The Space Race was a 20th-century competition between two Cold War rivals, the Soviet Union (USSR) and the United States (US), to achieve firsts in spaceflight capability. It had its origins in the ballistic missile-based nuclear arms race between the two nations that occurred following World War II. The technological advantage required to rapidly achieve spaceflight milestones was seen as necessary for national security, and mixed with the symbolism and ideology of the time. The Space Race led to pioneering efforts to launch artificial satellites, uncrewed space probes of the Moon, Venus, and Mars, and human spaceflight in low Earth orbit and to the Moon.[ citation needed ]
The Cold War was a period of geopolitical tension between the Soviet Union with its satellite states, and the United States with its allies after World War II. The historiography of the conflict began between 1946 and 1947. The Cold War began to de-escalate after the Revolutions of 1989. The collapse of the USSR in 1991 was the end of the Cold War. The term "cold" is used because there was no large-scale fighting directly between the two sides, but they each supported major regional conflicts known as proxy wars. The conflict split the temporary wartime alliance against Nazi Germany and its allies, leaving the USSR and the US as two superpowers with profound economic and political differences.
The Soviet Union, officially known as the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), was a federal sovereign state in northern Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991. Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics, in practice its government and economy were highly centralized. The country was a one-party state, governed by the Communist Party with Moscow as its capital in its largest republic, the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic. Other major urban centers were Leningrad, Kiev, Minsk, Tashkent, Alma-Ata, and Novosibirsk. It spanned over 10,000 kilometers (6,200 mi) east to west across 11 time zones, and over 7,200 kilometers (4,500 mi) north to south. Its territory included much of Eastern Europe, as well as part of Northern Europe and all of Northern and Central Asia. It had five climate zones: tundra, taiga, steppes, desert and mountains.
The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or simply America, is a country comprising 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, it is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe. Most of the country is located in central North America between Canada and Mexico. With an estimated population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the most populous city is New York City.
The competition began in earnest on August 2, 1955 when the Soviet Union responded to the US announcement four days earlier of intent to launch artificial satellites for the International Geophysical Year, by declaring they would also launch a satellite "in the near future". The Soviet Union achieved the first successful launch with the October 4, 1957 orbiting of Sputnik 1 , and sent the first human to space with the orbital flight of Yuri Gagarin on April 12, 1961. The USSR also sent the first woman, Valentina Tereshkova, to space on June 16, 1963, with numerous other firsts taking place over the next few years with regards to flight duration, spacewalks, and related activities. According to Russian sources, these achievements lead to the conclusion that the USSR had an advantage in space technology.[ citation needed ]
The International Geophysical Year was an international scientific project that lasted from July 1, 1957, to December 31, 1958. It marked the end of a long period during the Cold War when scientific interchange between East and West had been seriously interrupted. Sixty-seven countries participated in IGY projects, although one notable exception was the mainland People's Republic of China, which was protesting against the participation of the Republic of China (Taiwan). East and West agreed to nominate the Belgian Marcel Nicolet as secretary general of the associated international organization.
Sputnik 1 was the first artificial Earth satellite. The Soviet Union launched it into an elliptical low Earth orbit on 4 October 1957, orbiting for three weeks before its batteries died, then silently for two more months before falling back into the atmosphere. It was a 58 cm (23 in) diameter polished metal sphere, with four external radio antennas to broadcast radio pulses. Its radio signal was easily detectable even by radio amateurs, and the 65° inclination and duration of its orbit made its flight path cover virtually the entire inhabited Earth. The satellite's unanticipated success precipitated the American Sputnik crisis and triggered the Space Race, a part of the Cold War. The launch was the beginning of a new era of political, military, technological, and scientific developments.
Yuri Alekseyevich Gagarin was a Soviet Air Forces pilot and cosmonaut who became the first human to journey into outer space, achieving a major milestone in the Space Race; his capsule Vostok 1 completed one orbit of Earth on 12 April 1961. Gagarin became an international celebrity and was awarded many medals and titles, including Hero of the Soviet Union, his nation's highest honour.
According to US sources, the "race" peaked with the July 20, 1969, US landing of the first humans on the Moon with Apollo 11. Most US sources will point to the Apollo 11 lunar landing as a singular achievement far outweighing any combination of Soviet achievements. In any case the USSR attempted several crewed lunar missions, but eventually canceled them and concentrated on Earth orbital space stations, while the US landed several more times on the Moon.[ citation needed ]
Apollo 11 was the spaceflight that first landed humans on the Moon. Commander Neil Armstrong and lunar module pilot Buzz Aldrin formed the American crew that landed the Apollo Lunar Module Eagle on July 20, 1969, at 20:17 UTC. Armstrong became the first person to step onto the lunar surface six hours and 39 minutes later on July 21 at 02:56 UTC; Aldrin joined him 19 minutes later. They spent about two and a quarter hours together outside the spacecraft, and they collected 47.5 pounds (21.5 kg) of lunar material to bring back to Earth. Command module pilot Michael Collins flew the command module Columbia alone in lunar orbit while they were on the Moon's surface. Armstrong and Aldrin spent 21 hours, 36 minutes on the lunar surface at a site they named Tranquility Base before lifting off to rejoin Columbia in lunar orbit.
The Soviet crewed lunar programs were a series of programs pursued by the Soviet Union to land a person on the Moon, in competition with the United States Apollo program to achieve the same goal set publicly by President John F. Kennedy on May 25, 1961. The Soviet government publicly denied participating in such a competition, but secretly pursued two programs in the 1960s: crewed lunar flyby missions using Soyuz 7K-L1 (Zond) spacecraft launched with the Proton-K rocket, and a crewed lunar landing using Soyuz 7K-LOK and LK Lander spacecraft launched with the N1 rocket. Following the dual American successes of the first crewed lunar orbit on December 24–25, 1968 and the first Moon landing on July 20, 1969, and a series of catastrophic N1 failures, both Soviet programs were eventually brought to an end. The Proton-based Zond program was canceled in 1970, and the N1 / L3 program was de facto terminated in 1974 and officially canceled in 1976. Details of both Soviet programs were kept secret until 1990 when the government allowed them to be published under the policy of glasnost.
A period of détente followed with the April 1972 agreement on a co-operative Apollo–Soyuz Test Project (ASTP), resulting in the July 1975 rendezvous in Earth orbit of a US astronaut crew with a Soviet cosmonaut crew and co-developing the enabling docking standard APAS-75. Though cooperation had been pursued since the very beginning of the Space Age, the ASTP eased the competition to enable later cooperation. [ citation needed ]The end of the Space Race and competition is not clear cut, since the Apollo 11 Moon landing and the ASTP have been identified as such, but with the December 1991 dissolution of the Soviet Union it was ultimately replaced through increased spaceflight cooperation with the APAS enabled Shuttle–Mir program and ISS between the US and the newly founded Russian Federation.
Détente is the easing of strained relations, especially in a political situation, through verbal communication. The term in diplomacy originates around 1912 when France and Germany tried, without success, to reduce tensions.
The Apollo–Soyuz Test Project (ASTP), conducted in July 1975, was the first joint U.S.–Soviet space flight, as a symbol of the policy of détente that the two superpowers were pursuing at the time. It involved the docking of an Apollo command and service module and the Soviet Soyuz 19 capsule. The unnumbered Apollo vehicle was left over from the canceled Apollo missions and the last Apollo command and service module to fly. This mission ceremoniously marked the end of the Space Race that had begun in 1957 with the Sputnik launch.
The Space Age is a time period encompassing the activities related to the Space Race, space exploration, space technology, and the cultural developments influenced by these events. The Space Age is generally considered to have begun with Sputnik 1 in 1957 and to continue on ever since.
The Space Race has left a legacy of increased space related development and advances. It sparked increases in spending on education and research and development, which led to many spin-off effects.[ citation needed ]
Research and development, known in Europe as research and technological development (RTD), refers to innovative activities undertaken by corporations or governments in developing new services or products, or improving existing services or products. Research and development constitutes the first stage of development of a potential new service or the production process.
