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The acronym “NASA” stands for National Aeronautics and Space Administration. It is an independent agency of the United States Federal Government responsible for the civilian space program, as well as aeronautics and aerospace research.
See the fact file below for more information on the NASA or alternatively, you can download our 27-page NASA worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
THE BIRTH OF U.S. SPACE AGE
- On July 29, 1958, U.S. President Eisenhower signed the National Aeronautics and Space Act, establishing NASA.
- It began to operate on October 1, 1958. The agency was created to oversee U.S. space exploration and aeronautics research. It was meant to have a civilian orientation, encouraging peaceful applications in space science.
- NASA was created in response to the Soviet Union’s October 4, 1957 launch of its first satellite, Sputnik I.
- NASA’s administrator is nominated by the President of the United States, subject to approval of the U.S. Senate.
- In May 1961, President John F. Kennedy declared that America should put a man on the moon by the end of the decade.
- In response, administrator James E. Webb established the Houston Manned Spacecraft (Johnson) Center and the Florida Launch Operations (Kennedy) Center.
- It was Thomas O. Paine who succeeded with the Apollo goal.
- The organization is composed of four mission directorates:
- Aeronautics Research – Focuses on the modernization aviation technologies.
- Science – Deals with programs understanding the universe involving its origin, structure and evolution. This also includes the study of solar system and the Earth.
- Space Technology – Development of space science and exploration technologies.
- Human Exploration and Operations – Management of crewed and robotic space missions. These include the International Space Station, launch services, space transportation, and space communications.
- A number of additional research centers are also affiliated:
SPACE FLIGHT PROGRAMS
- North American X-15 (1959–1968) – It was a hypersonic rocket-powered aircraft that reached the edge of outer space and returned with valuable data used in aircraft and spacecraft design.
- Project Mercury (1958–1963) – It was the first human spaceflight program of the United States with the goal to put a man into Earth orbit and return him safely.
- Project Gemini (1961–1966) – It was NASA’s second human spaceflight program. Gemini’s objective was the development of space travel techniques to support the Apollo mission to land astronauts on the Moon.
- Apollo program (1961–1972) – It was the third United States human spaceflight program carried out by the NASA, which succeeded in landing the first humans on the Moon from 1969 to 1972.
- Kennedy’s goal was accomplished on the Apollo 11 mission when astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed their Apollo Lunar Module on July 20, 1969, and walked on the lunar surface, while Michael Collins remained in lunar orbit.
- Five subsequent Apollo missions also landed astronauts on the Moon, the last in December 1972. In these six spaceflights, twelve men walked on the Moon.
- Skylab (1965–1979) – It was the first United States’ space station. Major operations included an orbital workshop, a solar observatory, Earth observation, and hundreds of experiments.
- Apollo–Soyuz Test Project (1972–1975) – It was the first joint U.S.–Soviet space flight. The mission included both joint and separate scientific experiments, including an engineered eclipse of the Sun by Apollo to allow Soyuz to take photographs of the solar corona.
- Space Shuttle program (1972–2011) – It was the fourth human spaceflight program carried out by NASA, which accomplished routine transportation for Earth-to-orbit crew and cargo from 1981 to 2011.
- International Space Station (ISS) (1993–present) – The ISS serves as a space environment research laboratory in which crew members conduct experiments in biology, human biology, physics, astronomy, meteorology, and other fields.
- The station is suited for the testing of spacecraft systems and equipment required for missions to the Moon and Mars.
- Constellation program (2005-2009) – Its goal is to return Americans to the Moon by 2020, return to Mars, repair the Hubble Space Telescope, and continue scientific investigation through robotic solar system exploration.
- Artemis program (2017–present) – NASA sees Artemis as the next step towards the long-term goal of establishing a sustainable presence on the Moon, laying the foundation for private companies to build a lunar economy, and eventually sending humans to Mars.
- Other unmanned missions also include:
- Active spacecraft missions are Juno for Jupiter, New Horizons (for Jupiter, Pluto, and beyond), and Dawn for the asteroid belt.
- Exploration beyond the asteroid belt, including Pioneer and Voyager traversing into the unexplored trans-Pluto region, and Gas Giant orbiters Galileo (1989–2003), Cassini (1997–2017), and Juno (2011–).
- The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is currently scheduled to launch in March 2021.
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about the NASA across 27 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use NASA worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the “NASA” which stands for National Aeronautics and Space Administration. It is an independent agency of the United States Federal Government responsible for the civilian space program, as well as aeronautics and aerospace research.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Fact File
- Greetings from Space
- Golden Decades
- Great Minds
- Observable Universe
- Objects in Space
- Mighty Machines at Work!
- Truth or Myth
- Find your Job!
- Tech Age
- I am a Scientist
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Link will appear as NASA Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, February 27, 2020
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.