From: Iliaca, Spain
Thanks Blind Sniper.
USA get more budget for this season thanks to a Private funds. It's time to recruit the Group I of Astronauts; Grissom, Shepard, Glenn, Carpenter, Schirra, Cooper and Slayton.
Mercury capsule was initiated and scrub the Explorer II to save money.
By your side, the soviets get another german smart man and also recruit seven cosmonauts; Nelyubov, Gagarin, Titov, Nikolayev, Popovich, Bykovsky and Komarov. The Vostok capsule start R&D.
-May 1958: Launching of the Sputnik II the first soviet satellite. The R-7 push the ship into the air but suddenly the second stage fails and a huge explosion rip the rocket during ascent.
USA get another 13 millions to the budget. They are very welcome. Money was spent in more R&D of Mercury capsule and Atlas rocket. The soviets use their money similary, Vostok capsule and R-7.
-November 1958: Unmaned launching of the Mercury I to improve R&D. As usual in first launches, the heat shield fails and the ship desintegrates during descent.
-December 1958: The russians launch the Sputnik III but again, the R-7 rocket's second stage AGAIN fails miserably and the ship is destroyed.