The Ultimate Space Race Quiz

Staff

4 Min Quiz

Image: refer to hsw

About This Quiz

The race for space between the United States and the Soviets was more than just another battle in the Cold War — it was a race for the cosmos. Take our quiz to test your knowledge about the great space race!

What year did the space race kick off, as both sides announced plans to launch satellites into orbit?

Both the U.S. and U.S.S.R. announced plans to launch space satellites in the summer of 1955, kicking off a space race that would last for decades.

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Which side launched the first artificial satellite into space?

The U.S.S.R. won the first round of the space race when it launched the satellite Sputnik into orbit in October 1957.

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What does "Sputnik" mean?

Sputnik is a Russian term that loosely translates as "traveler."

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What did the Americans name their first satellite, which was launched in 1958?

The U.S. launched Explorer I in 1958, just a year after Sputnik.

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When was NASA founded?

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration was founded in 1958, and the first U.S. government agency fully dedicated to space exploration.

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Which president signed the order that authorized the formation of NASA?

President Dwight Eisenhower signed the order to form NASA in 1958.

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What was the name of the first space probe to actually hit the moon?

In 1959, the Soviets launched Luna 2, which became the first space probe to actually come in contact with the moon.

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Who was the first human to orbit the Earth?

The Soviets won another battle in the race for space when cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin orbited the Earth in 1961.

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What was the name of the vessel that carried Garagin around the Earth?

Gagarin traveled in Vostok 1, a capsule-like craft.

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What did the U.S. call its project aimed at sending man into space?

Project Mercury was the code name used to describe the U.S. effort to send man into space. Early Project Mercury experiments used chimps, not humans.

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Who was the first American in space?

Alan Shepard launched into space in May 1961 in Freedom 7, making him the first American in space.

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Which president boldly claimed in 1961 that the U.S. would land a man on the moon by the end of the decade?

Kennedy boldly stated that the United States would land a man on the moon by the end of the 1960s — and he was right.

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Who was the first American to orbit the Earth?

While Alan Shepard was the first American in space, John Glenn became the first American to orbit the Earth in February 1962.

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What did NASA call its lunar landing program?

NASA dubbed its lunar landing program Apollo, after the ancient Greek god.

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What is the name of the imaginary line that separates the Earth's atmosphere from outer space?

The Karman Line marks the boundaries of Earth's atmosphere and sits at 62 miles (100 km) above the Earth's surface.

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Which country was the first to land humans on the moon?

The United States achieved the first lunar landing with Apollo 11, launched July 16, 1969.

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Which of the following men was NOT aboard Apollo 11 when it landed on the moon?

Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins made up the three-man team that landed on the moon.

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Who was the first man to walk on the moon?

Neil Armstrong became the first man to walk on the moon on July 20, 1969.

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What happened to Yuri Gagarin after his trip into space?

Gagarin landed safely and was hailed a hero, but sadly died just seven years later in a plane crash.

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What type of animal was the first living creature to orbit the Earth?

The U.S.S.R. sent a dog named Laika to orbit the Earth on Sputnik 2, which was launched in November 1957.

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Which side sent the first woman into space?

The U.S.S.R. sent the first woman into space — a parachutist named Valentina Tereshkova — who traveled on Vostok 6 in 1963.

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Which side performed the first spacewalk?

U.S.S.R. cosmonaut Alexey Leonov performed the first extravehicular activity — or spacewalk — in 1965.

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How long did it take Apollo 11 to reach the moon?

It took Apollo 11 just 109 hours from launch to the moment Neil Armstrong stepped onto the moon.

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How long did Apollo 11 astronauts spend walking on the moon in total?

Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin spent around 2.5 hours in total walking on the surface of the moon.

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When was the first space treaty signed?

The United States, the U.S.S.R. and the United Kingdom signed a space treaty in 1967, where they agreed to keep military activity out of space and limit space travel to peaceful exploration.

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Which country experienced the first in-flight space fatality?

The U.S.S.R. experienced the first in-flight fatality with the death of Vladimir Komarov aboard Soyuz 1 in 1967.

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How many Apollo missions landed on the moon?

A total of 6 Apollo missions landed on the moon.

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What year marked the unofficial end of the space race between the US and USSR?

The joint Apollo-Soyuz mission in 1975 marked the end of the space race and the start of collaborative space exploration.

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When was the first International Space Station launched?

The ISS was launched in 1998, but wouldn't be occupied until 2000.

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What was the name of the vessel that carried the first residents to the ISS?

Expedition I carried a team of astronauts and cosmonauts to the International Space Station in November 2000.

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