H.R. 7007 authorized the appropriation of $480,550,000 to the recently created National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). On October 4, 1957, the Soviet Union launched Sputnik, the first satellite in space, shocking Americans and igniting a furious space race. H.R. 7007 was introduced in the House on May 7, 1959, and became law just five weeks later, on June 15, 1959. The total amount authorized for NASA in H.R. 7007 and the companion Senate bill S. 1096 was the exact dollar amount NASA requested from Congress for fiscal years 1959 and 1960. This showed that funding for space exploration had moved to the top of Congress’s list of priorities in the wake of falling behind the Soviets.
This document is the engrossing copy of the bill, which is the final copy of the legislation after it passes the House. An engrossed bill is signed by the presiding officers of both chambers before ending up on the President’s desk for veto or signature into law. A copy of a bill from each stage in the legislative process is typically part of the official records of a committee.