Arms and Space Race Timeline

U.S. Arms Race

Manhattan Project


The U.S. develops the first nuclear weapons through the Manhattan Project during WW2.

U.S. drops atomic bomb in Hiroshima


The U.S. drops a uranium bomb over the Japanese city of Hiroshima killing more than 140,000 people.

U.S. drops atomic bomb on Nagasaki


The U.S. drops a second plutonium bomb over Nagaski, about 74,000 people died by the end of 1945.

U.S. tests the first hydrogen bomb


The U.S. explodes the first hydrogen bomb at Enewetak Atoll in the Marshall Islands. It is 500 times more powerful than the Nagasaki bomb.

Soviet Union Arms Race

Soviet Union tests its first nuclear bomb


SU explodes a nuclear weapon named "First Lightening" in Semipalatinsk, Kazahkstan. Second nation to successfully test a nuclear device.

Soviet Union exploded its first hydrogen bomb


SU exploded its first true hydrogen bomb at the Semipalatinsk test site.

U.S. Space Race

U.S. announces plan for space satellite


U.S. announces it intends to launch the first artificial satellite in outer space.

John Glenn Orbits Earth


American send their man John Glenn to orbit around the Earth.

Apollo 11 moon landing


Neil Armstrong takes his first steps on the moon. Achieving victory for America witnessed by 723 million people.

Soviet Union Space Race

Soviets launch Sputnik 1


Soviet launch Spuknik 1 into space. This captures the world's attention and strikes American confidence hard.