Who Won the Space Race?


Quick Answer

The Space Race, a competitive policy between the United States and Soviet Union for spaceflight supremacy lasting from 1955 to 1972, had no real victor. Each nation achieved a number of firsts in spaceflight.

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Full Answer

Some historians argue that the culmination of the Space Race was the technically challenging feat of landing a human on the moon and bringing him safely back to Earth. The Americans were the first to achieve this when, on July 20, 1969, astronaut Neil Armstrong stepped out onto the lunar surface.

The Soviet Union had achieved a number of early firsts, however: first artificial satellite in 1957, first animal in space in 1957, first human in space in 1961 and first spacewalk in 1965. Ultimately, following the end of the Cold War, the two nations would come to cooperate to achieve projects like the International Space Station, the largest orbiting station in human history.

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