The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is a branch of the U.S. Military founded in 1958. A predecessor of NASA existed for 46 years before NASA was officially created by President Dwight Eisenhower. NASA was one of the key strategies to defeat the Soviet Union during the Cold War. On May 5, 1961, Astronaut Alan Shepard became the first man launched into space by NASA. NASA put the first man on the moon in July 1969. In 1993, NASA and other world space organizations created the first international space station. NASA is frequently in the news for breathtaking photos of the galaxy and for new missions to Mars.