NASA or, more simply, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, was founded on October 1, 1958. The impetus for its creation was the launch by the Soviet Union of the first artificial Earth satellite.
predecessor NASA was an organization NACA (National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics), engaged in aeronautics and supersonic aircraft. But the success of the USSR showed the American government (Eisenhower was then president) the need to come to grips with space problems. Although the US took over most of the rocket science research done by 3rd Reich scientists, funding NACA was very weak. The creation of a new agency was supposed to solve this problem. That's how it was born NASA, thus began the battle for space, which has been going on for decades with varying success.
The main thing that the satellite scared the Americans is the ability to deliver an atomic bomb anywhere in the United States, without any problems. From now on, heavy ultra-long-range aircraft were no longer needed, which are easy to track and shoot down. The war for space is just one of the variations in the arms race that took place between the two Empires, as well on land, in the air and under water.
The US lost the beginning of this battle and actively began to catch up. Satellite launches followed one after another. In 1962, the first American astronaut, John Glenn, made three orbits around the Earth. In 1965, research begins, the goal of which is to reach the moon.
|The surface of the moon from orbit (photo from NASA archives)|
The event that took place in 1969 has been haunting researchers and journalists for many years now. There are still persistent rumors that there was no flight to the moon, and Neil Armstrong did not fly anywhere; that everything that happened is nothing more than a competent hoax. And it seems that these disputes will continue for more than one decade, until final evidence or refutation is found.
What can I say - all the same activity NASA is so far from everyday life that any project launched by the agency can be viewed both from an enthusiastically positive and cautiously skeptical point of view. In any case, the USSR lost in the battle to land a man on the moon.
The 70s were marked by the launch of automatic probes to other planets in the solar system. In the 80s, bold experiments with reusable ships began. In general, successful, except for the tragedies that happened to Challenger (exploded in 1986 at launch) and Columbia (burned up in the earth's atmosphere upon return). The beginning of the 21st century was marked by a number of flights to Mars.
Generous Funding NASA, by the American government, has always paid off. Investments in space programs amount to tens of billions of dollars. And although this sometimes causes dissatisfaction of taxpayers, NASA - this is the national pride of the United States, which, in the end, decides everything.
history NASA you can talk for a long time. Although sometimes it is impossible to determine what is history and what is official history. But in any case, you can create entire encyclopedias about this agency. But the story is just beginning...