This was the first artificial satellite and it orbited the Earth every 96 minutes. The Soviet launch of Sputnik began the Space Race.
USSR Launches Sputnik 2
This was the second spacecraft to orbit the Earth, but the first to carry an animal. Laika the dog provided scientists with data on a living organism in space.
Vanguard Test Vehicle 3 Attempt (U.S)
This was the United State's first attempt at launching a satellite into orbit around Earth. The Vanguard TV-3 exploded at launch and the satellite was damaged.
Explorer 1 Launch (U.S)
The Explorer 1 became the first United States satellite in orbit, it was also the first spacecraft to discover the Van Allen radiation belt.
NASA is founded (U.S)
The National Advisory Committee On Aeronomics. becomes NASA.
Pioneer 1 Launch (U.S)
Pioneer 1 was the first spacecraft launched by NASA. Pioneer did not reach the moon due to a programming error but did reach a maximum height of 71,100 miles.
Luna 1 Launched (USSR)
The Luna 1 was suppose to land on the moon but because of a slight programming error it was brought off-course. Due to this mistake Luna 1 became the world's first "artificial planet" as it was sent into heliocentric orbit. Luna 1 was renamed Mechta.
Launch of Vanguard 2 (U.S)
Vanguard 2 was the first weather satellite, designed to measure cloud cover and atmospheric density.
The US Launches Their First Spy Satellite- Discover 1
Discover 1 became the first satellite to be put into polar orbit. Primary goal was to watch over the Soviet Union (but it isn't until Discover 13 that film is recovered.)
U.S Launches Primates
On Jupiter AM-18 rode a rhesus monkey, Able, and South American squirrel monkey, Baker. Both monkeys survived the flight.
USSR's Luna 2 Landed on Moon
The Luna 2 was the first spacecraft to reach the moon and the first man-made object to land on another celestial body
Launch of Luna 3 (USSR)
This satellite successfully took the first pictures of the far side of the moon.
Successful Recovery of Space Photographs from Corona Spy Satellite (U.S)
The Corona project was focused on especially after an American U-2 spy plane was shot down over the Soviet Union. These pictures made it possible to see what weapons the USSR did and did not have.
USSR Sends First Man Into Space
Soviet, Yuri Gagarin became the first human to travel into space aboard the Vostok 1. This flight also became the first time a man would orbit the Earth.
First American In Space (U.S)
Alan Shepard became the first American in space aboard Freedom 7. This flight was also the first pilot controlled spaceflight.
President Kennedy announces goal to reach the moon
United States President, John F. Kennedy announces that an American will land on the moon and be returned safely to Earth before the end of the decade.
First US manned orbitial flight
Aboard the Mercury 6 John Glenn made the first American manned orbital flight.
USSR puts the first Woman in space
Aboard the Vostok 6, Valentina Tereshkova became the first woman in space. The mission was to collect data onto how a female's body would react to spaceflight.
Soviets Have First Multi-person Crew
Aboard the Voskhod 1, Vladimir Komarov, Konstantin Feoktistov, and Boris Yegorov became the first multi-person space crew. Due to the lack of room and weight capacity they were also the first crew to not wear spacesuits.
First Spacewalk (USSR)
Alexey Leonov became the first human to "spacewalk" on the Voskhod 2 mission. He was outside the aircraft for about 12 minutes.
Luna 12 (USSR)
This orbited the moon about 600 times and was equipped with a television system that sent close pictures of the moon's surface back to the Soviets.
Outerspace Treaty Open for Signiture: US, Soviet Union, UK
Treaty stated that weapons of mass destruction are not allowed in Earth orbit, on celestial bodies or in other outer-space locations, and that sovereign clams can not be made in space.
Venera 4 (USSR)
This was the first successful probe to perform in-place analysis of the environment of another planet.
USA Puts The First Man on the Moon
Apollo 11 landed the first two people on the moon. When Armstrong took his first step he said "one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind." This mission fulfilled a national goal set by Kennedy.
First Space Station (USSR)
The Soviets launched the first space station, Salyut 1. It was 66 feet long.
Only Known Human Deaths In Space (USSR)
This 3-member crew were the only mission to board the first space station. When the crew attempted to reenter the capsule it depressurized and ended in disaster.
The Skylab was America's first and only spacestation. It orbited the Earth from 1973-1979 when it fell back to Earth and had to be reentered.
Apollo–Soyuz Test Project
This was the first U.S and Soviet collaboration with spaceflight and it marked the end of the Space Race. The mission has both separate and joint experiments to conduct as well.