The Space Race

The Space Race

Sputnik I

October 4 1957

Sputnik I launched by the USSR, this marks the beginning of the space race.

Laika in Orbit

November 4, 1957

Sputnik II launched and carried the first animal into space.

Explorer I

January 31, 1958

Explorer I launched, first US satellite into orbit.

NASA Formed

October 1, 1958

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration was formed.

Mercury Seven Selected

April 2, 1959

First seven people to be named as astronaut candidates selected.

First Man-made Object on the Moon

September 12, 1959

Luna II impacted the moon.

First Spy Satellite

August 18, 1960

Discoverer XIV the first camera equipped satellite launched.

First Man in Space

April 12, 1961

Yuri Gagarin orbits the earth and becomes the first man in space.

First US Citizen in Space

May 5, 1961

Alan Shepherd becomes the first US citizen in space.

Challenge to the Moon

May 25, 1961

Kennedy challenges the US to make it to the moon before the end of the decade.

Last American Alone

May 15, 1963

L. Gordon Cooper the last American to be in space alone.

Pictures of the Moon

July 31, 1964

Ranger VII transmits the first close up images of the moon.

First Spacewalk

March 18, 1965

Cosmonaut Alexi Leonov performed the first spacewalk.

Space Rendezvous

December 15, 1965

Gemini VI and VII are the first two spacecraft to rendezvous in space.

First Moon Landing

February 3, 1966

Luna IX the first craft to soft-land on the Moon.

First Moonwalk

July 20, 1969

Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin the first men to walk on the moon.

First Space Station

April 19, 1971

The Soviet Salyut I becomes he first functioning space station.

Last Steps on the Moon

December 19, 1972

Apollo XVII, the final manned moon mission, returns from the moon.

First Space Shuttle Flight

April 12, 1981

The Columbia embarked on its first mission as the first space shuttle.

Challenger Disaster

January 28, 1986

The space shuttle Challenger was destroyed 73 seconds into the flight, destroying the shuttle and killing the crew.