The National Aeronautics and Space Administration, better known as NASA, is the organization responsible for the US space program and research. NASA was responsible for all of the Apollo missions and the Space Shuttle program. They are also heavily involved in the International Space Station and in exploring the solar system and wider galaxy. They have many different research and test facilities, but their main headquarters are in Washington DC. The organization employs over 18,000 people and is under the jurisdiction of the United States Government.
When was NASA founded?
Prior to the founding of NASA, space exploration was considered to be a military venture. The US government believed that space exploration should be a peaceful endeavor that benefited the entire human race. It was concluded that the US military would not be able to keep up with the Soviet space program so NASA was formed. On July 29, 1958 President Eisenhower signed the National Aeronautics and Space Act and established NASA as we know it today. When NASA was formed, the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) was incorporated into NASA. NACA was founded in 1915 and had the responsibility for aeronautical research.
Since it was founded the highlight for NASA was successfully landing a man on the moon on, July 20 1969. The next major goal for NASA is a manned mission to Mars. Although this won’t take place until sometime after 2030, the planning for the mission is well underway.