Hans Remembers- Thursday July 3, 1969- the Soviet Union’s hopes to beat the USA in the race to put a man on the Moon came to an end on this day when their N1 rocket exploded shortly after launch. The N1 was the Soviet answer to the US’s Saturn V rocket. The Soviet failure wasn’t known until six weeks later- and by that time Apollo 11 had been to the Moon and back. The N1 was unmanned and speculation is the Soviet plan was to sent the unmanned spacecraft to the vicinity of the Moon and return it to Earth. The Soviets were already behind the US when the N1 failed- the failure all but closed the door for the Soviets to get to the Moon first.