Space Race Timeline

  • First Satellite in Space by USSR

    First Satellite in Space by USSR
    The USSR launched Sputnik I which launched the world into the Space Age. This shocked people as this made the USSR the first to put a man-made object in space.
  • First Animal in Space by USSR

    First Animal in Space by USSR
    The first animal to make an orbital spaceflight was a dog named Laika. Laika was aboard the Sputnik II and she died, as predicted, on the mission.
  • First Satellite in Space by USA

    First Satellite in Space by USA
    The Explorer I was sent up to space following the USSR's successful Sputnik I & II. It collected data for four months and stayed in space for 12 years
  • Creation of NASA

    Creation of NASA
    The National Aeronautics Space Act was signed by President Dwight Eisenhower after receiving bipartisan support. It's a civilian operation meant to control non-military space operations.
  • First animal in space by USA

    First animal in space by USA
    Ham the Chimpanzee flew a suborbital flight. He was aboard the Mercury Redstone II Mission. After successfully returning from his flight he lived out the rest of his life in zoos.
  • First man in space by USSR

    First man in space by USSR
    Yuri Gagarin became the first man to orbit Earth in a space flight lasting 108 minutes. He flew in the Vostok I and secured another win for the USSR.
  • First man in space by USA

    First man in space by USA
    Alan Shepard was the first American in space. He completed a 15-minute suborbital flight aboard the Freedom Mercury 7.
  • First man to orbit Earth by USA

    First man to orbit Earth by USA
    John Glenn became the first American to orbit Earth as a part of the Mercury-Atlas 6 Mission. He orbited the Earth three times which rivaled the USSR's record of once.
  • JFK's Speech & Commitment to Getting to the Moon

    JFK's Speech & Commitment to Getting to the Moon
    The speech titled, "We choose to go to the Moon" was delivered to garner public support for further improvements in the space program. He famously referred to space as the "New Frontier" and invoked a competitive spirit between the US and the USSR.
  • First man to do an EVA by USSR

    First man to do an EVA by USSR
    Alexei Leonov became the first man to ever do an EVA or an extravehicular activity. He spent just over 12 minutes outside the Voskhod II.
  • Gemini 3

    Gemini 3
    Gemini 3 was comprised of two men, Gus Grissom and John Young, making it the first crewed mission in NASA. They flew three low orbits around Earth.
  • First man to do an EVA by USA

    First man to do an EVA by USA
    Ed White became the first American to perform an EVA. He was outside of the ship for 21 minutes while on the Gemini IV mission.
  • Gemini 5

    Gemini 5
    The astronauts aboard the Gemini 5 broke the previous Soviet record for the longest time in space with a week-long stay. The crew of Gemini 5 comprised L. Gordon Cooper Jr. and Charles Conrad Jr.
  • Gemini 6 & 7 Rendezvous

    Gemini 6 & 7 Rendezvous
    The rendezvous between Gemini 6 and 7 made history as the first successful rendezvous in history. Even though the Soviet Union had two times gotten space crafts within miles of each other their ships had no maneuvering capacities. At one point the Gemini 6&7 came so close to one another that Schirra and Stafford held a "Beat Army" sign in the window in reference to the Army-Navy football game.
  • Original Crew of Gemini 9 Tragedy

    Original Crew of Gemini 9 Tragedy
    On their way to the St Louis Lambert International Airport, See and Bassett, the original crew of the Gemini 9 mission, were killed in a plane crash. Their plane hit the McDonnell building which was also where the Gemini 9 aircraft was being prepped to launch.
  • Apollo 1 Tragedy

    Apollo 1 Tragedy
    During a preflight test of the Apollo 1, a fire broke out that killed the three astronauts aboard, Gus Grissom, Ed White, and Roger Chaffee. It's predicted that the three died within 30 seconds because the cabin was filled with pure oxygen which helped the fire spread extremely fast.
  • Launch of Apollo 7

    Launch of Apollo 7
    The Apollo 7 was the first crewed flight in the Apollo series and was also seen as a return to human space exploration after the Apollo 1 tragedy. The members consisted of Walter M. Schirra, Donn F. Eisele, and R. Walter Cunningham and their mission lasted nearly 11 days.
  • Launch of Apollo 8

    Launch of Apollo 8
    Apollo 8 was the first aircraft to reach the moon and was the first to leave low orbit around the Earth. The crew, Frank F. Borman II, James A. Lovell Jr., and William A. Anders, orbited the moon ten times and did not land.
  • Launch of Apollo 9

    Launch of Apollo 9
    The Apollo 9 was the first flight of the full Apollo spacecraft; meaning it included both the Command and Service Module (CSM) and the Lunar Module (LM). The point of the mission was to test the LM in preparation for possible future moon landings.
  • Launch of Apollo 10

    Launch of Apollo 10
    Apollo 10 was the second mission to ever orbit the moon and was known as a "dress rehearsal" for the moon landing that would happen in the Apollo 11 mission. The crew consisted of Thomas P. Stafford, John W. Young, and Eugene A. Cernan.
  • Launch of Apollo 11

    Launch of Apollo 11
    Apollo 11 marked the first mission to ever reach the moon. The Command Module Pilot on board was Michael Collins. The Lunar Module Pilot was Buzz Aldrin. The commander was Neil Armstrong. The mission was 8 days long.