Javatpoint Logo
Javatpoint Logo

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration

NASA stands for National Aeronautics and Space Administration. It is a civil space program agency under the US government, which is responsible for America's space exploration programs. These include science and technological developments, research, and missions related to aeronautics and space.

Establishment of NASA

The space race started with the launch of the Soviet satellite Sputnik 1 in 1957. NASA started as a business in 1958. NASA's goal since has been to dive into space exploration, aeronautics research, and scientific discovery. NASA is all about sustainable science and feeding forward the advance of the human spirit.

What does NASA Do?

  • NASA has launched various manned and mechanical spacecraft for exploration and development in the field of space technology. Projects include the Apollo Moon landing missions, solar system exploration, and Mars mission.
  • Spacecraft of NASAuse robots for their functioning and have exploredmany planets of the solar system and different celestial bodies giving a better understanding of the Universe. Along with the space exploration missions, NASA also focuses on the understanding of the Earth. Satellites have enabled scientists to understand weather patterns efficiently.
  • NASA has contributed significantly to the air travel industry. Through its tests and developments, engineers could improve air transportation by setting new records for the aircraft.
  • Apart from the Astronauts whom we might always associate with space explorations, NASA consists of scientists and engineers.
  • Along with projects for students to learn, NASA also provides training to the teachers to make future engineers, scientists, and astronauts. Astronauts conduct scientific research in orbit. Scientists know more about the Earth using satellites.
  • Along with its major missions, NASA believes in giving back to the people what it has learned and educate to improve their lives for the betterment of society.

The headquarters of NASA is located in Washington DC. NASA is a place where all space enthusiasts work with a common goal of sustainability to achieve unattained heights in space technology. Almost 18000 work for NASA others works in different professions such as government contractors, etc.

History of NASA

Project Mercury


  • Project Mercury became crucial with the aim to put the man into orbit around the Earth. It gained popularity and is known as the first human spaceflight program. The Project Mercury took place between 1959 and 1963.


  • The operations of the National Aeronautics Space Administration started on October 1.
  • Pioneer 1 was launched on October 11. Although it wasn't successful, it had the aim of a successful Moon landing.
  • Project SCORE was placed into orbit by an Air Force Atlas Booster on December 19.


  • The first lunar flyby of the US was made by Pioneer 4 on March 3.
  • NASA introduced the astronauts of the Mercury project on April 9. Today, the surviving members of the Mercury 7 are John Glenn and Scott Carpenter.
  • Two monkeys were launched on a Jupiter missile and were recovered after a suborbital flight on May 28.


  • TIROS, which was a weather monitoring device, was launched on April 1.


  • Yuri Gagarin became the first to be in space and the first man to orbit the Earth. The milestone was reached on April 12. He was a Russian Cosmonaut who conveyed to the controls that 'The Earth is blue. How wonderful. It is amazing.' After the success, NASA began accelerating its program.
  • The first man to fly in space was Alan Shepard. He took flight on Freedom 7 suborbital on May 5.
  • With the Friendship 7 Mercury Spacecraft, John Glenn made three orbits around the Earth.

Project Gemini

Gemini aimed for deep space exploration to make Moon landing possible. With ProjectGemini, United States began its Moon mission.


  • NASA completed its land acquisition on February 1. This land on Merritt Island increased the total area of NASA to 88000 acres.


  • The first flight of Gemini with astronauts onboard took place on March 23.
  • The headquarters of the Kennedy Space Centre opened on May 26.
  • The Gemini 4, which was the second Gemini mission, stayed aloft from June 3-7.
  • After an 8-month long journey, Mariner 4 arrives at Mars on July 14-15. It was this project which provided the picture of Mars.
  • On December 15, spacecraft Gemini 6A and Gemini 7 stayed in close proximity for 5 hours. They were in the range of 0.3 meters but never touched each other.


  • The Moon landing took place, and Surveyor spacecraft landed on Moon in June.
  • In Gemini Program, the final flight was launched on November 11-15. It was the 12th flight of this project. At this time, spacewalks preparations were done through underwater training.

Human Space flight and the Moon landing

NASA began with a human spaceflight program. Project Mercury was NASA's first sophisticated program. It was the first step towards an effort to learn that humans could survive in space. This project was followed by the project Gemini. Project Gemini built upon the knowledge learned from the previous project culminating in the Apollo program,bringing the United States closer to its national objective of sending humans to the Moon.

NASA improvised and took inspiration from the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo programs about human flight. This inspiration resulted in the first human landing on the surface of the Moon in July 1969 with the Apollo 11 mission. During this landing on the Moon, the first man walked on the Moon. As we all know today, he was Neil Armstrong. Astronauts walked on the surface of the Moon in seven Moon landings. Every mission focused on the time it stayed and improvised it by taking inspiration from the previous. Moreover, in every successive mission,a crew of astronauts covered a greater distance than their predecessors.

The Hubble Space Telescope and its flexibility in operation have help NASA in various projects. It helps scientists understand the Universe around us. NASA's Curiosity rover is about 5 meters and is designed to expand knowledge about the Gale crater on Mars. It has aided NASA in its Mars missions. From the Hubble space telescope to the incredible curiosity rover NASA has taken humanity far beyond one could have thought a few decades ago. NASA has continued to push past the boundaries of the unknown and add to our Knowledge base.

