The Space Race

A Race Between The Soviet Union an USA to put a Man in Space

The Cold War

The Cold War already had already created tight tensions between the US and Soviet Union since it started in the 50's. Then in 1957 the Soviets launched the first satellite, Sputnik 1 into orbit. The same year they launched Sputnik 2 which carried a dog name Laika into orbit as well. This started the competition for space superiority between the Soviets and the Americans.

American Achievements in the 50's


-Explorer 1 is the first american satellite to reach orbit equipped with scientific tools that lead to the discovery of the Van Allen radiation belt

-The Vanguard 1 satellite reaches orbit

-The National Aeronautics and Space Administration, NASA is formed

-Pioneer 1 is launched


-Pioneer 4 is launched at earth-moon trajectory but misses and falls into solar orbit

-Mercury 7 astronauts are selected

Soviet Achievements in the 50's


-Sputnik 3 is launched


-Luna 1 is launched and becomes first man-made object to orbit the sun

-Luna 2 is launched and becomes first man-made object to make impact on the moon

-Luna 3 orbits the moon and takes photos of 70% of its surface

Space Race changes in the 60's

In April of 1960 the Soviet Union launches Yuri Gagarin into orbit, becoming the first man in space. A month later Alan B. Shepard becomes the first American in space. After this is when the newly elected President of the USA, John F. Kennedy sets the challenge that by the end of the decade, they will put a man on the moon. "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...will be more exciting, or more impressive to mankind, or more important...and none will be so difficult or expensive to accomplish..."


Moon Landing


On July 16 1969 Nasa launched Apollo 11 into space. This was the mission to the moon that carried American astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldirn and Micheal Collins. 4 Days later they would be the first humans to touch lunar surface. There Neil Armstrong said the famous quote "This is one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind" The crew also safely returned to Earth another four days later on the 24th. This had compleated President Kennedy and America's goal in the 60's to become the first county to put a man on the moon.