In 1964, Gagarin took up the challenge of designing the Soviets' first spaceplane. ->
Before he was an astronaut, Neil Armstrong figured out how to save pilots in America's first planned orbital space program from an explosion on the launch pad.
In 1958, the U.S. Air Force considered nuking the Moon for science... and political might.
The Dyna-Soar, which might have been history's first space shuttle, was unceremoniously cancelled in 1963.