It began in the 1950's, soon after the beginning of the Cold War. The United States was working on its first earth-orbiting satellite. At the time we didn't know it, but the Soviet Union was also.
We found out on October 4, 1957, that the Soviet Union launched its first satellite, Sputnik I into space. An A-1 rocket boosted Sputnik into space from its base in the Soviet republic of Kazakhstan. Its first orbit of the Earth took about 95 minutes traveling at a speed of 18,000 miles per hour. Sputnik stayed in space for 57 days.
On October 4, 1957, the Soviet Union successfully launched Sputnik I. The world's first artificial satellite was about the size of a beach ball(58 cm.or 22.8 inches in diameter), weighed only 83.6 kg. or 183.9 pounds, and took about 98 minutes to orbit the Earth. Sputnik was what started the U.S. Space Race.
U.S. feared that the Soviets' ability to launch satellites might be a chance for them to launch missiles that could carry nuclear weapons from Europe to the U.S.
Then the Soviets on November 3, Sputnik II was launched, including a dog named Laika.
Born November 18, 1923, in East Derry, New Hampshire
In January, 1961 Shepard was chosen for the first American manned mission into Space.
On May 5,1961, Shepard piloted the Freedom 7 mission and became the second person, and the first American to travel into space. before the launch, Shepard stated "Please, dear God, don't let me mess up.” This is known as the "Shepard's Prayer."
Unlike Yuri Gagarin flight, Shepard remained in control of his craft at all times.
Neil Alden Armstrong is the first human to have step foot on the moon!!!
Armstrong was born on August 5,1930 in Wapakoneta, Ohio. His first space flight occurred in 1966 aboard Gemini 8. In July of 1969, Neil Armstrong was the commander of Apollo 11 , America's first attempt to land a manned vehicle on the Moon.
On July 20, 1969 Commander Armstrong and astronaut Edwin Aldrin successfully touched down on the Moon surface.
PRIMARY SOURCE Picture of Moon taken by Apollo 8
TIMELINE The United States launches Apollo 8, the first manned space mission to orbit the moon. 1968 The first woman in space is Soviet cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova. 1963 John Glenn Jr. becomes the first American astronaut to orbit the Earth. 1962 Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin becomes the first person to orbit the Earth. Alan Shepard Jr. becomes the first American astronaut in space. 1961 The Soviet Union launches Luna 2. This is the first space probe to hit the moon. 1959 The United States launches its first satellite, Explorer I. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is formed in the United States. NASA is the federal agency devoted to exploring space. 1958 The Soviet Union launches Sputnik, the first artificial Earth satellite. "Sputnik" is the Russian word for "Traveler." 1957 EVENT DATE
TIMELINE CONT. U.S. astronauts Neil Armstrong, Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin and Michael Collins make it to the moon. Armstrong is the first man to walk on the moon and was followed by Buzz Aldrin. 1969 EVENT DATE