Astronomy: Space Race

  • Sputnik I Satellite

    Sputnik I Satellite
    USSR's Sputnik I, the first satellite launched into space. It was 22 inches in diameter, a little bigger than a beach ball, and it took 98 minutes to orbit the Earth. This was the beginning of the space age and the US - USSR space race.
  • Laika, Space's First Occupant.

    Laika, Space's First Occupant.
    Almost a month after the launch of Sputnik I, the USSR launched Sputnik II with a live occupant. Laika was the first animal in space, she was also the first animal to orbit the Earth. Laika didn't survive the space flight, the barrier between the payload and her failed and she overheated. Laika paved the path for human space flight in the upcoming years.
  • Explorer 1 Satellite

    Explorer 1 Satellite
    The United States' first satellite in space, Explorer 1, was launched on a Jupiter C ballistic missile frame. JPL was tasked to build and operate the artificial satellite, it took them 3 months to build the satellite which served as the missile's payload. The satellite was 80 inches long and 6.25 inches in diameter, orbiting the Earth every 114 minutes. Explorer 1 had a Cosmic Ray detector on board and used it to measure space's radiation levels.
  • NASA

    NASA
    On this day Congress passes legislation establishing the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). NASA is a civilian agency responsible for coordinating America's activities in space. NASA was established because of the launch of the USSR's Sputnik I that struck many with Americans with fear.
  • The American, Ham.

    Ham is the first animal that the US launched into space, Ham means Holloman Aerospace Medical Center. Ham's mission was to perform a simple lever-pushing task to demonstrate that humans can function in orbit. Ham was launched into orbit during Project Mercury on mission MR-2. He survived the flight and only experienced a slight depressurization in the craft, but his suit kept him safe.
  • Cosmonaut Yuri Alekseyevich Gagarin

    The first-ever human in space, Yuri A. Gagarin from the USSR. Gagarin became an international celebrity and was awarded many medals and titles, including Hero of the Soviet Union, his nation's highest honor.
  • Yuri Alekseyevich Gagarin, again.

    On the same day Yuri became the first man in space, he also was the first to orbit the Earth.
  • Astronaut Alan Shepard

    The second human in space, but America's first man in space. Shepard was launched on the Redstone Rocket, which he named Freedom 7. The Redstone Rocket was originally used in the Military as a Redstone Missile and had barely room for one. Shepard also went back into space on Apollo 14 and became the first man to hit a golf ball on the moon.
  • American John Glenn

    John Glenn was the first American man to orbit the Earth.
  • "We Choose to go to the Moon"

    "We Choose to go to the Moon"
    In this speech, Kennedy states that we will reach the Moon at the end of the decade. This gave NASA one very big goal they had to meet, and still were so far away. Many people came together to make sure this goal was met and met safely.
  • Cosmonaut Alexei Leonov

    The first man to do an EVA, Extravehicular Activity, USSR's Alexei Leonov. Leonov spent a total of 12 minutes and 9 seconds outside of the Voskhod 2 spacecraft.
  • American Ed White

    Ed White was the first American man to do an EVA, the mission was Gemini 4. The EVA started over the Pacific Ocean near Hawaii and lasted 23 minutes, ending over the Gulf of Mexico.
  • Gemini 5

    This mission was to test the effects of a long-term stay in zero-g on a person. This mission had Gorden Cooper and Charles Conrad. in space for 8 days. This mission gave them the confidence that they could survive a trip to the Moon.
  • Gemini 7

    Gemini 7 carried astronauts Frank Borman and Jim Lovell on the 14-day mission. Its mission priorities were: (1) to demonstrate a 2-week flight, (2) to perform stationkeeping with the Gemini launch vehicle stage 2, (3) to evaluate the 'shirt sleeve' environment and the lightweight pressure suit, (4) to act as a rendezvous target for Gemini 6, and (5) to demonstrate controlled reentry close to the target landing point.
  • Gemini 6A

    The astronauts on the 26-hour mission were Walter Schirra and Thomas Stafford. The mission priorities were to demonstrate on-time launch procedures, closed-loop rendezvous capabilities, and stationkeeping techniques with Gemini 7.
  • Apollo 1 Testing

    During an Apollo 1 training exercise at Cape Kennedy astronauts Roger Chaffee, Gus Grissom, and Ed White were killed. There was a fire in the capsule due to a high oxygen environment and a faulty wire.
  • Apollo 7

    Apollo 7 was the first crewed flight of the Apollo spacecraft, with astronauts Walter Schirra, Jr, Donn Eisele, and Walter Cunningham on board.
  • Apollo 8

    On this mission Frank Borman, Mission Commander, James A. Lovell Jr., Command Module Pilot, and William A. Anders, Lunar Module Pilot were the first to orbit the Moon.
  • Apollo 9

    Apollo 9 was the third crewed Apollo flight and the first crewed flight to include the Lunar Module (LM). The crew was Commander James McDivitt, Command Module (CM) pilot David Scott, and LM pilot Russell Schweickart. The primary objective of the mission was to test all aspects of the Lunar Module in Earth orbit.
  • Apollo 10

    The Apollo 10 mission was the tenth in a series of flights using Apollo-specification hardware and was the first lunar flight of the complete spacecraft.
  • Apollo 11

    The Apollo 11 mission was the eleventh in a series of flights using Apollo flight hardware and was the first lunar landing of the Apollo Program. It was also the fifth manned flight of the command and service modules and the third flight of the lunar module. The purpose of the mission was to perform a manned lunar landing and return safely to Earth.