Do you like Star Trek? Maybe you’re a Star Wars fan. Whatever your science fiction preference, there’s nothing quite like imagining what it might be like to travel around the galaxy. Only a few select individuals have had a taste of just what Space is like: those few lucky souls who got to becoming astronauts.
Many of us have grown up with NASA as synonymous with space. But that wasn’t always so. NASA was established by the National Aeronautics and Space Act on July 29, 1958. This year NASA will turn 54 years old. In some ways, that’s a long time. But in other ways, it’s really pretty short. That makes it even more amazing that they’ve been able to accomplish so much.
U.S. space exploration efforts have since been led by NASA, including the Apollo moon-landing missions, the Skylab space station, and later the Space Shuttle. Currently, NASA is supporting the International Space Station and is overseeing the development of the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle and Commercial Crew vehicles. The agency is also responsible for the Launch Services Program (LSP) which provides oversight of launch operations and countdown management for unmanned NASA launches. Via
In only the last year, NASA’s spacecraft—Kepler—has discovered more than 750 exoplanets. Exoplanets are any planet outside our solar system. That was only in the first 43 days of its launch. They make new discoveries about distant planets every day. More info
More recently, of course, is the mission of the Mars rover Curiosity which hopes to land soon. The goal of the mission is to ascend Mount Sharp, 3.4 miles high, over the course of one Martian year, about 689 days on Earth. The rover will be looking for signs of past habitability on Mars […] More info
So, what is it really like out there? We don’t know yet, but someday we might! All thanks to the hard work of people like Sally Ride and Neil Armstrong; not to mention the many others who have worked at NASA making so many new discoveries about our universe.
The story of NASA’s creation is available here.