NASA stands for National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The space agency was created in 1958 by USA government for the civilian space program.

Facts about NASA

* Space Agency: United States
* Budget (2018): $20.7 billion usa dollars
* Headquarters: Washington DC

When was NASA created?

NASA became operational on 1 October, 1958. It was created one year after the Soviet Union launched its Sputnik 1 which was the world’s first artificial satellite.

NASA has had so many famous programs ranging from the Apollo Missions to the Space Shuttle, Hubble Space Telescope and lots more. It even participates in world programs like the International Space Station. It has sent many famous robotic space missions visiting the inner planets and outer planets.


NASA Seal is used by NASA’s administrator for formal events like ceremonies and award presentations.

Robotic Space Missions:

Pioneer 1: Launched 11 October 1958. First spacecraft launched by NASA.

Mariner 2: Launched in 1964. First successful mission to another planet – Venus.

Mariner 4: Launched in 1964. First successful flyby of the Planet Mars and returned first pictures Mars surface.

Mariner 9: Launched in 1971. First spacecraft to orbit another planet – Mars.

Pioneer 10: Launched in 1972. First spacecraft to leave the solar system.

Pioneer 11: Launched in 1973. First spacecraft to explore planet Saturn.

Mariner 10: Launched in 1973. First spacecraft to flyby planet Mercury.

Viking 1: Launched in 1975. First spacecraft to land successfully on Mars.

Voyager 1: Launched in 1977. First spacecraft to enter interstellar space and study the interstellar medium.

Voyager 2: Launched in 1977. First spacecraft to visit Planet Uranus and Neptune. Second spacecraft to enter interstellar space in 2017???

Galileo: Launched in 1979. First spacecraft to orbit planet Jupiter.

Magellan: Launched in 1989. First interplanetary mission to be launched from the Space Shuttle.

Mars Global Surveyor: Launched 1996. First successful USA mission launched to Mars since the Viking mission in 1976.

Ulysses: (Joint ESA-NASA Mission). Launched in 1990. Studied the Sun and its magnetic field.

Near Shoemaker: Launched in 1996. First spacecraft to orbit an asteroid and safely land on it.

Mars Pathfinder – Sojourner Rover: Launched in 1996. First Rover on Mars.

Cassini: Launched in 1997.First spacecraft to orbit planet Saturn.

Deep Space 1: Launched in 1998. First spacecraft to use an ion engine.

Dawn Spacecraft: Launched in 2007. First spacecraft to visit Vesta or Ceres.

MESSENGER: Launched in 2004. First to orbit Mercury.

Juno: Launched in 2011. Second spacecraft to orbit Jupiter and the first solar powered spacecraft to orbit it.

OSIRIS-REx: Launch in 2016. Asteroid sample return mission. Target: Bennu.

James Webb Space Telescope:

Roman Space Telescope: Launch 2020s. It was previously named WFIRST (NASA’s Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope). It is named after astronomer Nancy Grace Roman who was NASA’s first Chief of Astronomy.

Europa Clipper: Planned for launch in 2024. Destination – Jupiter’s moon Europa.

Cancelled Missions:

Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter (JIMO): Ion propulsion spacecraft powered by a nuclear fission reactor was to explore the moons of Jupiter: Callisto, Ganymede and Europa.

Manned Programs

Project Mercury (1959–63): It was NASA’s and first human spaceflight program of the USA.

X-15 Rocket Plane (1959–68): Set altitude flights in the 1960s. Total of 199 flights

Project Gemini (1961–66): Second human spaceflight program sending the 2 crew Gemini Spacecraft on 10 low Earth missions from 1965 to 1966.

Project Apollo (1961–72): Third human spaceflight program. Landed the first humans on the Moon from 1969 to 1972 using Apollo Spacecraft.

Skylab (1965–79): USA’s First Space Station.

Apollo-Soyuz Test Project (1972–75): First joint U.S.A – Soviet Space Flight.

Space Shuttle Program (1972–2011): Used for missions to the Mir Space Station, ISS and to deliver satellites to space.

International Space Station (1993–present):

Commercial Resupply Services (2006–present): Uses SpaceX Dragon, Orbital ATK’s Cygnus and Sierra Nevada Corporation’s Dream Chaser. to send cargo to the ISS.

Commercial Crew Program (2010–present): To use private crewed spacecraft like SpaceX Dragon and Boeing’s CST-100 to visit the International Space Station.

Journey to Mars – Beyond Low Earth Orbit Program (2010–2017):Using the Space Launch System to launch Orion spacecraft on missions.

Artemis Program (2017 – present): Human Lunar Exploration. Plan to land first astronauts on moon in 2024.

NASA’s Budget:

2016: $19.3 billion usa dollars
2017: $19.5 billion usa dollars
2018: $20.7 billion usa dollars
2019: $21.5 billion usa dollars
2020: $22.6 billion usa dollars


NASA’s predecessor was NACA (National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics) was NASA’s predecessor.

National Aeronautics and Space Act was passed on 29 July, 1958. NASA was officially opened for business on 1 October 1958.

NASA’s First Headquarters is commonly known as ‘The Little White House’ at 1520 H Street, NW, in Washington, DC. It was used from Headquarters from 1958 until October 1961.

NASA Links

NASA: Official Website
NASA – YouTube:
NASA’s First Headquarters:

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