Government spin-off is civilian goods which are the collateral result of military or governmental research. One prominent example of a type of government spin-off is technology that has been commercialized through NASA funding, research, licensing, facilities, or assistance. NASA spin-off technologies have been publicized by the agency in its Spinoff publication since 1976.
The origins of the Space Race can be traced to Germany, beginning in the 1930s and continuing during World War II when Nazi Germany researched and built operational ballistic missiles capable of sub-orbital spaceflight.Starting in the early 1930s, during the last stages of the Weimar Republic, German aerospace engineers experimented with liquid-fueled rockets, with the goal that one day they would be capable of reaching high altitudes and traversing long distances. The head of the German Army's Ballistics and Munitions Branch, Lieutenant Colonel Karl Emil Becker, gathered a small team of engineers that included Walter Dornberger and Leo Zanssen, to figure out how to use rockets as long-range artillery in order to get around the Treaty of Versailles' ban on research and development of long-range cannons. Wernher von Braun, a young engineering prodigy, was recruited by Becker and Dornberger to join their secret army program at Kummersdorf-West in 1932. Von Braun dreamed of conquering outer space with rockets and did not initially see the military value in missile technology.
World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from more than 30 countries. The major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 70 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.
Nazi Germany is the common English name for Germany between 1933 and 1945, when Adolf Hitler and his Nazi Party (NSDAP) controlled the country through a dictatorship. Under Hitler's rule, Germany was transformed into a totalitarian state where nearly all aspects of life were controlled by the government. The official name of the state was Deutsches Reich until 1943 and Großdeutsches Reich from 1943 to 1945. Nazi Germany is also known as the Third Reich, meaning "Third Realm" or "Third Empire", the first two being the Holy Roman Empire (800–1806) and the German Empire (1871–1918). The Nazi regime ended after the Allies defeated Germany in May 1945, ending World War II in Europe.
A sub-orbital spaceflight is a spaceflight in which the spacecraft reaches outer space, but its trajectory intersects the atmosphere or surface of the gravitating body from which it was launched, so that it will not complete one orbital revolution.
During the Second World War, General Dornberger was the military head of the army's rocket program, Zanssen became the commandant of the Peenemünde army rocket center, and von Braun was the technical director of the ballistic missile program. 320 kilometers (200 mi) range carrying a 1,130 kilograms (2,490 lb) warhead at 4,000 kilometers per hour (2,500 mph). Its supersonic speed meant there was no defense against it, and radar detection provided little warning. Germany used the weapon to bombard southern England and parts of Allied-liberated western Europe from 1944 until 1945. After the war, the V-2 became the basis of early American and Soviet rocket designs.They led the team that built the Aggregat-4 (A-4) rocket, which became the first vehicle to reach outer space during its test flight program in 1942 and 1943. By 1943, Germany began mass-producing the A-4 as the Vergeltungswaffe 2 ("Vengeance Weapon" 2, or more commonly, V2), a ballistic missile with a
At war's end, American, British, and Soviet scientific intelligence teams competed to capture Germany's rocket engineers along with the German rockets themselves and the designs on which they were based.Each of the Allies captured a share of the available members of the German rocket team, but the United States benefited the most with Operation Paperclip, recruiting von Braun and most of his engineering team, who later helped develop the American missile and space exploration programs. The United States also acquired a large number of complete V2 rockets.
The German rocket center in Peenemünde was located in the eastern part of Germany, which became the Soviet zone of occupation. On Stalin's orders, the Soviet Union sent its best rocket engineers to this region to see what they could salvage for future weapons systems.The Soviet rocket engineers were led by Sergei Korolev. He had been involved in space clubs and early Soviet rocket design in the 1930s, but was arrested in 1938 during Joseph Stalin's Great Purge and imprisoned for six years in Gulag. After the war, he became the USSR's chief rocket and spacecraft engineer, essentially the Soviet counterpart to von Braun. His identity was kept a state secret throughout the Cold War, and he was identified publicly only as "the Chief Designer." In the West, his name was only officially revealed when he died in 1966.
After almost a year in the area around Peenemünde, Soviet officials conducted Operation Osoaviakhim and later moved more than 170 of the top captured German rocket specialists to Gorodomlya Island on Lake Seliger, about 240 kilometers (150 mi) northwest of Moscow. They were not allowed to participate in final Soviet missile design, but were used as problem-solving consultants to the Soviet engineers. They helped in the following areas: the creation of a Soviet version of the A-4; work on "organizational schemes"; research in improving the A-4 main engine; development of a 100-ton engine; assistance in the "layout" of plant production rooms; and preparation of rocket assembly using German components. With their help, particularly Helmut Gröttrup's group, Korolev reverse-engineered the A-4 and built his own version of the rocket, the R-1, in 1948. Later, he developed his own distinct designs, though many of these designs were influenced by the Gröttrup Group's G4-R14 design from 1949. The Germans were eventually repatriated in 1952–53. Details of the German achievements and potential contributions to the Soviet rocket and space program were evaluated after their return from Gorodomlya.
The American professor Robert H. Goddard had worked on developing solid-propellant rockets since 1914, and demonstrated a light battlefield rocket to the US Army Signal Corps only five days before the signing of the armistice that ended World War I. He also started developing liquid-propellant rockets in 1921, yet he had not been taken seriously by the public.
Von Braun and his team were sent to the United States Army's White Sands Proving Ground, located in New Mexico, in 1945.They set about assembling the captured V2s and began a program of launching them and instructing American engineers in their operation. These tests led to the first rocket to take photos from outer space, and the first two-stage rocket, the WAC Corporal-V2 combination, in 1949. The German rocket team was moved from Fort Bliss to the Army's new Redstone Arsenal, located in Huntsville, Alabama, in 1950. From here, von Braun and his team developed the Army's first operational medium-range ballistic missile, the Redstone rocket, that in slightly modified versions, launched both America's first satellite, and the first piloted Mercury space missions. It became the basis for both the Jupiter and Saturn family of rockets.
The Cold War (1947–1991) developed between two former allies, the Soviet Union and the United States, soon after the end of the Second World War. It involved a continuing state of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition, primarily between the Soviet Union and its satellite states (often referred to as the Eastern Bloc) and the powers of the Western world, particularly the United States.The primary participants' military forces never clashed directly, but expressed this conflict through military coalitions, strategic conventional force deployments, extensive aid to states deemed vulnerable, proxy wars, espionage, propaganda, a nuclear arms race, and economic and technological competitions, such as the Space Race.
In simple terms, the Cold War could be viewed as an expression of the ideological struggle between communism and capitalism.The United States faced a new uncertainty beginning in September 1949, when it lost its monopoly on the atomic bomb. American intelligence agencies discovered that the Soviet Union had exploded its first atomic bomb, with the consequence that the United States potentially could face a future nuclear war that, for the first time, might devastate its cities. Given this new danger, the United States participated in an arms race with the Soviet Union that included development of the hydrogen bomb, as well as intercontinental strategic bombers and intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) capable of delivering nuclear weapons. A new fear of communism and its sympathizers swept the United States during the 1950s, which devolved into paranoid McCarthyism. With communism spreading in China, Korea, and Eastern Europe, Americans came to feel so threatened that popular and political culture condoned extensive "witch-hunts" to expose communist spies. Part of the American reaction to the Soviet atomic and hydrogen bomb tests included maintaining a large Air Force, under the control of the Strategic Air Command (SAC). SAC employed intercontinental strategic bombers, as well as medium-bombers based close to Soviet airspace (in western Europe and in Turkey) that were capable of delivering nuclear payloads.
For its part, the Soviet Union harbored fears of invasion. Having suffered at least 27 million casualties during World War II after being invaded by Nazi Germany in 1941,the Soviet Union was wary of its former ally, the United States, which until late 1949 was the sole possessor of atomic weapons. The United States had used these weapons operationally during World War II, and it could use them again against the Soviet Union, laying waste to its cities and military centers. Since the Americans had a much larger air force than the Soviet Union, and the United States maintained advance air bases near Soviet territory, in 1947 Stalin ordered the development of intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) in order to counter the perceived American threat.
