Space Race Timeline

  • Launching of Sputnik 1

    Launching of Sputnik 1
    The Soviet Union sent into orbit Sputnik 1, the first artificial satellite in history.
  • Period: to

    The Space Race

  • First Animal In Space (Sputnik 2)

    First Animal In Space (Sputnik 2)
    Sputnik 2, also part of the Soviet Union carried the dog Laika into orbit.
  • Explorer 1

    Explorer 1
    The first American satellite to reach orbit, is launched. It carried scientific equipment that lead to the discovery of the Van Allen radiation belt.
  • Sputnik 3 is launched.

    Sputnik 3 is launched.
    Sputnik 3 was launched by the Soviet Union. It was a research satellite to explore the upper atmosphere and the near space.
  • Luna 1

    Luna 1
    Luna 1 is launched by the USSR. It is the first man made object to orbit the Sun.
  • Luna 2

    Luna 2
    Luna 2 is launched. It impacts the Moon on September 13, becoming the first man-made object to do so.
  • Luna 3

    Luna 3
    Luna 3 orbits the Moon and photographs 70% of its surface.
  • First Man In Space

    First Man In Space
    Yuri Gagarin (USSR) orbits the Earth once and becomes the first man in space.
  • First American In Space

     First American In Space
    Alan B. Shepard becomes the first American in space.
  • The First Spacewalk

    The First Spacewalk
    Alexei Leonov spends 12 minutes outside of his Voskhod spacecraft performing the first spacewalk.
  • The First Manned Gemini Spacecraft

     The First Manned Gemini Spacecraft
    Gus Grissom and John Young fly the first manned Gemini spacecraft.
  • America's First Spacewalk

    America's First Spacewalk
    Ed White performs America's first spacewalk. Jim McDivitt remains in the Gemini capsule.
  • Luna 9

     Luna 9
    Luna 9 becomes the first spacecraft to soft-land on the Moon.
  • First Men On The Moon

    First Men On The Moon
    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 17 return from the moon

    Apollo 17 return from the moon
    Apollo 17 was the eleventh manned space mission in the NASA Apollo programme. It was the first night launch of a U.S. human spaceflight and the sixth and final lunar landing mission.