NASA
English: NASA

National Aeronautics and Space Administration
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Agency overview
FormedJuly 29, 1958; 60 years ago (1958-07-29)
Preceding agency
  • NACA (1915–1958)[1]
JurisdictionUS Federal Government
HeadquartersTwo Independence Square, Washington, D.C., US
38°52′59″N 77°0′59″W / 38°52′59″N 77°0′59″W / 38.88306; -77.01639

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is an independent agency of the United States Federal Government that deals with space exploration and aeronautics, the operating and designing of planes.[note 1] NASA has had many successful missions, for example the ISS, and Apollo 11, which put the first man on the Moon in 1969. NASA was started on July 29, 1958.[7] NASA's motto is: "For the Benefit of All".[2] The current Administrator of NASA is Jim Bridenstine since April 2018.

Founding and the Sputnik crisis

NASA was preceded by the "National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics" (NACA). NACA was a US federal agency founded on March 3, 1915 to undertake, promote, and institutionalize aeronautical research. On October 1, 1958 the agency was dissolved, and its assets and personnel transferred to the newly created National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).[8] NASA was founded to compete with the Soviet Union in the space race. In the 1950s and 1960s there was a space race between the US and the Soviet Union - now called Russia. The Soviets started first launching Sputnik 1, the first object made by people to go into orbit, in October 1957. The Americans were worried by this. It caused a crisis known as the Sputnik Crisis as the Americans feared the Russians might start building weapons in space. This all happened at a time called the Cold War when the USA and the Soviet Union were always very close to war.

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