The U.S. Congress provided encouragement and support for space exploration and the creation and funding of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The Soviet Union’s successful launch of the unmanned Sputnik 1 satellite in 1957 made Congress determined to jolt the U.S. space program into action. Winning the race to space became a political, scientific and security priority. The United States intensified its efforts to be the first nation to send a man to the moon. Successful missions have sometimes come at a sacrifice, as these sources demonstrate.