The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is the agency of the United States government that is responsible for the nation's civilian space program and for aeronautics and aerospace research. Since February 2006, NASA's mission statement has been to "pioneer the future in space exploration, scientific discovery and aeronautics research." On September 14, 2011, NASA announced that it had selected the design of a new Space Launch System that it said would take the agency's astronauts farther into space than ever before and provide the cornerstone for future human space exploration efforts by the U.S. NASA was established by the National Aeronautics and Space Act on July 29, 1958, replacing its predecessor, the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA). The agency became operational on October 1, 1958. 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. Currently, NASA is supporting the International Space Station and is overseeing the development of the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle and Commercial Crew vehicles.
Image: Sunset over the Gulf of Mexico
From the International Space Station, Expedition 42 Flight Engineer Terry W. Virts took this photograph of the Gulf of Mexico and U.S. Gulf Coast at sunset and posted it to social media on Dec. 14, 2014.
Four life science experiments headed to ISS in the SpaceX-5 resupply launch
NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California, will launch four life science experiments to the International Space Station aboard NASA's next commercial cargo resupply flight of the SpaceX Dragon ...
Curiosity rover finds active, ancient organic chemistry on Mars
(Phys.org)—NASA's Mars Curiosity rover has measured a tenfold spike in methane, an organic chemical, in the atmosphere around it and detected other organic molecules in a rock-powder sample collected by ...
Image: Opportunity pausing at a bright outcrop on Endeavour rim, Sol 3854
NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity is continuing its traverse southward on the western rim of Endeavour Crater during the fall of 2014, stopping to investigate targets of scientific interest along ...
NASA tests software that may help increase flight efficiency, decrease aircraft noise
NASA researchers Friday began flight tests of computer software that shows promise in improving flight efficiency and reducing environmental impacts of aircraft, especially on communities around airports.
Signs of ancient Mars lakes and quakes seen in new map
Long ago, in the largest canyon system in our solar system, vibrations from "marsquakes" shook soft sediments that had accumulated in Martian lakes.
NASA image: Super Guppy spends a restful night in the NASA Langley hangar
NASA's Super Guppy aircraft, designed to transport extremely large cargo, rests after making a special delivery to the NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia. The aircraft measures more than 48 ...
MESSENGER data suggest recurring meteor shower on Mercury
The closest planet to the sun appears to get hit by a periodic meteor shower, possibly associated with a comet that produces multiple events annually on Earth.
Building a worldwide genetic library BRIC-by-BRIC
A house is only as good as its foundation. Built solid and strong, the resulting structure should last for decades. NASA is laying a strong foundation of life science research with results from a recent investigation ...
Colorful and plankton-full Patagonian waters
Late spring and summer weather brings blooms of color to the Atlantic Ocean off of South America, at least from a satellite view.
Help US cope with climate change: Enter NASA-USGS data app challenge
NASA in partnership with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is offering more than $35,000 in prizes to citizen scientists for ideas that make use of climate data to address vulnerabilities faced by the United ...
Image: Great Lakes and Central U.S. viewed from the International Space Station
From the International Space Station, Expedition 42 Commander Barry Wilmore took this photograph of the Great Lakes and central U.S. on Dec. 7, 2014, and posted it to social media.
Buckle up for more big news from InSPACE's nano-world
They say good things come in small packages; sometimes so do exciting new discoveries.
OPALS project uses laser beams for Earth-space communications
(Phys.org) —You may know opals as fiery gemstones, but something special called OPALS is floating above us in space. On the International Space Station, the Optical Payload for Lasercomm Science (OPALS) ...
NASA image: Sedimentary signs of a Martian lakebed
This evenly layered rock photographed by the Mast Camera (Mastcam) on NASA's Curiosity Mars Rover shows a pattern typical of a lake-floor sedimentary deposit not far from where flowing water entered a lake. ...