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- noun The moment that a
countryor a society, in particular the US, realizes that it needs to catch upwith the apparent technological and scientific gap that exists between it and some other country, increasing its investmentefforts into educationand innovative R&D.
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In reference to the Soviet Union's 1957 launch of the first Earth-orbiting satellite Sputnik 1, which caught US unprepared, eventually igniting the Space Race within the Cold War which US ultimately won in 1969 with the first human landing on the Moon.
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