The launch of Sputnik I on October 5, 1987 was a scientific achievement to be admired by everyone. The United States and the Soviet Union were in the “space race”: who could be the first to launch a satellite into space? Sergei Korolov was the chief designer for Sputnik I and later Sputnik II. However, Sputnik II also carried Laiko, a dog to see if a living organism could last the launch and live in space.
The successful launch of Sputnik I had varying degrees of enthusiasm around the world. Soviet bourgeois newspapers and magazines boasted about the new achievement towards Soviet science and technology. The impartials saw it as socialism being more successful and a major victory over capitalism. While the United States saw the launch as accidental or insignificant. This distinction was important for the United States to make because of the failed attempts under the Eisenhower administration.
The United States saw the military significance behind the Soviet Union being able to send two satellites into space. First, that the Soviet Union had the ability launch nuclear warheads that would be successful in hitting the United States. Second, the Soviet physics and mathematics had surpassed that of the United States. In response to this realization, the United States created the National Defense Education Act in 1958. The NDEA provided funding to improve American schools and to promote postsecondary education. This marked the beginning of the United States federal government in education.