over the Soviet Union to collect
intelligence. In May of 1961, a U-2 aircraft flown by
Air Force pilot Gary Powers was forced down over the
Soviet Union. This caused some foreign relations
problems between the U.S. and Russia, and intensified
the Cold War.
Space Age Research
TV. Satellite Dish
Fire Fighting equipment
Invisible Braces (made from clear ceramics)
Tons of consumer plastic goods
The Strategic Defense Initiative, or SDI, is an
antiballistic missile weapon first proposed by the
Reagan Administration. Nicknamed "Star Wars", the
proposed system would shoot down incoming nuclear
ballistic missiles before they could strike their
targets. The system was to use lasers, particle
beams, and different types of projectile weapons.
Controversy surrounded SDI because its development was
seen as a violation of the Antiballistic Missile Treaty
of 1972. Funding was finally cut on the program in