WWII Wernher von Braun - V-1 & V-2 rockets. 


USSR 1957 intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). 


1957 Sputnik I "fellow traveler of earth."

Life, "Let us not pretend that Sputnik is anything but a defeat for the US."

Democrats, "Maybe it's all right with others in government, but I don't want to go to bed by light of a Communist moon."

November, 1957 Sputnik II - "Laika". 

US Vanguard rocket - "Flopnick”;

Redstone rocket  - Explorer I satellite, Jan. 1958.

van Allen radiation belts.

1958 Nat'l Aeronautics & Space Admin (NASA).

Hyman Rickover, "If the newspapers printed stories announcing that the Soviet union planned on sending the first man to Hell, our federal agencies would appear the next day, crying, 'We can't let them beat us to it!'"

1960 John F. Kennedy - US "space gap". 


1959 Soviet probe - orbit around moon,

April, 1961 Yuri Gagarin first man to orbit earth, Vostok I.

May, 1961, Alan Shepard, Mercury 3,

Feb. 1962 John Glenn - Mercury 6.

Soviet records - first woman in space, first space walk, first docking two spaceships.


May, 1961, JFK: US "should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon & returning him safely to earth.  No single space project in this period will be more impressive to mankind or more important for the long-range exploration of space."

LBJ, "Failure to master space means being second best in every aspect crucial to the Cold War world.  In the eyes of the world, first in space means first, period; second in space is second in everything."  

NASA budget soared 61% virtually overnight;

1961-1964, NASA budget grew five times,

Apollo 11, July 16, 1969 - Neil Armstrong, Tranquility Base, "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind."

NASA from budget high of over $20 billion 1964, to $6 billion 1974.

1975-1981, no Americans in space. 

Pioneer, Mariner, Viking & Voyager probes.

Space Transportation System (shuttle) - Columbia 1981;

January 28, 1986, Challenger explosion.