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astronautix.com The Moon Race


Month-by-month, side-by-side chronology of the race to put a man into space and to be first to land a man on the moon

Year - MonthUnited StatesSoviet Union
1952 - 06
  • Blunt reentry vehicle concept advocated.
    --
1953 - 03
  • Research on 1 million lb thrust engine begun.
    --
1956 - 02
  • USAF RFP - Manned Ballistic Rocket Research System
    --
1956 - 06
    --
  • First studies by Korolev OKB of manned spacecraft. Vostok
1957 - 01
    --
  • Project Zenit (reconn satellite using R-7) begun
1957 - 12
  • Saturn I first proposed.
    --
1958 - 01
  • Eleven proposals for initial manned spacecraft
  • Work begun on Vostok spacecraft and third stage
1958 - 05
    --
  • Korolev OKB cancels suborbital manned flights. Vostok
1958 - 07
  • Saturn I initial contract.
  • Korolev letter to Politburo. Vostok
1958 - 10
  • Project Mercury organized.
    --
1958 - 11
    --
  • Vostok program approved. Vostok
1958 - 12
  • Eleven proposals for Mercury received
    --
1959 - 01
  • McDonnell awarded contract for Mercury project
    --
1959 - 03
    --
  • OKB-1 preliminary work on circumlunar spacecraft
1959 - 04
  • Seven astronauts selected for Mercury project.
    --
1959 - 06
  • Saturn I launch complex construction starts.
    --
1959 - 09
  • Mercury-BJ 1- test of Mercury. Success. Mercury
    --
1960 - 03
    --
  • 20 Cosmonaut candidates report for Vostok training
1960 - 04
  • First production Mercury capsule delivered.
    --
1960 - 05
    --
  • Korabl-Sputnik 1 (Sputnik 4) - test of Vostok. Success. Vostok
1960 - 06
  • Full Saturn I engine cluster full duration test.
    --
1960 - 07
  • Apollo Program Announced
  • Mercury-MA 1- test of Mercury. Failure. Mercury
  • Decision to begin development of N launch vehicle
  • Korabl-Sputnik- test of Vostok. Failure. Vostok
1960 - 08
    --
  • Korabl-Sputnik 2 (Sputnik 5)- test of Vostok. Success. Vostok
1960 - 10
  • Apollo Initial Study Contracts
    --
1960 - 11
  • Mercury-MR 1- test of Mercury. Failure. Mercury
    --
1960 - 12
  • Mercury-MR 1A- test of Mercury. Success. Mercury
  • Korabl-Sputnik 3 (Sputnik 6)- test of Vostok. Success. Vostok
  • Korabl-Sputnik- test of Vostok. Failure. Vostok
1961 - 01
  • NASA Space Task Group made official.
  • Mercury-MR 2- test of Mercury. Success. Mercury
    --
1961 - 02
  • Beginning of Gemini
  • Mercury-MA 2- test of Mercury. Success. Mercury
    --
1961 - 03
  • Mercury-MR Boilerplate- test of Mercury. Success. Mercury
  • Korabl-Sputnik 4 (Sputnik 9)- test of Vostok. Success. Vostok
  • Korabl-Sputnik 5 (Sputnik 10)- test of Vostok. Success. Vostok
1961 - 04
  • Mercury-MA 3- test of Mercury. Failure. Mercury
  • Vostok 1 - first man in space, one orbit. Success. Vostok. Gagarin
1961 - 05
  • Mercury MR-3 - first US manned suborbital flight. Success. Mercury. Shepard
  • Kennedy Proclaims Moon Landing Objective
    --
1961 - 06
  • Saturn I launch complex completed.
  • Moon program go-ahead in response to U.S. start
1961 - 07
  • F-1 engine begins static testing.
  • NASA-Industry Apollo Technical Conference
  • Mercury MR-4 - second US suborbital flight. Success. Mercury. Grissom
    --
1961 - 08
  • McDonnell proposal for Gemini
  • First development contract
  • Apollo Prime Contractor Bidder's Conference
  • First F-1 firing.
  • Merritt Island selected for Saturn V launch site.
  • Chamberlain proposes lunar landing by Gemini
  • Vostok 2 - first day-long flight in space. Success. Vostok. Titov
1961 - 09
  • Purchase of land for Saturn V launch facilities.
  • Selection of Saturn first stage assembly plant
  • North American selected to build S-II stage.
  • Mercury 4 - Mercury orbital test. Success. Mercury
  • Selection of Houston for control center.
