The Space Race

space raceJust as the 1960’s arrived, the Space Race have already begun between two superpowers of the world, the USA and the Soviet Union. It was a competition between to rivals for future supremacy in space. It was only after the war that the capability for space flight has become possible. Technology advances in rocket science has allowed the creation of rockets capable of reaching outer space. Both the USA and the Soviet Union engaged in a silent competition on who will be the first nation to usher the rest of the world into the space age. And it seems that the Soviet Union was able to get that distinction.
The space race actually started at around the time in August of 1955 when the US declared its intention of launching an artificial satellite into space. The Soviet Union announced shortly after that it will be doing the same. The Soviets was able to beat the Americans in launching the very first artificial satellite into space. In 1957, the Soviets successfully sent the very first artificial satellite, the Sputnik I, into space and orbit the Earth for the first time. With the launch of the Sputnik I into space, the race for space supremacy has began.
The Soviets were on a roll after sending out the first artificial satellite into space. But they moved on to do something even more impressive- sending the first human into space. In April of 1961, the Soviets were successful in launching the first human, Yuri Gagarin, into space. With two firsts under their belt, the Soviets were really on a roll.
But despite that, the Americans were keen on doing something that their fellow superpower from the East has not yet done. Plans on making a manned space flight to the moon was encouraged by then US President Kennedy in order to overtake the Soviet Union’s dominance in space. With renewed focus on being the first country to send a manned spacecraft to land on the moon, the Americans took advantage of technology advances in order to further improve on piloted spaceflight. The Gemini missions helped the Americans prepare for the eventual plan to land the first human on the moon. It was during the Apollo missions that prepared the Americans for the trip to land astronauts on the moon. It took the Apollo 11 mission on July 21, 1969 for the Americans to successfully land the first humans on the moon. Astronaut Neil Armstrong was credited as the first to set foot on the moon surface. This allowed the US to win the race to the moon. Several other manned trips to the lunar surface was made until 1972. Surprisingly, not a single manned lunar landing was made ever since.

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