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Timeline of the Space Race

By Wikipedia,
the free encyclopedia,


The Space Race was an informal competition between the United States and the Soviet Union that lasted roughly from 1957 to 1975. It involved the parallel efforts by each of those countries to explore outer space with artificial satellites, to send humans into space, and to land people on the Moon. Here is a timeline of key events in the Space Race.

A chart of selected space milestones as accomplished by the Soviet Union and the United States.
A chart of selected space milestones as accomplished by the Soviet Union and the United States.
Date Significance Country Mission Name
August 21, 1957 Intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) USSR R-7 Semyorka SS-6 Sapwood
October 4, 1957 First artificial satellite USSR Sputnik 2
November 3, 1957 First animal in orbit (Dog) USSR Sputnik 2
January 31, 1958 First US satellite; detection of Van Allen belts USA-ABMA Explorer 1
December 18, 1958 First communications satellite USA-ABMA Project SCORE
January 4, 1959 Artificial satellite (Sun's) USSR Luna 1
February 17, 1959 Weather satellite USA-NASA (NRL)1 Vanguard 2
June 1959 Reconnaissance satellite USA-Air Force Discoverer 4
August 7, 1959 Photo of Earth from space USA-NASA Explorer 6
September 14, 1959 Probe to Moon USSR Luna 2
October 7, 1959 Photo of the far side of the Moon USSR Luna 3
April 12, 1961 Human in orbit USSR Vostok 1
July 10, 1962 First active communications satellite USA-AT&T Telstar
September 29, 1962 Artificial satellite by a non-superpower  Canada Alouette 1
June 16, 1963 Woman in orbit USSR Vostok 6
March 18, 1965 Extra-vehicular activity USSR Voskhod 2
December 15, 1965 Orbital rendezvous2 USA-NASA Gemini 6A/Gemini 7
March 1, 1966 Probe lands on another planet - Venus USSR Venera 3
March 16, 1966 In-orbit rendezvous and docking USA-NASA Gemini 8
December 24, 1968 Manned Lunar orbit USA-NASA Apollo 8
July 20, 1969 Human on the Moon USA-NASA Apollo 11
April 23, 1971 Space station USSR Salyut 1
November 14, 1971 Satellite orbits another planet - Mars USA-NASA Mariner 9
November 9, 1972 Geostationary communications satellite Canada-BCE Anik A1
July 15, 1975 First U.S.-USSR joint mission USSR USA-NASA Apollo-Soyuz Test Project

Project Vanguard transferred from the NRL to NASA immediately before launch.
The Soviet Union had attempted an earlier rendezvous on August 12, 1962. However, Vostok 3 and Vostok 4 only came within five kilometers of one another, and operated in different orbital planes. Pravda did not mention this information, but indicated that a rendezvous had taken place.

See also

Chronology: Moon Race at russianspaceweb.com]

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Published - July 2009

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