The National Aeronautics and Space Administration, a branch of the US government, is in charge of conducting research in both aeronautics and aerospace as well as managing the country's civilian space program. The National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) was replaced by NASA in 1958.
Through research and development in fields like Earth science, astrophysics, heliophysics, planetary science, and aviation, NASA's main goal is to advance science, technology, and exploration. The Apollo missions, which landed the first humans on the Moon, and the Space Shuttle program, which helped construct the International Space Station and launched a number of scientific and research missions, are two of NASA's most significant accomplishments.
NASA also operates a number of Earth-observing satellites that monitor global climate change, weather patterns, and natural disasters. The agency has played a critical role in advancing our understanding of the universe and our place in it, and continues to push the boundaries of science and exploration.
The annual budget for NASA is determined by the US Congress and normally falls between $20 and $25 billion USD. NASA's varied missions, such as the creation of new spacecraft and technological advancements, academic outreach initiatives, and scientific research, are supported by this money.
The centers of NASA are spread out around the country, and each one has a distinct concentration on a different element of the organization's purpose. These facilities include the Goddard Space Flight Centre in Greenbelt, Maryland, which focuses on Earth and space science research, the Johnson Space Centre in Houston, Texas, which oversees human spaceflight operations, and the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida, which coordinates rocket and spacecraft launches.
Partnerships with other organizations and agencies both inside and outside the United States are frequent at NASA. For instance, NASA collaborates closely on a number of space programs, such as the International Space Station, with the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). NASA collaborates on the creation of new spacecraft and launch vehicles with commercial businesses like SpaceX and Boeing.
Future NASA missions include the Artemis program, which seeks to land the first woman and next man on the moon by 2024. NASA has several ambitious missions planned for the upcoming years. Additionally, NASA is working on the James Webb Space Telescope, which will be the most potent space telescope ever created when it is launched in late 2021. A number of robotic missions to Mars are also being planned by NASA, one of which is the Mars Sample Return mission, which will gather and return samples of Martian rock and soil to Earth for investigation.
Program for education and outreach run by NASA: In addition to its missions for science and exploration, NASA also places a high priority on these activities. Lesson plans, virtual tours, educational games, and exercises are just a few of the materials and programmes the organisation offers to students and teachers. For students and young professionals interested in jobs in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), NASA also provides internships and fellowships.