The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is an agency of the United States government responsible for the civilian space program and aeronautics research. Formed on July 29, 1958, by the National Aeronautics and Space Act, NASA became operational on October 1, 1958.
NASA is the best space agency in the world by far. The agency has achieved many remarkable feats that other space agencies can only imagine. For example, NASA is the only space agency in the world to achieve interstellar travel (the space between stars) thanks to the space probes Voyager 1 & 2.
It is responsible for the Apollo moon landings, Skylab, the Space Shuttle program, the International Space Station (in collaboration with other nations), Commercial Resupply Services and Crew Program, the Beyond Low Earth Orbit program and many more. As a result, NASA is one of the most incredible places to work in the world.
Below, you will learn more cool and interesting facts about NASA.
16 Cool, Interesting and Fun Facts About NASA
1. President Dwight D. Eisenhower established NASA in 1958 in response to Russia’s launch of Sputnik 1, the world’s first artificial satellite.
2. NASA is headquartered in Washington D.C.
3. NASA is short for “National Aeronautics and Space Administration”.
4. The space agency has an annual U.S. budget of over 22 billion dollars and a workforce of over 17,000 people.
5. NASA is responsible for launching the twin space probes Voyager 1 and 2. Both probes are the only man-made objects to leave our solar system successfully.
6. NASA is the only space agency to send rovers to Mars successfully.
7. Explorer 1 is the first artificial satellite launched by the U.S.
8. The retired orbiter space shuttle Endeavour was created using spare parts from both Atlantis and Discovery.
9. President John F. Kennedy was determined to have humans walk on the moon, so he gave NASA a mandate – to walk humans on the moon by the end of the 1960s. NASA accomplished this goal on July 20, 1969.
10. The U.S.’s Neil Armstrong was the first human being to walk on the moon; he was born on August 5, 1930.
11. To be recognized as an astronaut by NASA, you must travel at least 50 miles from the earth’s surface.
12. Although he is famous and brilliant, with a lot of schooling in mechanical engineering (he worked for Boeing), American science educator Bill Nye’s application to join NASA has been rejected many times.
13. During the Apollo missions, the Apollo astronauts did not qualify for life insurance. Not even NASA could insure them, so they signed autographs and left them to their family members to sell if anything happened to them while in space.
14. Even though life hasn’t been found on other planets yet… NASA has an Office of Planetary Protection program for dealing with life on other planets.
15. NASA is responsible for over 1,000 unmanned missions into space to explore our solar system and launch communication satellites.
16. Three men from Yemen sued NASA for trespassing on Mars. According to them, Mars was inhabited by their ancestors some 3000 years ago, and NASA had no right to send their rovers and satellites over there.