For more than a century before 1957, scientists and adventurers dreamed about the exploration of space and designed rockets and vehicles to make it possible, but the real space age began on October 4, 1957, when the Soviet Union launched the Sputnik satellite. Until then, America's space exploration had been entrusted to the military, but immediately following Sputnik, the United States began to plan for the first civilian space agency. NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) was officially born on July 29, 1958.America in Space is a visual history of NASA, from its early days as a pioneer in supersonic flight, through the first manned space missions of the 1960s, to the shuttle and international space station missions that are still underway. It also covers NASA's exploration of the Solar System using unmanned probes and the imagery from satellite telescopes like Hubble.In fall 2007, NASA begins to celebrate its 50th Anniversary and Abrams is privileged to publish the official visual history of its many achievements in manned and unmanned space travel. Written and edited by a team of experienced NASA staffers and illustrated with many unpublished and rare images from the voluminous NASA archives scattered across the country, America in Space offers an unparalleled view of the human need to explore unknown places.