NASA HISTORY: President Eisenhower Proposed Creation of NASA April 2, 1958
By NASA // April 2, 2017
Proposed To Congress
(NASA) – On April 2, 1958, President Dwight Eisenhower proposed the creation of a space agency in a message to Congress.
That agency became known as the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
The Soviet Union had launched the first satellite, Sputnik, on October 4, 1957, and although the United States had satellite plans already in place, this challenge provided a strong impetus for the creation of NASA.
Many questions concerning the nature of the proposed agency soon were raised.
For example, should it be a military or civilian agency? Should it be entirely new or built upon an extant agency?
Through much deliberation, it was decided that NASA should be a civilian agency built around National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) for “a civilian setting for the administration of space function will emphasize the concern of our Nation that outer space be devoted to peaceful and scientific purposes.”
The creation of NASA was a complicated process, but progress was swift.
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