space race

by: brody duncan

why was the space race so important?


The Space Race was considered important because it showed the world which country had the best science, technology, and economic system. After World War II both the United States and the Soviet Union realized how important rocket research would be to the military.

What was the purpose of the space race?


from the US standpoint, to insure space was not used for military tactical purposes and to remain ahead or abreast of the current technologies of the day that might tip the balance of power. the manned space program was only a minor part of the space race. every launch platform up to the design of the Saturn was originally developed for military use (Red stone, Atlas & Titan).

What was invented or discovered?


The Soviet Union achieved an early lead in the space race by launching the first artificial satellite sputnik 1, they made the Saturn v rocket, etc...

Who were the important people?

Which countries were involved?


Russia and the U.S.A. are involved in the space race.

What were the important “Firsts”?


This is a timeline of first achievements in spaceflight from the first intercontinental ballistic missile through the first multinational human-crewed mission—spanning the era of the Space Race.




DateSignificance USSR Mission US Mission

August 21, 1957First intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM)R-7 Semyorka

October 4, 1957First artificial satellite
First signals from spaceSputnik 1

November 3, 1957First dog in orbit ( Laika)Sputnik 2

January 31, 1958First US satellite, detection of Van Allen radiation beltsExplorer 1-ABMA

March 17, 1958First solar powered satelliteVanguard 1-NRL

December 18, 1958First communications satelliteProject SCORE-ABMA

January 2, 1959First rocket engine restart in Earth orbit
First lunar spacecraft
First detection of solar windLuna 1

January 4, 1959First human-made object in heliocentric orbitLuna 1

February 17, 1959First weather satelliteVanguard 2-NASA (NRL)1

February 28, 1959First satellite in a polar orbitDiscoverer 1-USAF/ARPA

June 25, 1959First spy satellite to carry a camera (failed to achieve orbit)Discoverer 4-USAF/ARPA

August 7, 1959First photograph of Earth from orbitExplorer 6-NASA

September 14, 1959First impact into another celestial body (Moon)Luna 2

October 7, 1959First photos of far side of the MoonLuna 3

April 1, 1960First Imaging weather satelliteTIROS-1-NASA

July 5, 1960First successful US spy satellite (returned intelligence data)GRAB-1-NRL

August 11, 1960First satellite recovered intact from orbitDiscoverer 13-USAF/ARPA

August 12, 1960First passive communications satelliteEcho 1A-NASA

August 18, 1960First successful recovery of film from an orbiting satellite
First aerial recovery of an object returning from Earth orbitDiscoverer 14-USAF/ARPA

August 19, 1960First animals and plants returned alive from spaceSputnik 5

1Project Vanguard transferred from the NRL to NASA immediately before launch.


DateSignificance USSR Mission US Mission

February 12, 1961First launch from Earth orbit of upper stage into a heliocentric orbit
First mid-course corrections
First spin-stabilisationVenera 1

April 12, 1961First human spaceflight (Yuri Gagarin)
First orbital flight of a manned vehicleVostok 1

May 5, 1961First pilot-controlled space flight (Alan Shepard)Freedom 7

May 19, 1961First planetary flyby (Venus)Venera 1

March 7, 1962First orbital solar observatoryOSO-1-NASA

July 10, 1962First active communications satelliteTelstar-AT&T

August 12, 1962
First ship-to-ship radio contactVostok 3 / Vostok 4

September 29, 1962First artificial satellite constructed by a non-superpower CanadaAlouette 1

December 14, 1962First planetary flyby by a US mission (Venus)Mariner 2-NASA

June 16, 1963First woman in space (Valentina Tereshkova)
First civilian in spaceVostok 6

June 19, 1963Five-day human spaceflight recordVostok 5

July 19, 1963First reusable piloted spacecraft (X-15, suborbital)X-15 Flight 90-NASA

