Space race

Space Race

  • Lauching of Sputnik I

    Lauching of Sputnik I
    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. It helped with research of the atmosphere and travels at 18,000 mi per hour and completing an orbit in 96.2 minutes.
  • Period: to

    Space Race

  • Explorer I

    Explorer I
    The first American satellite to reach orbit, is launched. It carried scientific equipment that lead to the discovery of the Van Allen radiation belt.
  • Monkey to Space

    Monkey to Space
    Ham, a chimpanzee, survives a sub-orbital flight on an American mission, Mercury. The American press pokes fun at American astronauts for doing a job that could be accomplished by a monkey. Experienced test pilots deride the astronauts as "Spam in a can."
  • First Man In Space

    First Man In Space
    Yuri Gagarin orbits the Earth once and becomes the first man in space. Total time of the trip was 108 minutes.
  • First American In Space

    First American In Space
    Alan B. Shepard becomes the first American in space. He did not orbit around the earth. It was traveled for 15 minutes (4 minutes of zero G) and traveled a total distance of 300 miles.
  • JFK Speech

    JFK Speech
    President Kennedy gives a speech at Rice University, future home of the Manned Spacecraft Center, "We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too."
  • First Woman In Space

    First Woman In Space
    Cosmonaut Valentia Tereshkova from the USSR becomes the first woman in space. On this mission, lasting almost three days in space, she performed various tests on herself to collect data on the female body's reaction to spaceflight.
  • First Man To Walk In Space

    First Man To Walk In Space
    Alexei Leonov from USSR spends 12 minutes outside of his Voskhod spacecraft performing the first spacewalk. He was outside the spacecraft connected to the craft by a 5.35 meter tether. At the end of the spacewalk, Leonov's spacesuit had inflated in the vacuum of space to the point where he could not re-enter the airlock. He opened a valve to allow some of the suit's pressure to bleed off, and was barely able to get back inside the capsule.
  • Luna 9

    Luna 9
    Becomes the first spacecraft to soft-land on the Moon. The automatic lunar station that achieved the survivable landing weighed 99 kg. It used a landing bag and survived the impact at 34 mph.
  • Apollo I fire

    Apollo I fire
    A fire during routine testing of the Apollo spacecraft kills three astronauts Gus Grissom, Ed White and Roger Chafee in their capsule. This caused a scare in NASA and they made Apollo missions 2-6 unmanned missions.
  • Apollo 8

    Apollo 8
    the second manned mission in the American Apollo space program, was the first human spaceflight to leave Earth orbit. The first to be captured by and escape from the gravitational field of another celestial body, and the first crewed voyage to return to Earth from another celestial body—Earth's Moon. Was 70 miles away from the lunar surface.
  • Apollo 11

    Apollo 11
    Neil Armstrong and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin become the first men to walk on the Moon while crewmate Michael Collins orbits around the Moon alone. Apollo 11 fulfilled U.S. President John F. Kennedy's goal of reaching the Moon before the Soviet Union by the end of the 1960s.
  • Apollo 13

    Apollo 13
    En route to the moon, oxygen tanks explode on Apollo 13's command-service module. Through quick thinking from the crew and mission control, astronauts Jim Lovell, Jack Swigert and Fred Haise manage to survive in the Lunar Module until just before reentry to the earth's atmosphere when they return to the command-service module and land safely.
  • Apollo 16

    Apollo 16
    The fifth mission to land on the Moon and the first to land in a highlands area. Despite a malfunction in the Command Module which almost aborted the lunar landing, Apollo 16's lunar module landed successfully in the Descartes Highlands on April 21. Commander John W. Young and Lunar Module Pilot Charles Duke spent nearly three days on the lunar surface while Command Module Pilot Ken Mattingly orbited the Moon.
  • Apollo 17's return from the Moon

    Apollo 17's return 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.