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What is NASA?

NASA building

NASA or the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, was founded on July 29, 1958 by a man named Dwight D. Eisenhower in the United States. Eisenhower was an American military officer and statesman who was the 34th president of the United States and he served the country from 1953 to 1961.

He served as the Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force in Europe back in World War 2. Eisenhower achieved the very rare five-star rank of General of the Army; he was born on October 14, 1890 in Denison, Texas and died on March 28, 1969.

NASA was not operating openly until October 1, 1958 after it succeeded the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics. NASA’s headquarters reside in Washington D.C. and it is administered by Bill Nelson and Steve Jurczyk. Bill Nelson is a former member of the United States Senate and was sworn in as the 14th NASA administrator as of recent on May 3, 2021; he was tasked with carrying out the vision of the Biden-Harris administration.

NASA has 10 centers, 7 research and test facilities, and the Jet Propulsion Labratory. The Kennedy Space Center, which is one of the more well known centers in the bunch, is infamously known for being the location where Space Shuttle Challenger launched and subsequently exploded 73 seconds after its launch. It is located on Merritt Island, Florida and opened on August 1, 1967.

It was named after the 35th president of the United States John F. Kennedy who made several speeches during the Space Age talking about the Space Race against the Soviet Union. One of his most famous quotes from one of his speeches: “We choose to go to the Moon,'' officially marked the beginning of the mission to place the first man on the moon and inspired millions upon millions of people around the U.S.

The Jet Propulsion Labratory, or JPL, is a research institute residing in California and is funded federally by the government. JPL was founded on October 31, 1936 and is owned by NASA now. The Jet Propulsion Labratory is managed and operated by Caltech which can also be known as the California Institute of Technology. Caltech is a private research university.

NASA ship

NASA is an independent agency which was created in order to watch over and tend towards U.S. space exploration and research about aeronautics. Over the years there has been many incidents and tradgedy’s having to do with the various and well known space missions such as Challenger, Columbia, and the Apollo Program. As of today there have been a total of 30 deaths involved with spaceflight and sadly, many of which were whitnessed live on television by the American people.

Thankfully, none of the deceased astronauts are currently floating in the dark coldness that is space; all of the accidents occured on ground, during re-entry, or during ascent. The remains of the corpses never left the Earth or otherwise fell back down to the ground following the incidents. NASA however, was not the start of the so-called Space Age. In 1957 on October 4, the Soviets residing within Russia launched the Sputnik. Sputnik was a Soviet satellite which was actually the first artificial Earth satellite and was a part of the Soviet Space Program in the mid-1950’s.

NASA Facts

  • NASA is an independent agency of the United States Federal Government.
  • Project Mercury was the first project of NASA.
  • NASA
  • was created in 1958 from the National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958.


  • Before NASA, there was the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA).
  • NASA does more than space exploration.
  • NASA seeks to discover new planets.
  • NASA provides educational materials for various audiences.
  • NASA established the Johnson Space Center in 1961.

Space Race

  • NASA was the primary opponent of the Soviet space program during the space race.
  • The headquarters for NASA is in Washington D.C. located on 300 E. Street SW.
  • NASA launched a space probe to Pluto in 2006.
  • In 1972 a series of satellites were launched into space. Their purpose was to photograph the earth's surface from outer space.
  • It was a NASA scientist that invented the Super Soaker squirt gun.
  • NASA's space shuttle fleet—Columbia, Challenger, Discovery, Atlantis and Endeavour—flew 135 missions and carried 355 different people to space.