The Explorer 1, was the United States' first space craft. The explorer 1 was our first competition to Sputnik and it was outfitted with scientific equipment that later discovered the Van Allen radiation belt
NASA was formed August 1st of 1968 to replace NACA (the prior space program) the creation of NASA lead to a more organized and we'll. funded approach to the space race.
NASA selects their first team to fly spacecrafts. The Mercury 7 are the first group of astronauts to be selected in the space race.
The Discoverer XIV was the first spy satellite sent into space with cameras. The satellite allowed the US government to do more covert operations.
Kennedy addressees congress encouraging them to put a man in the moon by the end of the decade. The USSR reaching the moon with The Luna 2, made it known that it was feasible to land on the moon.
Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walk on moon, while Michael Collins orbited the moon. This mission was a huge hit to The USSR as they were not even close to landing a person on the moon, and the never did. As Neil Armstrong said, "one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind".
Sputnik was the first man-made satellite to orbit earth. It officially started the space race, it kicked off a huge competition to see who could develop the best and strongest space program.
The Luna 1 was the first man made object to orbit the sun. It was yet another add in to Russia's growing list of accomplishments in the space race and really put the pressure on the US to do something big, and fast.
The Luna 2 is the first an made object to reach the moon and marks yet another landmark success for the USSR.
Th e Zond 5 was the first space craft to orbit the moon with a biological payload. The turtles on board had a six day journey and returned safely to earth.