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NASA

What is NASA & what does NASA stand for?

Do you want to know more about NASA? OK, please read on, and learn the answers to the questions, along with some fun facts about NASA.

 

On this website, there are many references to NASA in many of the articles and how this great organization contributes to space exploration. So this page is a dedicated page to the space organization that is NASA and it’s amazing work.

 

 

NASA is a US space agency, that stands for ‘National Aeronautics and Space Administration’. NASA was founded by Dwight D. Eisenhower on July 29, 1958, making NASA 60 years old as of 2018.   

 

NASA’s main headquarters is based in Washington DC, in the United States of America (USA). NASA also has other operations in other parts of the country. NASA is backed by the US government and as of 2018 has an annual budget of over $20 billion, and as of 2018, NASA employs over 17 thousand people.

 

NASA’s main people are Jim Bridenstine who is the Main Administrator, along with Jeff DeWit who is the Chief Financial Officer. NASA also employees many astronauts who prepare for and complete missions.

There have been many missions that NASA have undertaken since the organization was founded, with the most famous mission being the moon landings.

 

See below the time line and list of NASA’s most important missions.

  • 1961 – Freedom 7. 1st space launch, launching the 1st American to space. Alan Shepard.
  • 1968 – Apollo 8. Apollo 8 spacecraft had a mission to orbit the moon.
  • 1969 – Apollo 11. 1st and very famous moon landing mission.
  • 1969 – 1972 – 5 more successful manned moon landings.
  • 1970 – Apollo 13. With the spacecraft exploding, NASA launched a rescue mission.  
  • 1972 – Pioneer 10. Unmanned mission to the solar system.
  • 1972 – Space Shuttle. NASA’s first launch of the Space Shuttle.
  • 1977 – Voyager Mission. In 1977 NASA launched the Voyager missions.
  • 1986 – Challenger Launch. 73 seconds from launch the shuttle exploded killing all the crew.
  • 1990 – Voyager Pale Blue Dot Photo. Famous photo taken at the request of Carl Sagan.
  • 1990 – Hubble Telescope. Launched from ‘Discovery’ to photograph the stars in detail.
  • 1996 – Pathfinder Mission. Mission launched to Mars to gather data of the planets surface.
  • 1998 – International Space Station. Joint international venture space station lunched.
  • 2003 – Mars rovers Spirit & Opportunity. Launched to Mars in the search for water.
  • 2012 – Mars Curiosity Rover. Launched to explore possible Life on Mars.

 

Below is a picture of the first moon landing in 1969

 

With continued budget and backing from the US government, NASA is continuing it’s great work in space exploration. There are many future planned missions and great research and work ahead.

From the year 2020, there are future planned missions to near Asteroids and other solar system planets. There has been no date yet confirmed for a manned mission to Mars, however let’s wait and see. If any organization can do it, NASA can!

 

Kids Fun Facts Corner

# 1. NASA pays people to lay in bed for long periods of time to study the effects of prolonged weightlessness.

# 2.  The man who invented the super soaker water gun was a NASA scientist.

# 3. There are 2 satellites named ‘Tom & Gerry’ that have been launched by NASA that follow each other in orbit around the Earth.

# 4. The date of the 1st moon landing was July 16, 1969.

# 5. The crew of the 1st moon landing was Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin & Michael Collins.

 

Q&A Corner

Q. What does N.A.S.A. stand for?

Q. Who founded NASA and when?

Q. What year was NASA’s 60th birthday?

Q. What is the date of the 1st moon landing?

Q. Name the crew of the 1st moon landing?

Download questions about NASA here: NASA (answers are on this page)

For further reading and more information on NASA visit https://www.nasa.gov/

Key Vocabulary National. Aeronautics. Space. Administration.