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NASA History

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.

NASA History in Brief

NASA History Fact Sheet

Orders of Magnitude: A History of the NACA and NASA, 1915-1990

NASA's Origins and the Dawn of the Space Age

National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958

NASA's 50th Anniversary

Great Images from NASA's History

NASA Historical Data Books

NASA JSC History Collection

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Key Documents in the History of Space Policy

NASA History Books Online

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