Arms and Space Race Timeline

US Arms Race

US Atomic Bomb Is Tested

July 16, 1945

The first atomic bomb is tested in Alamogordo, New Mexico.

US Tests Hydrogen Bomb

November 1, 1952

The US successfully tests the first hydrogen bomb at Eniwetok in the Marshall Islands.

The U.S. Air Force Reveals The B-52 Bomber


The U.S. Air Force reveals a big B-52 bomber that could fly across continents to drop nuclear bombs.


November 28, 1958

The US successfully flew their first ICBM named The Atlas.

US Launches a Nuclear Missile from a Submarine

July 20, 1960

US successfully launched the first nuclear missile from a submarine. The submarine that launched the missile was named The Polaris.

Soviet Union Arms Race

Soviet Union Tests Nuclear Bomb

August 29, 1949

The Soviet Union successfully tests a nuclear bomb named First Lightning.

Soviet Union Tests Hydrogen Bomb

August 12, 1953

The Soviet Union successfully tested their own hydrogen bomb in Kazakhstan.

Soviet Union Flies ICBM

August 21, 1957

The Soviet Union successfully flies the first ICBM.

Soviet Union Launches a Nuclear Missile from a Submarine

September 10, 1960

The Soviet Union successfully launched a nuclear missile from a submarine in the White Sea.

Soviet Union Detonates Tsar Bomba

October 30, 1961

The Tsar Bomba was the largest, most powerful nuclear weapon ever detonated.

US Space Race

U.S. Launches Satellite into Space

January 31, 1958

The U.S. launches their first Satellite into Space. The Satellite is named Explorer 1.

NASA is Formed

October 1, 1958

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is formed.

US Launches Discoverer XIV

August 18, 1960

US launches Discoverer XIV, which is the first camera equipped spy satellite.

US Takes First Pictures of Earth from a Satellite

August 14, 1966

Lunar Orbiter 1 enters orbit around the moon and takes the first picture of the Earth from that distance.

The US Sends Men to the Moon

July 20, 1969

The US successfully sent two men, Neil Armstrong and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin, to the moon. These men became the first to walk on the moon.

Soviet Union Space Race

Soviet Union Launchs Satellite into Space

October 4, 1957

Soviet Union successfully launched the first satellite into space, and it entered into Earth's orbit. The satellite is named Sputnik.

Soviet Union Sends First Animal into Space

November 3, 1957

The Soviet Union launches Sputnik 2 into space that carried a small dog named Laika.

Soviet Union Sends Man into Space

April 12, 1961

The Soviet Union successfully sends Yuri Gagarin into space. He officially is the first man to orbit the Earth, and to be in space.

Soviet Union Sends First Female into Space

June 16, 1963

The Soviet Union sends Valentia Tereshkova into space, and she becomes the first woman in space.

Soviet Union Man Preforms First Spacewalk

March 8, 1965

The Soviet Union sends Alexei Leonov into space. He then spends 12 minutes outside of the Voskhod spacecraft, performing the first spacewalk.