The Space Race

  • The Space Race Begins

    The Space Race Begins
    The U.S.S.R begins the race unknowingly, as they looked towards firing rockets into space and using them as long range weapons for firing nukes. This ultimately gave them a lead into rocket technology, as the U.S had initially only been looking towards bombers and planes. Later, the U.S caught onto rocket tech, and with the theory of sending projectiles into space, they both also tested and theorised sending people into space as well. Thus, the race began between the two Cold War rivals.
  • Sputnik 1 is launched (U.S.S.R)

    Sputnik 1 is launched (U.S.S.R)
    The first man-made satellite, named 'Sputnik-1' is launched into space by the U.S.S.R, and revolved the Earth once every 90 minutes. This historical event was only minorly mentioned in their newspaper 'Pravda'. The satellite stayed in orbit until January 4th the following year.
  • Sputnik 2 is launched (U.S.S.R)

    Sputnik 2 is launched (U.S.S.R)
    Nicknamed the "Muttnik" by America, this satellite carried a rather unusual passenger, a female dog named Laika. This dog was used to test if the U.S.S.R's satellites can sufficiently sustain a biological being in orbit. They planned to put the dog to sleep after a week, since by then they would have finished testing and there was no way to return her to Earth. Sadly, the dog died during launch due to high temperatures and stress. The satellite remained in orbit for 162 days.
  • Explorer 1 is launched (USA)

    Explorer 1 is launched (USA)
    Explorer 1 was America's response to U.S.S.R's successful launch of Sputnik 1. Weighing just over 30 pounds, this satellite was launched to a max height of 1,575 miles, and orbited Earth once every 115 minutes. Built with simplicity and reliability in mind, this satellite was successful in it's mission, and even discovered Earth's radiation belt, which is now known as the "Van Allen Belts"
  • Explorer 2 launched (USA)

    Explorer 2 launched (USA)
    The second satellite to be launched by the US was a failure, as it never reached orbit due to a rupture in the balloon. The second attempt was a success however, and reached a record altitude of 22,066 m (72,395 ft). This was made possible after they strengthened the material containing the satellite.
  • NASA is formed (USA)

    NASA is formed (USA)
    The National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958 is signed by President Dwight Eisenhower, establishing NASA. This organisation was created purely for space exploration, and didn't want people to confuse it's operations for military actions.
  • Pioneer 3 is launched (USA)

    Pioneer 3 is launched (USA)
    This satellite used spin technology (it flew like a bullet) in order to keep stability during flight. It was unsuccessful in it's attempt to reach the moon, as it only reached 102,360 km before falling back to the ground. However, this unmanned satellite managed to find a second radiation belt around the Earth, and was incuded in the Van Allens Belt in honor of his first discovery.
  • Luna 1 launched (U.S.S.R)

    Luna 1 launched (U.S.S.R)
    Luna 1 was sent to orbit the moon, but failed to hit it's mark. Multiple attempts followed since then but none were acknowledged to the public, which brought up the rule to the Soviets that no results will be spoken to the public unless they were successful ones. It is unknown if 'orbiting' the moon was it's objective, as it appeared to fly at high velocities and was covered in armor which would protect it from a large impact.
  • Pioneer 4 launched (USA)

    Pioneer 4 launched (USA)
    America launched their second spin-tech, unmanned satellite, which resulted in their first successful moon fly-by, also titling it as their first craft to escape the Earth's atmosphere. Pioneer 4 managed to successfully get within 60,000km of the moon but wasn't close enough to activate the photoelectric sensor, thus not detecting any luna radiation. Pioneer 4 now rests in a solar orbit (revolves around the sun, like Earth). This means that Pioneer 4 was also the first U.S sun-orbiter.
  • First 7 Astronauts administered (USA)

    First 7 Astronauts administered (USA)
    Proclaimed as heroes and highly acclaimed before they even began, these 7 people (M. Carpenter, Gordon L. Cooper, John H. Glenn, Virgil I 'Gus' Grissom, Walter M. Schirra, Jr., Alan B. Shepard, and Donald K. 'Deke' Slayton) were appointed by NASA for 'Project Mercury', a mission to put a man in orbit around Earth.
  • 2 Monkeys Launched (USA)

    2 Monkeys Launched (USA)
    Able and Miss Baker were the first 2 monkeys to successfully make it back to Earth alive after traveling through space onboard JUPITER AM-18. Able later died during surgery when trying to remove an infected electrode caused by the flight. Baker died in 1984 at the age of 27. Able can be found preserved at the National Air and Space museum.
  • Luna 2 Launched (U.S.S.R)

