Space timeline: 1960s

Major Yuri Gagarin

1960: 14 March: Radio telescope makes space history The British radio telescope at Jodrell Bank in Cheshire sets a new space record making contact with the Pioneer V satellite at a distance of 407,000 miles. 1961: 31 January: A Chimp called Ham returns safely after space flight of 5,000 mph at a height of 155 miles above the Earth. 12 April Soviets win space race Yuri Gagarin is the first man in space. He orbits the Earth for 108 minutes travelling at more than 17,000 mph before landing at an undisclosed location. 5 May: Shepard becomes first US astronaut 25 May: President John F Kennedy pledges to put a man on the Moon by 1970 In a speech to Congress and broadcasted on TV and radio around the US, he asks for an extra $1,700m (£600m) to fund it. 1962: 20 February: US spaceman orbits Earth 26 April: Britain launches Ariel I satellite 26 April: First US rocket lands on Moon but fails to send back pictures due to a technical fault 14 December: 'Music of spheres' hails Venus fly-by as first radio contact plays strange chord-like sounds 1963: 16 June: Soviets launch first woman into space 1965: 18 March: Alexei Leonov performs first space walk 24 March: Millions watch space probe crash into Moon 29 March: Gemini V returns to Earth 1966: 3 February: Soviets make the first controlled landing of a probe on the Moon 2 June: First US space probe lands on Moon Just over half an hour later, it begins transmitting a series of astonishing photographs of the Moon's surface. 1967: 27 June: Three astronauts die in Apollo 1 tragedy Fire caused by an electrical spark sweeps through an Apollo spacecraft during rehearsals at Cape Kennedy killing the crew within seconds. 24 April: Russian cosmonaut dies in space crash 5 May: First all-British satellite 'Ariel 3' launched 18 October: Soviets glimpse beneath clouds of Venus 19 October: US probe Mariner 5 flies past hot and windy Venus 1968: 24 December: First astronauts orbit the Moon in Apollo 8 1969: 22 May: Apollo 10 gets bird's eye view of Moon 16 July: Apollo 11 takes off for the Moon 21 July: American Neil Armstrong becomes the first man to walk on the Moon as part of the Apollo 11 mission 19 November: Second Apollo mission lands on Moon Next: The 1970s Space homepage