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ABSTACT

This paper intends to offer the reader an interesting biography about NASA and most of its
space programs. The origins, how it developed and the space missions are presented in three chapters.
The ideas which pervade the study are those of a NASA as the main International Space Station both in
the past as long as the future that explores and studies The Universe and all its great mysteries.

CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION.....................6
CHAPTER ONE NASAS BEGINNING..7
1.1 ORIGINS..7

1.1.1

WORLD WAR II...7

1.1.2

BALLISTIC MISSILES RELATED TO NASA.......................7

1.1.3

SOVIET UNION AGAINST NASA.................8

1.2 NASAS FIRST SATELIT...................8

CHAPTER TWO SPACE FLIGHT PROGRAMS..10


2.1 FULFIELD MISSIONS..10
2.1.1 APOLLO MISSION...10
2.1.2 THE HUBBLE TELESCOPE MISSION...11
2.1.3 SKYLAB MISSION...12
2.2 FAILED MISSION.12
CHAPTER THREE FUTURE PLANS FOR NASA...14
3.1 MANNED MISSION TO MARS...14
3.2 JAMES WEBB TELESCOPE....14
3.3 TRANSITING EXOPLANET SURVERY SATELITE (TESS)....15
CONCLUSIONS..16
REFERENCES.17

MOTTO

A rough road leads to the stars.


The difficult we do right away, the impossible, takes just a while longer.

INTRODUCTION

It may well be argued that NASA has become the world's premier agent for exploration,
carrying on in "the new ocean" of outer space a long tradition of expanding the physical and mental
boundaries of humanity.
Fifty years ago, however the agency that pushed the frontiers of aeronautics, took us to the
moon, flew the space shuttle, built the International Space Station and revealed the secrets of the
cosmos, was in its birth throes, and fundamental decisions were being made that profoundly shaped all
that was to come.
Maj. Gen. Charles Frank Bolden Jr., was nominated by President Barack Obama and confirmed
by the U.S. Senate as the 12th Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. He
began his duties as head of the agency on July 17, 2009. As Administrator, Bolden leads a nationwide
NASA team to advance the missions and goals of the U.S. space program.
I chose to write about NASA because ever since I was a little child I was fascinated about
everything related to the Universe and I also wanted to learn more about the Agency is working on
knowing more about the Cosmos so I can feed my curiosity through TV news and documentaries.
To that end, the first chapter of the present project introduces NASAs birth and development,
how its related to World War II and the technologies created at that time by the military to win the war.
It also present the rivalry of the two super powers of the world competing in Space science.
Chapter two is about NASAs past space programs that revolutionized the way we see things in
the Universe and they showed us that there are so many mysteries out there that are waiting to be
discovered.
Chapter three presents the future of NASAs space missions, it reveals the long term plans to
explore new worlds, work on new ideas, replace old satellites with new ones so that we will have more
and better quality information, it will truly be an interesting story.

CHAPTER ONE NASAS BEGINNING

1.1 ORIGINS
1.1.1 WORLD WAR II
Like all historical events, the birth of NASA must be placed in the context of its times. Following
World War II, the United States was in direct competition with the Soviet Union (the superpower that in
1991 disbanded into several sovereign nations including the Russian Federation, Kazakhstan, the
Ukraine, etc.) for the hearts and minds of people around the world. It was not for the most part a
shooting war, but a Cold War, a test of two very different systems of government.
Technology was one means of measuring success and projecting power, and nothing was more
powerful than the intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) being developed in the wake of World
War II to deliver warheads.
1.1.2 BALLISTIC MISSILES RELATED TO NASA
It was these missiles that brought human technology to the brink of space, and it was the Soviet
Unions launch of Sputnik on Oct. 4, 1957, that first put an object into orbit around Earth. Passing
overhead with its faint radio signal as people watched and listened, the 183-pound satellite was a
powerful symbol. It was followed in November by the even larger Sputnik II, which carried the dog
Laika.
Only in late January 1958 was the United States able to answer the challenge with Explorer 1,
hoisted aloft by the Armys rocket team led by Wernher von Braun, using rocket technology developed
from World War II.

