JPL existed before the creation of NASA and was vital in building and expanding a program to explore the cosmos. In the 1950s, the United States and the Soviet Union were nearing the ability to launch a satellite. The Soviet Union was the first to launch with Sputnik; however, a group of JPL scientists responded with the success of Explorer 1, which provided the world with the first space science discovery. Part of the "JPL and the Space Age" series. This title contains potentially offensive language and adult humor.