A year later, in 1958 America succeeded in sending its own satellite into orbit. That same year, President Dwight D. Eisenhower created the National Aeronautics and Space Administration – which would become known across the globe as NASA. However despite the new space exploration agency, it was once again the Soviets who propelled the Space Race forward.
In 1959 the U.S.S.R. launched Luna 2, the first spacecraft to reach the Moon. Then, in April 1961 Yuri Gagarin – a Soviet cosmonaut – became the first person sent into orbit. Proving that the U.S. wasn’t too far behind the Soviets, just a month later American Alan Shepard became the first of his countrymen to enter space.