Project Mercury was the first human spaceflight program of the United States. It ran from 1959 through 1963 with the goal of putting a man in orbit around the Earth. The Mercury-Atlas 6 flight on February 20, 1962 was the first Mercury flight to achieve this goal. Early planning and research was carried out by the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, and the program was officially conducted by the newly created NASA. The name comes from Mercury, a Roman mythological god who is often seen as a symbol of speed. Mercury is also the name of the innermost planet of the solar system, which moves faster than any other and hence provides an image of speed, although Project Mercury had no other connection to that planet.