The Space Race

About The Space Race: Fact, Fiction, Fantasy

Required Texts: Preferred editions are linked below. You must have the Graff & Birkenstein 4th or you won't keep up with our writing exercises/workshops in class. For other texts, if you have a different edition, you must use a friend's correct edition for all page references in papers and responses, or lose points. Whatever you do, do not order e-books; no electronics of any sort are permitted in my classes. Put down that drug, addicts!

Films (see schedule for links to streaming or location of physical copies):

  • Chazelle, dir. First Man
  • Howard, dir. Apollo 13
  • Melfi, dir. Hidden Figures.
  • Klushantsev, dir. Road to the Stars
  • Pitchel, dir. Destination Moon

Some guiding questions: Beware simplistic answers.

  • What inspired the public enthusiasm for the Space Race?
  • Why were Astronauts cult figures in the 60s?
  • What engineering and political decisions got America to the Moon before the USSR?
  • What made the Apollo 11 landing such a universally admired moment?
  • Why did we stop being interested in visiting the moon?
  • Is there be another Space Race right now, to the Moon and Mars? If so, why?
  • Who would be more likely to explore other worlds and colonize them, today? Government, private industry? A partnership? One nation or many, working together?