Space missions take years of meticulous planning. It’s a delicate mathematical balancing act to blast anything out of the gravity of the Earth and into the cosmos. Not to mention they can cost incredible amounts of money. So when you hear what went wrong with a recent Russian launch, you’re going to be shocked.
When the Space Race first began in the Cold War, for the longest time the Soviets were leading. It began more than half a century ago in the 1950s. On August 2, 1955, the U.S.S.R. responded to the United States’ declaration a few days earlier that it was going to launch its first satellites. The Soviet Union replied in kind, and the first part of the race had begun.
Just over two years later, the Soviet Union became the first country to follow up its boast. Sputnik 1 was the first satellite in space in October 1957. Less than four years later, on April 12, 1961, Yuri Gagarin became the first human in space. For a time it looked like it would be the U.S.S.R. that dominated the heavens, but that didn’t turn out to be the case.