The fantasies of imaginative writers such as Jules Verne, H.G.Wells and Cyrano de Bergerac suddenly became reality in the 1960s with the first human steps in space.
In 1957, the steady beeping of the Soviet Union's Sputnik 1 sattelite, the first to orbit Earth, flung down makers. Who would control the high ground of space? On
1 October 1958, the United
States government established the National Aeronautics and
Space Administration (NASA). So began the space race, which, in retrospect, may be more accurately described as a race of political ideals embodied in the technological developments achieved by the United States and the Soviet Union. At any rate, the next 12 years saw phenomenal accomplishments, illustrious glory, and tragedy.