National Aeronautics and Space Act
boosted space research and provided funds to increase the study of science. Enacted largely in response to the Soviet Union's launching of Sputnik I, the first man-made satellite to orbit the earth (1957), the Act created the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to research and develop vehicles and activities for the exploration of space. The related National Defense Education Act, formerly 20 U.S.C. § 401 et seq., provided extensive aid to schools and students in order to bring American education—particularly in the sciences—up to what were regarded as Soviet levels of achievement.