Cold War: Arms Race & Space Race


U.S. Arms Race

First U.S. Atomic Bomb Created

July 16, 1945

The start of nuclear weapons. This forever changed weapons in the world.

America Tests the First Hydrogen Bomb


Next we outdid the Russians by testing/creating this "Super Bomb"

Policy of "Massive Retaliation" is Announced

January, 1954

President Eisenhower and the U.S. Secretary of State announced that if any major Soviet Union attack occurred, it would be met with a massive nuclear response.

U.S. Develops the Atlas Missile (ICBM)

July 9, 1959

The U.S. started to do research to make our own ICBMs. Our first one launched was the Atlas Missile.

Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT)

1967 - 1979

Treaty/Talk (SALT I & 2). Both occurred between the U.S. Presidents and Soviet Union Leaders.

Soviet Union Arms Race

First Soviet Union Atomic Bomb is Detonated

August 29, 1949

This event helps launch the Cold War which focuses around the Arms Race during this time.

Soviets Launch Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM)

August 21, 1957

ICBMs created a significant range increase compared to other bombs made before. These bombs are sufficiently accurate and powerful.

Soviet's Explode Tsar Bomb

October, 1961

Largest nuclear weapon eve exploded. Detonated after both countries agree to limit nuclear testing. Viewed as an act of intimidation.

The Cuban Missile Crisis

October, 1962

U.S. discovered that the Soviets were positioning nuclear missiles in Communist Cuba. The crisis ends after both sides know that nuclear war is too dangerous.

Anti-Ballistic Missile System Developed (ABM)


Designed to counter ballistic missiles.

U.S. Space Race

Eisenhower Signs to Create NASA


President Dwight Eisenhower publicly signed to create the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). This became a federal agency dedicated to space exploration.

U.S. Launches Explorer I


The U.S. launched its own satellite.

First American in Space

May 5, 1961

Astronaut Alan Shepard became the first American in space.

Apollo 8


First manned space mission to orbit the moon.

First Humans on the Moon

July 16, 1969

U.S. astronauts Neil Armstrong, Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin and Michael Collins set off on the Apollo 11 space mission, the first lunar landing attempt. Armstrong was the first man to walk on the moon.

Soviet Union Space Race

USSR Launches Sputniks


The world’s first artificial satellite and the first man-made object to be placed into the Earth’s orbit. This surprised the U.S.

Luna 2 Hits the Moon


Soviet space program created Luna 2 which was the first space probe to hit the moon.

First Person Orbits the Earth

April, 1961

Yuri Gagarin became the first person to orbit Earth, traveling in the capsule-like spacecraft Vostok 1.

First Planetary Flyby

May 19, 1961

First planetary flyby by Venus. Done by Venera I.

First Soft Mars Landing

December 2, 1971

Done by the Soviet's Mars 3.