1.1.3 SOVIET UNION AGAINST NASA


NASAs birth was directly related to the launch of the Sputniks and the ensuing race to demonstrate
technological superiority in space. Driven by the competition of the Cold War, on July 29, 1958,
President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the National Aeronautics and Space Act, providing for
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research into the problems of flight within Earths atmosphere and in space. After a protracted debate
over military versus civilian control of space, the act inaugurated a new civilian agency designated the
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The agency began operations on Oct.1, 1958.
NASA began by absorbing the earlier National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA),
including its 8.000 employees, an annual budget of $100 million, three major research laboratories
the Langley Aeronautical Laboratory in Virginia, the Ames Aeronautical Laboratory in California, and
the Lewis Flight Propulsion Laboratory in Ohio and two smaller test facilities. It quickly incorporated
other organizations (or parts of them), notably the space science group of the Naval Research
Laboratory that formed the core of the new Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., the Jet
Propulsion Laboratory managed by the California Institute of Technology for the Army, and the Army
Ballistic Missile Agency in Huntsville, Ala., where Wernher von Brauns team of engineers was
developing large rockets.

1.2 NASAS FIRST SATELIT

Explorer 1 was the first satellite launched by the United States when it was sent into space on
January 31, 1958. Following the launch of the Soviet Union's Sputnik 1 on October 4, 1957, the U.S.
Army Ballistic Missile Agency was directed to launch a satellite using its Jupiter C rocket developed
under the direction of Dr. Wernher von Braun. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory received the assignment
to design, build and operate the artificial satellite that would serve as the rocket's payload. JPL
completed this job in less than three months.
The primary science instrument on Explorer 1 was a cosmic ray detector designed to measure the
radiation environment in Earth orbit. Once in space this experiment, provided by Dr. James Van Allen
of the University of Iowa, revealed a much lower cosmic ray count than expected. Van Allen theorized
that the instrument may have been saturated by very strong radiation from a belt of charged particles
trapped in space by Earth's magnetic field. The existence of these radiation belts was confirmed by
another U.S. satellite launched two months later, and they became known as the Van Allen Belts in
honor of their discoverer.
Explorer 1 revolved around Earth in a looping orbit that took it as close as 354 kilometers to Earth
and as far as 2,515 kilometers. It made one orbit every 114.8 minutes, or a total of 12.54 orbits per day.
The satellite itself was 203 centimeters long and 15.9 centimeters in diameter. Explorer 1 made its final
transmission on May 23, 1958. It entered Earth's atmosphere and burned up on March 31, 1970, after
more than 58.000 orbits. The satellite weighed 14 kilograms.
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Picture 1 NASAs logo

CHAPTER TWO SPACE FLIGHT PROGRAMS

2.1 FULFIELD MISSIONS

2.1.1 APOLLO MISSION

The U.S public's perception of the Soviet lead in putting the first man in space, motivated
President John F. Kennedy to ask the Congress on May 25, 1961 to commit the federal government to a
program to land a man on the Moon by the end of the 1960s, which effectively launched the Apollo
program.
Apollo was one of the most expensive American scientific programs ever. It is estimated to have
cost $ 205 billion in present - day US dollars.
The first person to stand on the Moon was Neil Armstrong, who was followed by Buzz Aldrin,
while Michael Collins orbited above. Five subsequent Apollo missions also landed astronauts on the
Moon, the last in December 1972. Throughout these six Apollo spaceflights, twelve men walked on the
Moon. These missions returned a wealth of scientific data and 381.7 kilograms of lunar samples. Topics
covered by experiments performed included soil mechanics, meteoroids, seismology, heat flow, lunar
ranging, magnetic fields, and solar wind. The Moon landing marked the end of the space race and as a
gesture, Armstrong mentioned mankind when he stepped down on the Moon.
NEIL ARMSTRONG: GOOD LUCK MR. GORSKY
A little story which shows that some wishes come true. Be careful what you promise, sometimes
anything can be possible.
On 20 July 1969, the mission commander of Apollo 11, Neil Armstrong was the first person that
ever stepped on the moons surface. His first words were: One small step for man, one big step for
mankind. This event was shown on TV on Earth, before entering the space shuttle, Neil Armstrong
said this next words: Good luck mister Gorsky.
Many people from NASA thought that it was a remark on a rival soviet cosmonaut and curiosity
made them search for such a person, yet they found no one on the Russian cosmonaut list or the
American one. Over the years many asked Neil what he meant by Good luck mister Gorsky, yet he
smiled back with no reply.
On 5th July 1995 a reporter asked him the same mysterious question and finally he was able to
answer because mister Gorsky died. In 1938, when I was a child, I was playing baseball with a friend
and the ball accidently got in mister Gorskys yard, my neighbor at the time. Sneaking in the yard to get
the ball I heard Mrs. Gorsky yelling at Mr. Gorsky: Do you want me to fool around with you? I shall
do that when our neighbors boy will get to the moon.

