USSR leads the space race

POLAND - CIRCA 1964: stamp printed by Poland, shows The crew of the spaceship Voskhod-1, circa 1964
Image: Shutterstock

The Soviet Union launches Voskhod 1 into orbit around Earth, with cosmonauts Vladamir Komarov, Konstantin Feoktistov, and Boris Yegorov aboard. Voskhod 1 was the first spacecraft to carry a multi-person crew, and the two-day mission was also the first flight performed without space suits. In the late 1950s and early 1960s, the U.S. space program consistently trailed the Soviet program in space firsts, a pattern that drastically shifted with the triumph of the U.S. lunar program in the late 1960s and early 1970s.