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At the height of the Cold War, the Soviet Union and the United States both realized that the tensions reached not only Earth, but far above in outer space.
The Soviets achieved the first major victories in the Space Race during the Cold War. The Soviet Union managed to launch the first artificial satellite, Sputnik 1 into the sky.
The Soviets also managed the second major victory with the launch of Sputnik 2. On November 3, 1957 launched this shuttle into orbit with the first living creature to ever be in outer space, a dog named Laika. Laika's expedition provided much needed information about living beings being able to survive in outer space that was used for future missions.
America's first major event in the Space Race came in the form on Explorer 1. Explorer 1 was the first space craft in a long line of Explorer crafts that lasted until IRIS was launched in 2013. Explorer 1 proved invaluable for the insight provided towards the Van Allen radiation belt.
The Soviets quickly recaptured their obvious lead in the space race due to Vostok 1. Vostok 1 was the first manned space shuttle fir either the Soviets or the Americans. Yuri Gagarin, the soviet astronaut, orbited the Earth for roughly two hours before Vostok 1's descent. He parachuted out of the shuttle before it landed.
While the Soviets may have had a commanding lead, it is commonly agreed upon that America won the space race on July 16, 1969 with the launching of Apollo 11. This shuttle escorted Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins to the moon where they proudly erected an American Flag as a symbol of truth and justice across all worlds.
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