In 1953, Korolev was given the go-ahead to develop the R-7 Semyorka rocket, which represented a major advance from the German design. Although some of its components (notably boosters) still resembled the German G-4, the new rocket incorporated staged design, a completely new control system, and a new fuel. It was successfully tested on August 21, 1957, and became the world's first fully operational ICBM the following month.It was later used to launch the first satellite into space, and derivatives launched all piloted Soviet spacecraft.
The United States had multiple rocket programs divided among the different branches of the American armed services, which meant that each force developed its own ICBM program. The Air Force initiated ICBM research in 1945 with the MX-774.However, its funding was cancelled and only three partially successful launches were conducted in 1947. In 1950, von Braun began testing the Air Force PGM-11 Redstone rocket family at Cape Canaveral. In 1951, the Air Force began a new ICBM program called MX-1593, and by 1955 this program was receiving top-priority funding. The MX-1593 program evolved to become the Atlas-A, with its maiden launch occurring June 11, 1957, becoming the first successful American ICBM. Its upgraded version, the Atlas-D rocket, later served as a nuclear ICBM and as the orbital launch vehicle for Project Mercury and the remote-controlled Agena Target Vehicle used in Project Gemini.
With the Cold War as an engine for change in the ideological competition between the United States and the Soviet Union, a coherent space policy began to take shape in the United States during the late 1950s.Korolev took inspiration from the competition as well, achieving many firsts to counter the possibility that the United States might prevail.
In 1955, with both the United States and the Soviet Union building ballistic missiles that could be utilized to launch objects into space, the stage was set for nationalistic competition.In separate announcements four days apart, both nations publicly announced that they would launch artificial Earth satellites by 1957 or 1958. On July 29, 1955, James C. Hagerty, President Dwight D. Eisenhower's press secretary, announced that the United States intended to launch "small Earth circling satellites" between July 1, 1957, and December 31, 1958, as part of the US contribution to the International Geophysical Year (IGY). Four days later, at the Sixth Congress of International Astronautical Federation in Copenhagen, scientist Leonid I. Sedov spoke to international reporters at the Soviet embassy and announced his country's intention to launch a satellite as well, in the "near future". On August 30, 1955, Korolev managed to get the Soviet Academy of Sciences to create a commission whose purpose was to beat the Americans into Earth orbit: this was the de facto start date for the Space Race. The Council of Ministers of the Soviet Union began a policy of treating development of its space program as classified information.
Initially, President Eisenhower was worried that a satellite passing above a nation at over 100 kilometers (62 mi) might be construed as violating that nation's sovereign airspace. He was concerned that the Soviet Union would accuse the Americans of an illegal overflight, thereby scoring a propaganda victory at his expense. Eisenhower and his advisors were of the opinion that a nation's airspace sovereignty did not extend past the Kármán line, and they used the 1957–58 International Geophysical Year launches to establish this principle in international law. Eisenhower also feared that he might cause an international incident and be called a "warmonger" if he were to use military missiles as launchers. Therefore, he selected the untried Naval Research Laboratory's Vanguard rocket, which was a research-only booster. This meant that von Braun's team was not allowed to put a satellite into orbit with their Jupiter-C rocket, because of its intended use as a future military vehicle. On September 20, 1956, von Braun and his team did launch a Jupiter-C that was capable of putting a satellite into orbit, but the launch was used only as a suborbital test of reentry vehicle technology.
Korolev received word about von Braun's 1956 Jupiter-C test and, mistakenly thinking it was a satellite mission that failed, expedited plans to get his own satellite in orbit. Since the R-7 was substantially more powerful than any of the US boosters, he made sure to take full advantage of this capability by designing Object D as his primary satellite. 1,400 kilograms (3,100 lb), of which 300 kilograms (660 lb) would be composed of scientific instruments that would photograph the Earth, take readings on radiation levels, and check on the planet's magnetic field. However, things were not going along well with the design and manufacturing of the satellite, so in February 1957, Korolev sought and received permission from the Council of Ministers to build a Prosteishy Sputnik (PS-1), or simple satellite. The Council also decreed that Object D be postponed until April 1958. The new Sputnik was a metallic sphere that would be a much lighter craft, weighing 83.8 kilograms (185 lb) and having a 58-centimeter (23 in) diameter. The satellite would not contain the complex instrumentation that Object D had, but had two radio transmitters operating on different short wave radio frequencies, the ability to detect if a meteoroid were to penetrate its pressure hull, and the ability to detect the density of the Earth's thermosphere.It was given the designation 'D', to distinguish it from other R-7 payload designations 'A', 'B', 'V', and 'G' which were nuclear weapon payloads. Object D dwarfed the proposed US satellites, having a weight of
Korolev was buoyed by the first successful launches of the R-7 rocket in August and September, which paved the way for the launch of Sputnik. pm Moscow time, with the R-7 and the now named Sputnik 1 satellite lifting off the launch pad and placing the artificial "moon" into an orbit a few minutes later. This "fellow traveler," as the name is translated in English, was a small, beeping ball, less than two feet in diameter and weighing less than 200 pounds. But the celebrations were muted at the launch control center until the down-range far east tracking station at Kamchatka received the first distinctive beep ... beep ... beep sounds from Sputnik 1's radio transmitters, indicating that it was on its way to completing its first orbit. About 95 minutes after launch, the satellite flew over its launch site, and its radio signals were picked up by the engineers and military personnel at Tyura-Tam: that's when Korolev and his team celebrated the first successful artificial satellite placed into Earth-orbit.Word came that the US was planning to announce a major breakthrough at an International Geophysical Year conference at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington D.C., with a paper entitled "Satellite Over the Planet", on October 6, 1957. Korolev anticipated that von Braun might launch a Jupiter-C with a satellite payload on or around October 4 or 5, in conjunction with the paper. He hastened the launch, moving it to October 4. The launch vehicle for PS-1 was a modified R-7 – vehicle 8K71PS number M1-PS– without much of the test equipment and radio gear that was present in the previous launches. It arrived at the Soviet missile base Tyura-Tam in September and was prepared for its mission at launch site number one. The first launch took place on Friday, October 4, 1957 at exactly 10:28:34
The Soviet success raised a great deal of concern in the United States. For example, economist Bernard Baruch wrote in an open letter titled "The Lessons of Defeat" to the New York Herald Tribune : "While we devote our industrial and technological power to producing new model automobiles and more gadgets, the Soviet Union is conquering space. ... It is Russia, not the United States, who has had the imagination to hitch its wagon to the stars and the skill to reach for the moon and all but grasp it. America is worried. It should be."
Eisenhower ordered project Vanguard to move up its timetable and launch its satellite much sooner than originally planned.The December 6, 1957 Project Vanguard launch failure occurred at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, broadcast live in front of a US television audience. It was a monumental failure, exploding a few seconds after launch, and it became an international joke. The satellite appeared in newspapers under the names Flopnik, Stayputnik, Kaputnik, and Dudnik. In the United Nations, the Soviet delegate offered the US representative aid "under the Soviet program of technical assistance to backwards nations." Only in the wake of this very public failure did von Braun's Redstone team get the go-ahead to launch their Jupiter-C rocket as soon as they could. In Britain, the US's Western Cold War ally, the reaction was mixed: some celebrated the fact that the Soviets had reached space first, while others feared the destructive potential that military uses of spacecraft might bring.
