Following an armistice in 1953 fighting in the Korean War came to an end. However, just two years later, the outbreak of the Vietnam War meant that the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. had a new arena in which to continue their fighting. This war dragged on for two decades, until North Vietnamese troops finally captured the capital of South Vietnam, Saigon, in 1975.
However, supporting the wars in Korea and Vietnam wasn’t the only way that the U.S. and the Soviet Union came head-to-head. Indeed, during the 1950s and 1960s both powers competed in the Space Race, a competition which began with the development long-range ballistic missiles. The determination to explore the new frontier of space gave both powers the opportunity to flaunt their technological and scientific might.
In 1957 the Space Race really got underway, when the U.S.S.R. beat the U.S. to launching the world’s first satellite into Earth’s orbit. This came as a shock and a worry to many Americans. As a result, the country upped the ante on their own space exploration efforts in a bid to catch up.