NASA is generally known by people for its connection to space themes. The acronym stands for "National Aeronautics and Space Administration". Created on October 1, 1958 as a member of the United States government, it is responsible for American science and technology related to aircraft and space. It has an objective and a mission that people may not be familiar with. Therefore, it is important to have a better understanding of exactly what NASA does.

What does NASA do?

NASA is involved in many different activities, such as building satellites, that help scientists learn more about the Earth. It also sends probes into space. NASA scientists study details of the solar system, and even further afield, to answer questions about our solar system and our universe that we do not yet know the answers to. NASA also funds technologies, mission concepts, and other systems that allow robots and humans to venture into the solar system without NASA assistance. These robots pave the way to the farthest reaches of our solar system and explore in detail our closest neighbours like Mars and the asteroid belt, while telling us what to expect when we get there. NASA also shares what it learns with others. People who don't work there can use NASA's ideas to create new inventions. These inventions can help improve life on Earth.

Where is NASA?

NASA headquarters are in Washington, DC. There are 10 NASA centres in the United States, as well as seven smaller workplaces where researchers test and study Earth and space. Thousands of people work for NASA. Being an astronaut is the best known job at NASA, but it is only a small part of the workforce. Many engineers and scientists work for NASA. People also do other jobs such as writers, secretaries, lawyers and even teachers.

What does NASA do?

From the beginning, NASA began planning manned space flights. The Mercury, Gemini and Apollo programs helped NASA learn how to fly in space. This led to the first human landing on the Moon in 1969. NASA has astronauts living and working on the International Space Station. Space probes have visited every planet in the solar system. Scientists have looked far into space using telescopes. NASA satellites help people understand the weather on Earth. NASA also helps develop and test new aircraft. Some models have set new records. NASA is working to make air travel faster and safer.