The U.S. And Russia Have Been Rivals Since The Very First Space Race

Do you remember this race?

Fifty years ago, the Russia-United States rivalry had nothing to do with Vladimir Putin, President Obama or international sports.

Instead, the rivalry was centered around two major historical events for both countries: the Cold War and the Space Race. 

It started in 1957, when the Soviet Union launched Sputnik, the world's first artificial satellite, into space. That event, and Sputnik II, which had a dog on board, spurred the U.S. into sending the Explorer into space in '58. 

What ensued was a competition between two countries that have had a long and complex relationship. 

Today, much of the news is dominated by military posturing and public barbs, but it wasn't always like that. 

Check out the video below to see how the Space Race helped evolve the relationship between the U.S. and Russia.

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