    --
1961 - 10
  • Bids received for Apollo prime contractor
  • Saturn I first flight.. Success. (R&D)
    --
1961 - 11
  • Mercury Scout-1. Failure. Radio Test Spacecraft
  • Second decision on launch vehicles
  • Contract issued for build of 20 Saturn I's.
  • North American awarded prime contract
  • Mercury 5 - Mercury orbital test. Success. Mercury
    --
1961 - 12
  • McDonnell given letter contract for Gemini
  • Selection of Saturn C-5 as Launch Vehicle
    --
1962 - 01
    --
  • Development of RD-270 engine begun
  • Vostok ZH studies
1962 - 02
  • Mercury 6 - first manned orbital flight. Success. Mercury. Glenn
    --
1962 - 04
    --
  • First Soviet announcement of manned lunar goals
1962 - 05
  • Mercury 7 - overshot landing zone. Success. Mercury. Carpenter
    --
1962 - 07
  • Selection of LOR as Mission Mode
    --
1962 - 08
    --
  • Vostok 3 - joint flight with Vostok 4. Success. Vostok. Nikolayev
  • Vostok 4 - joint flight with Vostok 3. Success. Vostok. Popovich
1962 - 09
    --
  • N launch vehicle upgraded to 75 tonne payload
1962 - 10
  • Mercury 8 - textbook flight. Success. Mercury. Schirra
    --
1962 - 11
  • Grumman selected to build LM
    --
1963 - 02
    --
  • Soyuz 'leaves drafting boards'
1963 - 03
    --
  • Korolev approves draft plan for 'Soyuz Complex'
1963 - 05
  • Mercury 9 - first US one-day flight. Success. Mercury. Cooper
    --
1963 - 06
    --
  • Vostok 5 - joint flight with Vostok 6. Success. Vostok. Bykovsky
  • Vostok 6 - first woman in space. Success. Vostok. Tereshkova
1963 - 09
    --
  • Construction of N-1 launch complex begins
1963 - 10
    --
  • Gagarin identified as head of lunar cosmonauts
1964 - 01
  • Saturn 5 - Saturn I flight test. Success. Jupiter nose cone
    --
1964 - 04
  • Gemini 1- first Gemini test flight. Success. Gemini
  • FIRE 1- Apollo reentry shape test. Success. FIRE
    --
1964 - 05
  • Saturn 6- Saturn I flight test. Success. Apollo CSM
    --
1964 - 08
    --
  • Full lunar program go-ahead
1964 - 09
  • Saturn 7- Saturn I flight test. Success. Apollo CSM
    --
1964 - 10
    --
  • UR-700 project cancelled
  • Cosmos 47 - test flight for Voskhod 1. Success. Voskhod
  • Voskhod 1 - first three-man flight. Success. Voskhod. Feoktistov, Komarov, Yegorov
  • Khrushchev removed from power. Lunar
1965 - 01
  • Gemini 2 - second test of Gemini. Success. Gemini
    --
1965 - 02
  • Pegasus 1 - Saturn I flight test. Success. Apollo CSM
  • Cosmos 57 - test flight for Voskhod 2. Success. Voskhod
1965 - 03
  • Gemini 3 - first manned Gemini flight. Success. Gemini. Grissom, Young
  • Babakin takes over Lavochkin OKB
  • Voskhod 2 - first space walk. Success. Voskhod. Belyayev, Leonov
1965 - 04
  • First ground test firing of S-II stage
    --
1965 - 05
  • FIRE 2 - Apollo reentry shape test. Success. FIRE
  • Pegasus 2 - Saturn I flight test. Success. Apollo CSM
    --
1965 - 06
  • Gemini 4 - first US space walk. Success. Gemini. McDivitt, White
    --
1965 - 07
  • Pegasus 3 - Saturn I flight test. Success. Apollo CSM
  • Proton 1 - test of circumlunar booster. Success. Proton
1965 - 08
  • First ground test firing of S-IVB stage
  • First ground test firing of S-IC stage
  • Gemini 5 - long duration flight. Success. Gemini. Cooper, Conrad
    --
1965 - 10
  • First Flight CSM Shipped from Factory
  • GATV 6. Failure. Gemini Agena Target Vehicle
  • Cosmonauts write letter to Brezhnev
1965 - 11
