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                                           Today@VOA
                                                  No.740
"On July 29, 1958, Congress creates the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, or NASA."        
    "1958  NASA created-HISTORY"   "NASA-Wikipedia"Birth of NASA -NASA "
 
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1958 NASA Created-Images"      "Satellite-Wikipedia"
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On This Day in American History
On July 29, 1958, Congress creates the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, or NASA. The move came in response to the Soviet Union’s launch of the first-ever satellite, Sputnik . The launch of the satellite was a huge embarrassment to the United States, which prided itself on its technological prowess. While the Soviets maintained the edge in the space race for years, including putting the first man in space, NASA slowly but surely caught up and surpassed them, winning the ultimate race to put men on the Moon in 1969. Since the race to the Moon, NASA has launched numerous space probes to explore Solar System, landed spacecraft on Mars and cooperated on missions with the USSR and later, Russia. There have been setbacks, including the fire on Apollo 1 as well as the explosion of the space shuttle Challenger during launch and the disintegration of space shuttle Columbia during re-entry.

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                              "1958  NASA created-HISTORY"
On this day in 1958, the U.S. Congress passes legislation establishing the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), a civilian agency responsible for coordinating America’s activities in space. NASA has since sponsored space expeditions, both human and mechanical, that have yielded vital information about the solar system and universe. It has also launched numerous earth-orbiting satellites that have been instrumental in everything from weather forecasting to navigation to global communications.

NASA was created in response to the Soviet Union’s October 4, 1957 launch of its first satellite, Sputnik I. The 183-pound, basketball-sized satellite orbited the earth in 98 minutes. The Sputnik launch caught Americans by surprise and sparked fears that the Soviets might also be capable of sending missiles with nuclear weapons from Europe to America. The United States prided itself on being at the forefront of technology, and, embarrassed, immediately began developing a response, signaling the start of the U.S.-Soviet space race.

On November 3, 1957, the Soviets launched Sputnik II, which carried a dog named Laika. In December, America attempted to launch a satellite of its own, called Vanguard, but it exploded shortly after takeoff. On January 31, 1958, things went better with Explorer I, the first U.S. satellite to successfully orbit the earth. In July of that year, Congress passed legislation officially establishing NASA from the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics and other government agencies, and confirming the country’s commitment to winning the space race. In May 1961, President John F. Kennedy declared thatAmerica should put a man on the moon by the end of the decade. On July 20, 1969, NASA’s Apollo 11 mission achieved that goal and made history when astronaut Neil Armstrong became the first person to set foot on the moon, famously declaring “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind."


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