Space Race Timeline - History Gal

Space Race Timeline

By History Gal

Click on the links to learn about each event.



Soviets launch Sputnik I.

January 1958

Explorer, the 1st U.S. satellite is launched.

October 1958

NASA is established. 

January 1961

NASA engineers test space capsule using chimpanzees.

April 1961

Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin becomes the first person to orbit Earth. 

May 5, 1961

Alan Shepard, Jr. becomes the first American to fly into space. 

May 25, 1961

President Kennedy commits to the goal of landing a man on the moon.


John Glenn becomes the first American to orbit Earth.


Soviet Cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova becomes the first women to fly in space. 


Fire in Apollo 1 capsule kills astronauts Roger Chaffee, Gus Grisson, and Edward White.


Apollo 8 orbits the moon.


Apollo 11 lands Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin on the moon.


A successful failure: Apollo 13


Soviet and American space crafts successfully dock in space during the Apollo-Soyuz mission.


First U.S. mission using the space shuttle. 


Sally Ride becomes the first American woman to fly in space. 


Challenger explodes.


U.S. launches the Hubble Space Telescope.


Columbia disintegrates upon re-entry.


Beyond the Moon and More

Musings of a History Gal
*These links are specifically for my Space Race Task Cards, but feel free to check out the awesome sites above if you just want to learn more about the Space Race and the history of the U.S. in space! If you want your own print-and-go Race to Space task cards for 5th - 8th graders, click on the image below to be taken to my Teachers Pay Teachers store.

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