On January 31, 1958, nearly four months after the launch of Sputnik 1, von Braun and the United States successfully launched its first satellite on a four-stage Juno I rocket derived from the US Army's Redstone missile, at Cape Canaveral. 30.66 pounds (13.91 kg) in mass. The payload of Explorer 1 weighed 18.35 pounds (8.32 kg). It carried a micrometeorite gauge and a Geiger-Müller tube. It passed in and out of the Earth-encompassing radiation belt with its 194-by-1,368-nautical-mile (360 by 2,534 km) orbit, therefore saturating the tube's capacity and proving what Dr. James Van Allen, a space scientist at the University of Iowa, had theorized. The belt, named the Van Allen radiation belt, is a doughnut-shaped zone of high-level radiation intensity around the Earth above the magnetic equator. Van Allen was also the man who designed and built the satellite instrumentation of Explorer 1. The satellite measured three phenomena: cosmic ray and radiation levels, the temperature in the spacecraft, and the frequency of collisions with micrometeorites. The satellite had no memory for data storage, therefore it had to transmit continuously. In March 1958 a second satellite was sent into orbit with augmented cosmic ray instruments.The satellite Explorer 1 was
On April 2, 1958, President Eisenhower reacted to the Soviet space lead in launching the first satellite by recommending to the US Congress that a civilian agency be established to direct nonmilitary space activities. Congress, led by Senate Majority Leader Lyndon B. Johnson, responded by passing the National Aeronautics and Space Act, which Eisenhower signed into law on July 29, 1958. This law turned the National Advisory Committee on Aeronautics into the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). It also created a Civilian-Military Liaison Committee, chaired by the President, responsible for coordinating the nation's civilian and military space programs.[ citation needed ]
On October 21, 1959, Eisenhower approved the transfer of the Army's remaining space-related activities to NASA. On 1 July 1960, the Redstone Arsenal became NASA's George C. Marshall Space Flight Center, with von Braun as its first director. Development of the Saturn rocket family, which when mature gave the US parity with the Soviets in terms of lifting capability, was thus transferred to NASA.[ citation needed ]
In 1958, Korolev upgraded the R-7 to be able to launch a 400-kilogram (880 lb) payload to the Moon. Three secret 1958 attempts to launch Luna E-1-class impactor probes failed. The fourth attempt, Luna 1, launched successfully on January 2, 1959, but missed the Moon. The fifth attempt on June 18 also failed at launch. The 390-kilogram (860 lb) Luna 2 successfully impacted the Moon on September 14, 1959. The 278.5-kilogram (614 lb) Luna 3 successfully flew by the Moon and sent back pictures of its far side on October 6, 1959.[ citation needed ]
The US reacted to the Luna program by embarking on the Ranger program in 1959, managed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The Block I Ranger 1 and Ranger 2 suffered Atlas-Agena launch failures in August and November 1961. The 727-pound (330 kg) Block II Ranger 3 launched successfully on January 26, 1962, but missed the Moon. The 730-pound (330 kg) Ranger 4 became the first US spacecraft to reach the Moon, but its solar panels and navigational system failed near the Moon and it impacted the far side without returning any scientific data. Ranger 5 ran out of power and missed the Moon by 725 kilometers (391 nmi) on October 21, 1962. The first successful Ranger mission was the 806-pound (366 kg) Block III Ranger 7 which impacted on July 31, 1964.[ citation needed ]
By 1959, some American observers had predicted that the Soviet Union would be the first to get a human into space because of the time needed to prepare for Mercury's first launch. 7,000 meters (23,000 ft), and landing by parachute. The Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (International Federation of Aeronautics) credited Gagarin with the world's first human space flight, although their qualifying rules for aeronautical records at the time required pilots to take off and land with their craft. For this reason, the Soviet Union omitted from their FAI submission the fact that Gagarin did not land with his capsule. When the FAI filing for Gherman Titov's second Vostok flight in August 1961 disclosed the ejection landing technique, the FAI committee decided to investigate, and concluded that the technological accomplishment of human spaceflight lay in the safe launch, orbiting, and return, rather than the manner of landing, and revised their rules, keeping Gagarin's and Titov's records intact.On April 12, 1961, the USSR surprised the world again by launching Yuri Gagarin into a single orbit around the Earth in a craft they called Vostok 1. They dubbed Gagarin the first cosmonaut, roughly translated from Russian and Greek as "sailor of the universe". Although he had the ability to take control of his capsule in an emergency by opening an envelope he had in the cabin that contained a code that could be typed into the computer, it was flown in an automatic mode as a precaution; medical science at that time did not know what would happen to a human in the weightlessness of space. Vostok 1 orbited the Earth for 108 minutes and made its reentry over the Soviet Union, with Gagarin ejecting from the spacecraft at
Gagarin became a national hero of the Soviet Union and the Eastern Bloc, and a worldwide celebrity. Moscow and other cities in the USSR held mass demonstrations, the scale of which was second only to the World War II Victory Parade of 1945.April 12 was declared Cosmonautics Day in the USSR, and is celebrated today in Russia as one of the official "Commemorative Dates of Russia." In 2011, it was declared the International Day of Human Space Flight by the United Nations.
The radio communication between the launch control room and Gagarin included the following dialogue at the moment of rocket launch:
Korolev: "Preliminary stage..... intermediate..... main..... lift off! We wish you a good flight. Everything is all right."
Gagarin: "Поехали!" (Poyekhali! - Let's go!).
Gagarin's informal poyekhali! became a historical phrase in the Eastern Bloc, used to refer to the beginning of the human space flight era.
The US Air Force had been developing a program to launch the first man in space, named Man in Space Soonest. This program studied several different types of one-man space vehicles, settling on a ballistic re-entry capsule launched on a derivative Atlas missile, and selecting a group of nine candidate pilots. After NASA's creation, the program was transferred over to the civilian agency and renamed Project Mercury on November 26, 1958. NASA selected a new group of astronaut (from the Greek for "star sailor") candidates from Navy, Air Force and Marine test pilots, and narrowed this down to a group of seven for the program. Capsule design and astronaut training began immediately, working toward preliminary suborbital flights on the Redstone missile, followed by orbital flights on the Atlas. Each flight series would first start uncrewed, then carry a non-human primate, then finally humans.[ citation needed ]
On May 5, 1961, Alan Shepard became the first American in space, launching in a ballistic trajectory on Mercury-Redstone 3, in a spacecraft he named Freedom 7.Though he did not achieve orbit like Gagarin, he was the first person to exercise manual control over his spacecraft's attitude and retro-rocket firing. After his successful return, Shepard was celebrated as a national hero, honored with parades in Washington, New York and Los Angeles, and received the NASA Distinguished Service Medal from President John F. Kennedy.
Before Gagarin's flight, US President John F. Kennedy's support for America's crewed space program was lukewarm. Jerome Wiesner of MIT, who served as a science advisor to presidents Eisenhower and Kennedy, and himself an opponent of crewed space exploration, remarked, "If Kennedy could have opted out of a big space program without hurting the country in his judgment, he would have."As late as March 1961, when NASA administrator James E. Webb submitted a budget request to fund a Moon landing before 1970, Kennedy rejected it because it was simply too expensive. Some were surprised by Kennedy's eventual support of NASA and the space program because of how often he had attacked the Eisenhower administration's inefficiency during the election.
Gagarin's flight changed this; now Kennedy sensed the humiliation and fear on the part of the American public over the Soviet lead. Additionally, the Bay of Pigs invasion, planned before his term began but executed during it, was an embarrassment to his administration due to the colossal failure of the US forces.Looking for something to save political face, he sent a memo dated 20 April 1961, to Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson, asking him to look into the state of America's space program, and into programs that could offer NASA the opportunity to catch up. The two major options at the time were either the establishment of an Earth orbital space station or a crewed landing on the Moon. Johnson, in turn, consulted with von Braun, who answered Kennedy's questions based on his estimates of US and Soviet rocket lifting capability. Based on this, Johnson responded to Kennedy, concluding that much more was needed to reach a position of leadership, and recommending that the crewed Moon landing was far enough in the future that the US had a fighting chance to achieve it first.
Kennedy ultimately decided to pursue what became the Apollo program, and on May 25 took the opportunity to ask for Congressional support in a Cold War speech titled "Special Message on Urgent National Needs". Full text
American Virgil "Gus" Grissom repeated Shepard's suborbital flight in Liberty Bell 7 on July 21, 1961. Almost a year after the Soviet Union put a human into orbit, astronaut John Glenn became the first American to orbit the Earth, on February 20, 1962. [ citation needed ]His Mercury-Atlas 6 mission completed three orbits in the Friendship 7 spacecraft, and splashed down safely in the Atlantic Ocean, after a tense reentry, due to what falsely appeared from the telemetry data to be a loose heat-shield. As the first American in orbit, Glenn became a national hero, and received a ticker-tape parade in New York City, reminiscent of that given for Charles Lindbergh. On February 23, 1962, President Kennedy escorted him in a parade at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, where he awarded Glenn with the NASA service medal.
