In 1942 the German V2 was the first rocket to reach 100km from the Earth’s surface (the boundary of space).
Albert II, was the first monkey in space. He was a Rhesus monkey, a type of monkey that originally comes from Asia.
On 4th October 1957, Russia launched the first satellite into space; Sputnik 1, and the space age had properly begun!
By 1959 Both American and Russian scientists were in a race to get a spacecraft to the Moon; the Russians made it first.
On 12th April 1961, Russian Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first man in space. Gagarin's spacecraft, Vostok 1, completed one orbit of the earth, and landed about two hours after launch.
The first woman in space was Russian cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova.
In 1963 US President John F. Kennedy promised the world that the US would land men on the moon before 1970. Before risking people's lives, NASA sent a robot spaceship, to make sure they could land safely.
Once it had landed on the moon, the robotic spaceship Surveyor 1 started taking photographs of the moon's surface, which it transmitted back to excited scientists in America and around the world.
On 20th July 1969, Neil Armstrong, and then Buzz Aldrin took "one small step" and became the first men on the moon. The first words said on the moon were "the Eagle has landed". Their spaceship, Apollo 11 worked perfectly, flying them 250,000 miles to the moon, and bringing them all the way back safely to earth. Buzz was a childhood nickname - his real name was Edwin!
Two days into its journey to the moon, on 13th April 1970, Apollo 13 suffered an explosion caused by a wiring fault. Using only whatever was on board, NASA scientists and the astronauts on board improvised repairs to bring the crippled spaceship home.
In 1973, Russian space probe Mars 2 explored Mars, the fourth planet of the solar system.