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    USSR Launches Sputnik

    On October 4, 1957, the USSR launched Sputnik, the first artificial satellite to orbit Earth.


    The USSR rocketed to the lead in the Cold War's "Space Race" with the launch of Sputnik, a basketball-sized satellite that became the first manmade object to orbit the Earth.


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    On October 4, 1957, the USSR launched Sputnik, the first artificial satellite to orbit Earth. The satellite, an 85-kilogram (187-pound) metal sphere the size of a basketball, was launched on a huge rocket and orbited Earth at 29,000 kilometers per hour (18,000 miles per hour) for three months. When it finally fell out of orbit in January 1958, Sputnik had traveled 70 million kilometers (43.5 million miles) around the planet. The only cargo onboard Sputnik was a low-power radio transmitter, which broadcast a beeping noise at regular intervals. This beeping could be heard by radio listeners around the world.

    The launch of the first Sputnik signaled the opening salvo in another phase of the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union. Sergei Korolev founded and led the Soviet space effort. He headed the design of the first intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), the Soviet R-7. Korolev also oversaw the R-7 rocket’s launch of the first Sputnik satellite.

    The design of the R-7 was based on Nazi Germany’s V2 rocket, a weapon used during World War II. As the war with Germany was ending, the United States and the Soviet Union competed for access to V2 technology and those who designed it. While most of the V2 design team and its lead, Wernher von Braun, defected to the United States, the Soviets secured some V2 parts and designs. The Soviets also had a head start with the pioneering rocket work of Konstantin Tsiolkovsky.

    A year after the launch of Sputnik, U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower created the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), formally launching the "Space Race" between the United States and the Soviet Union. This competition in technological development would lead to the Moon landing, space shuttle, and International Space Station, which still orbits Earth today.

    artificial satellite


    object launched into orbit.



    to transmit signals, especially for radio or television media.



    goods carried by a ship, plane, or other vehicle.

    International Space Station (ISS)


    satellite in low-Earth orbit that houses several astronauts for months at a time.



    (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) the U.S. space agency, whose mission statement is "To reach for new heights and reveal the unknown so that what we do and learn will benefit all humankind."



    to move in a circular pattern around a more massive object.



    large, spherical celestial body that regularly rotates around a star.



    wireless transmission based on electromagnetic waves.



    device that moves through the atmosphere by release of expanding gas.

    Soviet Union


    (1922-1991) large northern Eurasian nation that had a communist government. Also called the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, or the USSR.

    space shuttle


    vehicle used to transport astronauts and instruments to and from Earth.


    Noun round object.

    More Dates in History


    Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun

    26 27 28 29 30 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 1 2 3 4 5 6 Credits User Permissions


    The History of Space Exploration


    During the time that has passed since the launching of the first artificial satellite in 1957, astronauts have traveled to the moon, probes have explored the solar system, and instruments in space have discovered thousands of planets around other stars.



    resources for all grades in any subject

    Source : www.nationalgeographic.org

    Space Race

    Space Race

    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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    This article is about the Cold War rivalry between the United States and Soviet Union. For various space races, see List of space races. For other uses of the term, see Space Race (disambiguation).

    For a chronological guide to this subject, see Timeline of the Space Race.

    Space Race

    Part of the Cold War

    Clockwise, from top left: A model of the Sputnik 1 satellite, astronaut Buzz Aldrin on the Moon, the Soviet low Earth orbit modular space station, the Apollo 11 Saturn V lifting off

    Date 2 August 1955 – 17 July 1975/25 December 1991

    (19 years, 11 months and 15 days or 36 years and 5 months)


    The Soviet Union launches the first satellite and sends the first human into outer space

