On Earth, scientific breakthroughs are made by the USSR, which develops the H-bomb and eventually the satellite Sputnik, which ushers in the Human Space Age as the first object to exit Earth. This event attracts Vulcan explorers who discreetly linger in Pennsylvania before being rescued, but not before introducing some of their technology to Humans. (ENT: "Carbon Creek")
The USA creates the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) as a response to the "space race" with the USSR. Dwight D. Eisenhower succeeds Harry S. Truman as president. This era is the most heated period of the Earth Cold War.
This decade also sees productivity in arts and entertainment, with film releases such as Shane, The Searchers, The Court Jester, The Day the Earth Stood Still, Sunset Boulevard, From Here to Eternity, To Catch a Thief, Wages of Fear, and B-movies such as Revenge of the Creature and Bride of the Corpse. The songs "Come Fly with Me", "Fever", "Louie, Louie", "Crazy Arms", and "Just in Time" are released. The popular music genre known as rock 'n roll is also born in this decade, with performers like Elvis Presley and Roy Orbison. Television becomes a popular form of entertainment, which it remains until 2040. Shows in this decade include Howdy Doody, I Love Lucy, The Untouchables, and The Twilight Zone.
- A border dispute begins between Andoria and Vulcan, shortly after first contact between the two worlds, lasting for the next two hundred years. According to Shran, the only thing that keeps Vulcan from invading Andoria is the threat of massive retaliation. After stealing a prototype of the Xindi weapon from the Xindi, Shran declares that "with a weapon of this magnitude at our disposal, they wouldn't dare attack us." (ENT: "Proving Ground")