It was formed because of the Sputnik crisis of confidence. NASA inherited the earlier National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA), and other government organizations, and immediately began working on options for human space flight (Roland, 1999). NASA was first called upon to find out if humans could survive in space in Project Mercury. This was then followed by Project Gemini, which built upon the successes of Project Mercury and used a spacecraft built for two astronauts. NASA then turned their attention to the moon in Project Apollo, which was successful in 1969 when the Apollo 11 mission first put a man on the moon.
Logsdon, John M. "Human Space Flight and National Power." Space Policy : 11-13. Web. 21 May 2014. Logsdon, John M. "Change and Continuity in US Space Policy."
Retrieved March 29, 2012, from http://history.nasa.gov/Apollomon/Apollo.html The US Space Program Benefits. (n.d.). Problem Solving Techniques . Retrieved March 27, 2012, from http://www.problem-solving-techniques.com/US-Space-Program.html Waymer, J. (2011, July 31).
The first fifty years in space saw its start when Russia launched Sputnik, the first man made satellite in 1957. This ignited the “Space Race” and spawned a generation of enthusiasm in space travel and the scientific studies that was mainly fueled by the West versus East mentality. It seemed like every kid wanted to be Neil Armstrong during that era and that kept the following generation interested in manned space flight. But, how relevant is manned space flight going to be in the next fifty years with all these world and national issues happening around us that need to be given serious attention and funding? Is there a future in space or should the United States direct their efforts elsewhere?
Logsdon, J (2008). Ten Presidents and NASA. In NASA: 50 years of Exploration and Discovery, edited by Rhonda Carpenter and Ana Lopez, pp. 229-37. Washington, DC: NASA Ruzic, N (2013, Sep/Oct).