1958 National Aeronautics and Space Act establishes NASA.
1961 Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin becomes the first
human in space. A month later, Alan Shepard becomes the
first American in space.
Kennedy vows to land
Americans on the moon.
1962 John Glenn becomes the first American to orbit Earth. Mariner 1, America's first
attempt at an interplanetary spacecraft, ends up at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean.
1965 Mariner 4 flies past Mars, sending back the first images of the Red Planet's surface.