The Space Race

A simplified timeline summary of the Space Race between the Americans and Russians.


4th Oct 1957 Sputnik-1 first artificial satellite

3rd of Nov 1957 Laika the dog went into space

12th April 1961 Yuri Gagarin was the first Earth orbit


1958 -1963 Project Mercury 6 successful flights

1961 -1966 Project Gemini

1961-1972 Project Apollo put 12 astronauts on the moon

From this you can see that the Russians had a strong and early lead with some humiliating and disastrous moments for the US. But the Americans sort to level the playing field realising that they could not play catch up to the Russians so they simply picked a target that could not use the technology as either nation had it. That challenge was going to the moon and it needed a lot of money and good engineers – engineers were sourced from all over the place not just from within the US.

The Russians started well but then saw their efforts dissolve into failures along the levels of the Americans and so dove tailing the two nations space explorations stories.

These moments in history have inspired countless pieces of music, poetry, art and fiction and film.

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