The United States launched three more Mercury flights after Glenn's: Aurora 7 on May 24, 1962 duplicated Glenn's three orbits, Sigma 7 on October 3, 1962 six orbits, and Faith 7 on May 15, 1963 22 orbits (32.4 hours), the maximum capability of the spacecraft. NASA at first intended to launch one more mission, extending the spacecraft's endurance to three days, but since this would not beat the Soviet record, it was decided instead to concentrate on developing Project Gemini.[ citation needed ]
Gherman Titov became the first Soviet cosmonaut to exercise manual control of his Vostok 2 craft on August 6, 1961. 6.5 kilometers (4.0 mi) of one another, close enough for radio communication. Vostok 4 also set a record of nearly four days in space. Though the two craft's orbits were as nearly identical as possible given the accuracy of the launch rocket's guidance system, slight variations still existed which drew the two craft at first as close to each other as 6.5 kilometers (3.5 nautical miles), then as far apart as 2,850 kilometers (1,540 nautical miles). There were no maneuvering rockets on the Vostok to permit space rendezvous, required to keep two spacecraft a controlled distance apart.The Soviet Union demonstrated 24-hour launch pad turnaround and the capability to launch two piloted spacecraft, Vostok 3 and Vostok 4, in essentially identical orbits, on August 11 and 12, 1962. The two spacecraft came within approximately
The Soviet Union duplicated its dual-launch feat with Vostok 5 and Vostok 6 (June 16, 1963). This time they launched the first woman (also the first civilian), Valentina Tereshkova, into space on Vostok 6.Launching a woman was reportedly Korolev's idea, and it was accomplished purely for propaganda value. Tereshkova was one of a small corps of female cosmonauts who were amateur parachutists, but Tereshkova was the only one to fly. The USSR didn't again open its cosmonaut corps to women until 1980, two years after the United States opened its astronaut corps to women.
The Soviets kept the details and true appearance of the Vostok capsule secret until the April 1965 Moscow Economic Exhibition, where it was first displayed without its aerodynamic nose cone concealing the spherical capsule. The "Vostok spaceship" had been first displayed at the July 1961 Tushino air show, mounted on its launch vehicle's third stage, with the nose cone in place. A tail section with eight fins was also added, in an apparent attempt to confuse western observers. This spurious tail section also appeared on official commemorative stamps and a documentary.
After a first US-USSR Dryden-Blagonravov agreement and cooperation on the Echo II balloon satellite in 1962,President Kennedy proposed on September 20, 1963, in a speech before the United Nations General Assembly, that the United States and the Soviet Union join forces in an effort to reach the Moon. Kennedy thus changed his mind regarding the desirability of the space race, preferring instead to ease tensions with the Soviet Union by cooperating on projects such as a joint lunar landing. Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev initially rejected Kennedy's proposal. However, on October 2, 1997, it was reported that Khrushchev's son Sergei claimed Khrushchev was poised to accept Kennedy's proposal at the time of Kennedy's assassination on November 22, 1963. During the next few weeks he reportedly concluded that both nations might realize cost benefits and technological gains from a joint venture, and decided to accept Kennedy's offer based on a measure of rapport during their years as leaders of the world's two superpowers, but changed his mind and dropped the idea since he did not have the same trust for Kennedy's successor, Lyndon Johnson.
As President, Johnson steadfastly pursued the Gemini and Apollo programs, promoting them as Kennedy's legacy to the American public. One week after Kennedy's death, he issued an executive order renaming the Cape Canaveral and Apollo launch facilities after Kennedy.[ citation needed ]
Focused by the commitment to a Moon landing, in January 1962 the US announced Project Gemini, a two-person spacecraft that would support the later three-person Apollo by developing the key spaceflight technologies of space rendezvous and docking of two craft, flight durations of sufficient length to simulate going to the Moon and back, and extra-vehicular activity to accomplish useful work outside the spacecraft.[ citation needed ]
Meanwhile, Korolev had planned further, long-term missions for the Vostok spacecraft, and had four Vostoks in various stages of fabrication in late 1963 at his OKB-1 facilities.At that time, the Americans announced their ambitious plans for the Project Gemini flight schedule. These plans included major advancements in spacecraft capabilities, including a two-person spacecraft, the ability to change orbits, the capacity to perform an extravehicular activity (EVA), and the goal of docking with another spacecraft. These represented major advances over the previous Mercury or Vostok capsules, and Korolev felt the need to try to beat the Americans to many of these innovations. Korolev already had begun designing the Vostok's replacement, the next-generation Soyuz spacecraft, a multi-cosmonaut spacecraft that had at least the same capabilities as the Gemini spacecraft. Soyuz would not be available for at least three years, and it could not be called upon to deal with this new American challenge in 1964 or 1965. Political pressure in early 1964—which some sources claim was from Khrushchev while other sources claim was from other Communist Party officials—pushed him to modify his four remaining Vostoks to beat the Americans to new space firsts in the size of flight crews, and the duration of missions.
The greater advances of the Soviet space program at the time allowed their space program to achieve other significant firsts, including the first EVA "spacewalk". Gemini took a year longer than planned to accomplish its first flight, allowing the Soviets to achieve another first, launching the first spacecraft with a three-cosmonaut crew, Voskhod 1, on October 12, 1964. [ citation needed ]The USSR touted another technological achievement during this mission: it was the first space flight during which cosmonauts performed in a shirt-sleeve-environment. However, flying without spacesuits was not due to safety improvements in the Soviet spacecraft's environmental systems; rather this innovation was accomplished because the craft's limited cabin space did not allow for spacesuits. Flying without spacesuits exposed the cosmonauts to significant risk in the event of potentially fatal cabin depressurization. This feat was not repeated until the US Apollo Command Module flew in 1968; this later mission was designed from the outset to safely transport three astronauts in a shirt-sleeve environment while in space.
By October 16, 1964, Leonid Brezhnev and a small cadre of high-ranking Communist Party officials deposed Khrushchev as Soviet government leader a day after Voskhod 1 landed, in what was called the "Wednesday conspiracy".The new political leaders, along with Korolev, ended the technologically troublesome Voskhod program, cancelling Voskhod 3 and 4, which were in the planning stages, and started concentrating on reaching the Moon. Voskhod 2 ended up being Korolev's final achievement before his death on January 14, 1966, as it became the last of the many space firsts that demonstrated the USSR's domination in spacecraft technology during the early 1960s. According to historian Asif Siddiqi, Korolev's accomplishments marked "the absolute zenith of the Soviet space program, one never, ever attained since." There was a two-year pause in Soviet piloted space flights while Voskhod's replacement, the Soyuz spacecraft, was designed and developed.
On March 18, 1965, about a week before the first piloted Project Gemini space flight, the USSR launched the two-cosmonaut Voskhod 2 mission with Pavel Belyayev and Alexei Leonov. 386 kilometers (240 mi) off its designated target area, the town of Perm; and the instrument compartment's failure to detach from the descent apparatus caused the spacecraft to become unstable during reentry.Voskhod 2's design modifications included the addition of an inflatable airlock to allow for extravehicular activity (EVA), also known as a spacewalk, while keeping the cabin pressurized so that the capsule's electronics would not overheat. Leonov performed the first-ever EVA as part of the mission. A fatality was narrowly avoided when Leonov's spacesuit expanded in the vacuum of space, preventing him from re-entering the airlock. In order to overcome this, he had to partially depressurize his spacesuit to a potentially dangerous level. He succeeded in safely re-entering the ship, but he and Belyayev faced further challenges when the spacecraft's atmospheric controls flooded the cabin with 45% pure oxygen, which had to be lowered to acceptable levels before re-entry. The reentry involved two more challenges: an improperly timed retrorocket firing caused the Voskhod 2 to land
Though delayed a year to reach its first flight, Gemini was able to take advantage of the USSR's two-year hiatus after Voskhod, which enabled the US to catch up and surpass the previous Soviet lead in piloted spaceflight. Gemini achieved several significant firsts during the course of ten piloted missions:[ citation needed ]
Most of the novice pilots on the early missions would command the later missions. In this way, Project Gemini built up spaceflight experience for the pool of astronauts for the Apollo lunar missions.[ citation needed ]
Korolev's design bureau produced two prospectuses for circumlunar spaceflight (March 1962 and May 1963), the main spacecraft for which were early versions of his Soyuz design. Soviet Communist Party Central Committee Command 655-268 officially established two secret, competing crewed programs for circumlunar flights and lunar landings, on August 3, 1964. The circumlunar flights were planned to occur in 1967, and the landings to start in 1968.
