On June 11, 1948 the United States sent the first monkey into space on the American V2 rocket. Albert was the first ever living creature sent into space by humans, and the first of many other monkeys sent by the U.S. This event led America to feel confident that they had the most advanced and superior technology compared to other countries.
The Space Race officially began on October 4, 1957 when the Soviet Union launched the first ever satellite into space, Sputnik 1. This event made the United States abruptly realize that they were not so far ahead in technological advancements as they thought. Due to this, the United States immediately began to take measures to get ahead of the USSR.
On April 1, 1961, the Soviet Union launched the first man into space, Yuri Gargarin, on the spacecraft Vostok 1. By this point the U.S. had also managed to send satellites into space, but because of this event, they were still behind the USSR. This drove the United States to work even harder to be ahead of the Soviets and beat them to something.
On July 16, 1969, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin become the first men on the moon after landing the Apollo 11 lunar module, with Michael Collins, the third crew member from space. This was the greatest achievement of the Space Race thus far, as well as the first time the U.S. had actually beat the USSR. America was officially the first country to have its flag on the moon.
On April 23, 1971, the Soviet Union established the first space station, known as Salyut 1. This important event showed how the times were changing since soon, there would be people living in space, as well as how far the technology had come in 20 years. On May 14, 1973, the united States launched their own space station called Skylab.
In 1975, the United States and the Soviet Union came together for the fist ever joint mission between two countries. The team worked together on the manned missions in the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project. After over 20 years, the Space Race finally came to a peaceful end.