www.whyville.net Sep 5, 2007 Weekly Issue

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The Race for Space

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How many of you know the story of the race for space? You know, in the 1960's. Ok ok, I guess I will have to tell you about it! Hey, this is Nateenka signing in.

The race for space was an introduction to the space as we know it now. Nobody thought that the Soviet Union would launch Sputnik 1 into Earth's orbit on October 4th, 1957, nobody even thought that the Soviet's would actually beat the Americans in the quest for space...wait, I'm getting ahead of myself.

The starting of the race for space begins now! The Soviet Union launched Sputnik 1, the world's first artificial satellite on October 4th, 1957. That was a big shocker toward the Americans. People in America say that they could hear "beeps" on the radio, that's because of Sputnik orbiting the Earth, and it did make beeping sounds! America, in a panic, made the Saturn lV Rocket (Saturn 5 Rocket) to send satellites into orbit and, maybe, a human into space. The Saturn lV Rocket was as tall as 3 Empire State Buildings stacked on top of each other!

Sputnik 1, it was a size of a beach ball.

November 3rd, 1957, almost a month after Sputnik 1, launched Sputnik 2 with a traveler aboard! Laika the dog, was the first living creature (that we know of anyway!) that traveled to space, and made it back Earth safely. Still, Americans were not in the race for space exactly yet, but they were working hard to get to space! January 2nd, 1959, the Soviet probe, Luna 1, became the first craft to leave Earth's gravity (which means that it doesn't orbit Earth). September 13th, 1959, Luna 2 was the first craft to land on another world, even though it crash landed on the moon. October 10th, 1959, Soviet Luna 3 space craft returned to Earth with the first pictures of the Moon's far side (that we cannot see).

The U.S. was still working to get to space! On April 12th, 1961, Soviet cosmonaut (which is a astronaut) Yuri Gagarin became the first person to travel to space!

On May 5th, 1961, the Americans made it! Alan Shepard, traveled in Freedom 7, was the first American in space! July 10th, 1962, Telstar 1, the first real time communications satellite, was launched by NASA (National Aronautics and Space Administration). June 16th, 1963, Soviet cosmonaut Valentina Treshkova was the first woman to travel to space! March 18th, 1965, Soviet cosmonaut Alexei Leonov made the first spacewalk (EVA). He was secured to Voshkod 2 by a tether. July 15th, 1965, U.S. probe, Mariner 4 completed the first Mars fly by.

The Moon was the target both Nations wanted to get to first. No one knew if Astronauts would make it there. Plus...some people thought the Moon was made from cheese! Ha ha ha! February 3rd, 1966, Soviet craft Luna 9 became the first to land successfully on the Moon. December 24th, 1968, American craft Apollo 8 was the first manned space craft to leave Earth's gravity and orbit around the Moon. July 20th, 1969, the incredible year, the first humans to walk on another world. American astronaut Neil Armstrong was the first to walk on the Moon, Buzz Aldrin was the second.

Buzz Aldrin on the Moon.

On September 20th, 1970, Soviet probe Luna 16 landed on the Moon and was the first craft to collect soil and return it back to Earth. November 17th, 1970, the first wheeled vehicle was on the Moon, Soviet Lunkhod 1, started its work. April 19th, 1971, was the launch of the first Space Station, Soviet Slyut 1. On December 19th, 1972, return of Apllo 17, the sixth and last mission to the Moon.

From then on, the 2 Nations, Russia, and the U.S. worked together to get more information about space. As my Dad says, "The Soviets won the battles, but we won the war!". That means that Russia won getting into space and stuff, but the Americans won landing people on the Moon, which was the war.

Thank you for taking your time to read this article, this is Nateenka signing off, Bye!


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