    Luna 2 Launched (U.S.S.R)
    Luna 2 was launched by U.S.S.R in September, on a direct course to the surface of the moon (this may provide more evidence that this was the main intention of Luna 1). This satellite hit it's mark, as it crashlanded onto the moon after 33.5 hours of flight, and became the first man-made object to reach another planetary body. There was no Luna radiation on the moon which was detected by the craft.
  • Luna 3 Launched (U.S.S.R)

    Luna 3 Launched (U.S.S.R)
    Luna 3 was sent to the moon to take images of the far side, which people of Earth cannot see. These images showed mountanous terrain (contradicting the side facing Earth) and 2 dark regions named Mare Moscovrae (Sea of Moscow) and Mare Desiderii (Sea of Dreams). It was a successful mission, and this resulted in 2 more Soviet launches. However, these launches failed, and thus the information was kept hidden.
  • Mercury 2 is launched (USA)

    Mercury 2 is launched (USA)
    Mercury 2 was a sub-orbital mission, which carried a chimpanzee named Ham. This monkey survived the orbit and was later recovered. American press made fun of the astronauts for doing jobs that can be done by monkeys, and the more experienced test pilots called them 'spam in a can'.
  • Vostok 1 is launched (U.S.S.R)

    Vostok 1 is launched (U.S.S.R)
    This flight carried cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin into space, and this titled him as the first human to ever reach orbit. When the U.S.S.R telephoned NASA for a comment at 4am, John Powers mumbled "we're all asleep down here" which is now quoted to his chagrin. This quote hints that America at this time wasn't 100% interested and determined to gain space technology.
  • First American in space (USA)

    First American in space (USA)
    Alan Shepard controlled Freedom 7 into orbit, and became the first American in space. His flight took him to a max height of 116.5 miled, and lasted him 15 minutes. NASA's comment on the astronaut was "A-OK" which then introdiced the frase to the American lexicon.
  • John F Kennedy Accelerates Space Progress (USA)

    John F Kennedy Accelerates Space Progress (USA)
    This speech was created by John F. Kennedy to challenge NASA to send a man to the moon before the end of the 1960's.
    (Quote from his speech)
    "I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the Earth. No single space project in this period will be more impressive to mankind."
  • John F. Kennedy's speech (USA)

    John F. Kennedy's speech (USA)
    His Speech describes how fast our race is evolving, saying "Last month electric lights [...] and airplanes became available. Only last week did we develop penicillin and television and nuclear power, and now if America's new spacecraft succeeds in reaching Venus, we will have literally reached the stars before midnight tonight." The space budget now stands at $5,400 million a year, which was still less than what America pays for cigars at the time.
  • John Glenn orbits Earth (USA)

    John Glenn orbits Earth (USA)
    John Glenn orbits Earth 3 times and becomes the first American in orbit. He is later hailed as a hero, and leaves the space program to become a politic. He then becomes a Senate in Ohio.
  • First Woman in Space (U.S.S.R)

    First Woman in Space (U.S.S.R)
    Valentina Tereshkova became the first woman to reach space. The American program however, employs no female astronauts, as they get their people from active duty military pilots.
  • John F. Kennedy's Assassination (USA)

    John F. Kennedy's Assassination (USA)
    John F. Kennedy dies at the age of 46, after being assassinated. He is succeeded by Lyndon B. Johnson.
  • First group in space (U.S.S.R)

    First group in space (U.S.S.R)
    V. Komarov, K. Feoktistov and B. Yegorov all fly on Voskhod 1, the first mission to send multiple men into space. Life support in the shuttle allowed them to wear overalls in the craft, rather than their uncomfortable space suits. This experiment was to test multi-seat aircraft, for if they ever need to send multiple specialists into space.
  • First "spacewalk" (U.S.S.R)

    First "spacewalk" (U.S.S.R)
    Voskhod 2 transports Alexei Leonov and Pavel Belyayev into orbit. Leonov leaves the craft and becomes the first person to spacewalk.
  • Gemini Program Initiated (USA)

    Gemini Program Initiated (USA)
    Gus Grissom and John Young pilot the first 2-man aircraft, Gemini 3. This program will solve the problems that needed to be overcome for a successful Lunar landing mission.
  • First American spacewalk (USA)

    First American spacewalk (USA)
    Gemini 4 held an astronaut named Edward White II, who exited the craft to become the first American spacewalk. His strength was astronomical, as his ease of movement could not be replicated by those who now perform space repairs today.
  • Longest time in flight (USA)

    Longest time in flight (USA)
    Frank Borman and Jim Lovell flew Gemini 7 for 14 days, which resulted in a record for the longest time in space, which would not be broken until 1970.
  • First rendezvous in space (USA)