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Picture 2 Neil Armstrong on the Moon, July 20, 1969.

2.1.2 THE HUBBLE TELESCOPE MISSION


The most-loved of all NASA spacecraft, the Hubble Space Telescope has name recognition around
the world. Its photos have changed the way everyday people figure themselves into the cosmos. The
observatory has also radically changed science, making breakthroughs on astronomical issues too
numerous to count. By finally sending up an optical telescope to peer at the sky from beyond Earth's
turbulent atmosphere, NASA developed a tool that could reveal stars, planets, nebulae and galaxies in
all their fully-detailed glory.

2.1.3 SKYLAB MISSION


Skylab was the United States' first and only independently built space station. Conceived in 1965 as
a workshop to be constructed in space from a spent Saturn IB upper stage, the 169,950 lb station was
constructed on Earth and launched on May 14, 1973 atop the first two stages of a Saturn V, into a 235nautical-mile orbit inclined at 50 to the equator. Damaged during launch by the loss of its thermal
protection and one electricity-generating solar panel, it was repaired to functionality by its first crew. It
was occupied for a total of 171 days by 3 successive crews in 1973 and 1974. It included a laboratory
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for studying the effects of microgravity, and a solar observatory. NASA planned to have a Space
Shuttle dock with it, and elevate Skylab to a higher safe altitude, but the Shuttle was not ready for flight
before Skylab's re-entry on July 11, 1979.
To save cost, NASA used one of the Saturn V rockets originally earmarked for a canceled Apollo
mission to launch the Skylab. Apollo spacecraft were used for transporting astronauts to and from the
Skylab. Three three-man crews stayed aboard the station for periods of 28, 59, and 84 days. Skylab's
habitable volume was 11,290 cubic feet (320 m3), which was 30.7 times bigger than that of the Apollo
Command Module.

2.2 FAILED MISSION

During the launch of STS-107, Columbia's 28th mission, a piece of foam insulation broke off from
the Space Shuttle external tank and struck the left wing. Most previous shuttle launches had seen minor
damage from foam shedding, but some engineers suspected that the damage to Columbia was more
serious. NASA managers limited the investigation, reasoning that the crew could not have fixed the
problem if it were confirmed.
When the Shuttle reentered the atmosphere, the damage allowed hot atmospheric gases to penetrate
and destroy the internal wing structure, which caused the spacecraft to become unstable and slowly
break apart.
After the disaster, Space Shuttle flight operations were suspended for more than two years, similar
to the aftermath of the Challenger disaster. Construction of the International Space Station was put on
hold; the station relied entirely on the Russian Federal Space Agency for resupply for 29 months until
Shuttle flights resumed with STS-114 and 41 months for crew rotation until STS-121.
Several technical and organizational changes were made, including adding a thorough on-orbit
inspection to determine how well the shuttle's thermal protection system had endured the ascent, and
keeping a designated rescue mission ready in case irreparable damage was found. Except for one final
mission to repair the Hubble Space Telescope. Subsequent missions were flown only to the
International Space Station so that the crew could use it as a "safe haven.

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CHAPTER THREE FUTURE PLANS FOR NASA

3.1 MANNED MISSION TO MARS

A manned mission to Mars has been the subject of science fiction, engineering, and scientific
proposals throughout the 20th century and into the 21st century. The plans comprise proposals not only
to land on but in the end for settling on and terraforming Mars, while exploiting its moons Phobos and
Deimos.
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Preliminary work for missions has been undertaken since the 1950s, with planned missions
typically taking place 10 to 30 years in the future. The list of manned Mars mission plans in the 20th
century shows the various mission proposals that have been put forth by multiple organizations and
space agencies in this field of space exploration.

