People always wandered about sky. Even in Greek mythology people talked about Icharus who tried to fly high and got burned by the sun. For centuries people, such as Leonardo da Vinci in 16th century Italy, made plans to fly.
But it wasn't until about 60 years ago that people learned how to send things to space. During this time United States and Soviet Union did not get along well. They were both superpowers and each wanted to have the best space program. The first satellite was sent to space by Soviet Union (now Russia) in 1957. They called it Sputnik satellite. USA sent their satellite to space few moths later. This started the SPACE RACE.