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National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) | Space Agency

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is an independent agency of the United States (USA) Federal Government responsible for the civilian space program, as well as aeronautics and aerospace research.
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Agency overview
FormedJuly 29, 1958; 61 years ago
Preceding agency
  • NACA (1915–1958)
JurisdictionUS Federal Government
HeadquartersTwo Independence Square, Washington, D.C.,
United States
38°52′59″N 77°0′59″W
MottoFor the Benefit of All
Employees17,219 (2019)
Annual budget US$22.629 billion (2020)
Agency executives
  • Jim Bridenstine, Administrator
  • James Morhard, Deputy Administrator
  • Jeff DeWit, Chief Financial Officer
NASA was established in the 1958, succeeding the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA). The new agency was to be have a distinctly civilian orientation, encouraging peaceful applications in thee space science.Since its establishment, most US space exploration the efforts have been led by National Aeronautics and Space Administration, including the Apollo Moon landing missions, the Skylab space station, and later the Space Shuttle. NASA is supporting the International Space Station (ISS) and is overseeing the development of the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle, the Space Launch System and Commercial Crew vehicles. The agency is also responsible for the Launch Services in Program which provides oversight of launch operations and countdown management for uncrewed NASA launches.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration science is focused on better understanding Earth through the Earth Observing System; the advancing heliophysics through the efforts of the Science Mission Directorate's Heliophysics Research Program;exploring bodies throughout the Solar System with advanced robotic spacecraft missions such as New Horizons; and the researching astrophysics topics, such as the Big Bang, through the Great Observatories and associated programs.


From 1946, the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) had been the experimenting with rocket planes such as the supersonic Bell X-1. In the early 1950s, there was the challenge to launch an artificial satellite for the International Geophysical Year (1957–58), resulting in the American Project Vanguard among others. After the Soviet launch of the world's first the artificial satellite (Sputnik 1) on October 4, 1957, the attention of the United States (US)turned toward its own fledgling space efforts. The US United States Congress, alarmed by the perceived threat to national security and technological leadership (known as the "Sputnik crisis"), urged immediate and swift action; President Dwight D. Eisenhower and the his advisers counseled more deliberate measures. On January 12, 1958, NACA National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics organized a "Special Committee on Space Technology", headed by Guyford Stever. On January 14, 1958, NACA Director Hugh Dryden published the National Research Program for Space Technology stating

Space flight programs

NASA National Aeronautics and Space Administration has conducted many crewed and uncrewed spaceflight programs throughout its history. The Uncrewed programs launched the first American artificial satellites into Earth orbit for scientific and communications purposes, and the sent scientific probes to explore the planets of the solar system, The starting with Venus and Mars, and including the grand tours of the outer planets. Crewed programs sent the first Americans into low Earth orbit (LEO), won the Space Race with the Soviet Union by landing twelve men on the Moon from 1969s to 1972s in the Apollo program, developed the semi-reusable LEO low Earth orbit Space Shuttle, and the developed LEO space station capability by itself and with the cooperation of the several other nations including post-Soviet Russia. Some of missions include both crewed and uncrewed aspects, such as the Galileo probe, which was deployed by astronauts in Earth orbit before being sent uncrewed to the Jupiter.

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