On August 26, 1957, the USSR launches the Vostok rocket (first intercontinental ballistic missile).
On October 4, 1957, the USSR launches Sputnik into orbit.
On November 3, 1957, the USSR launches Sputnik II. Sputnik II carried the first animal in space, the dog Laika, who died.
On January 31, 1958, the United States launches their first satellite, Explorer I.
In July of 1958, NASA begins the Mercury Project (first human spaceflight program) by launching the Atlas rocket.