    --
  • Proton 2 - test of circumlunar booster. Success. Proton
1965 - 12
  • Gemini 7 - long endurance flight. Success. Gemini. Borman, Lovell
  • Gemini 6 - first rendezvous in space with Gem.7. Success. Gemini. Schirra, Stafford
  • Chelomei circumlunar project given to Korolev
1966 - 01
    --
  • Korolev dies in in Moscow
1966 - 02
  • Apollo 201 (CM 009) - test of lunar orbiter craft. Success. Apollo CSM
  • Cosmos 110 - high altitude dog flight. Success. Voskhod 3KV
1966 - 03
  • Gemini 8. Success. Gemini. Armstrong, Scott
  • Gemini 8 Agena Target. Success. Gemini Agena Target Vehicle
    --
1966 - 04
    --
  • Cosmonaut training for lunar flights announced
1966 - 05
  • GATV 9. Failure. Gemini Agena Target Vehicle
  • First Saturn V vehicle rolled out to pad
    --
1966 - 06
  • Gemini 9 ATDA. Success. Agena Target Docking Adapter
  • Gemini 9. Success. Gemini. Stafford, Cernan
  • Voskhod 3 - Planned flight date (cancelled). Voskhod. Shonin,Volynov
1966 - 07
  • Apollo 2. Success. Apollo CSM
  • Gemini 10 Agena Target. Success. Gemini Agena Target Vehicle
  • Gemini 10. Success. Gemini. Young, Collins
  • Proton 3 - test of circumlunar booster. Success. Proton
  • Komarov announces that USSR will beat US to moon
1966 - 08
  • Apollo 202 (CM 011) - test of lunar orbiter craft. Success. Apollo CSM
    --
1966 - 09
  • Gemini 11 Agena Target. Success. Gemini Agena Target Vehicle
  • Gemini 11. Success. Gemini. Conrad, Gordon
    --
1966 - 11
  • Gemini 12 Agena Target. Success. Gemini Agena Target Vehicle
  • Gemini 12. Success. Gemini. Lovell, Aldrin
  • Lunar coordination problems
  • Government go-ahead for N-1 use in lunar program
  • Chelomei presents direct flight to moon concept
  • Cosmos 133 - test of Soyuz earth orbit craft. Success. Soyuz 7K-OK
1966 - 12
    --
  • Soyuz l - test of Soyuz earth orbit craft. Failure. Soyuz 7K-OK
1967 - 01
    --
  • Lunar circumlunar flight cosmonauts assigned. Lunar
  • First L-1 Zond spacecraft mated to Proton. Soyuz 7K-L1
1967 - 02
  • Apollo 204 - Apollo Fire - Apollo redesigned. Failure. Apollo CSM. Grissom, White, Chaffee
  • Government approves landing on moon by end 1968
  • Cosmos 140 - test of Soyuz earth orbit craft. Success. Soyuz 7K-OK
1967 - 03
    --
  • Cosmos 146 - test of circumlunar craft. Success. Soyuz 7K-L1
  • CIA reports on Soviet space developments
1967 - 04
    --
  • Cosmos 154 - test of circumlunar craft. Success. Soyuz 7K-L1
  • Soyuz 1 - Crashed, killed Komarov - Soyuz Redesign. Failure. Soyuz 7K-OK. Komarov
  • Soyuz 2A - Planned flight date. Soyuz 7K-OK. Bykovsky,Khrunov,Yeliseyev
1967 - 08
    --
  • Tass announces water landing exercises
1967 - 09
    --
  • Zond (4a) - test of circumlunar craft. Failure. Soyuz 7K-L1
1967 - 10
    --
  • Cosmos 186 - successful test of automated docking. Success. Soyuz 7K-OK
  • Cosmos 188 - docked with Cosmos 186. Success. Soyuz 7K-OK
1967 - 11
  • Apollo 4 - second test of lunar booster. Success. Apollo CSM
  • Zond (4b) - test of circumlunar craft. Failure. Soyuz 7K-L1
1968 - 01
  • Apollo 5 - first test of LM lunar lander. Success. Apollo LM
  • 20 cosmonauts begin training for lunar landing
1968 - 03
    --
  • Originally planned N-1 first launch
  • Zond 4 - test of circumlunar craft. Success. Soyuz 7K-L1
  • Final moon landing plan approved by Soviet state
  • Cosmonaut Gagarin dies in plane crash
1968 - 04
  • Apollo 6. Success. Apollo LM
