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Soon after World War II, the United States and the Soviet Union became locked in a global conflict pitting democracy against communism. Space became a critical theater in this Cold War, as each side competed to best the other's achievements in what became known as the Space Race.
This gallery tells about that U.S.-Soviet space rivalry and its aftermath, from the military origins of the Space Race, through the race to the Moon and the development of reconnaissance satellites, to cooperative ventures between the two former rivals and efforts to maintain a human presence in space. Some of the many highlights include a German V-1 "buzz bomb" and V 2 missile, Soviet and U.S. spacecraft and space suits, a Skylab Orbital Workshop, and a full-size test version of the Hubble Space Telescope.