NASA is the independent agency of the USA government that was responsible for sending man to the moon. Take a look below for 17 interesting and awesome facts about NASA.
1. NASA stands for National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
2. NASA’s predecessor was NACA, the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics which President Woodrow Wilson created to encourage flight-related research.
3. President Eisenhower finally established NASA a year after the Russians launched Sputnik 1. That was back in 1958. It was created to be a civilian-operated agency falling under the auspices of the government’s executive branch.
4. The famous Apollo astronauts could not qualify for life insurance because of the nature of their work. So they signed autographs behind before going to space. If anything went wrong, they hoped that the autographs would gain enough value to care for their families.
5. NASA’s HQ is in Washington DC. But it also has nine centres scattered all over the USA, including the test and research facilities and the jet propulsion lab.
6. Everyone wants to join NASA. They actually employ roughly 17,000 employees already. The majority are scientists, engineers, and government contractors. They also employ teachers, writers, and attorneys.
7. As far as NASA is concerned, you only gain the title of astronaut once you travel 50 miles from the planet’s surface.
8. The movie ‘Armageddon’ is pretty popular. What you might not know is that this movie is shown to new employees at NASA and are tasked with identifying all its inaccuracies.
9. The vehicle assembly building at NASA is so large that, if it wasn’t for their massive air conditioning systems, rain clouds would form near the ceiling!
10. NASA sent the first American to space in 1961 (Alan Shepherd). With Apollo 8, they orbited the Moon in 1968. In 1969, the Moon landing happened. In total, the Apollo missions have allowed 12 men to walk on the Moon.
11. In 1972, NASA launched the Landsat Satellites which were tasked with photographing the planet’s surface from space.
12. NASA has discovered a so-called Water World 40 light-years away from our planet that has hot ice, superfluid water, and other scientific marvels.
13. NASA launched the Voyager 1 probe which took 33 years to reach the edge of the solar system in 2010.
14. NASA was sued by three men from Yemen because they supposedly trespassed on Mars. The men argued that they had inherited the planet from their ancient ancestors.
15. The man who created the super soaker squirt gun worked for NASA as a scientist.
16. If an asteroid ever threatens the Earth, NASA has designed a ship that can deflect it using a nuclear explosion.
17. If alien life is ever discovered, NASA has an organization called the Office of Planetary Protection that is charged with contending with such matters.