The Race for Space
A race that defined America
Soviet cosmonaut. First person to travel into space and orbit Earth once. This happened in April 1961.
Alan Shepherd Jr.
FIrst United States citizen to travel into space in May 1961.
He became the first American to orbit Earth.
The United States
The United States, after hearing a Soviet was launched into space, was determined to beat the Soviet Union in the space race. Kennedy wanted this more than anyone else. Americans also wanted this so Congress provided NASA with billions of dollars to fund the development of new technology. Even though Apollo astronauts had careful planning, three astronauts died in a fire during a prelaunch test in 1967.
The space race was important because it showed the battle between the Soviets and the United States. It also paralleled with the Cold War because it was actually the Cold War still at the time. Even though, Khrushchev and Kennedy promised to prevent conflicts, the space race still broke out. This competition led to the Moon Landing on July 20, 1969. This changed America forever and NASA as well.
The Moon Landing
On July 20, 1969, the lunar module, Eagle, landed on the surface of the moon. Neil Armstrong and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin became the first people to walk on the moon. Aldrin and Armstrong planted the American flag on the moon's surface and collected samples of moon rocks. This was a sight to see!