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.

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Feeling the rhythm

Many astronauts play instruments, and some have even made music in space. Few have danced in space, though, perhaps because crew members find it difficult to tap their toes when weightless. Or it could be that spending time ...

dateOct 26, 2016 in Space Exploration
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How to read a STEREO image

In the same way that two eyes give humans a three-dimensional perception of the world around us, the twin spacecraft of NASA's Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory mission, or STEREO, enable us to understand the sun in ...

dateOct 26, 2016 in Space Exploration
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STEREO—10 years of revolutionary solar views

Launched 10 years ago, on Oct. 25, 2006, the twin spacecraft of NASA's STEREO mission – short for Solar and Terrestrial Relations Observatory – have given us unprecedented views of the sun, including the first-ever simultaneous ...

dateOct 26, 2016 in Space Exploration
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Image: CST-100 Starliner manufacturing

An engineer guides the upper dome of a Boeing CST-100 Starliner as it is connected to the lower dome to complete the first hull of the Starliner's Structural Test Article, a prototype spacecraft that is identical to the operational ...

dateOct 25, 2016 in Space Exploration
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Taking the surprise out of hurricane season

Prior to the 1960's, the biggest storms on Earth could take people by surprise. Someone standing on a beach in Florida might not know if a distant bank of clouds was a routine squall or … the harbinger of a powerful hurricane.

dateOct 21, 2016 in Earth Sciences
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Image: Jupiterrise

This image of the sunlit part of Jupiter and its swirling atmosphere was created by a citizen scientist (Alex Mai) using data from Juno's JunoCam instrument. JunoCam's raw images are available at for ...

dateOct 21, 2016 in Space Exploration
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