NASA Explanation

NASA Explanation

According to, National Aeronautics and Space Administration is abbreviated as NASAAgency of the government of the United States established the 29 of July of 1958, replacing its predecessor, the Advisory Committee National Aeronautics (NACA). It began operating on October 1, 1958. It has led the US efforts for space exploration, in missions: such as the Apollo moon landing missions, the Skylab space station, and later, the space shuttle. Currently, NASA is supporting the International Space Station and developing the manned spacecraft Orion., reminiscent of the Apollo spacecraft due to its external shape.


Development in the Space Race

The impetus in the space race by the United States government was due to the fact that the Soviet space program made several launches of the world’s first artificial satellite Sputnik 1 on October 4, 1957, drawing the attention of the United States. United towards their incipient space and own effort. The US Congress. Alarmed by the threat to national security and technological leadership (known as the “Sputnik crisis”), called for immediate and swift action, President Dwight D. Eisenhower and his advisers advised more deliberate measures. This led to several months of debate produced an agreement that a new federal agency was needed to carry out all non-military activities in space.

The ARPA agency was also created at this time to develop space technology for military use. The space race was number one at the end of the 20th century, the competition between the Soviet Union (USSR) and the United States (USA) for supremacy in the exploration of outer space. The race was both ideological and technological, and involved pioneering efforts to launch artificial, suborbital, and orbital satellites for manned space flights around the earth, and pilot trips to the Moon.

The space race had its origins in the missile-based arms race that occurred just after the end of World War II, with the Soviet Union and the United States capturing advanced German rocket technology and personnel. Motivated by the Cold War desire to show scientific and technological superiority, which resulted in military force. Between 1957 and 1975, the ideological and technological rivalry between the two nations centered on space exploration. The space race effectively began with the Soviet launch of Sputnik 1 (artificial satellite) on October 4, 1957, and the Apollo-Soyuz cooperation: manned space flight mission was concluded in July 1975, which came to symbolize detente between the US and the USSR.

This unleashed an unprecedented increase in spending on education and pure research, accelerating scientific advances and causing beneficial spin-offs from technologies. An unexpected consequence is that the space race became responsible for the birth of the environmental movement, for the first time, access to space enabled humans to see their home in the world as it really seems, from space showed a fragile blue planet surrounded by the darkness of space.

NASA future

Vision for Space Exploration

Announced on 14 of January of 2004 by President George W. Bush as a document basis for the future development of NASA missions.


  • Complete the International Space Station in 2010
  • Retire the space shuttle in 2010
  • Development of the Orion spacecraft (formerly known as Crew Exploration Vehicle) in 2008, and carrying out its first manned spaceflight mission in 2014
  • Development of the Ares ferries
  • Exploring the Moon with robotic spacecraft in 2008 and manned in 2020
  • Explore Mars and other destinations with robotic and manned missions.

Moon Base

NASA is committed to building a permanent colony that will be inhabited by 4 astronauts and is a preliminary step to achieve even more ambitious achievements: trips to Mars. The base will be built at one of the Earth’s satellite poles for two main reasons. The first because the sun always shines there, therefore, there is a constant and sufficient availability of solar energy to power the entire season. Complex nuclear power constructions are not necessary, although they would not be rejected either.

Secondly, because the temperatures are much less extreme than in any of the other locations. As explained by Shana Dale, director of NASA, the colony will be able to extract hydrogen and oxygen in sufficient quantity to be able to support the fuel needs of the ships and water for human use.

Mars exploration humans

Perhaps in 20 years it will be decided that it is important to have humans on Mars, currently it is very difficult to send a manned spacecraft to that planet due to the high cost it represents and the impossibility, until now, of finding water. Water is the key to everything: it is used to make fuel to return (to Earth), cool the ship, generate energy and electricity, and also for human consumption.

The first robot sent to Mars was the Pathfinder in 1997. Pathfinder, Spirit, and Opportunity processed samples and sent the information directly to NASA, which is already working on the design of a more advanced robot capable of bringing back to Earth the samples it collects from the Martian soil and that it was planning to send for the year 2009.

Future exploration timeline (2011-2018)

Future Launching Arrival on Mars Termination objective Results
Mars Science Laboratory 08/15/2011 Rover
Phobos-Grunt 2011 Orbiter, lander and sample return
Yinghuo-1 Orbiter
Northern Light 2012 Lander and rover
MAVEN 18/13/2013 Orbiter
Mars Trace Gas Orbiter 1/2016 Orbiter
MetNet 2016 Lander
Astrobiology Field Laboratory 2016 Lander
ExoMars 2016 Orbiter
2018 Two rovers
Mars sample return mission 2018 Orbiter, lander, rover and sample return


  • John F. Kennedy Space Center, Florida
  • Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California, NASA Advanced Supercomputing facility
  • Hugh L. Dryden Flight Research Facility, Edwards, California
  • Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland
  • Jet Propulsion Laboratory, near Los Angeles, California
  • Lyndon Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas
  • Langley Research Center, Hampton, Virginia
  • Lewis Research Center, Cleveland, Ohio
  • George Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Alabama
  • Michoud Assembly Facility, New Orleans, Louisiana
  • John Stennis Space Center, St. Louis Bay, Mississippi
  • Wallops Flight Facility, Wallops Island, Virginia
  • Ad Astra Rocket (AARC), Costa Rica

NASA Explanation