Space Race Photo Gallery and related media
The Soviet Union launched the first Sputnik satellite on October, 4 1957, ushering in the age of space exploration and kicking off an intense space race with the United States.
Related Photo Galleries (1)
Space Race(13 Photos)
Related Videos (9)
The MoonVideo Clip (44:17)
Video Clip (44:17)
As Earth's closest neighbor and the only celestial body that humans have visited, the moon has an intriguing past that might surprise you.
Space Race: Cold War Front
Space Race: Cold War FrontVideo Clip (4:20)
Video Clip (4:20)
A brief look at the Space Race, set to "Magic Carpet Ride" by Steppenwolf.
Mankind in 2 Minutes
Mankind in 2 MinutesVideo Clip (2:12)
Video Clip (2:12)
Experience the story of Mankind in 2 Minutes.
Mankind Decoded Sneak Peek
Mankind Decoded Sneak PeekVideo Clip (5:03)
Video Clip (5:03)
Check out a sneak peek of the upcoming series Mankind Decoded.
The Space Race
The Space RaceVideo Clip (2:58)
Video Clip (2:58)
The U.S. competition with the U.S.S.R. for technological dominance spurred the U.S. on to the first-ever landing on the Moon.
Space Shuttle: The Last Mission
Space Shuttle: The Last MissionVideo Clip (4:55)
Video Clip (4:55)
In 2011, NASA sent a space shuttle into space for the last time. Get all the facts on the history of the U.S. space shuttle program.
Ask Steve: The Space Program
Ask Steve: The Space ProgramVideo Clip (1:34)
Video Clip (1:34)
In this video clip from Ask Steve, the reason for Americans interest in the Space Program was explored. It is explained that competition, and the technological wonder of the space race were some of the reasons for the Americans interest.
JFK Sets Goal for Man on Moon
JFK Sets Goal for Man on MoonVideo Clip (1:47)
Video Clip (1:47)
John F. Kennedy's sets the goal of the United States to land a man on the moon and return him safely to Earth.
The First Space Shuttle Flight
The First Space Shuttle FlightVideo Clip (3:22)
Video Clip (3:22)
On April 12, 1981, NASA launched the first space shuttle into orbit.
Related Speeches & Audio (10)
Ford Phones Apollo Astronauts
Ford Phones Apollo AstronautsAudio Clip (8:14)
Audio Clip (8:14)
On July 17, 1975, President Gerald Ford speaks by telephone to the Apollo astronauts following their rendezvous and docking with the Russian Soyuz spacecraft. This was the first joint orbital mission between the two superpowers, and it helped pave the way for further cooperation in the exploration of space.
Monkeys Travel to Space
Monkeys Travel to SpaceAudio Clip (2:00)
Audio Clip (2:00)
On May 28, 1959, in an experiment that would lead the way to manned space flight, the United States launched two monkeys to an altitude of 300 miles. A Voice of America news report details the travels of the two primates who survived the space flight and were the first in history to return safely to Earth.
First American Woman in Space
First American Woman in SpaceAudio Clip (0:50)
Audio Clip (0:50)
Sally Ride becomes the first American woman in space when the shuttle Challenger takes off on June 18, 1983. The historical moment is noted in communication just after liftoff.
Voyager Spacecraft 30 Years Later
Voyager Spacecraft 30 Years LaterAudio Clip (1:12)
Audio Clip (1:12)
As the twin Voyager spacecraft prepare to embark on an extended mission to explore interstellar space in 2006, project scientist Ed Stone of California Institute of Technology recaps the major discoveries the Voyagers have made since their launch in 1977.
George W. Bush on the Space Shuttle Columbia Disaster
George W. Bush on the Space Shuttle Columbia DisasterAudio Clip (3:15)
Audio Clip (3:15)
On February 1, 2003, the space shuttle Columbia was 16 minutes away from touchdown after completing its 28th mission when a damaged heat protection tile caused the shuttle to incinerate, killing all seven crew members. Later that day, President George W. Bush informs the nation about the terrible disaster.
Apollo 1 Tragedy
Apollo 1 TragedyAudio Clip (0:41)
Audio Clip (0:41)
At a press conference the day after the January 27, 1967, Apollo 1 accident, a NASA spokesperson explains the cause of the flash fire that broke out inside the cabin of the spacecraft during a launch pad test. The vehicle was being prepared for the first piloted space flight. The tragedy ended in the deaths of all three astronauts on board: Lt. Col. Virgil I. Grissom, Lt. Col. Edward H. White and Roger B. Chaffee.
First Space Shuttle Launched
First Space Shuttle LaunchedAudio Clip (3:00)
Audio Clip (3:00)
On April 12, 1981, NASA launched the world's first reusable manned spacecraft. In the minutes before takeoff, Kennedy Space Center launch control communicates with astronauts John Young and Robert Crippen as they prepare to take Columbia on its first test flight into space and back.
Columbia Space Shuttle Disaster
Columbia Space Shuttle DisasterAudio Clip (0:31)
Audio Clip (0:31)
On February 1, 2003, the space shuttle Columbia was returning from its 28th mission when, 16 minutes to touchdown, the shuttle incinerated and broke apart over Texas. Communication between the Columbia crew and Mission Control captures the last moments of the flight.
USSR Lands First Lunar Spacecraft
USSR Lands First Lunar SpacecraftAudio Clip (0:19)
Audio Clip (0:19)
On February 3, 1966, the unmanned Russian spacecraft Luna 9 touched down on the Ocean of Storms, and marked Russia's lead in the space race.
Reagan Announces "Star Wars"
Reagan Announces "Star Wars"Audio Clip (1:39)
Audio Clip (1:39)
On March 23, 1983, in what later became known as his "Star Wars" speech, President Ronald Reagan announces his plans to develop an anti-missile capability to counter the threat of Soviet ballistic missiles and to make these nuclear weapons "impotent and obsolete."
Most Popular Videos on History.com
Find DVDs, T-Shirts, Telescopes & More!
Keep up with the latest History shows, online features, special offers and more.Sign up