Sputnik was the name of a series of satellites launched by the Soviet Union from 1957 to 1961. The launch of Sputnik 1 on October 4, 1957, caught Americans by surprise. They worried not only that their Cold War enemy had surpassed them in science and technology, but also that the intercontinental ballistic missiles used to launch the Sputnik satellites could deliver nuclear bombs from the Soviet Union to the U.S. in less than an hour. These fears led the U.S. government to create the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in 1958 and to pour more money and resources into its space program. This in turn initiated a race between the two nations to land a person on the moon, and it contributed to an “arms race” between the two nations, as both enhanced and expanded their stockpiles of nuclear as well as conventional missiles.