Main Content

President Johnson Watches Saturn Rocket Launch (1964)

National Archives and Records Administration

Throughout the nineteenth century, the United States expanded westward toward the Pacific coast. With those aspirations achieved, the mid-twentieth century looked upward to explore outer space. The White House's ambitions to reach beyond the earth's atmosphere were largely fueled by the United States' space race with the Soviet Union. The subsequent competition between both nations brought about a surge of scientific advancements and technologies. Discover how the White House and presidents played a role in space exploration.