Documents on the 20th-century competition for supremacy in spaceflight capacity between the United States and the Soviet Union. This collection selected, edited, and annotated by Dr. Asif Siddiqi. See also Documenting the Soviet ICBM Program and New Sources on Sputnik.
May 13, 1946
Decree of the USSR Council of Ministers, 'Questions of Reactive Weaponry'
Council of Ministers decree on the formation of the postwar Soviet missile industry.
October 15, 1951
Memorandum of D. F. Ustinov to L. P. Beria on the Use of German Specialists
Summary report on the use of German specialists for Soviet rocket development
February 13, 1953
USSR Council of Ministers Decree, 'On the Plan of Scientific-Research Work on Long-Range Missiles in 1953-1955'
Council of Ministers decree approving development of several intercontinental missiles
November 25, 1953
Memorandum by V. A. Malyshev, et. al., to the Presidium of the CPSU Central Committee on the Creation of a Long-Range Missile with a Nuclear Warhead
On the creation of a long-range missile to carry nuclear warheads
May 26, 1954
Letter by S. P. Korolev with Enclosed Report by Tikhonravov, 'On the Possibility of the Development of an Artificial Earth Satellite'
Report on simple satellite proposed by Tikhonravov, addressed to Council of Ministers
M. K. Tikhonravov, 'Memorandum on an Artificial Earth Satellite'
On the possibility of launching the “simplest satellite” along with future considerations of launching humans into space
February 12, 1955
Decree of the USSR Council of Ministers, 'On a New Test Range for the USSR Ministry of Defense'
Council of Ministers decree approving a launch range in Kazakhstan for testing the ICBM
August 05, 1955
Note of M. V. Khrunichev, V. M. Riabikov, and S. P. Korolev to N. S. Khrushchev and N. A. Bulganin On Work to Create an Artificial Earth Satellite
Requesting permission to launch a satellite during the International Geophysical Year
August 08, 1955
CPSU Central Committee Presidium Decree, 'On the Creation of an Artificial Satellite of the Earth'
Presidium (Politburo) decree approving the launch of a satellite during the International Geophysical Year
January 30, 1956
USSR Council of Ministers Decree, 'On the Creation of ‘Object D'
Council of Ministers decree officially approving the launch of a satellite during the International Geophysical Year
July 04, 1956
Note of Academician I. P. Bardin to N. S. Khrushchev about the Position of Soviet Representatives at a Conference of the Special Committee for the International Geophysical Year
What Soviet scientists could reveal about Soviet plans when traveling abroad
January 05, 1957
Proposal On the First Launches of Artificial Earth Satellites Before the Start of the International Geophysical Year
Suggesting launch of a smaller and simpler satellite before the beginning of the International Geophysical Year
February 15, 1957
CPSU Central Committee Presidium Decree, 'On Measures Connected with Carrying out the International Geophysical Year'
Presidium (Politburo) decree approving request to launch a simpler satellite at the beginning of the International Geophysical Yea
April 10, 1957
Memorandum from V. M. Riabikov and S. P. Korolev to N. S. Khrushchev on the State of Preparations for the First Launch of the R-7 Intercontinental Ballistic Missile
Preparations to launch the first R-7 ICBM
May 16, 1957
Report of V. M. Riabikov, M. I. Nedelin, K. N. Rudnev, and S. P. Korolev to the CPSU Central Committee
Results of first launch of the R-7 ICB
September 24, 1957
Note of V. M. Riabikov, K. N. Rudnev, and Others to the CPSU Central Committee About the Work to Launch Artificial Earth Satellites
On preparations to launch first Soviet satellite
September 26, 1957
Decree of the CPSU Central Committee Presidium, 'On the Launch of an Artificial Satellite of the Earth'
Presidium (Politburo) decree approving launch of satellite
Council of Ministers Decree, 'On the Launch of an Artificial Satellite of the Earth'
Approving the launch of the first Soviet satellite.
October 05, 1957
Pravda Newspaper Article, 'Announcement of the First Satellite'
Announcement of the launch of the first artificial "sputnik" satellite by the Soviet Union.