“An Act to provide for research into the problems of flight within and outside the Earth’s atmosphere, and for other purposes.”

On July 29, 1958, the United States Congress passed legislation that authorized the formation of a civilian agency to coordinate the US’s space activities. This agency – the National Aeronautics and Space Administration – has, in spite of many obstacles and profoundly tragic setbacks, propelled us forward in areas as far ranging as weather-forecasting and defense, global (and stellar) communications, navigation system, and space exploration.

“When you organize extraordinary missions, you attract people of extraordinary talent who might not have been inspired by or attracted to the goal of saving the world from cancer or hunger or pestilence.”  — Neil DeGrasse Tyson



Official image of the Space Act from the National Archives. All historical & space photos from the site


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