3.2 JAMES WEBB TELESCOPE

The James Webb Space Telescope, previously known as Next Generation Space Telescope, is a
planned space telescope optimized for observations in the infrared, and a scientific successor to the
Hubble Space Telescope and the Spitzer Space Telescope. The main technical features are a large and
very cold 6.5-meter diameter mirror and four specialized instruments at an observing position far from
Earth, The combination of these features will give unprecedented resolution and sensitivity from longwavelength visible to the mid-infrared, enabling its two main scientific goals studying the birth and
evolution of galaxies, and the formation of stars and planets.
JWST's capabilities will enable a broad range of investigations across many subfields of
astronomy. One particular goal involves observing some of the most distant objects in the Universe,
beyond the reach of current ground and space based instruments. This includes the very first stars, the
epoch of reionization, and the formation of the first galaxies. Another goal is understanding the
formation of stars and planets. This will include imaging molecular clouds and star-forming clusters,
studying the debris disks around stars, direct imaging of planets, and spectroscopic examination of
planetary transits.
3.3 TRANSITING EXOPLANET SURVERY SATELITE (TESS)

TESS is a space telescope planned for the NASA program Small Explorer, designed to search
exoplanets using the transit method. Led by the Institute of Technology in Massachusetts, funded by
Google TESS was one of the eleven proposals selected for NASAs funding in September 2011. In 5 th
April 2013, it was announced that TESS, along with Neutron star Interior Composition Explorer
(NICER), were selected to launch 2017.
Once launched, the telescope would conduct a two-year all-sky program for exploring transiting
exoplanets around nearby and bright stars. TESS would be equipped with four wide-angle telescopes
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and charge-coupled device (CCD) detectors, with a total size of 67 megapixels. Science data, which are
pixel sub arrays around each of up to 10,000 target stars per field, are transmitted to Earth every two
weeks for analysis. Full-frame images with an effective exposure time of two hours are transmitted to
the ground as well, enabling astrophysicists to search the data for an unexpected, transient
phenomenon, such as the optical counterpart to a gamma-ray burst.
TESS will carry out the first space-borne all-sky exoplanet transit survey, covering 400 times as
much sky as any previous mission, including Kepler. It will identify thousands of new planets in the
solar neighborhood, with a special focus on planets comparable in size to the Earth. TESS will be in a
special orbit, one that is not too close, and not too far, from both the Earth and the Moon. As a result,
every two weeks TESS will approach close enough to the Earth for high data-downlink rates, while
remaining above the planet's harmful radiation belts. This special orbit will remain stable for decades,
keeping TESS' sensitive cameras in a stable temperature range.

CONCLUSIONS

Searching through NASAs history I learned many new and exciting things not only about the
universe but also about our own planet. It is the main space agency in the world and without it we
would not have had many of the technologies and possibilities that we are having today.

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I believe that NASA will continue to develop and in the near future the question thats been
haunting us since the dawn of civilization will be answered that is are we alone in the universe?.
Ultimately thanks to NASA we will be able to travel within the Cosmos and find new Earthlike planets
that in the worst case scenario the Earth will end one day and we will be able to colonize other planets
and survive.
Even though in the past there were many failed missions, some of them even ended up with
death, they never gave up because they know that one cannot learn without ever making a mistake and
that leaving the planet with a space shuttle will not always go as planned.
I will end this conclusion with NASA's vision: To reach for new heights and reveal the
unknown so that what we do and learn will benefit all humankind. To do that, thousands of people
have been working around the world and off of it for more than 50 years, trying to answer some basic
questions. What's out there in space? How do we get there? What will we find? What can we learn
there, or learn just by trying to get there, that will make life better here on Earth?

REFERENCES

1. Galloway Eilene. Sputnik and the Creation of NASA: A Personal Perspective in NASA: 50 Years
of Exploration and Discovery (Faircount, 2008), pp. 48-49. Retrieved March 15, 2014 from
http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/whyweexplore/Why_We_29.html .
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2. Griffith Alison. The National Aeronautics and Space Act: A Study of the Development of Public
Policy (Washington,

D.C.,

1962).

Retrieved

April

2,

2014

from

http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/whyweexplore/Why_We_29.html .
3. Hunley J. D., editor. The Birth of NASA: The Diary of T. Keith Glennan (NASA SP - 4105,
1993). Retrieved January 25, 2014 from http://history.nasa.gov/SP-4105/sp4105.htm .
4. Wikipedia - The Free Encyclopedia. NASAs space flight programs. Retrieved November 7,
2013 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NASA .

5. Red

Orbit.

Future

plans

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NASA.

Retrieved

December

11,

2013

from

http://www.redorbit.com/topics/nasa/ .

6. Air space. Space Shuttle Columbia

disaster. Retrieved

http://www.airspacemag.com/space-exploration/ .

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