Latest missions of NASA

NASA has planned multiple spaceflights to the Moon in 2021. By 2025, NASA has planned to land astronauts on the Lunar South Pole.

NASA has also selected two missions to study 'Lost habitability' which is a mission to Venus.

Inventions of NASA

  1. NASA collaborated with Speedo in 2008 to create a swimsuit by minimizing drag to the possible limit. These are so efficient that they broke 13 swimming world records and are even banned in competitions.
  2. Memory foam is a special type of plastic foam invented by NASA. IT has a seemingly miraculous ability to deform and absorb pressure and return to its normal shape.
  3. Scratch resistance eyeglass lens.

These are only a few of many inventions by which NASA has touched our lives.

How to get a job at NASA

To get a job at NASA, an aspirant must research the opportunities at NASA. The person should also look for the eligibility criteria and prepare for the selection process.

How to Become an Astronaut at NASA

Along with the technical skills, NASA also demands physical fitness for the NASA astronaut.

Basic Requirements of the Job

For a candidate to be eligible for the space program jobs in NASA, it is essential to hold a bachelor's degree in engineering, computer science, physical science, or mathematics. Additionally, the candidate must have prior professional experience of three years of a pilot in command in jet aircraft. It is also mandatory for the candidate to pass the astronaut's physical examination conducted by NASA. Apart from the compulsory requirements, some skills can aid in the selection process. These include leadership experience, scuba diving, and other languages, especially Russian.

The Astronauts' Class

In 1959, seven astronauts were chosen for the Mercury program. Around 22 classes are selected for them, which have changed over time according to the programs. Initially, military and test pilots were selected largely, but as the challenges faced in the flight changed, it also affected the skill requirement. The classes are defined according to the skill requirement.

Vehicles Used by the Astronauts

There is a variety of spacecraft an astronaut uses for various missions. The spacecraft first reaches the international space station, where it is tested for long-duration flights. Today, the Russian Soyuz is used for reaching the international space station. According to the new exploration plans, the new batch of NASA astronauts might use Orion spaceflight for deep space explorations.

How to become an Engineer at NASA

Responsibilities of the NASA engineer

The engineers at NASA design and develop technology in avionics, rocketry, electronics, and software.

Eligibility to Become a NASA Engineer

A candidate must have a bachelor's degree from a recognized institution. The majors preferred include engineering, physical science, and mathematics. The students aspiring to become an engineer at NASA must choose the supplementary courses carefully. These are registered on the NASA site under the 'Appropriate Field of Study' tab in AST specialty.

For aerospace technology positions, a student can submit the undergraduate program in the pre-defined field. These fields must provide the knowledge necessary for the position.

Around 30 hours of mathematics, computer science, and statistics is essential for a strong foundation. The candidate must have the appropriate knowledge of the subjects and must be able to apply it practically. Hence the candidate must know theory andhave practical knowledge of mathematics, computer science, and statistics. The integral and differential calculus part must be included along with other stated subjects.

Intern Employment Program (IEP) of NASA

Through the Intern employment program, college students can apply to work for NASA and get paid. The program will help students build the necessary skills to help them transform to career opportunities at NASA.

The opportunities of NASA are different for recent college graduates and already working professionals.

Becoming a NASA engineer is not an easy task. It would require determination and proper planning. Students must begin their preparation as early as possible and believe that it is achievable.

Impact of NASA on our lives

Major contributions of NASA are satellite telecommunication, space access, remote sensing, and GPS. Several technologies to survive harsh weather and a poor environment for space and other planets have been adopted by NASA. It makes sure that the spin-offs are available for the public and other industries to grow. These spin-offssignificantly positively impact health and medicine, air purification, transportation, public safety, agricultural resources, computer technology, industrial activity, and the environment. Additionally, NASA has invented many everyday utilities like trade mills, water purification systems, LEDs are some examples of what NASA has offered us. Through these inventions, it has made our lives better and comfortable.

Whenever we think of space exploration, we always imagine astronauts. However, many other people are contributing to this organization. These generally include scientists and engineers but teachers, secretaries, writers, and lawyers are also some of the jobs held by people. NASAis also providing employment and contributing to the economy. Additionally, it is also opening new doors to humanity and inventions.

Some people may think NASA eats a lot of money, but the truth is that it does all this while being allotted only 1% of the national budget. We must help to get them more funding so that they can achieve more milestones. Projects and missions carried out by NASA set a benchmark for revolutionizing the technology and promoting innovation. NASA inspires young students about the solar system, space, and its numerous possibilities. These programs encourage more people to come forward and explore different dimensions of space technology. Through its student-centric projects, NASA inspires students to pursue space technology as their career and help in its advancements. Moreover, its missions and programs are serving humanity and making our lives better. Hence, we must know the worth of NASA and appreciate them because they are changing the world.

Youtube For Videos Join Our Youtube Channel: Join Now


Help Others, Please Share

facebook twitter pinterest

Learn Latest Tutorials


Trending Technologies

B.Tech / MCA