(CNN NEWSOURCE) – Big birthday wishes to all the folks at NASA, the agency turned 61 on Tuesday.
The agency was founded in 1958 as part of the National Aeronautics and Space Act enacted by Congress and signed by presided Dwight Eisenhower.
NASA stands for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and was created in part in response to the Soviet Union’s space achievements, including the 1957 launch of the Sputnik satellite.
Today the Agency says it is “responsible for unique scientific and technological achievements in human spaceflight, aeronautics, space science, and space applications that have had widespread impacts on our nation and the world.”
NASA’s first high profile project was Project Mercury, which was an effort to learn if humans could survive in space.
That was followed by the Appolo Project which put the first humans on the moon with Apollo 11 in 1969.
In the years since NASA has established the International Space Station, the Hubble Space Telescope and several unmanned missions to mars.