USA and Soviet Union's race to explore space
United States' Space Program
Soviet Union's Space Program
Important periods in the race:
October 4, 1957
Soviet Union launched the first ever successful satellite into space.
April 12, 1961
Soviet Union was the first country to have a person to enter space and orbit the earth; it was Yugi Gagarin.
July 20, 1969
United States was the first country to have a man set foot on the moon.
Post war, USSR and USA realized how important space research would soon be to the military. Both countries engaged in the "Space Race", or the race to explore space. This effected the Cold War because if one country excelled, then they could be seen as the stronger country, and that confidence could lead to attack, or more knowledge of nuclear weapons. USSR takes the lead and launches Sputnik I.
2. FIRST MAN GOES INTO SPACE
USSR launches the first successful space mission with Yugi Gagarin, who not only goes into space but orbits earth also. Three weeks later Alan Shepherd becomes the first american in space, but does not orbit earth. (John Glen does about a year later.)
3. RACE TO THE MOON
After these two defeats, USA is determined to become the first country to get to the moon. Kennedy launches the program Apollo to fulfill this hope. They become successful on July 16, 1969. The astronauts were Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins.
4. END OF THE SPACE RACE
After the man on the moon becomes a reality, USSR and USA relations start to become better. They performed the first joint mission shorty after and it was called the Apollo-Soyez project. The race to explore space was over.