What is NASA All About?

Did you know that the National Aeronautics and Space Administration is the U.S. government agency that is responsible for the civil space program and aeronautics research? Here are some of the exciting accomplishments of NASA. If you’re a space nut, then you’ve probably heard of Psyche, MESSENGER, and New Horizons. But what’s NASA really all about? Let’s find out. In a nutshell, NASA is responsible for the research that makes us feel safe in space.

Space shuttle Columbia

The Space Shuttle Columbia blasted into the atmosphere on the morning of February 1, 2003. It had just completed a 16-day mission and was on its way home when the craft broke apart as it reentered the atmosphere. There were seven astronauts aboard the shuttle – commander Richard Husband, pilot William C. McCool, payload commander Michael P. Anderson, and mission specialists David M. Brown and Kalpana Chawla. The crew was still attempting to reach the Kennedy Space Center in Florida when the shuttle lost contact. The astronauts had not been in touch with Mission Control for several hours when the phone rang.

The astronauts must make the best use of the limited tools available to them. The Columbia has no repair kit and no specialized tools. They have to devise a way to repair the damaged wing. To perform the repair, they move a ladder from the shuttle’s interior to the repair site. They then secure the ladder to the payload bay door and suspend it toward the damaged wing. They must then reinstall their instruments in order to complete the repair.

Psyche probe

The NASA Psyche probe may reveal the secrets of planetary formation and the composition of the outer atmosphere. Psyche’s surface is composed largely of nickel, iron, and rock, and it is likely that it is rocky and not icy. While NASA missions typically target icy or rocky worlds, Psyche could be a way to learn more about the formation of planets and the composition of their iron cores.

The Psyche mission will fly over the asteroid (16) Psyche between August 1 and October 1 in 2026. It will spend two years studying the surface of Psyche, seeking clues about the evolution of planetary bodies. The mission will also map the asteroid from ground-based observations. Ultimately, the Psyche mission will help advance our understanding of planetary formation and the evolution of planetary bodies.


The NASA MESSENGER spacecraft has completed its mission to Mercury, which began in 2004. The spacecraft used the gravity of Earth and several other worlds to slingshot itself toward Mercury. It used as little fuel as possible during the mission because fuel is heavy and increases launch costs. MESSENGER collected images of the Earth-Moon system. However, some of the images returned by the mission are not as impressive as those of the MESSENGER.

The MESSENGER mission collected a variety of data during its orbital mission. The first three flybys took place on 14 January 2008, six months later, and nine months later, the mission entered its highly eccentric orbit on 18 March 2011. It maintained an orbital periapsis of around 200 kilometers altitude and 60degN latitude throughout its first year of operation. However, due to third-body perturbation, the spacecraft drifted significantly.

New Horizons

The mission is based on the lineage of TIMED and CONTOUR spacecraft. It was built by the Applied Physics Laboratory at Johns Hopkins University and includes a suite of scientific instruments and a cylindrical radioisotope thermoelectric generator. The spacecraft carries 250 watts of power at launch, which decreases to 200 watts at Pluto’s closest approach. New Horizons reached an initial Earth orbit of 105 x 130 miles (167 x 213 kilometers) on September 14, 1990, after which a second firing of the Centaur upper stage of the mission began boosting the payload to an elliptical orbit toward the asteroid belt.

Among the mission’s major systems is the autonomy system. This system uses Ultra-Stable Oscillators (USO) and Pulse-Per-Second signals to establish its time base. Several components of the C&DH system, including the UT-to-MET clock register, contribute to achieving an onboard correlation of +/ four seconds for the Pluto flyby and a nine-hour round-trip time to Earth. The onboard clock correlates with the science instruments to a precision of +/ 10 milliseconds.

International Space Station

The International Space Station, or ISS, is a human habitat in orbit around Earth. It travels at an average speed of 17,227 miles per hour (27,724 kilometers per hour). Because of its harsh environment, the ISS crew must provide fresh air, water, food, and other necessary necessities to maintain a comfortable and livable environment. They must also have access to emergency equipment, dispose of waste, and protect against fire and other hazards.

Currently, astronauts spend six months at the station to conduct research that would be impossible on Earth. Scott Kelly, a United States astronaut, has set a record for the longest space mission with more than 340 days in space. His mission brings NASA closer to Mars missions and is the third-brightest object in the sky. NASA also conducts a comprehensive set of experiments on astronauts, including the twin study. The space station is the third-brightest object in the night sky, and can be spotted from Earth.

NASA’s Human Research Program

The Human Research Program (HRP) at NASA is an integrated and comprehensive system of research activities that minimizes the risks to human health and performance during long-duration space exploration missions. It provides knowledge, technologies, and tools necessary to enable safe human space exploration. The HRP focuses on five key elements: interdisciplinary scientific research, space radiation research, human health countermeasures, and avionics. The Human Research Program addresses the critical issues facing NASA and the space industry.

The NRA encourages researchers from all disciplines to submit proposals and apply for funding. Proposals can be for projects that explore the human condition and provide a scientific basis for space exploration. Principal investigators may conduct their research in collaboration with universities, federal government laboratories, private sector, and state and local government laboratories. The program also provides funds to conduct experiments aimed at increasing the human capacity to live and work in space. In addition to the Human Research Program, NASA supports numerous other programs and initiatives.