Space Program (U.S.)

After the launch of the Russian satellite Sputnik on October 4, 1957, the U.S. Congress met this Cold War challenge by greatly enhancing the space program of the United States. On July 29, 1958, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the National Aeronautics and Space Act (Public Law 85–568) creating the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Organized as a civilian agency, it was given a mission of peaceful space research.

NASA has directed two kinds of space programs—unmanned flights to the solar system, and manned flights. Unmanned flights have included the Ranger space probes to photograph the Moon, the Surveyor probes that made the first American landings on the Moon, the Viking probes to Mars to study its soil, and the Pioneer probes to study Venus.

Voyager ...

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