Editor says, what if Khrushchev's speech began a time of peaceful coexistence in orbital space above the simmering Cold War? muses Jeff Provine on the This Day in Alternate History web site. Please note that the opinions expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of the author(s). This article is part of the Jeff Provine Blog thread.
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Editor says, in reality Khruschev challenged America with, "Let's have a peaceful rocket contest just like a rifle-shooting match, and they'll see for themselves". The words would help begin the Space Race in which the Americans would work to catch up with and surpass the Soviets, culminating with the American Moon landing on July 20, 1969. Due to cost and recent catastrophic N1 rocket failures, Khrushchev determined that the Soviets would not make further plans to attempt a manned moon landing, and even the Russian shuttle program, which emulated the Americans from a decade before, would never launch more than an unmanned test mission. Editorial comments are entered in [light green] typeface.