In 1957, the Soviet Union grabbed the attention of the world with the launch of the first artificial satellite, Sputnik, giving rise to a space race with the United States. By repurposing Cold War missiles into space launch vehicles, each side sought to prove its superiority in technology, scientific advancement and influence.
In response to early successes by the Soviets, the United States established the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in 1958, which soon began to progress rapidly with the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo human spaceflight programs. With the contributions of more than 400,000 Americans, the U.S. was able take the lead and declare victory in the space race with the landing of the first humans on the moon on July 20, 1969.
2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the historic Apollo 11 mission, and Retro 51 is proud to partner with the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation (ASF) to honor and support the brave men and women who made such an achievement possible and who continue to reach for the stars.