    The Soviet Union launches the first satellites to the Moon and Venus

    The United States lands the first humans on the Moon

    The Soviet Union builds a modular space station

    The United States develops a reusable Space Shuttle

    The US and Russian Federation collaborate on the International Space Station


    United States  Soviet Union

    Political and administrative leaders

    Dwight D. Eisenhower

    John F. Kennedy James E. Webb Lyndon B. Johnson Thomas O. Paine Richard Nixon

    James C. Fletcher Nikita Khrushchev

    Leonid Brezhnev Dmitry Ustinov Technical leaders Wernher von Braun Maxime Faget

    Robert Gilruth Sergei Korolev

    Mikhail Yangel Valentin Glushko Vladimir Chelomei Major operations United States: Mercury program Gemini program Apollo program

    Space Shuttle program  Soviet Union:

    Sputnik program Vostok program Voskhod program Salyut program Soyuz program Costs

    US $170.631 billion (1958–1991)[]

    Near catastrophes Gemini 8 Apollo 13 Voskhod 2 Soyuz T-10-1 Catastrophes Apollo 1

    Space Shuttle disaster Nedelin catastrophe

    Soyuz 1 Soyuz 11

    Spaceflight series

    The Space Race was a 20th-century competition between two Cold War adversaries, the Soviet Union and the United States, to achieve superior spaceflight capability. It had its origins in the ballistic missile-based nuclear arms race between the two nations following World War II. The technological advantage demonstrated by spaceflight achievement was seen as necessary for national security, and became part of the symbolism and ideology of the time. The Space Race brought pioneering launches of artificial satellites, robotic space probes to the Moon, Venus, and Mars, and human spaceflight in low Earth orbit and ultimately to the Moon.[1]

    The competition began in earnest on August 2, 1955, when the Soviet Union responded to the American announcement four days earlier of intent to launch artificial satellites for the International Geophysical Year, by declaring they would also launch a satellite "in the near future". The developments in ballistic missile capabilities made it possible to take the competition between the two states into space.[2] This competition gained public attention with the "Sputnik shock", when the USSR achieved the first successful artificial satellite launch on October 4, 1957 of Sputnik 1, and subsequently when the USSR sent the first human to space with the orbital flight of Yuri Gagarin on April 12, 1961. The USSR demonstrated an early lead in the race with these and other firsts over the next few years,[3] reaching the Moon for the first time with the Luna programme by employing robotic missions.

    After US president John F. Kennedy raised the stakes by setting a goal of "landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the Earth",[4] both countries worked on developing super heavy-lift launch vehicles, with the US successfully deploying the Saturn V, which was large enough to send a three-person orbiter and two-person lander to the Moon. Kennedy's Moon landing goal was achieved in July 1969, with the flight of Apollo 11,[5][6][7] a singular achievement considered by the Americans as overshadowing any combination of Soviet achievements that have been made. However, such an opinion is generally contentious, with others attributing the first man in space as being a much larger achievement.[8][9] The USSR pursued two crewed lunar programs, but did not succeed with their N1 rocket to launch and land on the Moon before the US, and eventually canceled it to concentrate on Salyut, the first space station programme, and the first time landings on Venus and on Mars. Meanwhile, the US landed five more Apollo crews on the Moon[10] and continued exploration of other extraterrestrial bodies robotically.

    Source : en.wikipedia.org

    The Space Race: Timeline, Cold War & Facts

    After World War II drew to a close in the mid-20th century, a new conflict began. Known as the Cold War, this battle pitted the world’s two great powers–the

    The Space Race

    Author: History.com Editors Updated: Feb 21, 2020 Original: Feb 22, 2010


    Causes of the Space Race

    NASA Is Created

    Space Race Heats Up: Men (And Chimps) Orbit Earth

    Achievements of Apollo

    Who Won the Space Race?

    Photo Galleries

    After World War II drew to a close in the mid-20th century, a new conflict began. Known as the Cold War, this battle pitted the world’s two great powers–the democratic, capitalist United States and the communist Soviet Union–against each other. Beginning in the late 1950s, space would become another dramatic arena for this competition, as each side sought to prove the superiority of its technology, its military firepower and–by extension–its political-economic system.

