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Apollo 11 Mission Image - View of Moon Limb, with Earth on the Horizon

For All Mankind

Since its founding in 1958, NASA has pushed the boundaries of scientific and technical limits to explore the unknown for all the citizens of our planet. Discover the history of our human spaceflight, science, technology, and aeronautics programs.

On the desolate pock-marked lunar surface, astronaut Edwin E. Aldrin Jr., wearing a white Extravehicular Mobility Unit spacesuit, stands to the right of the American flag planted in the soil. The flag is unfurled and waving to the left, with Aldrin facing it in the image and seen from a side view.

Find out more about the first mission to land people on the Moon in July 1969.

Katherine G. Johnson

Meet the women who worked as human computers in NASA's early days.

Painter applies fresh coat of paint to the NASA Meatball on the Hangar's North Facade

Get to know the meatball, the worm, the seal, and other logos and insignia used by NASA.

NASA will never forget the tragic loss of the Apollo 1, Challenger and Columbia crews.

CHIMPANZEE "HAM" sits IN FLIGHT COUCH FOR MR-2 (MERCURY-REDSTONE2) surrounded by his trainers.

Learn about the early history of animals in space flight.

65 Years and Counting

Forged in response to early Soviet space achievements, NASA was built on the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA), as the locus of U.S. civil aerospace research and development. Since October 1, 1958, when NASA opened for business, it has accelerated work on human and robotic spaceflight, and is responsible for scientific and technological achievements that have had widespread impacts on our nation and the world.

Discover Our History about 65 Years and Counting
Aerial view of NASA hangar roof.

Recent NASA History Stories

Stay up-to-date with our latest NASA history articles as we revisit the discoveries and challenges of NASA's past.

40 Years Ago: NASA Selects its 10th Group of Astronauts
18 min read

On May 23, 1984, NASA announced the selection of its 10th group of astronauts. Chosen from nearly 5,000 applicants, the group comprised 17 astronaut candidates – seven pilots and 10 mission specialists – and included three women and one Hispanic…

Article
55 Years Ago: Two Months Until the Moon Landing
21 min read

The march to the first Moon landing took a giant leap forward in May 1969 with the successful completion of Apollo 10, essentially a dress rehearsal for the landing mission. During their eight-day flight, the all-veteran Apollo 10 crew of…

Article
15 Years Ago: STS-125, the Final Hubble Servicing Mission
16 min read

 “Trying to do stellar observations from Earth is like trying to do birdwatching from the bottom of a lake.” James B. Odom, Hubble Program Manager 1983-1990. The fifth and final servicing mission to the Hubble Space Telescope, placed in orbit…

Article
20 Years Ago: NASA Selects its 19th Group of Astronauts
11 min read

On May 6, 2004, NASA announced the selection of its 19th group of astronauts. The group comprised 11 candidates – two pilots, six mission specialists, and three educator mission specialists – and included two women, two Hispanic Americans, and one…

Article

The NASA History Office

The National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958 not only created NASA but directed it “to provide for the widest practicable and appropriate dissemination of information concerning NASA activities and the results thereof.” The sharing of information, including our history, has always been, and continues to be, a priority. Historians in NASA’s History Office do historical research, provide context, answer questions for NASA leadership, and share NASA’s History with the public.

Learn More About Our Work
The NACA's Aircraft Fleet arrayed on the ramp in the 1950s
These people and this equipment supported the flight of the NACA D-558-2 Skyrocket at the High-Speed Flight Station at South Base, Edwards AFB. Note the two Sabre chase planes, the P2B-1S launch aircraft, and the profusion of ground support equipment, including communications, tracking, maintenance, and rescue vehicles. Research pilot A. Scott Crossfield stands in front of the Skyrocket. Photo date: January 17, 1954
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