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Space Race
Although the press and politicians continue to refer to a 'space race' being underway, the real space race was between the Soviet Union and the United States in 1957-1971, with the objective of obtaining space 'firsts' - first artifical satellite of the earth, first manned spaceflight, first space walk, first multi-crew mission, first around the moon, first to land on the moon, and first space station. The United States cancelled post-Apollo Lunar Base and Mars plans in 1969 and dropped out of the running. In 1974, with the cancellation of the N1 booster, the Soviet Union followed suit. Since then manned spaceflight has consisted of an series of missions to low-earth-orbit, and the United States has dominated robot planetary exploration without serious competition. Although periodically there are attempts to energize the public with claims of a 'race to Mars' or moon base plans, funding is never forthcoming.



Subtopics

The Road to Sputnik The real story of the race to space

Pre-Sputnik Designs Category of launch vehicles.

Moon Race! Side-by-side chronology of the major events of the race to the moon.

Russia: Why did the Soviet Union lose the Moon Race? The reasons the Americans were first on the moon, as given by the major Soviet participants.



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