(acronym for National Aeronautics and Space Administration) US government agency, founded 1958, for spaceflight and aeronautical research. Its headquarters are in Washington, DC and its main installation is at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. NASA’s early planetary and lunar programs included Pioneer spacecraft from 1958, which gathered data for the later crewed missions, the most famous of which took the first people to the Moon in Apollo 11 on 16–24 July 1969.
Other installations are located in Virginia (Langley Research Center and Wallops Station); California (Ames Research Center, Flight Research Center, and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory); Ohio (Lewis Research Center); Alabama (George C Marshall Space Flight Center); Maryland (Goddard Space Flight Center), and Texas (Manned Spacecraft Center). The Office of Manned Space Flight is responsible for space missions with crews and for the spacestation and space-shuttle programs. The Office of Space Science and Applications deals with the scientific exploration of space. The Office of Advanced Research and Technology plans future flights and research. The Office of Tracking and Data Acquisition provides a network for tracking flights and accumulating data.
The agency was founded 1958 by the National Aeronautics and Space Act.
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