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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.

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.

Flag Day 2024 – One Small Flag’s Incredible Journey
7 min read

This article tells the story of one small American flag fortunate enough to be singled out from a group of one thousand flags just like it and embark on an incredible journey. The other 999 flags likely ended up as…

Article
55 Years Ago: Manned Orbiting Laboratory Cancellation
10 min read

The Manned Orbiting Laboratory (MOL), a joint classified project of the U.S. Air Force (USAF) and the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), sought to establish a crewed platform in low Earth orbit to obtain high-resolution photographic imagery of America’s 1960s Cold…

Article
55 Years Ago: Star Trek Final Episode Airs, Relationship with NASA Endures
15 min read

The voyages of the Starship Enterprise came to a sudden and premature end on June 3, 1969, with the airing of the final episode of the Star Trek original television series. Ironically, the show’s cancellation came just six weeks before…

Article
25 Years Ago: STS-96 Resupplies the Space Station
6 min read

On May 27, 1999, the second space station assembly and logistics mission began. The main goals of STS-96, designated as the 2A.1 mission in the overall assembly sequence, included resupplying and repairing the fledgling orbital facility, consisting of the Zarya…

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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Bryan O'Connor
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