Space Race Timeline

  • Launching of Sputnik I

    Launching of Sputnik I
    The event that marked the beginning of the Space Race. Sputnik 1 was the first artificial satellite launched by the Soviet Union into low Earth orbit, and it helped tell atmospheric pressure, and density up high in the skies. It orbited Earth 1,440 times before falling back into Earth's gravity.
  • First animal in Space

    First animal in Space
    The second-ever orbiting space craft carried the first animal into orbit. The dog Laika launched aboard the Soviet Sputnik 2 spacecraft. Laika died during the flight as they planned because the technology to return from orbit had not yet been developed.
  • US launches Discoverer XIV

    US launches Discoverer XIV
    The Discoverer XIV is the first satellite to be ejected from an orbiting space vehicle and to be recovered in midair. It is also the first saatellite equipped with a camera. This probe was launched by USA.
  • Nedelin catastrophe

    Nedelin catastrophe
    As a prototype of the missile was being prepared for a Russian test flight, it exploded on the launch pad when its second stage motors ignited prematurely, killing many military personnel, engineers, and technicians working on the project. The official death toll was 78, but estimates are as high as 150.
  • First Man in Outer Space

    First Man in Outer Space
    Yuri Gagarin was a Soviet pilot and cosmonaut. He was the first human being to journey into outer space, when his Vostok spacecraft completed an orbit of the Earth. The mission lasted 1 hour and 48 minutes, and made Gagarin the national hero of the Soviet Union.
  • First American in outer space

    First American in outer space
    USA's Alan Shepard rides the Freedom 7 into Earth's outer orbit and becomes the first American in space. The name of the mission was called Mercury 3, and these missions were used to find out the effects of no gravity space on a human's body.
  • First woman in space

    First woman in space
    Cosmonaut Valentia Tereshkova becomes the first woman in space in mid 1963. She was launched by the USSR, and her mission was to test the effects of no gravity space on the female body.
  • First Spacewalk

    First Spacewalk
    It was accomplished by USSR's Voskhod 2, performed by Alexei Leonov. The space walk lasted about 20 minutes. Alexei had problems in re-entering the spacecraft because his space suit had enlarged slightly. He had to let air leak out of his space suit in order to squeeze back inside.
  • America's first space walk

    America's first space walk
    NASA Astronaut Ed White made history when he floated out of the hatch of his Gemini 4 capsule into space. His flight lasted a total of 23 minutes. White was attached to the capsule by a 25 foot cord. He initially used a gas powered gun held in his hand to maneuver.
  • Gemini 7

    Gemini 7
    A USA launched mission, This was the longest Spaceflight of the decade. Frank F. Borman II, and James A. Lovell, Jr flew for a total of 13 days, 18 hours and 35 minutes. Gemini 7's mission was to discover the effects of prolongued amounts of spacetime on the human body.
  • Apollo 1

    Apollo 1
    Apollo 1 was scheduled to be the first manned mission of the Apollo manned lunar landing program. However, during a pre-test, a cockpit fire arose and killed all three of America's astronauts in a matter of seconds. Virgil I. "Gus" Grissom, Edward H. White II, and Roger B. Chaffee were the crew. The Apollo program was delayed after that, to better prepare themselves for further missions.
  • Apollo 10

    Apollo 10
    Apollo 10 was a test run for Apollo 11's trip to the moon. During the mission, the crew members, Thomas P. Stafford, John W. Young, and Eugene A. Cernan, attained a world record speed of 24,791 mph, the fastest ever by a manned vehicle.
  • Apollo 11

    Apollo 11
    The first ever manned trip to the moon. America's Neil Alden Armstrong, Michael Collins, and Edwin "Buzz" E. Aldrin, Jr. became national heros, as they've beat the Russians to the moon. Their trip lasted 21 hours and 31 minutes. "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind."
  • Apollo 13

    Apollo 13
    Another lunar mission to experiment with the moon, but everrything went wrong. An oxygen tank exploded, which made everything very difficult. The command module had to be shut down, and the lunar module didn't function as properly. All planned activitied had to be cancelled, as their mission turned into getting back to Earth safely.
  • Apollo 17's Return from the Moon

    Apollo 17's Return from the Moon
    Apollo 17 was the 11th and final manned-trip to the moon. This trip included USA's Eugene A. Cernan, Ronald E. Evans, and Harrison H. Schmitt. Apollo 17 also broke several records set by previous flights, including the longest manned lunar landing flight; the largest lunar sample return, and the longest time in lunar orbit.