Q:

Why did we go to the moon?

A:

Quick Answer

One of the main reasons the United States sponsored a mission to the moon was because of the space race with Russia. Russia was the first country to put an artificial satellite in space, which caused a lot of embarrassment for the U.S.

Know More
Why did we go to the moon?
Credit: Steve Bronstein Photographer's Choice Getty Images

Full Answer

In 1957, Russia sent Sputnik into space, proving the country had great technological capabilities. Many Americans felt the United States was technologically superior to other countries in the aftermath of World War II, so this feat proved embarrassing for American citizens. There was also some concern that the Soviets would use their space program to put weapons in space, putting the U.S. at risk should another war occur.

In 1961, President John F. Kennedy announced a plan to put an American astronaut on the moon by the end of the 1960s. There was a lot of pressure to overtake Russia and prove the U.S. also had space exploration capabilities. Kennedy also had to overcome the failed Bay of Pigs incident, which was an unsuccessful attack on the southern coast of Cuba. Kennedy felt the U.S. would be able to beat Russia to putting a man on the moon, which would put the country in a more positive light following this failed attack.

Learn more in Our Moon

Related Questions

  • Q:

    How big is the moon?

    A:

    Earth's sole natural satellite, the moon, has a circumference of 6,783.5 miles around its equator. Its surface area is 14,647,439.75 square miles, which is approximately 0.07 times that of the Earth.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Why is the moon important?

    A:

    Most people know that the moon's gravitational influence has an effect on the tides on Earth, but some scientists also believe that the presence of the moon played an important role in making Earth habitable to begin with. The interplay between the Earth and the moon mirrors events that occurred throughout the early solar system, as a Mars-sized object may have hit the Earth, sending some of the mantle into orbit that soon cooled into the moon. Over time, the relationship between the Earth and the moon may well have assisted the advent of life.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Why do we have a moon?

    A:

    No concrete evidence explains why there is a moon. The best hypothesis presented is the Giant Impactor hypothesis: It suggests that around 4.45 billion years ago, while the Earth was still forming, a large object hit the Earth at an angle.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How can I tell what phase the moon is in?

    A:

    The way to identify which of the phases the moon is in is based on which section of the moon's face is lit by the sun. The moon has eight phases, which happen in the same cycle over the course of a 29-day period.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore