Space Race

  • Sputnik 1

    Sputnik 1
    Sputnik 1 was the first man made object from any country that was launched into space by the U.S.S.R. and orbited the Earth. It lasted exactly three months until January 4, 1958. The launching of Sputnik 1 was a surprise to the United States and it was the event that started the space race.
  • Sputnik 2

    Sputnik 2
    Sputnik 2 was the second spacecraft that was launched into Earth's orbit following Sputnik 1. It was 4 meters in height and it had a base of 2 meters. Within Sputnik 2 there was a special cabin designed to carry the experimental dog Laika. One of the main goals of the Sputnik 2 mission was to see how a living organism would survive in space. Due to complications and malfunctions Laika was only able to survive 2 days. Sputnik 2 reentered the atmosphere on April 14, 1958.
  • Explorer 1

    Explorer 1
    This is the first satellite put in orbit by the United States Government. It was launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida. This was in response to the Soviet Union launching Sputnik 1 in an attempt to outdo them in the cold war. It contained a device to detect radiation in the earths orbit that was designed by Dr. James Van Allen
  • N.A.S.A. Created

    N.A.S.A. Created
    N.A.S.A which stands for National Aeronautics and Space Administration was created on this day. This replaced the existing agency called National Advisory Committee on Aeronautics. This was created because of the competition between the U.S. and Soviet Union and each side wanted to beat the other to some space achievement.
  • Luna 1

    Luna 1
    Luna 1 was launched into space on January 2, 1959. After being in flight for 34 hours it reached the moon making it the first spacecraft to reach the moon. After the moon Luna 1 orbited around the sun. Many important observations were made during the Luna 1 mission. The first being the data the U.S.S.R. collected about the Earth's radiation belt. The second being they found out the Moon had no magnetic field.
  • Pioneer 4

    Pioneer 4
    This was the first U.S. probe (or any object) that orbited the sun. This was in response to the Soviet Union sending the Luna 1 sattelite into orbit around the sun. It carried a lunar radiation environment experiment and a lunar photography experiment but it did not pass close enough to the moon to get any data.
  • Luna 2

    Luna 2
    The Luna 2 spacecraft was launched in the direction of the moon on September 12, 1959. It was the first spacecraft to ever land on the moon. It was similar to Luna 1 in its design. The mission confirmed what Luna 1 pointed out which was the fact that the moon had no magnetic field. It also found no evidence of radiation belts at the moon.
  • Vostok 1

    Vostok 1
    Vostok 1 was the first spaceflight that involved a human being being launched into outerspace. The man who was to go into outer space was Yuri Gagarin who was a cosmonaut from the Soviet Union. This flight marked the first time a human traveled to outerspace and also marked the first flight of a manned vehicle. The mission only lasted 108 minutes and was the shortest orbital mission recorded.
  • Mercury Freedom 7

    Mercury Freedom 7
    This was the first U.S. man in space. This was just a month later than the Soviets launch of the first man in space in the Vostok 1. This was an important achievement because it showed how humans responded to space. This mission only lasted around 15 minutes in orbit.
  • Mariner 2

    Mariner 2
    This U.S. space craft was the first to fly near a planet. The Mariner flew near the planet of Venus and collected information about the environment near the planet, the magnetic field, and other such things. This journey was important for our worlds continued learning of space and the conditions there
  • Vostok 6

    Vostok 6
    The Vostok 6 mission marked the first woman to ever enter outerspace. The woman's name was Valentina Tereshkova. She was also the first civilian to enter space. During the actual flight there was an error which caused the spacecraft to ascend from orbit instead of descending. But eventually Tereshkova made a safe landing back on Earth. This mission marked the last Vostok mission.
  • First Space Walk, Voskhod 2

    First Space Walk, Voskhod 2
    The first space walk in history occured on March 18, 1965. The space walk was made by the Soviet Union's cosmonaut named Alexei A. Leonov. The space walk lasted about 20 min in duration. There was an error that occured when Leonov's suit enlarged slightly from being in space so he had to let air leak out of it before he could fit back inside the Voskhod 2.
  • Gemini 4

    Gemini 4
    The Gemini 4 was launched (the first of the gemini series to have humans in it). This was the very first U.S. mission with human spacewalking. Again the soviets did a very similar mission slightly before we did. This kept them slightly ahead of us in the cold war (at least in this area). Edward White II was the man who did this and was out there for 22 minutes, almost double the time the soviets were out.
  • Soviet Venus 3

    Soviet Venus 3
    On this date, Soviet Venus 3 was launched from Kazakhstan. It was the first unmanned spacecraft to reach the planet Venus and it also made impact with the planet. It did not succeed in its original intentions which were to take measurements of the planets atmosphere.
  • Surveyor 1

    Surveyor 1
    On this day the space craft, surveyor 1 landed on the moon. Frustratingly, this was again done first by the Soviet union, who seem to be just one step ahead of the U.S. It soft landed on it and was there to collect data on the moon. On the craft was a television camera so it could capture the surface of the moon.
  • Lunar Orbiter 1

    Lunar Orbiter 1
    The Lunar orbiter 1 was a great importance for understanding our world. Because of this journey the U.S. had pictures of the world from the distance of the moons orbit. It was also an important tool for finding where we were able to land once we achieved moon landing by taking pictures of the moons surface
  • Soyuz 1

    Soyuz 1
    The Soyuz 1 was launched on April 23, 1967. It carried the cosmonaut Vladimir M. Komarov from the Soviet Union. The mission was a failure ending in the crashing of the Soyuz 1 on April 24 the following day from the launch. Vladimir died on impact making it the first fatality of any space mission thus far.
  • Apollo 8

    Apollo 8
    Finally the U.S. does something ahead of the Soviet Union. On this day there was the first orbits around the moon with men aboard. The men involved were James Lovell, William Anders, and Frank Borman and they orbitted for 6 days. This was important because it showed people that space journey and moon landing was a very large possibility and could be achieved in a short amount of time
  • Moon Landing

    Moon Landing
    On this day was what is now known as the single greatest ahievement in the space race occured. The apollo 11 carrying Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong soft landed on the moon and were the first men on the moon. This finally gave the U.S. a clear lead in the cold war showing they were technologically superior to the Soviets but also gave great pride to U.S. citizens with this victory.
  • Luna 16

    Luna 16
    On this date in September, Soviet Luna 16 landed on the moon. This event was a historical landmark for a couple of reasons. The first being that it was the first time the Soviet Union successfully returned lunar soil samples. The second being it was the first robotic probe to land on the moon in history.