The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is the government agency responsible for the United States of America's space program and long-term general aerospace research. A civilian organization, it conducts (or oversees) research into both civilian and military aerospace systems.
|Table of contents|
3 NASA space missions
4 Field installations
5 Related legislation
6 See also
7 External links
Vision and Mission
NASA has distilled its official vision and mission into simple lists. Its vision is:
Its mission, updated after the September 11, 2001 Terrorist Attacks:
- To understand and protect our home planet;
- To explore the Universe and search for life; and
- To inspire the next generation of explorers.
NASA's predecessor was the National Advisory Committee on Aeronautics (NACA), which was formed in 1915 to promote aeronautical research and development in the United States. In 1958, the department was reorganized and given control of the space program, which had previously been undertaken separately by different branches of the military.
Some of its most notable achievements are sending the first men to the moon in 1969, the ongoing space shuttle program, contributions to the international space station, and the launching of various space probes and satellites. Its activities have led to a wealth of scientific discoveries, many of which have led to important military and commercial applications. In recent years, its strategy has begun to shift from pursuing a few high-cost projects, to pursuing a number of smaller and lower-cost projects ("faster, better, cheaper"), including the use of unmanned rockets, probes and robots.
Florida, USA, taken from NASA Shuttle Mission STS-95 on 31st October 1998.
NASA space missionsESA on some missions:
- Chandra X-ray Observatory
- Infrared Astronomical Satellite
- Space Infrared Telescope Facility (Spitzer Space Telescope)
Do we want observatory-type missions listed separately?
There are 12 NASA field installations: