Arms and Space Race Timeline

US Arms Race

H-Bomb Approval


Truman approved the idea of the H-Bomb. This bomb was a huge impact for the US.



This one bomb was smaller in size than the Hiroshima atomic bomb but 2500 times more powerful.

the B 52 bomber


Designed in 1948, first flown in 1952, and first used by US military in 1955. This bomb could travel 6,000 miles. The making of the bomb was very expensive and American was financially helped by the Government. That was something American could do, but Soviet Union could not.

Defense and Early Warning system (DEW)


Atlas Missile


America built fewer but better quality missiles than the Soviet Union. The Atlas could go 5,000 miles at a speed of 16,000 mph. By 1961, there were enough bombs to destroy the world.

Soviet Union Arms Race

Joe-1 to the West "First Lightening"


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



The Soviet Union could now compete with the US with large bombs.

First ICBM missile launched

21 August 1957

Named the R-7, was a significant range increase. Posed a major threat to the US because they could strike from farther than they could.

Soviet AN602 hydrogen bomb "King of Bombs"


This was the most powerful weapon used. They made it so it allowed time for the person setting this bomb off had enough time to get away.

Develop MIRV technology


Soviet Union develops MIRV technology. They become more advanced.

US Space Race

First US Satelite

January 31, 1958

First US satellite, detection of Van Allen radiation belts

First Solar powered satelite

March 17, 1958

First solar powered satellite

First photograph of Earth

August 7, 1959

First photograph of Earth from orbit

First US Spy Satellite

July 5, 1960

First successful US spy satellite (returned intelligence data)

First to the Moon!

July 20, 1969

First humans on the Moon!!!!

Soviet Union Space Race

Sputnik (Frist Launch)

February 12, 1961

First launch from Earth orbit (Sputnik)

First human spaceflight

April 12, 1961

First human spaceflight

Frist Radio contact

August 12, 1962

First ship-to-ship radio contact

First woman/civilian in Space

June 16, 1963

First woman in space! Her name was Valentina Tereshkova.
She was also the first civilian in space.

First multi-person crew

October 12, 1964

First multi-person crew to space. This group consisted of three people. (Voskhod 1)