US-vs-USSR : The Final Frontier

  • Satellites Clash

    Satellites Clash
    Four days prior, the US announced the launch of satellite prototypes in the near future. On this day, the Soviet Union responded with an announcement that they will also be launching satellites in the near future. The prefounded US/USSR rivalry, and the Russian response resulted in an event spanning more than a decade, the Space Race.
    The first stage of this epic race of advancements and scientific discovery will be getting a satellite into space.
  • The Sputnik

    The Sputnik
    Just as Russia promised, they would beat america to space. the space satellite Sputnik 1 launches from Tyuratum. this was done with a two stage rocket. This was a big blow to America as they were being left behind. They now fear loosing in this cold war.
  • Sputnik Part 2

    Sputnik Part 2
    to add shame to America falling behind, Russia launches their next satellite into orbit. This was really impressive since this was only a month after the first Sputnik launched. Sputnik 2 was very special for another reason. Inside, Russia had sent a dog named Laika with it. This made the first living being to go to space.
  • Exploding Grapefruits

    Exploding Grapefruits
    In response to the Sputniks, US attempts a satellite launch. The satellite was simple, consisting of only the basic tools to measure atmospheric traits in low orbit, air pressure, temperature etc. This resulted in the satellite being the size of a grapefruit. This satellite was carried on Vanguard TV-3, but then events took a turn for the worse. The satellite ended up exploding at launch, making a failed attempt. This was looking bad for the US and good for the USSR.
  • A US Success

    A US Success
    After the US's first attempt to put a satellite into space, they were finally successful. The explorer 1 was the first to be launched by the US. It was also the fist to have an on board telemetry system. This way, data could be transmitted back to earth. Explorer 1 was launched from a Juno rocket as well.
  • NASA Begins

    NASA Begins
    About a whole year after Sputnik's first launch, the US creates its first space program. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration, or NASA, announced they would be starting a manned flight program. this announcement wa only six days after NASA was founded. they also said they would be forming with the Space Task Group. This was the start of many years of study.
  • "Russian" to the Moon

    "Russian" to the Moon
    A whole ten years before the moon landing, Russia attempted to send another satellite into space, but to the moon. The USSR launched Luna 1, which also means "moon". This Put Ameicans on their edge as Russia kept advancing. Lucky for them, Luna missed its intended targe of the moon. While it failed its goal, it was the first spacecraft to leave Earth's orbit.
  • A Martian Disaster

    A Martian Disaster
    At this point, people are now trying to aim for Mars, and Russia is no exception to the race. The Russians would be holding the anniversary for the Bolshevik Revolution in a few days, so Russian engineers wanted to rush things. Unfortunately, there were still safety protocols to go under before launch. However, Field Marshall Mitrofan Nedelin ignored these cautions for the worst. As a result, over a hundred people died during launch preparations.
  • JFK Funds the Space Race

    JFK Funds the Space Race
    President John Kennedy was an avid supporter of the space program. He never saw space exploration as a competition, but as a chance to relieve the tension between the US and USSR. When speaking to USSR leaders about the lunar program, he says, "Why don't we do it together?" After the soviets put the first man in space, JFK had to make advances in the space program. In May, 1961 he increased NASA's budget by 381%, 89% this year and another 101% next year, pushing America ahead in the lunar race.
  • Spying Satellites

    Spying Satellites
    The Russians look to space for spying mechanics against America. They weren't the first to think of this though. America first tried it back in 1959 with Discoverer 1, but film wasn't recovered until 1960. The Cosmos 7 was the first Russian spy satellite to be successful. As technology advances, so does spying.
  • Gemini 3

    Gemini 3
    Even though this wasn't the first of the Gemini missions, it was the first manned one. This space craft was launched on a Titon 2 rocket. What made this manned mission unique, was that it was a two person mission. Not only that, but Gus Grissom was one of the two to travel. This made him the first person to travel twice into space.
  • To The Moon

    To The Moon
    While still 3 years before the manned landing, US already had plans to go to the moon. The Surveyor 1 was US's first successful landing on the moon. Even though this was America's first, doesn't mean it was a world first. The Soviet Spacecraft Luna 9 was the first to do this. At this point it was hard to do something Russia hasn't already.
  • Reaching Orbit

    Reaching Orbit
    As preparation for long distance space missions, the people at NASA had one man travel around Earth's orbit. this was done on the Apollo 7 and lasted about 11 days. Also, this was the first space mission to be broadcast live. This was also the first manned Apollo mission for NASA. This was bringing the US closer to gold in the Space Race.
  • One Small Step For Man...

    One Small Step For Man...
    One of the most famous days to go down in history had finally arrived. The crew of US's Apollo 11 had reached the surface of the moon. This made them the first people to ever step foot on the moon. By doing so, they had fulfilled the promise of the late JFK to put America up there by the end of the decade. It seems like America was in the lead for the race. Video
  • An Agreement to End

    An Agreement to End
    As the Space race was reaching its finally years, the US and Soviets came together for a partnered space project. The US Apollo 18 and the Soviet Soyuz-19 docked in space to symbolize an ease in tensions. The crew, while docked, exchanged flags to show their willingness for partnership. All members worked together to collect and study data in space for about 9 days. This was finally the end of the Space Race.