The race to conquer space. It was catapulted by World War II and The Cold War. By the 50s, The U.S. and Russia were the two powerhouses of the world. The conflict grew too big for Earth and it soon spread to space. With Sputnik and Yuri Gagarin reaching space before the U.S. could get off the ground, NASA became desperate. The Russians were first in space, but America would be the first to the moon. It was the achieving of this goal that led America to win the Race to space.