U.S. Capitol Visitor Center

Welcome to the U.S. Capitol

Sending Americans into Space - 1

In the 1950s, the United States and the Soviet Union began programs for manned and unmanned scientific missions into space. The Soviets’ 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.

1 Image Bill to Establish the National Aeronautics and Space Administration,... View All Images
3 Images President John F. Kennedy’s Message to Congress, May 25, 1961 View All Images
1 Image Representative Teague’s Letter to President Kennedy, September 23,... View All Images
1 Image Men on the Moon, July 20, 1969 View All Images