The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is a space agency owned and funded by the government of the United States. NASA manages the non-military space programs of the U.S., as well as conduct researches in aeronautics and the aerospace. NASA has also been involved in several scientific probes using spacecraft like the Galileo probe and the carbon cycle/ocean ecology probes staged in 2014.

The Historical Background of NASA

NASA was set up in 1958 by the government of President Dwight D. Eisenhower to pursue civilian or peaceful applications of the results of space research. The predecessor of NASA was the National Advisory Committee on Aeronautics (NACA). NACA was wound down by the National Aeronautics and Space Act of July 29th 1958 to pave way for its replacement by NASA. NASA started operations on October 1st 1958 and the organization has since been leading the way in space exploration and research.

The focus of the scientific research by NASA has always been in areas that provide better understanding of the earth and cosmic or universal bodies such as the sun, and exploring various scientific theories that bother on the origin and nature of the universe and the earth’s history and place within the universe. The specific areas of NASA’s scientific research include Earth observation, advanced heliophysics, solar system observation and space robotics. NASA provides support for the International Space Station.

NASA co-operates with several national and international space agencies through the sharing of scientific data. Throughout the course of its history, NASA has conducted many manned and unmanned space explorations and succeeded in winning the space race against the Soviet Union.

NASA and the List of its Space Flights

NASA has successfully launched a total of 179 space programs 166 of which were manned space exploration programs and 13 X-15 rocket space flights such as the North American X-15 rocket plane flight. An example of manned space program was the moon landing flight staged in 1969 and code named Apollo which was launched in fulfilment of the challenge posed by President J.F. Kennedy that America should put a man on the moon and return him safely to the Earth before the end of the 60s.

NASA developed the Launch Services Program. The scope of this program include overseeing launch operations as well as managing countdown for unmanned NASA space vehicles. NASA also developed the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle. NASA is also involved with the development of the Commercial Crew Vehicles.

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