A Dictionary of American History

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Author: Thomas L. Purvis  | Date: 1995

Space Race

Space Race The US–USSR Space Race began with Sputnik’s orbit in 1957. The US effort was directed by NASA, and it launched the first successful satellite, Explorer I, on 31 January 1958. On 12 April 1961, USSR cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first man in space and orbited the earth once, followed by the first manned (nonorbital) US rocket flight with Alan Shepherd on 5 May 1961. The US then initiated the Apollo Project to land US astronauts on the moon. The first US astronaut to orbit the earth was John Glenn on 20 February 1962. The USSR made the first unmanned, nondestructive moon landing on 3 February 1966, but by then the US had pulled ahead in manned flight technology. On 27 December 1968, a US rocket returned from the first manned orbit of the moon. On 20 July 1969, the US won the Space Race by landing Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin on the moon.

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The Space Race

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Chicago: Thomas L. Purvis, "Space Race," A Dictionary of American History in A Dictionary of American History (Cambridge, Mass.: Blackwell Reference, 1995), Original Sources, accessed April 13, 2024, http://originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=GDAUWR5T5PIX2WX.

MLA: Purvis, Thomas L. "Space Race." A Dictionary of American History, in A Dictionary of American History, Cambridge, Mass., Blackwell Reference, 1995, Original Sources. 13 Apr. 2024. http://originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=GDAUWR5T5PIX2WX.

Harvard: Purvis, TL, 'Space Race' in A Dictionary of American History. cited in 1995, A Dictionary of American History, Blackwell Reference, Cambridge, Mass.. Original Sources, retrieved 13 April 2024, from http://originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=GDAUWR5T5PIX2WX.