The Space Race
By Anna Muellner, Hour 2

Who: The space race was a race between the Soviet Union and the United States.

What: The Space Race was a competition between the Americans and the Russians to see who could make the best space technology. It was also to see who could put the first manned spacecraft into space and who would be the first on the moon. It was important because it would show which country had the best science, technology, and economic system.

When: The Space Race began in 1955 after World War II when the countries realized how important rocket science was. In the same year, both countries declared that they would send satellites into space. The Soviet Union took this as a challenge, and so began the space race. In 1957, the Russians placed the first successful satellite into orbit called the Sputnik I. Four months later, the Americans launched their satellite, the Explorer I. In 1961, Russian Yuri Gagarin became the first man to orbit Earth. He did it in the Vostok I. Three weeks later, Alan Shepherd became the first American in space. Then in 1962, John Glenn became the first American to orbit Earth. The Americans were embarrassed that they were losing, so Kennedy declared that we would be the first on the moon. Finally, in 1969, the Americans launched the Apollo 11 and sent their astronauts to the moon. The trip took three days. Finally, the Americans became the first country on the moon. They had won the space race.

Where: The Space Race took place in space, the moon, the Soviet Union, and in the United States.

Why: The Space Race happened because it showed which country had the latest science, technology, and economic system.

Summary: The Space Race was a race between the Soviet Union and the United States to see who could make the best space technology. It started in 1955. At the beginning of the race, the Russians were ahead with the first man to orbit the Earth and the first successful satellite. The Americans were embarrassed at this. Then, in 1961, Kennedy declared that the Americans would put the first man on the moon. In 1969, they sent the Apollo 11 up to the moon. The trip took three days, but was successful. The Americans were now ahead in the Space Race. In 1975, the U.S. and the Soviet Union agreed to a joint mission called the Apollo/Soyez project. This marked the end of the Space Race.

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