The Space Race was a 20th century competition between two Cold War rivals, Soviet Union (USSR) and the United States, Race to Space.
The Soviets launched the first satellite into space called Sputnik, the space race occurred in United States and Russia in the 20th century.
It was a dramatic arena for the Cold War competition, Eisenhower gave a speech about it. Main reason for this was they wanted to be the first people to launch into space and have the first man up in space.
This action had mostly positive affects, but did have some negative as well, such as the pollution that the rocket has left, the safety and cost was pretty high.