The launching of Sputnik I by the Soviet Union began the "space war" with the United States. It was the first artifial satellite that was put in to the Earth's orbit.
Explorer 1 was the first Amercian satellite put into earth's orbit. It was launched after the Soviet's Sputnik 1 and 2. The satellite remained in orbit until 1970 and was the first to record the Van Allen radiation belt. It was the first of the 90 Explorer spacecraft series.
Formation of NASA
NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) was formed by the U.S. during the space race for more aeronautics and aerospace research. It controls all missions and launches to space.
First Russian in Space
Yuri Gagarin was the first man in space sent by the Russians on the Vostok 1 space craft. He became the soviet hero and this advanced the Russians in the space race.
First American in Space
Soon after the russians sent a man in outer spaace, the United States sent Alan Shepard. He was on board a tiny mercury capsule by the name of Freedom 7.
First Russian Woman in Space
Valentina Tereshkova was the first woman in space sent by the Soviets on the Vostok 6 spacecraft. She was choosen to fly the spacecraft out of 400 other astronauts.
Alexey Leonov was the first man out in space. This russian mission was suppose to be Vostok 11, but was cacelled and done on Voskhod 2. He was outside the spacecraft for 12 minutes and 9 seconds. Leonov's space suit bcame infalted when he was trying to get back into the spacecraft. He was able to let some air out and barley make it alive.
First American Spacewalk
Ed White was the first American to complete a spacewalk. He was sent on the mission Gemini 4. White was in space for 23 mintues and was over Hawaii and the Gulf of Mexico.
Luna 10 was the first spacecraft to orbit the moon. It finished its first orbit in 3 hours. The design of the spacecraft was similar to that of Lunar 9. After the spacecraft went into orbit, the satellite separted but stayed close by.
Apollo 17 returning from the Moon
Apollo 17 was the last or most recent moon landing by the United States. The crew consisted of Eugene Cernan, Ronald Evans, and Harrison Schmitt. The mission took about 12 days and no one has returned to the moon since.