Photos: 60 years of NASA's technological accomplishments

​NASA: 60 years and counting

The space race began in earnest with the launch of the Soviet Union's Sputnik satellite, the first artificial satellite ever launched into Earth's orbit, in 1957. The United States' National Advisory Committee on Aeronautics (NACA) had been experimenting with satellite launch for several years, and despite its work the Soviet Union still managed to launch Sputnik before NACA could plan a successful launch.

President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the National Aeronautics and Space Act into law on June 29, 1958, giving birth to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

NASA's 60 years of existence, which formally began on October 1, 1958, have been filled with technological milestones, from being the first organization to land a man on the moon to the amazing success of the Curiosity rover on Mars. Here's a look at some of NASA's biggest accomplishments.

Image: NASA

By Brandon Vigliarolo

Brandon writes about apps and software for TechRepublic. He's an award-winning feature writer who previously worked as an IT professional and served as an MP in the US Army.