Arms and Space Race


US Arms Race

Trinity Test

16 Jul 1945

The world's first atomic bomb test. This started the eventual US/Soviet Arms Race. The spot where this was tested was in New Mexico

Truman Approves H-bomb Development

30 Jan 1950

H-bomb Castle-Bravo test

1 Mar 1954

US Atlas Missile Development

11 Jun 1957

Could travel 6,000 miles, accurate to within one mile of target

Strategic Defense Initiative

23 Mar 1983

Star Wars," a space-based desfense proposal for the United States.

Soviet Union Arms Race


29 Aug 1949

First Soviet atomic bomb test. Known as Joe-1 to the West, referencing Joseph Stalin, it was called "First Lightning."

First Launched Satellite

Oct 1957

Soviet Union launched there first satellite into space.

Tsar Bomba

30 Oct 1961

The "King of Bombs," a nickname for the Soviet AN602 hydrogen bomb, the most powerful weapon ever detonated. The bomb's yield was reduced to from 100MT to 50MT to reduce the amount of fallout produced and to provide enough time for the bomber deploying the device to escape it's blast.

Cuban Missile Crisis

14 Oct 1962

USSR had placed missiles in Cuba because it was right next to the US. They did this because US had placed missiles and bombs in Turkey facing right at Moscow.

Soviet Invades Afghanistan

Dec 1979

The Red Army invades Afghanistan.

US Space Race

Explorer 1 reaches Orbit

31 Jan 1958

Explorer 1, the first American satellite to reach orbit, is launched. It carried scientific equipment that lead to the discovery of the Van Allen radiation belt.


1 Oct 1958

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is formed, it replaces the National Advisory Committee on Aeronautics (NACA).

Mercury Seven

2 Apr 1959

The "Mercury Seven" astronauts are selected by NASA. They are also known as the Original Seven.

Weather Satellite

1 Apr 1960

Tiros 1, the first successful weather satellite, is launched.

First Precision Landing

19 Nov 1969

Pete Conrad and Alan Bean perform the first precision lunar landing, touching down just 600 feet from the Surveyor 3 probe that arrived two years earlier.

Soviet Union Space Race

First Space shuttle

4 Oct 1957

USSR launches Sputnik 1.

Orbit the Sun First

2 Jan 1959

Luna 1 is launched by the USSR. It is the first man made object to orbit the Sun.

First Man in Space

12 Apr 1961

Yuri Gagarin orbits the Earth once and becomes the first man in space.

First Spacewalk

18 Mar 1965

Alexei Leonov spends 12 minutes outside of his Voskhod spacecraft performing the first spacewalk.

First Space Man Death

27 Mar 1968

Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, the first man in space, dies in a plane crash.