Space Race By 98tbalzer Oct 4, 1957 Sputnik 1, U.S.S.R. U.S.S.R. launches Sputnik 1. Nov 3, 1957 Sputnik 2, USSR USSR launches Sputnik 2 which carried a small dog named Laika into orbit. Jan 31, 1958 Explorer 1, US Explorer 1, the first American satellite to reach orbit, is launched. It carried scientific equipment that lead to the discovery of the Van Allen radiation belt. Mar 5, 1958 Explorer 2, US Explorer 2 is launced but it fails to reach orbit. Mar 7, 1958 Vanguard 1, US The Vanguard 1 satellite is launched. It continues to function for 3 years. May 15, 1958 Sputnik 3, USSR Sputnik 3 is launched. Oct 1, 1958 NASA, US The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is formed, it replaces the National Advisory Committee on Aeronautics (NACA). Oct 11, 1958 Pioneer 1, US Pioneer 1 is launched to a height of 70,700 miles. Jan 2, 1959 Luna 1, USSR Luna 1 is launched by the USSR. It is the first man made object to orbit the Sun. Mar 3, 1959 Pioneer 4, US Pioneer 4 is launched on a Earth-Moon trajectory. It passed within 37,000 miles of the Moon before falling into a solar orbit. Apr 2, 1959 Mercury Seven, US The "Mercury Seven" astronauts are selected by NASA. Sep 12, 1959 Luna 2, USSR Luna 2 is launched. It impacts the Moon on September 13, becoming the first man-made object to do so. Oct 4, 1959 Luna 3, USSR Luna 3 orbits the Moon and photographs 70% of its surface. Apr 1, 1960 Tiros 1, US Tiros 1, the first successful weather satellite, is launched. Aug 18, 1960 Discoverer XIV, US The US launches Discoverer XIV, its first camera equipped spy satellite. Nov 8, 1960 JFK, US John F. Kennedy is elected the 35th President of the United States. Apr 12, 1961 Yuri Gagarin, USSR Yuri Gagarin orbits the Earth once and becomes the first man in space. May 5, 1961 Alan B. Shepard, US Alan B. Shepard becomes the first American in space. May 25, 1961 To the Moon!, US President John F. Kennedy addresses Congress and challenges the nation to go to the Moon before the end of the decade Jul 21, 1961 Gus Grissom, US Gus Grissom is launched on a sub-orbital flight. His Liberty-Bell capsule is lost when it fills with water and sinks after splashdown. Aug 6, 1961 Vostok 2, USSR Gherman Titov spends a day in space aboard Vostok 2. Dec 7, 1961 Gemini Program, US NASA announces the Gemini Program Feb 20, 1962 John Glenn, US John Glenn orbits the Earth three times. May 24, 1962 Aurora 7, US Scott Carpenter repeats John Glenn's flight aboard "Aurora 7". Sep 12, 1962 Speech at Rice University, US President Kennedy gives a speech at Rice University reaffirming the importance of the Moon program. Sep 17, 1962 NASA's Second Group, US NASA selects its second group of astronauts. Oct 3, 1962 Walter Schirra, US Walter Schirra orbits the Earth six times. Dec 14, 1962 Mariner 2, US Mariner 2 flies past Venus and enters a solar orbit. May 14, 1963 L. Gordon Cooper, US L. Gordon Cooper spends 34 hours in space. He is the last American to fly in space alone. Jun 16, 1963 Valentia Tereshkova, USSR Cosmonaut Valentia Tereshkova becomes the first woman in space. Oct 17, 1963 NASA's Third Group, US A third group of NASA astronauts is selected. Nov 22, 1963 JFK Assasination, US President Kennedy is assassinated. Jul 31, 1964 Ranger 7, US Ranger 7 transmits the first close range images of the Moon. Oct 31, 1964 Theodore Freeman, US Astronaut Theodore Freeman dies in a plane crash. Mar 18, 1965 Alexei Leonov, USSR Alexei Leonov spends 12 minutes outside of his Voskhod spacecraft performing the first spacewalk. Mar 23, 1965 Gemini spacecraft, US Gus Grissom and John Young fly the first manned Gemini spacecraft. Jun 3, 1965 Ed White, US Ed White performs America's first spacewalk. Jim McDivitt remains in the Gemini capsule. Jul 14, 1965 Mariner 4, US Mariner 4 returns close ranger images of Mars. Nov 16, 1965 Venus 3, USSR Venus 3 is launched. It becomes the first man made object to impact Venus on March 1, 1966. Dec 4, 1965 Gemini 7, US Frank Borman and James Lovell begin a two week stay in Earth orbit aboard Gemini 7. Dec 15, 1965 Gemini 6, US Walter Schirra and Thomas Stafford, in their Gemini 6 spacecraft, make the first space rendezvous with Gemini 7. Feb 3, 1966 Luna 9, USSR Luna 9 becomes the first spacecraft to soft-land on the Moon. Feb 28, 1966 Charles Bassett and Elliott See, US Astronauts Charles Bassett and Elliott See die when their plane crashes in bad weather. Apr 3, 1966 Luna 10, USSR Luna 10 becomes the first satellite to orbit the Moon. Jun 2, 1966 Surveyor 1, US Surveyor 1 soft-lands on the Moon. Aug 14, 1966 Lunar Orbiter 1, US Lunar Orbiter 1 enters orbit around the Moon and takes the first picture of the Earth from that distance. Nov 11, 1966 Gemini 12, US Gemini 12, the last flight of the Gemini Program, launches with James Lovell and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin aboard. Jan 27, 1967 Apollo 1, US Gus Grissom, Ed White, and Roger Chaffee are killed when a fire ignites in their Apollo 1 capsule while performing a test on the launch pad. Apr 24, 1967 Soyuz 1, USSR Cosmonaut Vladimir Komarov is killed when the parachutes of his Soyuz 1 capsule fail to open properly following re-entry. Jun 6, 1967 Edward Givens, US Astronaut Edward Givens is killed in an automobile accident. Oct 5, 1967 Clifton Williams, US Astronaut Clifton Williams is killed in a plane crash. Oct 18, 1967 Venera 4, USSR Venera 4 transmits data about the atmosphere of Venus. Mar 27, 1968 Yuri Gagarin Again, USSR Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, the first man in space, dies in a plane crash. Sep 15, 1968 Zond 5, USSR Zond 5 is launched. It carried a biological payload (including two turtles) around the Moon and returned to Earth six days later. Oct 11, 1968 Apollo 7, US The crew of Apollo 7 begin a 10 day mission to study the new spacecraft. Dec 21, 1968 first manned journey from the Earth to the Moon, US Frank Borman, James Lovell, and William Anders begin the first manned journey from the Earth to the Moon. On Christmas Eve they take turns reading Genesis in a broadcast heard around the world. Jan 16, 1969 Soyuz 4 & 5, USSR Soyuz 4 & 5 perform the first Soviet spacecraft docking. Jul 20, 1969 First Men to Walk on the Moon, US Neil Armstrong and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin become the first men to walk on the Moon while crewmate Michael Collins orbits around the Moon alone. Nov 19, 1969 First Precision Lunar Landing, US Pete Conrad and Alan Bean perform the first precision lunar landing, touching down just 600 feet from the Surveyor 3 probe that arrived two years earlier.