Definition of the space race noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

 

the space race

 noun
noun
BrE
 
; NAmE
 
 
jump to other results
competition between the US and the Soviet Union in the 1950s and 60s to be the first to explore space Culture The USSR was the early leader in the space race in 1957 with the Sputnik satellite (= an electronic device that moves around the earth in space), but the Americans were ahead by 1969 when the Apollo program landed men on the moon. The space race was once thought to have military importance, but the US and Russia now work together, e.g. in developing future space stations.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: the space race