The Space Race

  • Sputnik 1

    USSR
    Sputnik was the name of a satellite. It provided scientists of Earth information about the density of the atmosphere.
  • Sputnik 2

    Sputnik 2
    USSR
    Sputnik 2 was a spacecraft. It held tools that measured solar radiation and other types of rays. It was the first time a living animal was carried into space. A space dog named Laika. Sadly Laika died hours after the launch from stress.
  • Vanguard TV-3

    US
    The mission was a response to the success of Sputnik by USSR. The mission was a failure because the satellite exploded at its launch.
  • Explorer 1

    First satellite that had its own telemetry system onboard.
    On its mission, it orbits around the Juno rocket and returns data from space.
  • Vanguard 1

    Vanguard 1
    US
    First satellite that was solar powered. It was operated by the US Navy. It tested a three stage launch vehicle and recorded geodetic measurements.
  • Luna 1

    USSR
    A satellite is launched and misses the Moon. It was first satellite to reach Earth’s Moon’s vicinity and enter heliocentric orbit. It’s tools measured solar wind  but didn’t detect a magnetic field for the Moon.
  • Discoverer 4

    US
    The Corona satellite was launched. It was created and operated by the CIA. It was designed as a spy satellite that would carry a camera. It failed to reach orbit.
  • Explorer 6

    US
    Photos from this mission are the first of Earth from space. The launched satellite was also used to analyze cloud cover of Earth and study the trapped radiation of various energies.
  • Vostok 1

    USSR
    The spacecraft took the first human, Yuri Gagarin, to space. It was the first manned space flight ever. The mission consisted of one orbit around Earth. Yuri Gagarin parachuted to Earth separately from the capsule.
  • Freedom 7

    Freedom 7
    US
    The space flight was controlled by the pilot, Alan Shepard. During the flight, the pilot tested the spacecraft’s altitude control system and retrorockets.
  • Venera 1

    Venera 1
    USSR
    This mission was the first planetary flyby of the planet Venus. The probe was equipped with scientific equipment to obtain data. However, the radio signal was lost before the flyby. Soviet engineers assume that sensors overheating is what caused the problem.
  • President Kennedy's Speech

    The President made a speech to Congress that proclaimed that an American would land on the Moon and return home safely before the end of the decade.
  • Mercury 6

    US
    John Glenn was the pilot for this test flight. This was the United States first orbital flight with a pilot. The mission experienced delays due to problems with the rocket fuel tanks and then the weather.
  • Telestar

    Telestar
    US
    This satellite belonged to AT&T. It marks when the first communications satellite became active. It also made Trans-Atlantic communication possible.
  • Spy Satellite

    USSR
    It took the Soviet Union multiple attempts before a successful spy satellite got into orbit. The transmitted data was used by Soviet Union intelligence agencies.
  • Vostok 6

    USSR
    One of the goals of the mission was to get data on how the female body is affected by spaceflight. It was the first time a woman, Valentina Tereshkova, went into space. She also piloted the spacecraft.
  • X-15 Flight 90

    US
    The mission was piloted by Joseph A. Walker. He was the first American in space who wasn't an astronaut. He flew the first spaceplane to help measure air density of Earth's atmosphere.
  • Syncom 2

    US
    This was the first geosynchronous satellite. Television signals were able to be transmitted through the satellite. It is still in orbit today, but no longer functioning. There were over 100 demonstrations of the satellite for the public.
  • NAVSAT

    NAVSAT
    US
    It is a satellite navigation system. It was developed by researchers from Johns Hopkins and DARPA. Research first began in 1958.
    It was primarily used by US Navy to help its ships and submarines navigate. The system was retired in 1996.
  • Voskhod 2

    USSR
    Two crew members on board, Pavel Belyayev and Alexey Leonov. Leonov would be the first human ever to conduct a spacewalk.
    The spacewalk was successful but other complications arose throughout the mission. On re-entry, the cosmonauts couldn’t restore the capsules center of mass. This led to them landing hundreds of kilometers from the planned location.
  • Mariner 4

    US
    It was the first successful flyby of the planet Mars. The goal of the mission was to get scientific data on Mars. This data was used to determine the possibility of life on Mars. Equipment on the spacecraft included a camera to take pictures of the surface and a cosmic ray telescope to measure the energy of protons and particles.
  • Apollo 7

    Apollo 7
    US
    The first of the Apollo missions that had a crew. The mission was 11 days long and was the first time there was a live broadcast on TV of people in space.
  • Apollo 8

    US
    The crew aboard the Apollo 8 were the first humans to leave Earth’s orbit and the first to witness an “Earthrise”. This mission was very complex because the spacecraft encountered the orbit of two different planetary bodies, Earth and the Moon. The success of this mission contributed to the success of Apollo 11.
  • Picture of Earth

    Picture of Earth
    A picture is taken of Earth with the Moon’s horizon in the foreground. The picture was taken by Astronaut William Anders. It was the first picture of the entire planet Earth.
  • Soyuz 4 to Soyuz 5

    Soyuz 4 carried Vladimir Shatalov to space. Other crews then boarded a spacecraft and went back to Earth. It was the first time two manned spacecrafts docked to each other. It was also the first time there was a crew exchange in space.
  • Apollo 11

    US
    It was a manned lunar landing. It was the spaceflight that put humans on the moon. American astronauts stayed on the Moon’s surface for about 21.5 hours.
  • Luna 16

    Luna 16
    USSR
    This mission was unmanned. It was a successful automated lunar sample retrieval mission. A portion of the soil that was retrieved this on this mission was later sold at an auction.
  • Venera 7

    USSR
    It was operated by the Lavochkin Association. It was the first spacecraft to land on another planet Venus. From their it then transmitted data back to Earth.
  • Mariner 9

    US
    It was an unmanned space probe created by NASA. It was the first spacecraft to orbit another planet, Mars. It eventually sent clear pictures of Mars’s surface back to Earth.
  • Apollo-Soyuz Test Project

    Apollo-Soyuz Test Project
    This was a joint project between United States and Soviet Union
    There were 6 Americans on Apollo crew and 4 crew from Soviet Union for Soyuz. It was a symbol of the policy of détente. On the mission the Apollo eclipsed the Sun to allow the Soyuz to take pictures.