Monday, 1 October 2012

On this Day: 1st October 1958, NASA launches

On the 1st October 1958 the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) became operational replacing its predecessor, the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA).

U.S. space exploration efforts have since been led by NASA, including the Apollo moon-landing missions, the Skylab space station, and later the Space Shuttle. Today NASA is supporting the International Space Station and is overseeing the development of the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle and Commercial Crew vehicles, while focusing on manned missions to asteroids and Mars.

NASA's facilities are primarily research, construction and communication centers to help its missions and include the most famous, the John F. Kennedy Space Center. The Kennedy Space Centre has been the launch site for every US human space flight since 1968 and continues to manage and operate unmanned rocket launch facilities for America's civilian space program from three pads at the adjoining Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

The image above, shows the other major NASA facility, the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama at which the Saturn 5 rocket and Skylab were developed. At its founding, the Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) inherited the Army's Jupiter and Redstone test stands, but much larger facilities were needed for the giant stages of the Saturn V. From 1960 to 1964, the existing stands were remodeled and a sizable new test area was developed.

Photo Legacy: Making your memories last forever

Image courtesy of NASA under The Commons agreement on Flickr.

Research is courtesy of Wikipedia


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