Congress Backs the Space Race

Spurred by the Soviet Union’s 1957 launch of Sputnik 1, Congress organized to study all aspects of space exploration. The House Select Committee on Astronautics (later made the Committee on Science and Aeronautics) and the Senate Standing Committee on Aeronautical and Space Sciences together established the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in 1958, set its priorities, and oversaw the effort to put the first astronaut on the moon.

It was here in these halls that our venture really began.

Neil Armstrong, Address to a Joint Session of Congress, September 16, 1969