Space Diplomacy

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 meets Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru.
Yuri Gagarin traveled through the U.S.S.R. and the world after his flight. Here he meets Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru.
President Kennedy and John Glenn inspect Friendship 7.
President Kennedy and John Glenn inspect Friendship 7.

JFK Presidential Library and Museum

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.”

Caroline Kennedy with her family, including two of Pushinka’s puppies.
Caroline Kennedy with her family, including two of Pushinka’s puppies.

Photograph by Cecil Stoughton, White House, in the John Fitzgerald Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum

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.