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Uploaded:
19.09.11
Modified:
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NasaThe National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is an executive branch agency of the United States government, responsible for the nation's civilian space program and aeronautics and aerospace research. Since February 2006, NASA's self-described mission statement is to "pioneer the future in space exploration, scientific discovery and aeronautics research." On September 14, 2011, NASA announced that it had selected the design of a new Space Launch System that it said would take the agency's astronauts farther into space than ever before and provide the cornerstone for future human space exploration efforts by the U.S.

NASA was established by the National Aeronautics and Space Act on July 29, 1958, replacing its predecessor, the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA). The agency became operational on October 1, 1958. U.S. space exploration efforts have since been led by NASA, including the Apollo moon-landing missions, the Skylab space station, and later the Space Shuttle. Currently, NASA is supporting the International Space Station and is developing the manned Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle. The agency is also responsible for the Launch Services Program (LSP) which provides oversight of launch operations and countdown management for unmanned NASA launches.

NASA science is focused on better understanding Earth through the Earth Observing System, advancing heliophysics through the efforts of the Science Mission Directorate's Heliophysics Research Program, exploring bodies throughout the Solar System with advanced robotic missions such as New Horizons, and researching astrophysics topics, such as the Big Bang, through the Great Observatories and associated programs. NASA shares data with various national and international organizations such as from the Greenhouse Gases Observing Satellite.

The Space Shuttle became the major focus of NASA in the late 1970s and the 1980s. Planned as a frequently launchable and mostly reusable vehicle, four space shuttle orbiters were built by 1985. The first to launch, Columbia, did so on April 12, 1981.

In 1995 Russian-American interaction resumed with the Shuttle-Mir missions. Once more an American vehicle docked with a Russian craft, this time a full-fledged space station. This cooperation has continued to 2011, with Russia and the United States the two biggest partners in the largest space station ever built: the International Space Station (ISS). The strength of their cooperation on this project was even more evident when NASA began relying on Russian launch vehicles to service the ISS during the two-year grounding of the shuttle fleet following the 2003 Space Shuttle Columbia disaster.

The shuttle fleet lost two orbiters and 14 astronauts in two disasters: Challenger in 1986, and Columbia in 2003. While the 1986 loss was mitigated by building the Space Shuttle Endeavour from replacement parts, NASA did not build another orbiter to replace the second loss. NASA's Space Shuttle program had 135 successful missions when the program ended with the successful landing of the Space Shuttle Atlantis at the Kennedy Space Center on July 21, 2011. The program spanned 30 years with over 300 astronauts sent into space.

The International Space Station (ISS) is an internationally developed research facility currently being assembled in Low Earth Orbit. On-orbit construction of the station began in 1998 and is scheduled to be completed by 2011, with operations continuing until at least 2015. The station can be seen from the Earth with the naked eye, and, as of 2009, is the largest artificial satellite in Earth orbit, with a mass larger than that of any previous space station.

The ISS is operated as a joint project among NASA, the Russian Federal Space Agency, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, the Canadian Space Agency, and the European Space Agency (ESA). Ownership and utilization of the space station is set out via several intergovernmental treaties and agreements, with the Russian Federation retaining full ownership of its own modules, and the rest of the station being allocated among the other international partners. Many of the ISS's modules were delivered by the Space Shuttle. Russian ISS modules launch and dock robotically, with the exception of Rassvet. All other modules were installed by ISS and shuttle crew using the SSRMS and EVAs.

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Free NASA Screen saver
Free National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Screen saver
Free National Aeronautics and Space Administration Screen saver
Free Space Shuttle Screen saver
Free ISS Screen saver
Free International Space Station Screen saver
Free Cape Canaveral Screen saver
Free Kennedy Space Centre Screen saver
Free Kennedy Space Center Screen saver
Free Space Shuttle Voyager Screen saver
Free Space Shuttle Challenger Screen saver
Free Space Shuttle Discovery Screen saver
Free Space Shuttle Endeavour Screen saver
Free Space Shuttle  Atlantis Screen saver
NASA Screen saver
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Screen saver
National Aeronautics and Space Administration Screen saver
Space Shuttle Screen saver
ISS Screen saver
International Space Station Screen saver
Cape Canaveral Screen saver
Kennedy Space Centre Screen saver
Kennedy Space Center Screen saver
Space Shuttle Voyager Screen saver
Space Shuttle Challenger Screen saver
Space Shuttle Discovery Screen saver
Space Shuttle Endeavour Screen saver
Space Shuttle  Atlantis Screen saver



 

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