>>They insist: "For The United States, the leading space faring nation for nearly half a century.
There have been 22 Russians who have spent over a year in space, but only three Americans, of those three, one was half British and another only just did it by about 16 hours, in additon Russia also holds these "firsts";
First human in space
First (unmanned) moon (impact!) landing
First (unmanned) moon landing
First samples returned from the moon
First day spent in space
First full year spent in space
First manned space station
First woman in space
First woman to do a spacewalk
First two-man spacecraft
First three-man spacecraft
It was five years (1964) after the russian successes (1959) that the USA got something to land on the moon (all the pioneer missions failed and only the last three ranger ones which were successful and they were 'impact' missions).
As a side note, the USA achieved their space program by employing Nazis and war criminals, the russian achievements were far more numerous and moraly sound.
Don't get me wrong first man on the moon *way* cool (even if it's only for political reasons), but in no way has the USA been "the leading space faring nation for nearly half a century".