The circumlunar program (Zond), created by Vladimir Chelomey's design bureau OKB-52, was to fly two cosmonauts in a stripped-down Soyuz 7K-L1, launched by Chelomey's Proton UR-500 rocket. The Zond sacrificed habitable cabin volume for equipment, by omitting the Soyuz orbital module. Chelomey gained favor with Khruschev by employing members of his family.
Korolev's lunar landing program was designated N1/L3, for its N1 super rocket and a more advanced Soyuz 7K-L3 spacecraft, also known as the lunar orbital module ("Lunniy Orbitalny Korabl", LOK), with a crew of two. A separate lunar lander ("Lunniy Korabl", LK), would carry a single cosmonaut to the lunar surface.
The N1/L3 launch vehicle had three stages to Earth orbit, a fourth stage for Earth departure, and a fifth stage for lunar landing assist. The combined space vehicle was roughly the same height and takeoff mass as the three-stage US Apollo/ Saturn V and exceeded its takeoff thrust by 28%, but had only roughly half the translunar injection payload capability.[ citation needed ]
Following Khruschev's ouster from power, Chelomey's Zond program was merged into the N1/L3 program.[ citation needed ]
The US and USSR began discussions on the peaceful uses of space as early as 1958, presenting issues for debate to the United Nations,which created a Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space in 1959.
On May 10, 1962, Vice President Johnson addressed the Second National Conference on the Peaceful Uses of Space revealing that the United States and the USSR both supported a resolution passed by the Political Committee of the UN General Assembly in December 1962, which not only urged member nations to "extend the rules of international law to outer space," but to also cooperate in its exploration. Following the passing of this resolution, Kennedy commenced his communications proposing a cooperative American/Soviet space program.
The UN ultimately created a Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies , which was signed by the United States, USSR, and the United Kingdom on January 27, 1967, and went into force the following October 10.[ citation needed ]
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The treaty remains in force, signed by 107 member states. – As of July 2017 [update]
In 1967, both nations faced serious challenges that brought their programs to temporary halts. Both had been rushing at full-speed toward the first piloted flights of Apollo and Soyuz, without paying due diligence to growing design and manufacturing problems. The results proved fatal to both pioneering crews.[ citation needed ]
On January 27, 1967, the same day the US and USSR signed the Outer Space Treaty, the crew of the first crewed Apollo mission, Command Pilot Virgil "Gus" Grissom, Senior Pilot Ed White, and Pilot Roger Chaffee, were killed in a fire that swept through their spacecraft cabin during a ground test, less than a month before the planned February 21 launch. An investigative board determined the fire was probably caused by an electrical spark and quickly grew out of control, fed by the spacecraft's pure oxygen atmosphere. Crew escape was made impossible by inability to open the plug door hatch cover against the greater-than-atmospheric internal pressure. [ citation needed ]The board also found design and construction flaws in the spacecraft, and procedural failings, including failure to appreciate the hazard of the pure-oxygen atmosphere, as well as inadequate safety procedures. All these flaws had to be corrected over the next twenty-two months until the first piloted flight could be made. Mercury and Gemini veteran Grissom had been a favored choice of Deke Slayton, NASA's Director of Flight Crew Operations, to make the first piloted landing.
On April 24, 1967, the single pilot of Soyuz 1, Vladimir Komarov, became the first in-flight spaceflight fatality. The mission was planned to be a three-day test, to include the first Soviet docking with an unpiloted Soyuz 2, but the mission was plagued with problems. Early on, Komarov's craft lacked sufficient electrical power because only one of two solar panels had deployed. Then the automatic attitude control system began malfunctioning and eventually failed completely, resulting in the craft spinning wildly. Komarov was able to stop the spin with the manual system, which was only partially effective. The flight controllers aborted his mission after only one day. During the emergency re-entry, a fault in the landing parachute system caused the primary chute to fail, and the reserve chute became tangled with the drogue chute, causing descent speed to reach as high as 40 m/s (140 km/h; 89 mph). Shortly thereafter, Soyuz 1 impacted the ground 3 km (1.9 mi) west of Karabutak, exploding into a ball of flames. The official autopsy states Komarov died of blunt force trauma on impact, and that the subsequent heat mutilation of his corpse was a result of the explosive impact. Fixing the spacecraft's faults caused an eighteen-month delay before piloted Soyuz flights could resume.[ citation needed ]
The United States recovered from the Apollo 1 fire, fixing the fatal flaws in an improved version of the Block II command module. The US proceeded with unpiloted test launches of the Saturn V launch vehicle (Apollo 4 and Apollo 6) and the Lunar Module (Apollo 5) during the latter half of 1967 and early 1968.Apollo 1's mission to check out the Apollo Command/Service Module in Earth orbit was accomplished by Grissom's backup crew commanded by Walter Schirra on Apollo 7, launched on October 11, 1968. The eleven-day mission was a total success, as the spacecraft performed a virtually flawless mission, paving the way for the United States to continue with its lunar mission schedule.
The Soviet Union also fixed the parachute and control problems with Soyuz, and the next piloted mission Soyuz 3 was launched on October 26, 1968. 200 meters (660 ft) of each other, then cosmonaut Georgy Beregovoy took control. He got within 40 meters (130 ft) of his target, but was unable to dock before expending 90 percent of his maneuvering fuel, due to a piloting error that put his spacecraft into the wrong orientation and forced Soyuz 2 to automatically turn away from his approaching craft. The first docking of Soviet spacecraft was finally realized in January 1969 by the Soyuz 4 and Soyuz 5 missions. It was the first-ever docking of two crewed spacecraft, and the first transfer of crew from one space vehicle to another.The goal was to complete Komarov's rendezvous and docking mission with the un-piloted Soyuz 2. Ground controllers brought the two craft to within
The Soviet Zond spacecraft was not yet ready for piloted circumlunar missions in 1968, after five[ verification needed ] unsuccessful and partially successful automated test launches: Cosmos 146 on March 10, 1967; Cosmos 154 on April 8, 1967; Zond 1967A September 27, 1967; Zond 1967B on November 22, 1967. Zond 4 was launched on March 2, 1968, and successfully made a circumlunar flight. After its successful flight around the Moon, Zond 4 encountered problems with its Earth reentry on March 9, and was ordered destroyed by an explosive charge 15,000 meters (49,000 ft) over the Gulf of Guinea. The Soviet official announcement said that Zond 4 was an automated test flight which ended with its intentional destruction, due to its recovery trajectory positioning it over the Atlantic Ocean instead of over the USSR.
During the summer of 1968, the Apollo program hit another snag: the first pilot-rated Lunar Module (LM) was not ready for orbital tests in time for a December 1968 launch. NASA planners overcame this challenge by changing the mission flight order, delaying the first LM flight until March 1969, and sending Apollo 8 into lunar orbit without the LM in December. 16 kilometers (9.9 mi) from where it had been launched six days earlier. It turned out there was no chance of a piloted Soviet circumlunar flight during 1968, due to the unreliability of the Zonds.This mission was in part motivated by intelligence rumors the Soviet Union might be ready for a piloted Zond flight during late 1968. In September 1968, Zond 5 made a circumlunar flight with tortoises on board and returned safely to Earth, accomplishing the first successful water landing of the Soviet space program in the Indian Ocean. It also scared NASA planners, as it took them several days to figure out that it was only an automated flight, not piloted, because voice recordings were transmitted from the craft en route to the Moon. On November 10, 1968, another automated test flight, Zond 6, was launched. It encountered difficulties in Earth reentry, and depressurized and deployed its parachute too early, causing it to crash-land only
On December 21, 1968, Frank Borman, James Lovell, and William Anders became the first humans to ride the Saturn V rocket into space, on Apollo 8. They also became the first to leave low-Earth orbit and go to another celestial body, entering lunar orbit on December 24.They made ten orbits in twenty hours, and transmitted one of the most watched TV broadcasts in history, with their Christmas Eve program from lunar orbit, which concluded with a reading from the biblical Book of Genesis. Two and a half hours after the broadcast, they fired their engine to perform the first trans-Earth injection to leave lunar orbit and return to the Earth. Apollo 8 safely landed in the Pacific Ocean on December 27, in NASA's first dawn splashdown and recovery.
