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Explore NASA’s History

Eugene A. Cernan, Commander, Apollo 17 salutes the flag on the lunar surface during NASA's final lunar mission.

Discover Our Past

Whether just getting the basics or diving into your research, we invite you to connect with our ever-expanding collection of mission profiles, biographies, articles, e-books, chronologies, and source documents spanning the history of the NACA and NASA.


NASA's precursor, the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) was established by Congress in 1915 to advance the United States' standing in flight. Over its 40-some years in existence, it pushed the frontiers of air technology through groundbreaking aeronautics research, preparing the country for its venturing steps into space.

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Recent NASA History Stories

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

30 Years Ago: STS-61, the First Hubble Servicing Mission

“Trying to do stellar observations from Earth is like trying to do birdwatching from the bottom of a lake.”  James…

40 Years Ago: STS-9, the First Spacelab Science Mission

On Nov. 28, 1983, space shuttle Columbia took to the skies for its sixth trip into space on the first…

Spacelab 1: A Model for International Cooperation

Forty years ago, in 1983, the Space Shuttle Columbia flew its first international spaceflight, STS-9. The mission included—for the first…

Thanksgiving Celebrations in Space

The Thanksgiving holiday typically brings families and friends together in a celebration of common gratitude for all the good things…

55 Years Ago: Eight Months Before the Moon Landing

November 1968 proved pivotal to achieving the goal of landing a man on the Moon before the end of the…

50 Years Ago: Launch of Skylab 4, The Final Mission to Skylab

The third and final crewed mission to the Skylab space station, Skylab 4, got underway on Nov. 16, 1973, with…

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