Humans In Space
In August, a Soviet spacecraft carried two dogs, Belka and Strelka, into space and returned them safely to Earth. They were the first living creatures to be sent into space and brought back.
1961 On 12 april, the first person to travel into space, Yuri Gagarin, was launched in the Soviet spacecraft Vostok 1. He returned safely to Earth 1 hour 48 minutes later.
On 5 May, the first American went into space. Alan Shepard made a straight up and down journey (without going into orbit), that lasted 15 minutes.
1962 John Glenn became the first American astronaut to orbit the Earth.
1963 Valentina Tereshkova aboard Vostok 6 (USSR) made the first space flight by a woman.
1965 In March, the USSR launched Voskhod 2 and cosmonaut Alexei Leonov left the spacecraft to become the first person to walk in space.
On 3 June, Ed White made the first space walk by an American. This was part of the Gemini project in preparation for sending men to the Moon.
1967 On 27 January, during a practice countdown for Apollo 1 (USA) the cockpit caught fire and the astronauts Ed White, Virgil Grissom and Roger Chaffee died.
1968 On 21 December, Apollo 8 (USA) blasted off with astronauts Frank Borman, James Lovell and William Anders on board. They made the first manned orbit of the Moon, and at their closest, passed only 110 km above the Moon's surface. They splashed down safely in the ocean on 27 December.
1969 On 16 July Apollo 11 (USA) was launched to make the first manned landing on the Moon. The astronauts on board were Neil Armstrong, Edwin 'Buzz' Aldrin and Michael Collins. The spacecraft went into orbit 110 km above the Moon's surface.
On 20 July, Aldrin and Armstrong entered the Lunar Module, which then separated and descended to the surface, leaving Collins in orbit in the command Module. At 2.56 GMT on 21 July, Neil Armstrong took his first step onto the Moon. He was followed by Buzz Aldrin. They spent three hours on the surface setting up experiments and taking soil samples.
1970-72 Further manned Apollo landings on the Moon followed. The last was Apollo 17, which returned to Earth in December 1972. 1983 Sally Ride, on board the Space Shuttle Columbia, became the first US woman in space.