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The 70-Year History of the Space Race

Since the first artificial satellite was launched into space in 1957, countries, especially the USA and Russia, entered the space race. In this context, countries that want to get ahead in the space race by sending astronauts and establishing stations have made many attempts to expand their work. The first person to go into space was Yuri Gagarin, sent by the Soviet Union on April 12, 1961. The first person to set foot on the moon was Neil Armstrong from the USA on July 20, 1969. Here are the “firsts” among cosmonauts and astronauts who went into space, from the first woman astronaut in space to the first politician in space…

Since the first artificial satellite was launched into space in 1957, thousands of planets and stars have been discovered so far, as astronauts have traveled to the moon and studied the solar system and space. Manned space flights continue regularly, especially by the USA and Russia.

FIRST HUMAN SENT TO SPACE BY THE SOVIET UNION IN 1961

The Soviet Union achieved a historic success by sending the first man into space on April 12, 1961. The first Soviet cosmonaut to go into space was Yuri Gagarin, who flew 108 minutes in one orbit around the earth.

After Gagarin’s 1961 flight, the Soviet Union sent Gherman Titov into space on the Vostok 2 mission on 6-7 August 1961, making her the first human to stay in space for more than a day.

On June 14-19, 1963, on the Vostok 6 mission, Valentina Tereshkova was sent into space as the first female cosmonaut. At the same time, Valery Bykovsky made the longest individual flight.

ALEKSEY LEONOV MADE THE FIRST SPACE WALK

Pavel Belyayev and Alexei Leonov’s flight on March 18-19, 1965, Leonov became the first person to walk in space. Vladimir Dzhanibekov and Oleg Makarov became the first humans to return to Earth in a different vehicle than the one they went into space on January 10-16, 1978.

The Soviet Union also sent astronauts of different nationalities into space. The first Czech astronaut, Vladimir Remek, went into space on March 2-10, 1978.

Polish Miroslaw Hermaszewski and German Sigmund Jahn were also among the astronauts who went to space in 1978.

Polish Miroslaw Hermaszewski and German Sigmund Jahn were also among the astronauts who went to space in 1978. Cuba’s Arnaldo Tamayo Mendez went into space in 1980, Mongolia’s Jugderdemidiin Gurragcha and Romania’s Dumitru Prunariu in 1981. Jean-Loup Chretien became the first French astronaut to travel to space, from June 24 to July 2, 1982.

THE FIRST WOMAN TO TAKE A SPACE WALK

While Svetlana Savitskaya became the second woman to go into space on August 19-27, 1982, she also made history as the first woman to walk in space on July 17-29, 1984. Rakesh Sharma from India in 1984 and Mohammed Faris from Syria in 1987 broke new ground in terms of nationalities by going into space.

Abdul Ahad Mohmand became the first Afghan to go into space on August 27-September 7, 1988, and Akiyama Toyohiro became the first Japanese astronaut to go into space on December 10, 1990. Helen Sharman became the first British astronaut to go into space on May 26, 1991, and Franz Viehböck became the first Austrian astronaut to go into space on October 19, 1991.

RUSSIA’S FIRST SPACE FLIGHT MADE ON MARCH 17, 1992

After the collapse of the Soviet Union on December 26, 1991, the first space flight under the name Russia was made on March 17, 1992. In Russia’s space flight between October 4, 1994 and March 22, 1995, Yelena Kondakova made history as the longest woman in space.

Norman Thagard became the first American to go into space in a Russian spacecraft on March 14-July 7, 1995.

Thomas Reiter was the first German astronaut to spacewalk on the mission from September 3, 1995 to February 26, 1996, Claudie Andre-Deshays was the first French woman to go into space on September 2, 1996, and Ivan Bella was the first Slovak astronaut to go into space on February 28, 1999. .

Mark Shuttleworth made history as the first South African astronaut from April 25 to May 5, 2022.

ALAN SHEPARD BECOME THE FIRST ASTRONAUT TO SEND US TO SPACE

The USA, which sent its astronauts to space and to the moon with the US National Aeronautics and Space Agency (NASA) programs Mercury, Gemini and Apollo, made 25 flights into space with the Mercury Project. 6 of these took place between 1961 and 1963 and carried astronauts. On May 5, 1961, NASA sent astronaut Alan Shepard into space on the “Freedom 7” mission. Shepard, the first American to go into space, flew in lower orbit for 15 minutes and 28 seconds.

John Glenn became the first US astronaut to enter Earth orbit on February 20, 1962 in the “Friendship 7 Mercury” spacecraft.

Walter Schirra Jr made the longest flight in the United States on October 3, 1962, at 9 hours and 13 minutes. On May 15-16, 1963, L. Gordon Cooper Jr was in space for more than one day.

On July 19, 1963, Joseph Walker became the first human to fly beyond orbit into space in a spacecraft.

As part of Gemini IV, NASA astronaut Edward White became the first American to spacewalk on June 3, 1965.

NEIL ARMSTRONG IS THE FIRST PERSON TO WALK ON THE MOON

On July 20, 1969, the United States sent Neil Armstrong, Edwin Aldrin, and Michael Collins to the Moon with Apollo 11. Armstrong became the first man to set foot on the Moon, followed by Aldrin.

THE FIRST US WOMAN TO GO IN SPACE
Sally Ride became the first American woman to go into space on June 18-24, 1983. Ulf Merbold made history as the first European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut to go into space on 28 November – 8 December 1983.

Bruce McCandless made the first spacewalk without safely tethering to a vehicle on February 3-11, 1984.

On October 5-13, 1984, Marc Garneau became the first Canadian astronaut, while Kathryn Sullivan became the first American woman to spacewalk.

FIRST POLITICIAN TO SPACE
Jake Garn made history as the first politician to go into space on April 12-19, 1985.

Mae Jemison made her mark in history as the first African-American female astronaut to go into space on September 12-20, 1992.

Rodolfo Neri Vela became the first Mexican astronaut in space in 1985, while in January 1986 Bill Nelson made history as the first congressman to go into space.

“FIRST RUSSIAN ASTRONAUT IN THE US SPACE VESSEL”
Sergey Krikalyov made history as the first Russian astronaut to aboard a US spacecraft on February 3-11, 1994.

Mukai Chiaki became the first Japanese female astronaut on July 8-23, 1994. Ilan Ramon became the first Israeli astronaut on January 6-February 1, 2003.

THE FIRST CHINESE astronaut
Yang Liwei made history as the first Chinese astronaut to go into space on October 14, 2003, with the Shenzhou 5 mission.

With Shenzhou 6, Fei Junlong and Nie Haisheng went into space on October 12-16, 2005, making China’s first two-man flight into space.

Zhai Zigang became the first Chinese astronaut to walk in space with Shenzhou 7 on September 25-28, 2008.

Liu Yang made history on June 16-20, 2012 as the first Chinese and female astronaut to go into space.

From June 17 to September 17, 2021, Nie Haisheng, Liu Boming and Tang Hongbo became the first crew members of China’s Tiangong Space Station.

From October 15, 2021 to April 16, 2022, Zhai Zhigang, Wang Yaping and Ye Guangfu made China’s longest space flight with 182 days aboard Shenzhou 13/Tiangong.

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