July 26, 1963First geosynchronous satelliteSyncom 2-NASA

December 5, 1963First satellite navigation systemNAVSAT-USN

August 19, 1964First geostationary satelliteSyncom 3-NASA

October 12, 1964First multi-person crew (3)Voskhod 1

March 18, 1965First extra-vehicular activity ("space walk")Voskhod 2

March 23, 1965First piloted spacecraft orbit changeGemini 3-NASA

July 14, 1965First Mars flybyMariner 4-NASA

August 29, 1965Eight-day human spaceflight recordGemini 5-NASA

December 15, 1965First orbital rendezvous (station-keeping, no docking)2Gemini 6A / Gemini 7-NASA

December 18, 196514-day human spaceflight recordGemini 7-NASA

February 3, 1966First soft landing on another celestial body (Moon)
First photos from another celestial bodyLuna 9

March 1, 1966First impact into another planet (Venus)Venera 3

March 16, 1966First spacecraft dockingGemini 8 / ATV-NASA

April 3, 1966First artificial satellite to orbit another celestial body: the MoonLuna 10

September 12, 1966First direct-ascent rendezvous on first orbit
Record highest apogee, 1,374 kilometers (854 mi), for piloted Earth orbitGemini 11/ATV-NASA

November 12–14, 1966First 5.5 hr extra-vehicular activity
First demonstration of practical work capabilityGemini 12-NASA

October 30, 1967First docking of two remote-controlled spacecraftCosmos 186/ Cosmos 188

December 7, 1968First orbital ultraviolet observatoryOAO-2-NASA

December 21, 1968First human-crewed spaceflight to, and orbit of, another celestial object: the MoonApollo 8-NASA

January 16, 1969First crew exchange in spaceSoyuz 4 /
Soyuz 5

July 20, 1969First humans on the Moon
First space launch from another celestial bodyApollo 11-NASA

November 19, 1969First precisely targeted piloted landing on the Moon (Surveyor 3 site)

First man to dance on the Moon (Pete Conrad)

Apollo 12-NASA

2 The Soviet Union had attempted an earlier rendezvous on August 12, 1962. However, Vostok 3 and Vostok 4 only came within five kilometers of one another, and operated in different orbital planes. Pravda did not mention this information, but indicated that a rendezvous had taken place.


DateSignificance USSR Mission US Mission

September 24, 1970First robotic automatic sample return from another celestial body: the MoonLuna 16

November 23, 1970First remote-controlled mobile vehicle on another celestial body: the MoonLunokhod 1

December 12, 1970First X-ray orbital observatoryUhuru (satellite)-NASA

December 15, 1970First soft landing on another planet (Venus)
First signals from another planetVenera 7

April 23, 1971First human-crewed space station launchedSalyut 1

June 29, 1971First human-crewed orbital observatory (Orion 1)
23-day manned space recordSoyuz 11 / Salyut 1

July 31, 1971First mobile vehicle lunar rover driven by humans on the MoonApollo 15-NASA

November 14, 1971First spacecraft to orbit another planet: MarsMariner 9-NASA

November 27, 1971First impact into MarsMars 2

December 2, 1971First soft Mars landing
First signals from Mars surfaceMars 3

March 3, 1972First human-made object sent on escape trajectory away from the SunPioneer 10-NASA

July 15, 1972First mission to enter the asteroid belt and leave inner solar systemPioneer 10-NASA

November 9, 1972First commercially operated domestic satellite in geostationary orbit CanadaAnik A1-Telesat

November 15, 1972First orbital gamma ray observatorySAS-2-NASA

May 25, 197328-day human-crewed space recordSkylab 1-NASA

July 28, 197356-day human-crewed space recordSkylab 2-NASA

November 16, 197484-day human-crewed space recordSkylab 3-NASA

December 3, 1974First Jupiter flybyPioneer 10-NASA

February 5, 1974First planetary gravitational assist (Venus flyby)Mariner 10-NASA

March 29, 1974First Mercury flybyMariner 10-NASA

July 15, 1975First multinational human-crewed missionSoyuz 19Apollo–Soyuz Test Project

What technology was involved?


Any important Places?


Is it still important?


When was it discovered or began – end?


How does it affect us today?


What can be next for the space race?


Any other important or interesting facts?