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**History and Early Space Exploration**
– NASA was established on July 29, 1958, succeeding NACA, which was created in 1915 to advance aeronautical research.
– The Space Age and Space Race were initiated by the Soviet Union’s launch of Sputnik 1 in 1957.
– Project Mercury marked NASA’s first orbital and hypersonic flights, including Alan Shepard’s suborbital flight and John Glenn’s orbital flight.
– The X-15 aircraft explored hypersonic flight capabilities.
– President Kennedy charged NASA with landing an American on the Moon, leading to the Apollo program.

**Administration and Budget**
– Bill Nelson is the current Administrator of NASA, with Pamela Melroy as the Deputy Administrator.
– NASA’s headquarters are in Washington, D.C., with around 17,960 employees as of 2022.
– The annual budget for NASA in 2023 is approximately US$25.384 billion.

**Space Programs and Missions**
– NASA has led various space exploration programs like Project Mercury, Project Gemini, Apollo Moon landing missions, Skylab, and the Space Shuttle.
– Current programs include supporting the International Space Station (ISS), the Commercial Crew Program, and developing the Orion spacecraft for the Artemis program.
– The agency’s science division focuses on Earth observation, heliophysics, Solar System exploration, and astrophysics.
– Notable missions include New Horizons, Perseverance rover, James Webb Space Telescope, and the Great Observatories.

**Interplanetary Exploration and Space Science**
– NASA initiated programs like the Mariner program to explore Venus, Mars, and Mercury.
– Voyager, Galileo, Cassini-Huygens, and New Horizons explored the outer Solar System.
– The agency launched space telescopes like the Hubble Space Telescope and the James Webb Space Telescope.
– Earth observation satellites like TIROS and Landsat provided crucial data on weather patterns and environmental changes.

**Space Stations and Future Exploration**
– Skylab was NASA’s first space station, followed by the International Space Station (ISS) launched in 1998.
– The ISS serves as a research laboratory and living space for astronauts, with modules added over the years for scientific research.
– The Artemis program aims to return to the Moon and establish a permanent human presence, building on NASA’s legacy of space exploration.
– Commercial Crew Program involves private entities in space operations, allowing NASA to focus on deep space exploration.

NASA (Wikipedia)

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA; /ˈnæsə/) is an independent agency of the U.S. federal government responsible for the civil space program, aeronautics research, and space research. Established in 1958, it succeeded the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) to give the U.S. space development effort a distinct civilian orientation, emphasizing peaceful applications in space science. It has since led most of America's space exploration programs, including Project Mercury, Project Gemini, the 1968–1972 Apollo Moon landing missions, the Skylab space station, and the Space Shuttle. Currently, NASA supports the International Space Station (ISS) along with the Commercial Crew Program, and oversees the development of the Orion spacecraft and the Space Launch System for the lunar Artemis program.

National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Agency overview
FormedJuly 29, 1958; 65 years ago (1958-07-29)
Preceding agency
TypeSpace agency
Aeronautics research agency
JurisdictionUnited States Federal Government
HeadquartersWashington, D.C.
38°52′59″N 77°0′59″W / 38.88306°N 77.01639°W / 38.88306; -77.01639
Bill Nelson
Deputy AdministratorPamela Melroy
Primary spaceports
Employees17,960 (2022)
Annual budgetIncrease US$25.384 billion (2023)

NASA's science division is focused on better understanding Earth through the Earth Observing System; advancing heliophysics through the efforts of the Science Mission Directorate's Heliophysics Research Program; exploring bodies throughout the Solar System with advanced robotic spacecraft such as New Horizons and planetary rovers such as Perseverance; and researching astrophysics topics, such as the Big Bang, through the James Webb Space Telescope, the Great Observatories and associated programs. The Launch Services Program oversees launch operations for its uncrewed launches.

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