Throwback to the past: Birth of NASA – USA’s Civilian Space Agency
On July 29th 1958, President Dwight D.Eisenhower passed the National Aeronautics and Space Act leading to the creation of the civilian space agency, NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration). NASA succeeded the NACA (National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics) taking up responsibility for government’s non-combatant space programs, aerospace and aeronautical research.
Operational from October 1 1958, NASA has undertaken numerous successful space programs including the most famous Apollo moon-landing expeditions. Currently, NASA manages International Space Station (ISS) along with European Space Agency, Canadian Space Agency, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, and Russian Federal Space Agency.
Besides the ISS, NASA supervises Beyond Low Orbit Earth Programs; ISS related Commercial Crew Program and Commercial Resupply Services coupled with more 1000 unmanned space missions including the recently successful JUNO mission with an objective to explore and study the Solar System. For support and communications, NASA houses ten field centers located at Mississippi, Ohio, Alabama, Virginia, California, Texas, Maryland and Florida.
The government allotted 1% of its federal budget during NASA’s inception which gradually rose to 4.41% during the Apollo Moon Missions. In 2012, the agency’s budget was estimated around 0.48% of the federal budget. During the 2015 financial year, the agency received $18.01 billion from the government in widening their space exploration and research efforts.