Exploring the secrets of the universe for the benefit of all. NASA investigates the unknown in air and space, innovates for the benefit of humanity, and inspires the world through discovery.
Peering into the creation of the universe and traversing Mars
The James Webb Space Telescope is an orbiting infrared observatory that will look to the beginning of time and to hunt for the unobserved formation of the first galaxies, as well as to look inside dust clouds where stars and planetary systems are forming today.
Much closer to home, NASA has sent five robotic vehicles, called rovers, to Mars. Rovers help scientists in their quest to understand what different parts of the planet are made of.
NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope’s mid-infrared view of the Pillars of Creation strikes a chilling tone. Thousands of stars that exist in this region seem to disappear, since stars typically do not emit much mid-infrared light, and seemingly endless layers of gas and dust become the centerpiece. The detection of dust by Webb’s Mid-Infrared Instrument (MIRI) is extremely important – dust is a major ingredient for star formation.
NASA, ESA, CSA, STScI; Joseph DePasquale (STScI), Alyssa Pagan (STScI)
From low Earth orbit to the Moon and Mars
Rotational crews have been living in low Earth orbit continuously aboard the International Space Station since 2000. Located about 250 miles above Earth, the space station is a full-time microgravity laboratory. On behalf of researchers worldwide, station crews conduct experiments only possible in the unique conditions of space, observe Earth as a system, and test new technologies that ultimately will help send humans far beyond Earth.
Artemis missions will send humans to the Moon for long-term scientific exploration and discovery. Artemis I was an uncrewed flight test that traveled 40,000 miles past the far side of the Moon and back to Earth to validate the Space Launch System rocket, Orion spacecraft, and other key systems. Artemis II will be the first flight test with astronauts to validate crew life support systems, and Artemis III will mark the beginning of humanity’s return to the lunar surface.
Living and working in low Earth orbit and at the Moon will help NASA and its partners prepare for the next giant leap: sending humans to Mars.
Clockwise from left, Expedition 68 flight engineers Anna Kikina, Josh Cassada, Nicole Mann, and Koichi Wakata pose for a fun portrait aboard the International Space Station.
Lowering the Sonic Boom
NASA’s aeronautical innovators are leading a government-industry team to collect data that could make supersonic flight over land possible, dramatically reducing travel time in the United States or anywhere in the world.
Artist illustration of the X-59 Quiet SuperSonic Technology aircraft, which will soon take skies as NASA’s first purpose-built, supersonic experimental plane in decades.
Demonstrating the innovations that help us go, land, live, and explore in space
Technology drives exploration and the space economy. Technology demonstrations enable NASA to mature the cutting-edge, laboratory-proven technologies and new capabilities that will transform future science and space exploration goals. Through these missions, we conduct ground-based or in-space testing to determine the feasibility of technologies and systems for use in NASA missions, for other government agencies, and with the commercial space industry
The flight demonstration unit of the next-generation 4-bed CO2 Scrubber (4BCO2) is targeted for launch aboard NG16 NET August 1, 2021. Once aboard the space station, this unit will be mounted in a basic express rack. This four-bed technology is a mainstay for metabolic CO2 removal and crew life support.
In 2022, we made history. In 2023, we are preparing for our future by exploring the secrets of the universe. All for the benefit of humanity.
Exploring the secrets of the universe for the benefit of all.
NASA is developing the Earth System Observatory, the core of which is five satellite missions providing critical data on climate change, severe weather and other natural hazards, wildfires, and global food production.
Space Technology in Development
The Small Spacecraft Technology (SST) program expands the ability to execute unique missions through rapid development and demonstration of capabilities for small spacecraft applicable to exploration, science and the commercial space sector.
Humans on the International Space Station
Every day since Nov. 2, 2000, people have been orbiting our planet inside the International Space Station, bringing together science, technology and human innovation to enable new technologies and research breakthroughs not possible on Earth. The first decade of the International Space Station was the decade of construction. The second decade moved from initial studies to fully using the orbiting lab. We have now entered the decade of results.
Decades of Discovery
NASA's first high profile program was Project Mercury, an effort to learn if humans could survive in space.
NASA is responsible for unique scientific and technological achievements in human spaceflight, aeronautics, space science, and space applications that have had widespread impacts on our nation and the world. When NASA opened for business on October 1, 1958, it accelerated the work already started on human and robotic spaceflight.