What does NASA represent? From space missions to planet discovery



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NASA landed a new robot on Mars in an attempt to study the deep interior of the red planet.

Let's take a closer look at the biggest achievements of the space agency.

    NASA was established in 1958 under US President Dwight Eisenhower

Getty – Contributor

NASA was established in 1958 under US President Dwight Eisenhower

What does NASA represent?

NASA stands for National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

The independent agency is part of the US federal government and is responsible for the civil space program.

He is also responsible for aeronautical and aerospace exploration.

The agency's headquarters is in Washington DC.

The space age began in 1957 with the launch of the Soviet satellite Sputnik.

NASA was founded the following year by President Eisenhower and the agency succeeded the National Aeronautics Advisory Committee (NACA).

Since its inception, most US space exploration efforts have been led by NASA, including the landing missions of Apollo Moon, the Skylab space station, and later the Space Shuttle.

NASA also supports the International Space Station and oversees the development of the Orion Multifunctional Crew Vehicle, Space Launch System and Commercial Crew vehicles.

The agency is also responsible for the Launch Services Program, which provides oversight of launch operations and countdown management for unmanned NASA launches.

NASA's main focus is a better understanding of the Earth, but it also extensively explores other bodies in the Solar System.

    Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Buzz Aldrin Jr. (L-R) were the three astronauts who participated in the Apollo 11 lunar landing mission in 1969

Corbis – Getty

Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Buzz Aldrin Jr. (L-R) were the three astronauts who participated in the Apollo 11 lunar landing mission in 1969

How many people work for NASA and who is in charge?

NASA is controlled by an administrator who is appointed by the president and confirmed by a vote in the Senate.

The first administrator was T. Keith Glennan, who took office in August 1958 under President Eisenhower.

The current administrator is Major Jim Bridenstine, who took over in April 2018 under the command of President Trump.

The agency employs more than 17,000 people, with much more working with the agency as government contractors.

Astronauts may be NASA's best-known employees, but they represent only a small number of the total workforce.

Many NASA employees are actually scientists and engineers, but there are employees within the agency in various other jobs, such as secretaries, writers, lawyers, and teachers.

    Tim Peake is the first official astronaut in Britain and spent 186 days on the International Space Station

AFP

Tim Peake is the first official astronaut in Britain and spent 186 days on the International Space Station

What has NASA achieved so far?

When NASA began, it began a program of manned spaceflight.

The Mercury, Gemini and Apollo programs helped NASA learn about flying in space and resulted in the first human landing on the Moon in 1969.

Currently, NASA has astronauts living and working on the International Space Station.

NASA's robotic space probes have visited all the planets in the solar system and several other celestial bodies.

Telescopes have allowed scientists to look at the confines of space.

Satellites have revealed a wealth of data on Earth, resulting in valuable information, such as a better understanding of weather patterns.

NASA also helped develop and test a variety of high-end aircraft, including airplanes that set new records.

Among other benefits, these tests helped engineers improve NASA air travel and technology to even contribute to many items used in everyday life, from smoke detectors to medical tests.

In 2018, NASA celebrated its 60th anniversary.

On November 26, 2018, NASA's Insight probe landed on Mars and sent back a series of Red Planet selfies just four minutes after landing.

    The International Space Station (ISS) is seen from NASA's Space Shuttle Endeavor as it travels across Earth.

Brochure – Getty

The International Space Station (ISS) is seen from NASA's Space Shuttle Endeavor as it travels across Earth.

Who was the first man on the moon?

On July 16, 1969, Apollo 11 took off from the Kennedy Space Center for the first lunar landing mission.

The huge Saturn V rocket took off with astronauts Neil A. Armstrong, Michael Collins and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin at 9:32 PM ET.

Four days later, on July 20, Armstrong and Aldrin landed on the surface of the Moon, while Collins orbited the Command Module, taking pictures and conducting experiments.

Neil Armstrong went down in history as the first human to step on the moon.

As he took his first steps, he said, "This is a small step for man, a great leap for mankind."

He and Aldrin walked around for three hours, performing experiments and picking up pieces of earth and stones as samples.

The pair also placed a US flag on the moon along with a sign.

On July 24, 1969, all three astronauts returned to Earth safely.

NASA's control room in hysteria on receiving the first image sent by the InSight probe from Mars

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