On October 4, 1957, the Soviet Union launched the first artificial Earth satellite. That year, the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union commenced.
In 2011, President Obama stated the following in his State of the Union address: “Half a century ago, when the Soviets beat us into space with the launch of a satellite called Sputnik, we had no idea how we would beat them to the moon. The science wasn’t even there yet. NASA didn’t exist. But after investing in better research and education, we didn’t just surpass the Soviets; we unleashed a wave of innovation that created new industries and millions of new jobs.”