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National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Biography

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“President Dwight D. Eisenhower established the National Aeronautics and Space Administration in 1958, partially in response to the Soviet Union’s launch of the first artificial satellite the previous year. NASA grew out of the National Advisory Committee on Aeronautics (NACA), which had been researching flight technology for more than 40 years.

President John F. Kennedy focused NASA and the nation on sending astronauts to the moon by the end of the 1960s. Through the Mercury and Gemini projects, NASA developed the technology and skills it needed for the journey. On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first of 12 men to walk on the moon, meeting Kennedy’s challenge…

NASA Headquarters, in Washington, provides overall guidance and direction to the agency, under the leadership of the Administrator. Ten field centers and a variety of installations conduct the day-to-day work, in laboratories, on air fields, in wind tunnels and in control rooms…

In the early 21st century, NASA’s reach spans the universe. Spirit and Opportunity, the Mars Exploration Rovers, are still studying Mars after arriving in 2004. Cassini is in orbit around Saturn. The restored Hubble Space Telescope continues to explore the deepest reaches of the cosmos.”

“About NASA,” (accessed July 23, 2009)


“NASA’s mission is to pioneer the future in space exploration, scientific discovery and aeronautics research.

To do that, thousands of people have been working around the world — and off of it — for 50 years, trying to answer some basic questions. What’s out there in space? How do we get there? What will we find? What can we learn there, or learn just by trying to get there, that will make life better here on Earth?”

“What Does NASA Do?,” (accessed July, 23, 2009)

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