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What does NASA stand for? NASA is an abbreviation of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. It is the government agency in charge of the US space program. It was established on July 29, 1958 and took over from the former National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics or NACA. It began its operations on October 1, 1958 and has been the agency that has dealt with the United States exploration of space. Its most important achievements to date include the Apollo missions to the moon, the Skylab space station and the Space shuttle. In present times NASA has been maintaining the International Space Station and developing new launch sites.

What Does NASA Stand For?

NASA also has the crucial job of carrying out important aerospace research on behalf of the government and the military. Its ultimate goal is to better understand earth by observing other dynamic and potentially similar systems found in space. Specific areas of research include heliophysics, exploration of numerous planets within the solar system, astrophysics and the possibility of the Big Bang theory. NASA's mission statement has been: to "pioneer the future in space exploration, scientific discovery, and aeronautics research." It releases specific bits of information to different national and international organizations that may aid in related research.


There have been many space missions that were carried out successfully by NASA. There have been 150 manned missions that have accomplished much in the name of scientific research. Many of the prominent manned missions were under the Apollo program. The moon race was also a victory for NASA which put the first man on the moon. There have been set backs in including loss of life and equipment when the Challenger and Columbia space shuttles were destroyed while being sent on a mission. NASA has future plans the most immediate of which is the Project Constellation, which will see the development of spacecraft and booster vehicles that will be used instead of regular space shuttles. They will be used to send astronauts to the moon once more and perhaps Mars. 

NASA has performed unmanned missions to space. One of these missions resulted in visits to seven planets within our solar system. There have been others that have gone beyond our solar system including Pioneer 10 and 11 and Voyager 1 and 2. Mars Exploration Rovers, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and the Phoenix Launcher have been sent to Mars successfully and have been used to gather information. Currently NASA is the only agency to have accomplished missions beyond our solar system and even beyond the asteroid belt.

Now you know the answer to the question, "What does NASA stand for?"