Arms and Space Race TImeline

The United States and Soviet Union


United States Arms Race

Manhattan Project

April 25, 1945

Two weeks into his presidency, Truman is thrown into the Manhattan Project, where the atomic bomb is being secretly created.

Super Conference

April 18, 1946

The secret, three-day, super conference in New Mexico works on developing the hydrogen bomb.

Atomic Energy Act

August 1, 1946

Truman signs this act, which in turn establishes the Atomic Energy Commission.

United States Drop H-Bomb!

March 1, 1954

The US detonated a 17-megaton hydrogen bomb, "Bravo", in the Pacific Ocean, contaminating a Japanese fishing boat, Lucky dragon.

Peaceful Use of Atomic Energy

August 8, 1955

In Geneva, the first United Nations conference begins on the peaceful use of atomic energy.

Soviet Union Arms Race

First Full-Scale Nuclear Reactor

November 10, 1946

A team of Soviet Scientists begin the assembly of the first full-scale nuclear reactor.

Soviet Union drops first atomic bomb

August 29, 1949

Exploded in Kazakhstan

Soviet Union's Improved Plutonium Bomb

September 24, 1951

The Soviet Union conducts its second nuclear test, an improved plutonium bomb.

Joseph Stalin Dies

March 5, 1953

The Soviet Union's leader dies.

Soviet Union Accepts Nuclear Disarmament

May 10, 1955

The Soviet Union unexpectedly accepts the United Nations proposal.

United States Space Race

First Solar Powered Satellite

March 17, 1958

United State's Vanguard 1-NRL

First Weather Satellite

February 17, 1959

Vanguard 2-NASA (NRL)1

First Satellite in Polar Orbit

February 28, 1959

Discoverer 1-USAF/ARPA

First Satellite of Earth from Orbit

August 7, 1959

Explorer 6-NASA

First Imaging weather satellite

April 1, 1960


Soviet Union Space Race

First intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM)

August 21, 1957

First Artificial Satellite/Signals

October 4, 1957

Soviet Union's Sputnik 1

First Animal in Orbit

November 3, 1957

Dog Laika on the Sputnik 2

First lunar spacecraft First detection of solar wind

January 2, 1959

Luna 1

First animals and plants returned alive from space

August 19, 1960

Sputnik 5