    Causes of the Space Race

    By the mid-1950s, the U.S.-Soviet Cold War had worked its way into the fabric of everyday life in both countries, fueled by the arms race and the growing threat of nuclear weapons, wide-ranging espionage and counter-espionage between the two countries, war in Korea and a clash of words and ideas carried out in the media. These tensions would continue throughout the space race, exacerbated by such events as the construction of the Berlin Wall in 1961, the Cuban missile crisis of 1962 and the outbreak of war in Southeast Asia.

    Did you know? After Apollo 11 landed on the moon's surface in July 1969, six more Apollo missions followed by the end of 1972. Arguably the most famous was Apollo 13, whose crew managed to survive an explosion of the oxygen tank in their spacecraft's service module on the way to the moon.

    Space exploration served as another dramatic arena for Cold War competition. On October 4, 1957, a Soviet R-7 intercontinental ballistic missile launched Sputnik (Russian for “traveler”), the world’s first artificial satellite and the first man-made object to be placed into the Earth’s orbit. Sputnik’s launch came as a surprise, and not a pleasant one, to most Americans. In the United States, space was seen as the next frontier, a logical extension of the grand American tradition of exploration, and it was crucial not to lose too much ground to the Soviets. In addition, this demonstration of the overwhelming power of the R-7 missile–seemingly capable of delivering a nuclear warhead into U.S. air space–made gathering intelligence about Soviet military activities particularly urgent.

    NASA Is Created

    In 1958, the U.S. launched its own satellite, Explorer I, designed by the U.S. Army under the direction of rocket scientist Wernher von Braun. That same year, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed a public order creating the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), a federal agency dedicated to space exploration.

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    Eisenhower also created two national security-oriented space programs that would operate simultaneously with NASA’s program. The first, spearheaded by the U.S. Air Force, dedicated itself to exploiting the military potential of space. The second, led by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the Air Force and a new organization called the National Reconnaissance Office (the existence of which was kept classified until the early 1990s) was code-named Corona; it would use orbiting satellites to gather intelligence on the Soviet Union and its allies.

    Space Race Heats Up: Men (And Chimps) Orbit Earth

    In 1959, the Soviet space program took another step forward with the launch of Luna 2, the first space probe to hit the moon. In April 1961, the Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first person to orbit Earth, traveling in the capsule-like spacecraft Vostok 1. For the U.S. effort to send a man into space, dubbed Project Mercury, NASA engineers designed a smaller, cone-shaped capsule far lighter than Vostok; they tested the craft with chimpanzees and held a final test flight in March 1961 before the Soviets were able to pull ahead with Gagarin’s launch. On May 5, astronaut Alan Shepard became the first American in space (though not in orbit).

    Later that May, President John F. Kennedy made the bold, public claim that the U.S. would land a man on the moon before the end of the decade. In February 1962, John Glenn became the first American to orbit Earth, and by the end of that year, the foundations of NASA’s lunar landing program–dubbed Project Apollo–were in place.

    Achievements of Apollo

    From 1961 to 1964, NASA’s budget was increased almost 500 percent, and the lunar landing program eventually involved some 34,000 NASA employees and 375,000 employees of industrial and university contractors. Apollo suffered a setback in January 1967, when three astronauts were killed after their spacecraft caught fire during a launch simulation. Meanwhile, the Soviet Union’s lunar landing program proceeded tentatively, partly due to internal debate over its necessity and to the untimely death (in January 1966) of Sergey Korolyov, chief engineer of the Soviet space program.

    December 1968 saw the launch of Apollo 8, the first manned space mission to orbit the moon, from NASA’s massive launch facility on Merritt Island, near Cape Canaveral, Florida. On 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. After landing successfully on July 20, Armstrong became the first man to walk on the moon’s surface; he famously called the moment “one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”

    Source : www.history.com

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