Only the space race in the 60s when we were afraid enough of a self-inflicted global extinction event (read: nuclear) that we put forth the funding required to launch into orbit and onto our moon
Humanity’s Extinction Event Is Coming
Sean Everett
28320

The cold war was definitely in the mix, but not for the reason you state. It was to outpace the other super powers, and get orbital (weapon) launch capability

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