School of History, Politics and International Relations

Unknown facts about Outer Space and the Cold War

Dr Bleddyn Bowen, expert in space politics and military technology in outer space, provides insights into Cold War history.

Video transcript

Hi I'm Dr Bleddyn Bowen.

I'm an expert in Space Politics and the study of military technology in outer space.

Here are some of the things that you may not know about outer space and the Cold War:

  • In 1962 and 1963, John F. Kennedy approached Khrushchev in the Geneva Conference, with the idea of a joint Soviet and American mission to the moon.
  • This proposal was never taken up seriously by Khrushchev, Khrushchev reportedly quipping to JFK "sure, we'll send our man to the moon, you can bring him back".
  • The classic Cold War nuclear war film Dr Strangelove, directed by Stanley Kubrick, used the B52 bomber as a very central part of the plot. The interior design on the B52 turned out to be so accurate to the real thing, that Stanley Kubrick was afraid that the production team might be interviewed by the FBI for fear that somebody was leaking secrets to them from the US air force.
  • In 1961, North Carolina was almost accidentally nuked, when a B52 bomber crashed in North Carolina carrying two 4 megaton warhead bombs, each of which are about 200 times more powerful than the Hiroshima bomb. 
  • On one of the bombs, four of the five failsafes failed and only one fail-safe prevented the devastation of North Carolina with nuclear fire.

So, if you've found those sort of factoids interesting, and you want to learn more about Cold War history and how weapons technologies and strategies of the recent form international relations and security policies today, then studying with us today will allow you to study with real experts in those fields including experts in cyber warfare, nucelar strategy, space warfare, counter terrorism and all sorts of national security policies.

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