The American Lunar Module was finally ready for a successful piloted test flight in low Earth orbit on Apollo 9 in March 1969. The next mission, Apollo 10, conducted a "dress rehearsal" for the first landing in May 1969, flying the LM in lunar orbit as close as 47,400 feet (14.4 km) above the surface, the point where the powered descent to the surface would begin. With the LM proven to work well, the next step was to attempt the landing.
Unknown to the Americans, the Soviet Moon program was in deep trouble.After two successive launch failures of the N1 rocket in 1969, Soviet plans for a piloted landing suffered delay. The launch pad explosion of the N-1 on July 3, 1969, was a significant setback. The rocket hit the pad after an engine shutdown, destroying itself and the launch facility. Without the N-1 rocket, the USSR could not send a large enough payload to the Moon to land a human and return him safely.
Apollo 11 was prepared with the goal of a July landing in the Sea of Tranquility. am EDT, the Saturn V rocket, AS-506, lifted off from Kennedy Space Center Launch Complex 39 in Florida.The crew, selected in January 1969, consisted of commander (CDR) Neil Armstrong, Command Module Pilot (CMP) Michael Collins, and Lunar Module Pilot (LMP) Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin. They trained for the mission until just before the launch day. On July 16, 1969, at exactly 9:32
The trip to the Moon took just over three days. 180 meters (590 ft), and guided the Lunar Module to a safe landing spot at 20:18:04 UTC, July 20, 1969 (3:17:04 pm CDT). The first humans on the Moon waited six hours before they left their craft. At 02:56 UTC, July 21 (9:56 pm CDT July 20), Armstrong became the first human to set foot on the Moon.After achieving orbit, Armstrong and Aldrin transferred into the Lunar Module, named Eagle, and after a landing gear inspection by Collins remaining in the Command/Service Module Columbia, began their descent. After overcoming several computer overload alarms caused by an antenna switch left in the wrong position, and a slight downrange error, Armstrong took over manual flight control at about
The first step was witnessed by at least one-fifth of the population of Earth, or about 723 million people.His first words when he stepped off the LM's landing footpad were, "That's one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind." Aldrin joined him on the surface almost 20 minutes later. Altogether, they spent just under two and one-quarter hours outside their craft. The next day, they performed the first launch from another celestial body, and rendezvoused back with Columbia.
Apollo 11 left lunar orbit and returned to Earth, landing safely in the Pacific Ocean on July 24, 1969.When the spacecraft splashed down, 2,982 days had passed since Kennedy's commitment to landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the Earth before the end of the decade; the mission was completed with 161 days to spare. With the safe completion of the Apollo 11 mission, the Americans won the race to the Moon.
NASA had ambitious follow-on human spaceflight plans as it reached its lunar goal, but soon discovered it had expended most of its political capital to do so.
The first landing was followed by another, precision landing on Apollo 12 in November 1969. NASA had achieved its first landing goal with enough Apollo spacecraft and Saturn V launchers left for eight follow-on lunar landings through Apollo 20, conducting extended-endurance missions and transporting the landing crews in Lunar Roving Vehicles on the last five. They also planned an Apollo Applications Program to develop a longer-duration Earth orbital workshop (later named Skylab) to be constructed in orbit from a spent S-IVB upper stage, using several launches of the smaller Saturn IB launch vehicle. But planners soon decided this could be done more efficiently by using the two live stages of a Saturn V to launch the workshop pre-fabricated from an S-IVB (which was also the Saturn V third stage), which immediately removed Apollo 20. Budget cuts soon led NASA to cut Apollo 18 and 19 as well, but keep three extended/Lunar Rover missions. Apollo 13 encountered an in-flight spacecraft failure and had to abort its lunar landing in April 1970, returning its crew safely but temporarily grounding the program again. It resumed with four successful landings on Apollo 14 (February 1971), Apollo 15 (July 1971), Apollo 16 (April 1972), and Apollo 17 (December 1972).[ citation needed ]
In February 1969, President Richard M. Nixon convened a Space Task Group to set recommendations for the future US civilian space program, headed by his Vice President Spiro T. Agnew.Agnew was an enthusiastic proponent of NASA's follow-on plans, and the STG recommended plans to develop a reusable Space Transportation System including a Space Shuttle, which would facilitate development of permanent space stations in Earth and lunar orbit, perhaps a base on the lunar surface, and the first human flight to Mars as early as 1986 or as late as 2000. Nixon had a better sense of the declining political support in Congress for a new Apollo-style program, which had disappeared with the achievement of the landing, and he intended to pursue detente with the USSR and China, which he hoped might ease Cold War tensions. He cut the spending proposal he sent to Congress to include funding for only the Space Shuttle, with perhaps an option to pursue the Earth orbital space station for the foreseeable future.
The USSR continued trying to perfect their N1 rocket, finally canceling it in 1976, after two more launch failures in 1971 and 1972.
Having lost the race to the Moon, the USSR decided to concentrate on orbital space stations. During 1969 and 1970, they launched six more Soyuz flights after Soyuz 3, then launched the first space station, the Salyut 1 laboratory designed by Kerim Kerimov, on April 19, 1971. Three days later, the Soyuz 10 crew attempted to dock with it, but failed to achieve a secure enough connection to safely enter the station. The Soyuz 11 crew of Vladislav Volkov, Georgi Dobrovolski and Viktor Patsayev successfully docked on June 7, and completed a record 22-day stay. The crew became the second in-flight space fatality during their reentry on June 30. They were asphyxiated when their spacecraft's cabin lost all pressure, shortly after undocking. The disaster was blamed on a faulty cabin pressure valve, that allowed all the air to vent into space. The crew was not wearing pressure suits and had no chance of survival once the leak occurred.[ citation needed ]
Salyut 1's orbit was increased to prevent premature reentry, but further piloted flights were delayed while the Soyuz was redesigned to fix the new safety problem. The station re-entered the Earth's atmosphere on October 11, after 175 days in orbit. The USSR attempted to launch a second Salyut-class station designated Durable Orbital Station-2 (DOS-2) on July 29, 1972, but a rocket failure caused it to fail to achieve orbit. After the DOS-2 failure, the USSR attempted to launch four more Salyut-class stations up to 1975, with another failure due to an explosion of the final rocket stage, which punctured the station with shrapnel so that it would not hold pressure. All of the Salyuts were presented to the public as non-military scientific laboratories, but some of them were covers for the military Almaz reconnaissance stations.[ citation needed ]
The United States launched the orbital workstation Skylab 1 on May 14, 1973. It weighed 169,950 pounds (77,090 kg), was 58 feet (18 m) long by 21.7 feet (6.6 m) in diameter, and had a habitable volume of 10,000 cubic feet (280 m3). Skylab was damaged during the ascent to orbit, losing one of its solar panels and a meteoroid thermal shield. Subsequent crewed missions repaired the station, and the final mission's crew, Skylab 4, set a human endurance record with 84 days in orbit when the mission ended on 8 February 1974. Skylab stayed in orbit another five years before reentering the Earth's atmosphere over the Indian Ocean and Western Australia on July 11, 1979.[ citation needed ]
In May 1972, President Richard M. Nixon and Soviet Premier Leonid Brezhnev negotiated an easing of relations known as detente, creating a temporary "thaw" in the Cold War. The time seemed right for cooperation rather than competition, and the notion of a continuing "race" began to subside.[ citation needed ]
The two nations planned a joint mission to dock the last US Apollo craft with a Soyuz, known as the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project (ASTP). To prepare, the US designed a docking module for the Apollo that was compatible with the Soviet docking system, which allowed any of their craft to dock with any other (e.g. Soyuz/Soyuz as well as Soyuz/Salyut). The module was also necessary as an airlock to allow the men to visit each other's craft, which had incompatible cabin atmospheres. The USSR used the Soyuz 16 mission in December 1974 to prepare for ASTP.[ citation needed ]
The joint mission began when Soyuz 19 was first launched on July 15, 1975, at 12:20 UTC, and the Apollo craft was launched with the docking module six and a half hours later. The two craft rendezvoused and docked on July 17 at 16:19 UTC. The three astronauts conducted joint experiments with the two cosmonauts, and the crew shook hands, exchanged gifts, and visited each other's craft.[ citation needed ]
In the 1970s, the United States began developing the reusable orbital Space Shuttle spaceplane, and launched a range of uncrewed probes. The USSR continued to develop space station technology with the Salyut program and Mir ('Peace' or 'World', depending on the context) space station, supported by Soyuz spacecraft. They developed their own large spaceplane under the Buran program. The USSR dissolved in 1991 and the remains of its space program mainly passed to Russia. The United States and Russia have worked together in space with the Shuttle–Mir Program, and again with the International Space Station.[ citation needed ]
The Russian R-7 rocket family, which launched the first Sputnik at the beginning of the Space Race, is still in use today. It services the International Space Station (ISS) as the launcher for both the Soyuz and Progress spacecraft. It also ferries both Russian and American crews to and from the station.[ citation needed ]
Currently, the US Commercial Crew Development and Artemis program are intended to result in the development of a variety of crewed spacecraft. Russia is also developing a Soyuz replacement, and China has sent crewed Shenzhou spacecraft to orbit.[ citation needed ]
Most observers felt that the U.S. moon landing ended the space race with a decisive American victory. […] The formal end of the space race occurred with the 1975 joint Apollo-Soyuz mission, in which U.S. and Soviet spacecraft docked, or joined, in orbit while their crews visited one another's craft and performed joint scientific experiments.
