55 years ago today (Tuesday), the United States launched the space race with the creation of NASA. Originally part of the Department of Defense, the agency officially began its mission to explore space on October 1, 1958.
Among its accomplishments, NASA has sent 12 people to the moon, four rovers to mars, and the Voyager probe into interstellar space!
NASA also helped build the International Space Station and Hubble Telescope, which completely changed astronomy and expanded what we know about the universe.
Other innovations help us out everyday, from safer aircraft to medical technology, global communications and robotics. In the future, NASA says it hopes to send astronauts to mars within two decades, and launch the new Webb Space Telescope to replace Hubble.