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The Woman Who Helped Create NASA
July 29, 2013

Eilene Galloway Eilene Galloway relaxes at her home in 2008. Credit: NASA
 When Eilene Galloway was born, the Wright Brothers' historic flight was less than three years old. Half a century later, Galloway helped create the agency that landed humans on the moon and continues to explore our home planet, the solar system and beyond.

On July 29, 1958, President Dwight Eisenhower signed the National Aeronautics and Space Act, leading to the birth of NASA on Oct. 1, 1958. Galloway, who died in 2009 just short of her 103rd birthday,  helped make it all happen.

Galloway began work with the Congressional Research Service of the Library of Congress in 1941, researching and writing House and Senate documents including "Guided Missiles in Foreign Countries," released just before the Soviets launched Sputnik in October 1957.

In 1958, then-U.S. Senator Lyndon B. Johnson asked her to help with Congressional hearings that led to the creation of NASA and America's entry into the Space Race. "The only thing I knew about outer space at that time," she said, "was that the cow had jumped over the Moon."

Galloway helped write the legislation, emphasizing international cooperation and peaceful exploration. Later, she served as America's representative in drafting treaties governing the exploration and uses of outer space and launched the field of space law and international space law. She also served on nine NASA Advisory Committees.


Galloway also worked for several decades with the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space and was also instrumental in creating the International Institute of Space Law, which serves as the forum for legal scholars and others from around the world in studying and debating the legal issues associated with the exploration and utilization of space, according to the AIAA.

› National Aeronautics and Space Act

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Galloway gave an interview to NASA Television in 2006, as she approached her 100th birthday.
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Page Last Updated: July 29th, 2013
Page Editor: NASA Administrator