Besides this love for rocket technique, there exists a second mental consideration which affects Soviet decisions, and that is respect for work in the West, especially German work. Data emanating from Germany were regarded as almost sacrosanct.
Human spaceflight is space travel with a crew or passengers aboard the spacecraft. Spacecraft carrying people may be operated directly, by human crew, or it may be either remotely operated from ground stations on Earth or be autonomous, able to carry out a specific mission with no human involvement.
Vostok 1 was the first spaceflight of the Vostok programme and the first crewed spaceflight in history. The Vostok 3KA space capsule was launched from Baikonur Cosmodrome on April 12, 1961, with Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin aboard, making him the first human to cross into outer space.
A spacecraft is a vehicle or machine designed to fly in outer space. A type of artificial satellite, spacecraft are used for a variety of purposes, including communications, Earth observation, meteorology, navigation, space colonization, planetary exploration, and transportation of humans and cargo. All spacecraft except single-stage-to-orbit vehicles cannot get into space on their own, and require a launch vehicle.
This article gives a concise timeline of rocket and missile technology.
Spaceflight is ballistic flight into or through outer space. Spaceflight can occur with spacecraft with or without humans on board. Yuri Gagarin of the Soviet Union was the first human to conduct a spaceflight. Examples of human spaceflight include the U.S. Apollo Moon landing and Space Shuttle programs and the Russian Soyuz program, as well as the ongoing International Space Station. Examples of uncrewed spaceflight include space probes that leave Earth orbit, as well as satellites in orbit around Earth, such as communications satellites. These operate either by telerobotic control or are fully autonomous.
PAO S. P. Korolev Rocket and Space Corporation Energia, also known as RSC Energia, is a Russian manufacturer of ballistic missile, spacecraft and space station components. The company is the prime developer and contractor of the Russian manned spaceflight program; it also owns a majority of Sea Launch. Its name is derived from Sergei Korolev, the first chief of its design bureau, and the Russian word for energy.
Zond 5 was a spacecraft of the Soviet Zond program. In September 1968 it became the second spaceship to travel to and circle the Moon, and the first to return safely to Earth. Zond 5 carried the first terrestrial organisms to the vicinity of the Moon, including two tortoises, fruit fly eggs, and plants. The tortoises underwent biological changes during the flight, but it was concluded that the changes were primarily due to starvation and that they were little affected by space travel.
Kosmos is a designation given to many satellites operated by the Soviet Union and subsequently Russia. Kosmos 1, the first spacecraft to be given a Kosmos designation, was launched on 16 March 1962.
The Vostok programme was a Soviet human spaceflight project to put the first Soviet citizens into low Earth orbit and return them safely. Competing with the United States Project Mercury, it succeeded in placing the first human into space, Yuri Gagarin, in a single orbit in Vostok 1 on April 12, 1961. The Vostok capsule was developed from the Zenit spy satellite project, and its launch rocket was adapted from the existing R-7 Semyorka intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) design. The name "Vostok" was treated as classified information until Gagarin's flight was first publicly disclosed to the world press.
The Soviet space program comprised several of the rocket and space exploration programs conducted by the Soviet Union (USSR) from the 1930s until its collapse in 1991. Over its 60-year history, this program was responsible for a number of pioneering accomplishments in space flight, including the first intercontinental ballistic missile (R-7), first satellite, first animal in Earth orbit, first human in space and Earth orbit, first woman in space and Earth orbit, first spacewalk, first Moon impact, first image of the far side of the Moon and unmanned lunar soft landing, first space rover, first sample of lunar soil automatically extracted and brought to Earth, and first space station. Further notable records included the first interplanetary probes: Venera 1 and Mars 1 to fly by Venus and Mars, respectively, Venera 3 and Mars 2 to impact the respective planet surface, and Venera 7 and Mars 3 to make soft landings on these planets.
A space capsule is an often crewed blunt-body spacecraft that reenters the Earth's atmosphere without wings. Capsules are distinguished from satellites primarily by the ability to survive reentry and return a payload to the Earth's surface from orbit. Capsules make up the majority of crewed spacecraft designs, although one crewed spaceplane has launched to orbit.
Direct ascent is a method of landing a spacecraft on the Moon or another planet directly, without first assembling the vehicle in Earth orbit, or carrying a separate landing vehicle into orbit around the target body. It was proposed as the first method to achieve a crewed lunar landing in the United States Apollo program, but was rejected because it would have required developing a prohibitively large launch vehicle.
A Moon landing is the arrival of a spacecraft on the surface of the Moon. This includes both manned and robotic missions. The first human-made object to touch the Moon was the Soviet Union's Luna 2, on 13 September 1959.
Spaceflight began in the 20th century following theoretical and practical breakthroughs by Konstantin Tsiolkovsky and Robert H. Goddard. The Soviet Union took the lead in the post-war Space Race, launching the first satellite, the first man and the first woman into orbit. The United States caught up with, and then passed, their Soviet rivals during the mid-1960s, landing the first man on the Moon in 1969. In the same period, France, the United Kingdom, Japan and China were concurrently developing more limited launch capabilities.
The LK was a piloted lunar lander developed in the 1960s as a part of the Soviet attempts at human exploration of the Moon. Its role was analogous to the American Apollo Lunar Module (LM). Several LK modules were flown without crew in Earth orbit, but no LK ever reached the Moon. The development of the N1 launch vehicle required for the Moon flight suffered setbacks, and the first Moon landings were achieved by US astronauts. As a result, both the N1 and the LK programs were cancelled without any further development.
The Apollo spacecraft feasibility study was conducted by NASA from July 1960 through May 1961 to investigate preliminary designs for a post-Project Mercury multi-crewed spacecraft to be used for possible space station, circum-lunar, lunar orbital, or crewed lunar landing missions. Six-month, $250,000 study contracts were awarded to General Dynamics/Convair, General Electric, and the Glenn L. Martin Company. Meanwhile, NASA conducted its own inhouse design study led by Maxime Faget, intended as a gauge of the competitors' entries. The three companies spent varying amounts of their own money in excess of the $250,000 to produce designs which included a re-entry module separate from the mission module cabin, and a propulsion and equipment module.
Leonid Alexandrovich Voskresenskiy was a Soviet rocket engineer and long-time associate of famed Chief Designer Sergei Korolev. He served as launch director for Sputnik and for the first manned space flight, Vostok 1. The lunar crater Voskresenskiy is named in his honor.
The link is to the 2004 edition, pages differ, but content the same.