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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.

A Wartime Necessity

In the newest publication in the NASA History Series, A Wartime Necessity: The National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) and Other National Aeronautical Research Organizations' Efforts at Innovation During World War II, we see how research and technology were critical to the war effort, how unique contexts shaped what was possible, and how institutions were adapting to a drastically changing world.

Get the E-book about A Wartime Necessity
This is a photo of the Navy's Brewster XF2A-1 Buffalo mounted in the Full-Scale Tunnel for drag reduction studies.

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.

Eileen Collins Broke Barriers as America’s First Female Space Shuttle Commander
5 min read

At the end of February 1998, Johnson Space Center Deputy Director James D. Wetherbee called Astronaut Eileen Collins to his office in Building 1. He told her she had been assigned to command STS-93 and went with her to speak…

Article
55 Years Ago: Apollo 11’s One Small Step, One Giant Leap
8 min read

“Houston, Tranquility Base here, the Eagle has landed.” “That’s one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind.” “Magnificent desolation.” Three phrases that recall humanity’s first landing on and exploration of the lunar surface. In July 1969, Apollo…

Article
15 Years Ago: STS-127 Delivers Japanese External Platform to Space Station
13 min read

On July 15, 2009, space shuttle Endeavour began its 23rd trip into space, on the 2JA mission to the International Space Station, the 29th shuttle flight to the orbiting lab. During the 16-day mission, the seven-member STS-127 crew, working with…

Article
45 Years Ago: Skylab Reenters Earth’s Atmosphere
9 min read

A few days before they left Skylab on Feb. 8, 1974, the final crew to occupy the station raised its altitude, hoping to keep it in orbit until a future space shuttle could revisit it. But higher than predicted solar…

Article

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.

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
NACA

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STS-127 Spacewalk
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