What does “NASA” Stands For? Explained in Detail

what does nasa means

NASA is the abbreviated form of – National Aeronautics and Space Administration. It is an individual agency which is in the United States of America responsible for civilian aviation and space research programs.

History of NASA:

  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration is the U.S. government agency responsible for the country’s civilian space program and Aerospace Research.
  • President Dwight D Eisenhower is the founder of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and established in the year 1958 with a distinctly civilian orientation that promotes peaceful applications in space exploration.
  • On July 29,1958, The National Aeronautics Space act passed replacing its predecessor, the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics.
  • On October 1, 1958, the committee started its operation. Since then, most of the U.S. space exploration efforts have been led by NASA, including the Apollo Lunar Earth Emissions, the Skylab Space Station.
  • For Now, NASA is supporting the International space station and monitors the development of Orion multipurpose crew vehicles and commercial crew vehicles.

NASA is also responsible for the launch operations and manages the countdown for NASA’s Unmanned space programs. Recently, NASA announced a new space launch program that would take the agency’s Astronauts further into space than ever before, laying the groundwork for future U.S. efforts to explore human space.

Important timelines of NASA:

  • 11 Oct 1958 – Pioneer I, NASA launched their first shuttle.
  • 6 Dec 1958 – Pioneer 3, was launched by NASA. It was the only satellite that reached an altitude of 63,580 miles, which is considered to be the highest-launched satellite of its day.
  • 3 Mar 1959 – Pioneer 4 was launched by NASA, which successfully completed the lunar flyby and landed on the moon.
  • 1 Apr 1959 – America has launched its first weather satellite that would observe the Earth’s weather. It named TIROS 1.
  • 5 May 1961 – Astronaut Alan B. Shepard Jr. was the first man in space to fly the Freedom 7 into orbit. His flight lasted almost 15 minutes, and he successfully landed in the Atlantic Ocean.
  • 10 Jul 1962 – Nasa launched the first privately funded satellite, Telstar l. This satellite was the first to transmit telephone and television signals, paving the way for the cable and mobile networks we have today.
  • 3 Jun 1965 – Gemini IV was launched and remained in space for four days for preparation for the upcoming Apollo mission. Astronaut Edward H. White II made his first spacewalk in the United States.
  • 16 Jul 1969 – Astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin became the first humans to land on the lunar surface on Apollo 11. Armstrong made his famous statement, “A small step for a man a great leap for humanity.”
  • Jan 1998 – Major space organizations around the world have begun working together over the years, including America, Russia, and China. The International Space Station is a joint effort to explore and experiment in biology, physics, astronomy, meteorology, and more.

Besides launching Manned Satellites, NASA has launched more than 1000 of Unmanned Satellites to explore the Earth and the Solar System. Apart from this, many communication satellites have been launched, and these launches will be either from Earth or from the orbiting space shuttles, which could either deploy the satellite or launch a rocket stage to take it further into Space. Check here to know more about NASA’s launch vehicles

NASA’s strategic goals:

  • Extend and support human presence across the solar system.
  • Develop scientific understanding of the Earth and the universe.
  • Create innovative new space programs and technologies.
  • Advance aeronautics and aeronautical research.
  • Enable programs that can provide capabilities to conduct NASA’s aeronautics and space activities.
  • Share NASA project details with the public, educators, and students to provide opportunities to participate.