NATIONAL AERONAUTICS & SPACE ADMINISTRATION (NASA)
NASA i.e. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is the agency of the United States government that is responsible for the nation's civilian space program and for aeronautics and aerospace research.
On July 29, 1958 Eisenhower signed the National Aeronautics and Space Act. Projects of NASA were started on October 1, 1958. Three major research laboratories (Langley Aeronautical Laboratory, Ames Aeronautical Laboratory, and Lewis Flight Propulsion Laboratory) and two small test facilities were established.
Extend and sustain human activities across the solar system Expand scientific understanding of the Earth and the universe Create the innovative new space technologies Advance aeronautics research Enable program and institutional capabilities to conduct NASA’s aeronautics and space activities
The most notable NASA activities are its space flight programs, both manned and unmanned for carrying scientific equipment, or supportive, testing equipment for manned flights. NASA’s missions focused on the space race with the Soviet Union,later with USA like APOLLO MOON project. They have also brought telescopes for Deep space exploration into orbit around the Earth.
Main objective was to make the first single- astronaut flights into Earth orbit. The first seven astronauts were selected among candidates from the Navy, Air Force and Marine test pilot programs. On May 5, 1961,Alan Shepard became the first American in space aboard Freedom 7, launched by a Redstone booster. on February 20, 1962, John Glenn became the first American to be launched into orbit by an Atlas launch vehicle.
Main objective was to grow the Mercury spacecraft capabilities to long-duration flights,and precision Earth landing. Project Gemini was started as a two-man program in 1962 to overcome the Soviets' lead. The first manned Gemini flight, Gemini 3, was flown by Gus Grissom and John Young on March 23, 1965. Nine missions followed in 1965 and 1966, demonstrating an endurance mission of nearly fourteen days.
one of the most expensive American scientific programs ever. It is estimated to have cost $200 billion in present-day US dollars. It used the Saturn rockets as launch vehicles. The spacecraft had two main parts, the combined command and service module (CSM) and the lunar landing module (LM).
Apollo 8, brought astronauts for the first time in a flight around the Moon in December 1968. Finally the Moon landing was made on the Apollo 11 mission in July 1969. The first person to stand on the Moon was Neil Armstrong, who was followed by Buzz Aldrin,& Michael Collins
Skylab was the United States' first and only independently built space station. space station was conceived in 1965 & launched on May 14, 1973. It was damaged during launch by the loss of its thermal protection and one electricity-generating solar panel. It included a laboratory for studying the effects of microgravity, and a solar observatory.
It became the major focus of NASA in the late 1970s and the 1980s. Planned as a frequently launchable and mostly reusable vehicle, four space shuttle orbiters were built by 1985. The first to launch,Columbia, did so on April 12, 1981,the 20th anniversary of the first space flight by Yuri Gagarin. Its major components were a spaceplane orbiter with an external fuel tank and two solid fuel launch rockets at its side.
Missions could last from 5 to 17 days and crews could be from 2 to 8 astronauts. The Shuttle fleet lost two orbiters and 14 astronauts in two disasters: Challenger in 1986, and Columbia in 2003 (Kalpana chawla was one of the astronauts).
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