President Dwight D. Eisenhower established the National Aeronautics and Space Administration in 1958, partially in response to the Soviet Union's launch of the first artificial satellite. NASA grew out of the National Advisory Committee on Aeronautics, which had been researching flight technology for more than 40 years.
Today, NASA conducts its work in four principle organizations, called mission directorates:
- Aeronautics: pioneering and proving new flight technologies that improve our ability to explore and which have practical applications on Earth.
- Exploration Systems: creating new capabilities for affordable, sustainable human and robotic exploration
- Science: exploring the Earth, moon, Mars and beyond; charting the best route of discovery; and reaping the benefits of Earth and space exploration for society.
- Space Operations: providing critical enabling technologies for much of the rest of NASA through the space shuttle, the international space station and flight support.
Disclaimer: The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is the original source for some content in the Encyclopedia of Earth. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is listed as a content source on each article that uses such content. Topic editors and authors for the Encyclopedia of Earth may have edited this content or added new information. The use of information from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration should not be construed as support for or endorsement by that organization for any new information added by Encyclopedia of Earth personnel, or for any editing of the original content.