Space race1[2]

The Race to Space

  • German A-4 Rocket is launched.

    German A-4 Rocket is launched.
    V-2 Rocket VideoThis rocket marked the beginning of ballistic warfare; the A-4 later became the V-2 rocket, which was loaded with explosives and used against London, Britain and Antwerp, Beligum. After the end of World War Two, the Soviets and Americans each began their own space programs when they captured German equipment at Peenemünde, Germany.
  • Period: to

    The Space Race

  • Soviet Union Launches Sputnik I.

    Soviet Union Launches Sputnik I.
    Sputnik I
    The launch of Sputnik I served a wake-up call to the United States' lax start. The Soviets became the first to launch a man-made object into space.
  • The Media's Response

    The Media's Response
    While Soviet newspapers save a small space for the mention of Sputnik I's launch, American and British newspaprs fill headlines with news of this feat; the Soviets see it as a huge propoganda tool.
  • Sputnik II is launched.

    Sputnik II is launched.
    Sputnik II
    Yet again, the Soviets strike another blow to the United States when they launch Sputik II. In the spaceship was a small dog named Laika. Unfortunately, Laika reportedly died soon after liftoff due to stress and high temperatures.
  • Explorer I is launched.

    Explorer I is launched.
    The Americans make a comeback when they launch the Explorer I. It was the first American satellite to orbit the Earth; additionally, it also discovered the Van Allen Radiation Belt, a region of high-energy particles contained by the Earth's magnetic field.
  • Eisenhower Signs National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958

    Eisenhower Signs National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958
    This Act established the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, which is the foundation for all space exploration and research.
  • Pioneer 3 Launched

    Pioneer 3 Launched
    The unmanned Pioneer 3 satellite was launched by the U.S. in attempt to reach the moon; this attempt failed, yet it was still able to discover a second radiation belt around the Earth.
  • SCORE Satellite Launched.

    SCORE Satellite Launched.
    The Signal Communications by Orbiting Relay Equipment (SCORE) Satellite was the world's first military communications satellite. It caught worldwide attention when President Eisenhower broadcasted a Christmas message via the on-board tape recorder.
  • Luna 1 Satellite Flies by Moon

    Luna 1 Satellite Flies by Moon
    Launched on January 2, 1959 by the Soviets, the Luna 1 was intended to go to the moon, but it missed its target and is currently orbiting around the sun between Earth's and Mars' orbits. It was the first satellite to reach the vicinity of the moon and to attain enough velocity to escape the Earth's gravitational pull.
  • Pioneer 4 Completes Lunar Fly-By

    Pioneer 4 Completes Lunar Fly-By
    The Pioneer 4 cleaned up its predecessor's record after a successfull mission. The satellite was able to gather radiation data and complete a lunar fly-by before falling into the Sun's orbit.
  • America Meets the "Mercury Seven"

    America Meets the "Mercury Seven"
    Mercury Seven
    This group was comprised of Alan Shepard, Gus Grissom, John Glenn, Scott Carpenter, Wally Schirra, Gordon Cooper, and Deke Slayton. These seven men were the first American astronauts chosen by NASA. Despite the fact that they had not yet accomplished anything, they received widespread acclaim from the public.
  • Soviets "Shoot and Score a Bullseye" with Luna 2

    Soviets "Shoot and Score a Bullseye" with Luna 2
    Luna 2
    The Soviets successfully launched the Luna 2 rocket towards the Moon. The rocket was able to make a crash landing onto the Moon, making it the first man-made object to reach another celestial body.
  • U.S. Launches Chimp In Space

    U.S. Launches Chimp In Space
    Though he survived a transient flight, Ham the "Astrochimp" made a huge impact on the space program by being the first animal launched into space by Americans. This was no "monkey business;" Ham performed all of his basic tasks perfectly and paved the way for American astronauts in the near future.
  • First Human in Space

    First Human in Space
    Yuri Gagarin
    Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin flies into orbit around the Earth on the Vostok 1 spacecraft. He instantly became a Soviet hero and celebrity, winning many accolades. Unfortunately, Gagarin died later in 1968 in a MiG 15 training jet.
  • First American in Space: Alan Shepard

    First American in Space: Alan Shepard
    Alan Shepard
    Being the second human and first American in space, Alan Shepard returned from the Freedom 7 spacecraft and was hailed as a national hero in the United States. While Yuri Gagarin's mission was on auto-pilot, Alan Shepard took full, manual control. The Soviets still were focusing mainly on satellite technology, while the U.S. concentrated on manned spaceflight. A new paradigm of space travel had been established.
  • JFK Vows Moon Landing

    JFK Vows Moon Landing
    A Challenge
    Shortly threreafter, newly-elected President Kennedy challenges the nation: he sets the goal of landing on the moon before the end of the decade.
  • Second American Sent into Space

    Second American Sent into Space
    Astronaut John Glenn is sent into outer space aboard a Mercury project capsule called "Friendship 7" and orbits the Earth thrice. He later goes on to become an Ohio Senator.
  • First Woman in Space

    First Woman in Space
    A woman named Valentina Tereshkova becomes the first woman and first civilian to fly in space aboard the Vostok 6 craft. Meanwhile - in the U.S. - the American space program drafts male, military pilots as astronauts - not women.
  • Two Spacecraft Dock for the First Time

    Two Spacecraft Dock for the First Time
    Gemini 8 Docking
    First-time astronauts David Scott and Neil Armstrong achieve the unparalled by docking two spacecraft together in the Gemini 8 mission. Due to an in-space system failure and technical complications, the astronauts were forced to abort the mission.
  • Tragedy Strikes the Space Program

    Tragedy Strikes the Space Program
    Tragically, during a routine test 25 days before the planned launch date of the First Apollo Mission, three astronauts - Guss Grissom, Ed White, and Roger Chaffee - die in an unexpected fire.
  • The Outer Space Treaty is Signed

    The Outer Space Treaty is Signed
    On the same day as the Apollo 1 fire, President Johnson signs the treaty regarding extraterrestrial territorial issues. The main points of the document stated that outer space must remain demilitarized, no country may make territorial claims, and any astronauts that landed in the wrong country, upon re-entry, must be returned to their home country, unharmed.
  • Man Walks on the Moon

    Man Walks on the Moon
    "One Small Step For Man, One Giant Leap For Mankind"
    A monumental step, indeed! America has beaten the Soviet Union in the race to the moon as Buzz Aldrin takes his first steps onto the lunar surface. Later in the mission, Aldrin and Neil Armstrong are to meet with Mike Collins in the command module orbiting the moon. This was truly an unprecedented feat by the Americans. President Kennedy kept the promise that he made 8 years ago.
  • Apollo 13 Mission Aborted

    Apollo 13 Mission Aborted
    "Houston, We Have A Problem"
    Unfortunately, two days after its launch, the Apollo 13 Command Module experiences complications when its oxygen tanks explode. The crew - James Lovell, T. Mattingly, and Fred Haise - is forced to abort the mission as their oxygen supply may run scarce. They, fortunately, return safely home.
  • Apollo Comes to an End... A New Comradeship Begins

    Apollo Comes to an End... A New Comradeship Begins
    "The Handshake"
    The Space Race comes to a close as the final Apollo Spacecraft and a Soviet Soyuz craft dock in space. This monumental event served as a symbol of easing the hostility between the U.S. and Soviet Russia. This also paved the way for future collaberations between the two countries.