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The Space Race

  • World War II

    World War II
    The time after World War II is what most historians say started the Cold War. A dispute over how to govern occupied Germay caused the schism between the Soviets and the U.S.
  • Period: to

    The Space Race

  • The Cold War

    The rough starting point of the Cold War, essentially an ideological conflict between communism and capitalism and their respective flagship territories: The Soviet Union and The United States. The desire to win the cold war fuelled the Space Race and its progress.
  • U.S. Satellite Launch Announced

    James C. Hagerty, president Eisenhower's press secretary, announced that the U.S. planned to launch "small Earth circling satellites" between 1 July 1957 and 31 December 1958 as part of the International Geophysical Year (IGY)
  • Soviet Space Race announcement

    On 30 August 1955, Korolev managed to get the Soviet Academy of Sciences to create a commission whose purpose was to beat the Americans into Earth orbit: this was the defacto start date for the Space Race.
  • Sputnik I

    Sputnik I
    In August 1957 Soviet scientists had developed a rocket to power their ICBMs. This same rocket was used to send a satellite into space. Sputnik I was a tiny sphere, and its trip around the orbit of the Earth marked the beginning of the space age.
  • Failed U.S. satellite launch

    In response to the launch of Sputnik, the U.S. attempted to launch an artificial satellite into the Earth's orbit. Their first attempt at launching a satellite via The Vanguard TV3 failed when the rocket exploded after launch.
  • Explorer I

    Explorer I
    The U.S. successfully sent their first satellite into space with the Explorer I being launched successfully by a Jupiter rocket. The satellite remained in orbit until 1970. It was the first to record the Van Allen radiation belt. It was the first in the 90 Explorer spacecraft series.
  • NASA

    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) was formed by the United States during the space race to further aeronautics and aerospace research. It controls all space-related launches and missions in the U.S.
  • Monkeys In Space

    Monkeys In Space
    The first monkey to enter space and return safely. Aboard the JUPITER AM-18, Able, a rhesus monkey, and Miss Baker, a squirrel monkey, became the first monkeys to successfully return to Earth after traveling in space.
  • First Man In Space

    First Man In Space
    Yuri Gagarin was the first man in space. Sent into space as part of the Soviet space programn, in April 1961 he spent 1 hour 48 minutes orbiting Earth at a maximum speed of 27,000 kph. His cry of 'We're off!' became as famious in the Soviet Union as Neil Armstrong's later words did in the U.S.
  • First American In Space

    In sharp retaliation to the Soviet's first man in space, The U.S. sent Alan Shephard aboard a tiny mercury capsule by the name of Freedom 7.
  • First Spacewalk

    First Spacewalk
    The Soviets launched a man into space in 1965 and he performed the first ever walk in space: Alexey Leonov was the first man out in space. This russian mission was supposed to be Vostok 11, but was cacelled and done on Voskhod 2. Leonov was outside the spacecraft for 12 minutes and 9 seconds.
  • Luna 9

    Luna 9 was the first space craft to execute a soft luna landing. It was a Soviet mission. The spacecraft landed on oceanus procellarum. Luna 9 took pictures of the surface of the moon but these pictures were not immediately released to the public.
  • First Fatal Space MIssion

    Soyuz 1 was a manned spacecraft holding Vladimir Komarov. It was the first of the Soyuz series. Upon its return to Earth, technical problems caused its crash and the death of Komarov. It was the first fatal space flight.
  • Apollo 8

    Apollo 8
    In December 1968, The U.S. launched Apollo 8 which became the first human-crewed spacecraft to leave low-Earth orbit and go to another celestial body, the Moon. The mission had a three man crew of Frank Borman, James Lovell, and William Anders. The mission took three days and took 10 orbits in 20 hours. On Christmas Eve the crew read the first 10 verses of Genisis while broadcasting their view on television
  • Apollo 11

    Apollo 11
    In 1969, The U.S. launched Saturn V, the rocket that would carry Apollo 11 into space. Apollo 11 was the first space mission to take men to the moon and was a major victory for the U.S. Neil Armstrong and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin, Jr were the first men on the moon and Neil Armstrong's words upon landing "one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind" made a massive impact on America.
  • Return of Apollo 17

    Return of Apollo 17
    Apollo 17 was the last moon landing by the United States. The crew consisted of Eugene Cernan, Ronald Evans, and Harrison Schmitt. The mission took about 12 days and no man has returned to the moon since this mission.
  • Columbia Disaster

    Columbia Disaster
    The Space Shuttle Columbia disaster occurred on February 1, 2003, when shortly before it was scheduled to conclude its 28th mission, STS-107, the Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrated over Texas during re-entry into the Earth's atmosphere, resulting in the death of all seven crew members. Some say this marked the end of the Space Race.
  • Planned Ending of The Space Shuttle Program

    The United States are planning to end their Space Shuttle programn and their Constellation programme at some point from 2011 onwards. This could bring the Space Race to its final conclusion.