NASA is the short form for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. NASA was established in 1958 by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, as a civilian independent agency of the United States federal government executive branch. NASA has since been responsible for the majority of space exploration originating within the United States. NASA was responsible for the Apollo moon-landings, Skylab, the Space Shuttle, the International Space Station, Commercial Resupply Services and Crew Program, and the Beyond Low Earth Orbit program. NASA has also been responsible for over 1,000 unmanned missions into space to explore the solar system and launch communication satellites.
Interesting NASA Facts:
Prior to the establishment of NASA, President Woodrow Wilson started the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA). The program was meant to both supervise and to direct scientific research and study into flight problems.
NASA began to operate in 1958, one year after Sputnik 1 was launched by the Soviets. Sputnik 1 was the first artificial satellite in the world.
In 1972 a series of satellites were launched into space. Their purpose was to photograph the earth's surface from outer space.
Neil Armstrong was one week late submitting his application to NASA. His friend Dick Day slipped the application into the pile so that it wouldn't look like it was late.
NASA is known to show the movie Armageddon to new staff and question them about inaccuracies in the film. At least 168 have been identified.
Bill Nye the Science Guy, a famous television show host, applied repeatedly to be an astronaut but NASA has continually rejected his application.
NASA and the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare founded the Learning Channel (TLC) in 1972.
Because the Apollo astronauts did not qualify for life insurance by insurance companies, or even by NASA, they signed 'insurance autographs' prior to launch. If they died the hope was that the autographs would be worth a lot of money for their loved ones.
There has been a lot of speculation that the moon landing was fake. In 2006 NASA admitted they had taped over the original tapes and they were no longer available.
Apollo 12 was struck by lightning but a NASA flight controller named John Aaron saved it. He also saved the Apollo 13 crew members when he developed a safe way to safely re-enter via a power up sequence.
NASA has a program for dealing with life on other planets, if it should be discovered, called the Office of Planetary Protection.
There are U.S. and Russian astronauts aboard the International Space Station. They keep separate water supplies.
NASA launched a space probe to Pluto in 2006. It was scheduled to arrive 9 years later.
A person can't be recognized as an astronaut by NASA until they have traveled 50 miles from the surface of the earth.
NASA designed a spaceship that is capable of using a nuclear explosion to deflect an oncoming asteroid.
Three Yemen men sued NASA for trespassing on Mars by claiming they had inherited the planet thousands of years ago, from their ancient ancestors...
It was a NASA scientist that invented the Super Soaker squirt gun.