The U.S.S.R. and United States focused much of their space race public diplomacy on convincing other countries of their best intentions and showcasing their capabilities in space. This required goodwill tours of cosmonauts, astronauts, and space hardware.
Yuri Gagarin traveled through the U.S.S.R. and the world after his flight. Here he meets Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru.
Alan Shepard and other Mercury astronauts traveled throughout the world. NASA and the State Department cooperated to send John Glenn’s Friendship 7 spacecraft on a tour around the world in 1962. The tour was called the “Fourth Orbit of Friendship 7.”
Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev sent one of space dog Strelka’s puppies, Pushinka, to first daughter Caroline Kennedy in 1961 as a present. Soviet doctors proclaimed the birth of this first litter of “space pups” as proof that spaceflight was possible for human beings.