The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) was founded on October 1, 1958. The founder was the 34th US president, Dwight D. Eisenhower.
NASA is most famous for helping the US in the space race against the Soviet Union. The race tarted in 1957 until 1975 and was used for the respected countries to determine their dominance over the other.
Dwight D. Eisenhower
The Soviet Union got an early lead in April 12, 1961. The first person in space was Yuri Gagarin, who was in space for 180 minutes, and completed one orbit.
WE ARE IN SPACE!
The US quickly bounced back and sent Alan Shepard in space. This made him the first American in space.
Using this momentum, the US then sent John Glenn in to space on February 20, 1962. This made him the first American to to orbit around the Earth.
The space race came to a close when the US put Neil Armstrong on the moon on July 20, 1969. This was a huge comeback for the US, which helped them show that they were a greater power that the Soviet Union.
That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.