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NASA @55
September 30, 2013


As NASA begins its 56th year of operations, we're expanding commercial access to the International Space Station and developing a new rocket and spacecraft to send astronauts farther than ever, starting with a mission to a captured, relocated asteroid in the next decade. We're exploring off the Earth, for the Earth, unlocking mysteries of our solarsystem and peering back into the beginnings of the Universe, all while developing technologies to enable NASA's current and future missions and improve life right here on Earth.

NASA's future builds on a legacy of exploration and discovery that spans six decades. So, what have we done so far?

  • We’ve sent 12 humans to walk and work on the moon, sent four rovers and four landers to explore Mars and sent Voyager into interstellar space.
  • We’ve studied our home planet, every other planet in the solar system, and the sun at the center of it all.
  • We’ve peered deep into the distant past of the universe with Great Observatories like Hubble, Spitzer and Chandra.
  • We’ve built an International Space Station larger than a five-bedroom house and sent humans to live and work off the planet continuously since November 2000.  
  • We've flown 30 years of space shuttle missions to launch and repair Hubble, build the space station and perform science in Earth orbit.
  • We've developed experimental aircraft and tested technologies that make today's airplanes safer and greener
  • We’ve produced hundreds of innovations that enable current and future NASA missions and improve the daily lives of everyone on Earth, from life-saving medical technologies to advances in telecommunications, weather forecasting, robotics and emergency response.

There’s way too much to list it all … and we’re not done yet.

We plan to land humans on Mars in the 2030s. We're getting set to send MAVEN to Mars and OSIRIS-REx to an asteroid, and we'll be watching as Juno arrives at Jupiter and New Horizons arrives at Pluto. We’ll launch the James Webb Space Telescope to follow Hubble in the quest to understand our universe, looking all the way back to the first luminous glows after the Big Bang.   We’ll continue looking at the home planet from our unique perspective in space, improving air travel and developing cutting-edge technologies for the benefit of all mankind.

Stick around. It could get even more interesting.


55 years of NASA
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Page Last Updated: October 17th, 2013
Page Editor: Jim Wilson