Space Race

  • Sputnik

    Sputnik
    The USSR launched Sputnik into space. Sputnik would be the first satellite and man-made object in space. The Space War physically began.
  • Sputnik 2

    Sputnik 2
    First living passenger, Laika (dog), in space. (USSR)
  • Vanguard TV-3

    Unsuccessful response to the launching of Sputnik by the US. Was carrying a small satellite, and it exploded when launching.
  • Explorer 1

    After the USSR launched Sputnik, the US responded with the launching of Explorer 1 (satellite created and operated by the NASA Jet Propulsion Lab).
  • National Aeronautics and Space Act

    National Aeronautics and Space Act
    Signed into law; in other words, NASA was created. It would later open for business on October 1st of the same year. (US)
  • Luna 1

    First man-made object to leave Earth's orbit. (USSR)
  • Discover 1

    First spy satellite but film isn't recovered successfully. (US) So, it was an unsuccessful spy satellite.
  • Able and Baker

    Able and Baker
    First primates in space (US) aboard the Jupiter missile. Able died four days late. Baker died in 1984.
  • Explorer 6

    Takes the first pictures of Earth from space. (US)
  • Luna 2

    Launched by the USSR on September 12th (September 13th, Moscow time). On September 14th, Luna 2, was the first space probe to impact the moon.
  • Venera

    USSR launches this space probe to Venus, but it stops communicating after a week. So this was unsuccessful.
  • Yuri Gagarin

    Yuri Gagarin
    First person in space and to orbit the earth. He did it in the Soviet Union's Vostok 1 spacecraft.
  • Alan Shepard

    First American in space. Did it in the Freedom 7 spacecraft.
  • JFK Announcement

    President John F. Kennedy made the announcement to Congress, and essentially the American people, that the US should make it possible for a man to land on the moon and return back safely.
  • John Glenn

    John Glenn
    First American to orbit Earth. Circled it three times on the Friendship 7 capsule.
  • Telstar

    First active communications satellite in space. (US)
  • Cosmos 7

    First spy satellite that was successful. (USSR)
  • Valentina Vladimirovna Tereshkova

    Valentina Vladimirovna Tereshkova
    First woman in space. Did it in the Vostok 6. (USSR)
  • Alexei Leonov

    Alexei Leonov
    Completes the first spacewalk aboard Voskhod 2 orbiter. (USSR)
  • Ed White

    Ed White
    The first American to do a spacewalk aboard Gemini 4. (US)
  • Luna 9

    First soft landing on the moon, although it didn't have any passengers. (USSR)
  • Venera 3

    Becomes the first spacecraft to land on Venus, but data wasn't able to be returned due to the system of communications failing. (USSR)
  • Luna 10

    Luna 10
    First space probe to orbit the moon. (USSR)
  • Surveyor 1

    America's first successful soft landing on the moon. (US)
  • Apollo 1

    The astronauts aboard suffocated from smoke due to a fire in the launching test. (US)
  • Soyuz 1

    There were many problems with this spacecraft, and due to stability problems and parachute failures, Vladimir Komarov dies. (USSR)
  • Apollo 7

    First out of the Apollo missions to have passengers on board. It is also the first live television broadcast of people in space.
  • Apollo 8

    First mission with passengers to orbit the moon. Happened on a Saturn V. (US)
  • Apollo 11

    Apollo 11
    Aboard the Command Module Columbia, American astronauts, Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin, became the first human beings to land on the moon. (US)
  • Apollo 13

    Failed mission to reach the moon. The spacecraft exploded days after launching. (US)
  • Luna 16

    First successful mission to retrieve lunar examples automatically. (USSR)
  • Mariner 9

    First spacecraft to orbit another planet, Mars. (US)
  • Apollo-Soyuz Test Project

    Apollo-Soyuz Test Project
    The US and USSR do a joint space flight. Shows detente and marks the "end" of the Space Race. On this day the Apollo Command/Service Module (US) and the Soyuz 19 capsule (USSR) dock.