  • Cosmos 212 - successful test of automated docking. Success. Soyuz 7K-OK
  • Cosmos 213 - docked with Cosmos 213. Success. Soyuz 7K-OK
  • Zond (5a) - test of circumlunar craft. Failure. Soyuz 7K-L1
1968 - 06
    --
  • November manned circumlunar flight set. Lunar
1968 - 07
    --
  • DIA/CIA warn of impending Zond circumlunar flight
  • Zond 7K-L1#8- test of circumlunar craft. Failure. Soyuz 7K-L1
1968 - 08
    --
  • Cosmos 238 - unmanned test of redesigned Soyuz. Success. Soyuz 7K-OK
1968 - 09
    --
  • Zond 5 - test of circumlunar craft. Success. Soyuz 7K-L1
1968 - 10
  • Apollo 7 - manned test of redesigned Apollo. Success. Apollo CSM. Schirra, Eisele, Cunningham
  • Soyuz 2 - docking target for Soyuz 3. Success. Soyuz 7K-OK
  • Soyuz 3 - manned test of redesigned Soyuz. Success. Soyuz 7K-OK. Beregovoi
1968 - 11
    --
  • Zond 6 - test of circumlunar craft. Success. Soyuz 7K-L1
  • Proton 4 - first test of earth orbit version. Success. Proton
1968 - 12
  • Apollo 8 - FIRST MANNED LUNAR FLIGHT. Success. Apollo CSM. Borman, Lovell, Anders
  • 18 cosmonauts in lunar training
1969 - 01
    --
  • Soyuz 4 - first docking and crew transfer. Success. Soyuz 7K-OK. Shatalov
  • Soyuz 5 - docked with Soyuz 5. Success. Soyuz 7K-OK. Khrunov, Volynov, Yeliseyev
1969 - 02
    --
  • N-1 - first attempt to launch lunar booster. Failure. Soyuz 7K-L1
1969 - 03
  • Apollo 9 CSM/LM earth orbit test. Success. Apollo CSM. McDivitt, Scott, Schweickart
    --
1969 - 05
  • Apollo 10 CSM/LM lunar orbit test. Success. Apollo CSM. Stafford, Young, Cernan
    --
1969 - 06
    --
  • Original planned date for first LK test. LK-T2K
1969 - 07
  • Apollo 11 FIRST LANDING ON MOON. Success. Apollo CSM. Armstrong, Collins, Aldrin
  • N-1 - second attempt to launch lunar booster. Failure. Soyuz 7K-L1
1969 - 08
    --
  • Zond 7 Circumlunar flight. Success. Soyuz 7K-L1
1969 - 11
  • Apollo 12 Second Moon landing. Success. Apollo CSM. Conrad, Gordon, Bean
    --
1970 - 04
  • Apollo 13 Emergency return. Success. Apollo CSM. Lovell, Swigert, Haise
    --
1970 - 10
    --
  • Zond 8 Circumlunar flight. Success. Soyuz 7K-L1
  • Zond - further circumlunar flights cancelled. Soyuz 7K-L1
1970 - 11
    --
  • Cosmos 379 - first test of LK lunar lander. Success. LK-T2K
1970 - 12
    --
  • Cosmos 382 - first test of LOK lunar orbiter. Success. Soyuz 7K-LOK
  • UR 700/LK-1 definitively cancelled
1971 - 01
  • Apollo 14 Third lunar landing. Success. Apollo CSM. Shepard, Roosa, Mitchell
  • RD-270 engine cancelled
1971 - 02
    --
  • Cosmos 398 - second test of LK lunar lander. Success. LK-T2K
1971 - 06
    --
  • N-1 - third attempt to launch lunar booster. Failure. Soyuz 7K-L1
1971 - 07
  • Apollo 15 Fourth lunar landing. Success. Apollo CSM. Scott, Worden, Irwin
    --
1971 - 08
    --
  • Cosmos 434 - third test of LK lunar lander. Success. LK-T2K
1972 - 04
  • Apollo 16 - Fifth lunar landing. Success. Apollo CSM. Young, Mattingly, Duke
    --
1972 - 11
    --
  • N-1 - Fourth attempt to launch lunar booster. Failure. Soyuz 7K-LOK
1972 - 12
  • Apollo 17 - Fifth and last lunar landing. Success. Apollo CSM. Cernan, Evans, Schmitt
    --
1974 - 01
    --
  • Glushko takes control of lunar program from Mishin
1974 - 02
    --
  • Manned lunar program, N-1 booster cancelled


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Last update 12 March 2001.
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