    First rendezvous in space (USA)
    Wally Schirra and Thomas Stafford flew Gemini 6 to within a few feet of Gemini 7, and initiated the first rendezvous in space.
  • Sergei Korolev dies (U.S.S.R)

    Sergei Korolev dies (U.S.S.R)
    Sergei, the main influence behind the Soviet's space program, dies from a tumor. This causes problems to overwhelm the program, due to his successors not having as much political influence as he did. This is the turning point of where America begins to become more advanced than the Soviets.
  • First Docking of 2 spacecraft (USA)

    First Docking of 2 spacecraft (USA)
    Neil Armstrong and David Scott join Gemini 8 and an unmanned Agena vehicle together for the first time. Shortly after, Gemini 8 experienced issues which resulted in the mission being aborted.
  • First Lunar Orbit (U.S.S.R)

    First Lunar Orbit (U.S.S.R)
    Luna 10 becomes the first probe to orbit the moon, and proceeds to send information about the moon back to the Soviets on Earth.
  • Surveyor 1 lands on moon (USA)

    Surveyor 1 lands on moon (USA)
    Surveyor 1 lands on the moon and sends photos and data back to NASA. The primary objectives of the Surveyor program, a series of seven robotic lunar softlanding flights, were to support the coming crewed Apollo landings by developing and validating the technology for landing softly on the Moon, providing data on the compatibility of the Apollo design with conditions encountered on the lunar surface; and adding to the scientific knowledge of the Moon.
  • Last Gemini Mission (USA)

    Last Gemini Mission (USA)
    Jim Lovell and Buzz Aldrin dock with an Agena on the last Gemini mission. Aldrin then proceeds to make 3 spacewalks, completing physical tasks with little effort.
  • Fatal Fire during testing (USA)

    Fatal Fire during testing (USA)
    Gus Grissom, Ed White and Roger Chafee were killed in their capsule, when a fire broke out in the Apollo spacecraft during testing. The Russians sent condolences to their respective families.
  • Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space (USA, Moscow and London)

    Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space (USA, Moscow and London)
    Lyndon Johnson signs a treaty with Moscow and London, which states that outer space will remain demilitarised, that there will be no territorial claims and that any astronauts/cosmonauts who find themselves landing off course will be returned safely to their respective countries.
  • First in-flight death (U.S.S.R)

    First in-flight death (U.S.S.R)
    Vladmir Komarov was onboard Soyuz 1 when a parachute became tangled during it's descent. This led to the craft slamming the ground at a high impact, killing Komarov.
  • First manned orbit of moon (USA)

    First manned orbit of moon (USA)
    Apollo 8 carried Frank Borman, Jim Lovell and William Anders on the first manned orbit around the moon. Frank was the commander, Jim was the navigator and William was the photographer/geological observer.
  • U.S.S.R complete first docking (U.S.S.R)

    U.S.S.R complete first docking (U.S.S.R)
    After the failure of Soyuz 3 and 4 docking the previous year, the Soviets successfully docked Soyuz 4 and 5 together in the time of just under 3 days. This is the first successful docking in Soviet history.
  • Apollo 11 launched (USA)

    Apollo 11 launched (USA)
  • First Man on Moon (USA)

    First Man on Moon (USA)
    Fulfilling John F. Kennedy's challenge, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin become the first men to walk on the moon. After a couple of hours on the moon, collecting data and reporting to Houston, they rendezvous with Michael Collins in the command module and return to Earth.
  • Apollo 12 launches

    Apollo 12 launches
    This mission consisted of Pete Conrad and Alan Bean, who were sent to the moon to collect lunar samples, as well as the remains of Surveyor 3, an unmanned spacecraft which was launched in April 1967.
  • First rover on moon (USA)

    First rover on moon (USA)
    Apollo 15 successfully lands on the moon, carrying the first 4 wheel drive lunar rover.
  • Rover tested on moon (USA)

    Rover tested on moon (USA)
    Apollo 16 lands on the moon and travels 17 miles in the lunar rover through a "grand prix" type circuit, consisting of hairpins and S-bends. This was conducted in order to determine the reliability of the Lunar Rover on the moon. The Lunar Rover was successful in these tests.
  • Last walk on the moon for the 20th century (USA)

    Last walk on the moon for the 20th century (USA)
    Gene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt were the last men on the moon during the 1900's. They were there for just over 3 days, and Schmitt was the first scientist-astronaut on the moon.
  • Apollo-Soyuz Test Program (USA and U.S.S.R)

    Apollo-Soyuz Test Program (USA and U.S.S.R)
    The final Apollo mission depicts Donald K. Slayton, Tom Stafford and Vance Brand, docking with a Soviet Soyuz spacecraft. This successful mission not only proves the compatability between the two programs, but it also paved a way for the future of space exploration between America and the U.S.S.R