Shuttle-Mir History/Background/NASA

The STS-71 Space Shuttle orbiter Atlantis rolls from Orbiter Processing Facility Bay 3 to the Vehicle Assembly Building.


The National Aeronautics and Space Administration was created on October 1, 1958, "to provide for research into the problems of flight within and outside the Earth's atmosphere and for other purposes." This was one year after the Soviet Union launched Sputnik 1 and a "technology gap" crisis had become part of the Cold War.

Since then, NASA has built a largely successful human spaceflight program; sent probes and landers throughout the solar system and beyond; orbited telescopes and observatories of both outer space and Earth; and conducted research in aeronautics.

Related Links:
NASA and Human Spaceflight
Sputnik (video)
Russia and Spaceflight

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