Sarah Palin says the Soviet Union fell because it spent so much money "winning the space race".
Now history will tell you that's 0 for 2. But maybe the view was different from the Palin porch.
Sputnik, of course, was launched in 1957...only 34 years before the fall of the Soviet Union.
...of course the fall of the USSR had nothing to do with its space program, as can be ascertained as one of the lasting and manageable government expenses of Russia and Kazakhstan.
The Soviets fell because they spent way too much on their military and had internal domestic rot -- against the rigors of maintaining an occupying empire.