During the cold war, the US and USSR wanted to beat each other technologically. They both wanted to out do each other in weapons and in space! The Russians built the first satellite and that prompted the US to step up their game. The Russians also got the first man and woman up to space! The US followed suit launching rockets with astronauts like John Glenn and others with the Mercury project in the 50’s. Ultimately, in 1969, Apollo 11 landed on the moon with Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin. Other nations like Germany got involved as well. The Nazi government was interested in space too! One scientist, Warner Von Braun was a scientist for the Nazis but went to america after the war. He was involved in many space ship designs for the US space program! There is an intriguing documentary series about the space race by PBS.