The Space War that started between the Soviet Union and the US probed them to be able to try to make the best vehicles that they can in order to beat the other. Vehicles have been sent into space for decades, both manned and unmanned and the methods that have been used and the different things that have been sent into space have changed drastically. Below is a timeline of the evolution of both manned and unmanned spacefraft.

Unmanned Spacecraft

Explorer 1 (Jan. 31, 1958) : This was the first unmanned spacecraft. It was released 2 months after the acclaimed Sputnik 2 mission, which was the first mission in history with a living thing in the spacecraft.

Luna 1 (Jan. 2, 1959) : Luna 1 was the first object to be released from Earth's orbit. It slightly misses the moon, which was what it was supposed to land on, but still becomes the first object to be able to leave Earth's atmosphere.

Discovery 1 (Feb. 28, 1959 - Aug. 11 1960) : Discovery 1 was the first satellite to be sent into space. However, it was not until Feb. 28 of the next year that information was recorded at the same time as Discovery 13's release.

Explorer 6 (Aug. 7, 1959) : Explorer 6 was a spacecraft that was sent up in space to be able to study radiation in space. However, it was also trying a new scanning system that the US wanted to try, which then brought back the first pictures of space.

Verena (Feb. 12, 1961) : This was a spacecraft that was sent to Venus by the Soviet Union. It was supposed to work out, but after a week the probe completely stopped responding.

Saturn 1 (Oct. 27, 1961) : Saturn 1 was the initial rocket that was used for the Apollo missions. It was tested for the first time because it was going to be used to make large payloads go up into outer space.

Telstar 1 (July 10, 1962) : It was the spacecraft that enabled the transmission of of television signals from the satellites to Earth.

Cosmos 7 (July 28, 1962) : This was the first satellite that was sent out by the U.S.S.R that turned out to be successful. It was acclaimed by the U.S.S.R.

Gemini 1 (April 8, 1964) : This was the first two-seat space system that was sent into an unmanned flight. This inspired later designs for the invention and was acclaimed everywhere.

Ranger 7 (July 28, 1964) : It's purpose was to be able to take pictures of the moon before any other ranger spacecraft. It was successful, before it crashed into its own surface 4 days later.

Mariner 4 (July 14, 1965) : This was the first unmanned spacecraft to be able to have the first successful flyby past mars.

Asterix (Nov. 26, 1965) : The first module launched by France, which makes France the third country to be able to launch an unmanned spacecraft.

Apollo 9 (March 3, 1969) : Tests of the lunar module were conducted while Apollo 9's launch was in play.

Lamba 4 (Feb. 11, 1970) : This is the first rocket that Japan launched which also made it the fourth country to conduct an unmanned space mission. \

Luna 16 (Sept. 12, 1970) : This was the first mission that was able to recieve a sample from the actualy mission.

Apollo 17 (December 19, 1972) : This was the last mission that the US released, because of the events of Apollo 13.

Skylab (May 14, 1973) : This was released by the Saturn V rocket, which made it the first space station that was released by the US.

Mariner 10 (March 29, 1974) : This was the first spacecraft to be able to pass by Mercury successfully.

US Viking 1 (July 20, 1976) : That was the first lander to successfully land on Mars, which beat out the Soviet Union's attempt a year earlier.

Voyager 1 and 2 (Aug. 20/ Sept. 5, 1977) : Voyager 1 was used to have passbys of Jupiter and Saturn, while Voyager 2 was supposed to record passbys of Uranus and Neptune.

Skylab cont. (July 11, 1979) : Skylab plummets to Earth and crashes in the grasslands of Australia.

Intertational Cometary Explorer (Sept. 11: 1985) : This was the first module to be used to fly past a comet.

The Space Shuttle Atlantis (May 4, 1989) : It releases the Magellan Space Probe which was able to radar the surface of Venus.

The Hubble Telescoope (April 25, 1990) : The first telescope to be released into space and it is still in use today, and is still seen today.

The US Cosmic Background Explorer (April 23, 1992) : It detected the first evidence of structure that was detected because of the Big Bang.

Apstar 1 (Jan. 26, 1995) : This was a mission that was carried on by the Chinese, in which a rocket was sent to space and it failed, which resulted in the US barring all missions that were associated with the Chinese.

Mir Space Station (June 25, 1997) : An unmanned process that was made by the Russians collides with the Mir Space Station that was made many years before.

New Horizons (Jan. 19, 2006) : This was the first mission that was made to the dwarf planets and the first mission to get to Pluto.

Dragon (2012) : This was the first unmanned spacecraft to deliver goods to the ISS or the International Space Station.

There are also a bunch of missions that were taken that were manned. Most of these are from the Soviet Union who actually the race for space, and the US, because they were trying to compete with the Soviet Union.

Manned Spacecraft

Yuri Gagarin (April 12, 1961) : This was the first man to ever be released into space. He was released by the Soviet Union, and he was in space for one minute and he completed one full fly around.

John Glenn (Feb. 20, 1962) : He was the person to be able to complete the first manned flyby aboard Mercury 6.

Valentina Tereshkova: She was the first female to fly into space at the time.

Ed White (June 3, 1965) : This was the first man to be able to walk in space, instead of just flying there.

Apollo 7 (Oct. 11, 1968) : The people on this mission were on the first manned Apollo mission, which was also the first mission with television broadcast.

Apollo 8 (Dec. 21, 1968) : Apollo 8 was the first mission to complete a successful orbit around the moon.

Soyuz 4/ Soyuz 5 (Jan. 16, 1969) : These two missions were the ones to have the first inorbit crew transfer.

Apollo 11 (July 20, 1969) : These were the people that JFK sent up before his assassination. He said that these people would reach the moon before the decade was over and it was successful.

Jean-Loupp Chretien (June 24, 1982) : He was launched by the Soviet Union, also aboard Soyuz T-6.

Sally Ride (June 18, 1983) : Aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger, she was the first American woman to make it into space.

Bruce Mccandless/ Robert Stewart (Feb. 7, 1984) : They maneuvered around 300 feet in the Space Shuttle Challenger in the first ever untethered space walks.

Soyuz T-15 (March 13, 1986) : They were able to revive the Mir space station, after it had died. They were also able to obtain parts from the previous mission of Salyut 7.

SpaceShipOne (Oct. 4, 2004) : This was the winner of a space flying competition, where it was able to complete two flies around Earth.

Falcon (2017) : This is a flight that is going to take place soon, where they are trying to use the same thrusters from a different rocket that they have previously used.

The examples that I have showed you, show the evolution of what spacecraft has become, and what is to come in the future.