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NASA
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is the agency of the United States government that is responsible for the nation's civilian space program and for aeronautics and aerospace research...
Timeline of Events
1915
3.3.1915
NACA, the predecessor of NASA, is founded.
1958
7.29.1958
U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower signs into law the National Aeronautics and Space Act, which creates the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
10.1.1958
NASA is created to replace NACA.
10.11.1958
Pioneer program: NASA launches the lunar probe Pioneer 1 (the probe falls back to Earth and burns up).
1959
4.9.1959
Project Mercury: NASA announces the selection of the United States' first seven astronauts, whom the news media quickly dub the "Mercury Seven".
10.21.1959
President Dwight D. Eisenhower signs an executive order transferring Wernher von Braun and other German scientists from the United States Army to NASA.
1960
9.8.1960
In Huntsville, Alabama, US President Dwight D. Eisenhower formally dedicates the Marshall Space Flight Center (NASA had already activated the facility on July 1).
1961
10.27.1961
NASA launches the first Saturn I rocket in Mission Saturn-Apollo 1.
1962
1.10.1962
Apollo Project: NASA announces plans to build the C-5 rocket booster. It became better known as the Saturn V moon rocket, which launched every Apollo moon mission.
4.26.1962
NASA's Ranger 4 spacecraft crashes into the Moon.
8.27.1962
The Mariner 2 unmanned space mission is launched to Venus by NASA.
12.13.1962
NASA "Relay 1" launch, first active repeater communications satellite in orbit.
12.14.1962
NASA's ''Mariner 2'' becomes the first spacecraft to fly by Venus.
1964
11.28.1964
Mariner program: NASA launches the Mariner 4 probe toward Mars.
1965
3.21.1965
Ranger program: NASA launches Ranger 9 which is the last in a series of unmanned lunar space probes.
3.23.1965
NASA launches Gemini 3, the United States' first two-man space flight (crew: Gus Grissom and John Young).
3.24.1965
NASA spacecraft Ranger 9, equipped to convert its signals into a form suitable for showing on domestic television, brings images of the Moon into ordinary homes before crash landing.
6.3.1965
Launch of ''Gemini 4'', the first multi-day space mission by a NASA crew. Crew-member Ed White performs the first American spacewalk.
1966
6.8.1966
One of the XB-70 Valkyrie prototypes is destroyed in a mid-air collision with a F-104 Starfighter chase plane during a photo shoot. NASA pilot Joseph A. Walker and United States Air Force test pilot Carl Cross are both killed.
11.11.1966
NASA launches Gemini 12.
1967
11.9.1967
Apollo program: NASA launches the unmanned Apollo 4 test spacecraft atop the first Saturn V rocket from Cape Kennedy, Florida.
1968
4.4.1968
Apollo program: NASA launches Apollo 6.
10.11.1968
Apollo program: NASA launches ''Apollo 7,'' the first successful manned Apollo mission, with astronauts Wally Schirra, Donn F. Eisele and Walter Cunningham aboard.
1969
11.14.1969
Apollo program: NASA launches Apollo 12, the second manned mission to the surface of the Moon.
1970
9.2.1970
NASA announces the cancellation of two Apollo missions to the Moon, Apollo 15 (the designation is re-used by a later mission), and Apollo 19.
1973
11.3.1973
Mariner program: NASA launches the ''Mariner 10'' toward Mercury. On March 29, 1974, it becomes the first space probe to reach that planet.
11.16.1973
Skylab program: NASA launches Skylab 4 with a crew of three astronauts from Cape Canaveral, Florida for an 84-day mission.
1974
3.29.1974
NASA's Mariner 10 becomes the first spaceprobe to fly by Mercury. It was launched on November 3, 1973.
4.13.1974
Western Union (in cooperation with NASA and Hughes Aircraft) launches the United States' first commercial geosynchronous communications satellite, Westar 1.
1975
8.20.1975
Viking Program: NASA launches the Viking 1 planetary probe toward Mars.
1976
9.17.1976
The first Space Shuttle, Enterprise, is unveiled by NASA.
1980
11.12.1980
The NASA space probe ''Voyager I'' makes its closest approach to Saturn and takes the first images of its rings.
1982
3.4.1982
NASA launches the Intelsat V-508 satellite.
3.22.1982
NASA's Space Shuttle ''Columbia'', is launched from the Kennedy Space Center on its third mission, STS-3.
1988
9.29.1988
Space Shuttle: NASA launches STS-26, the return to flight mission, after the Space Shuttle ''Challenger'' disaster. 160px, flown by OV-103.]]
1992
9.12.1992
NASA launches Space Shuttle ''Endeavour'' on STS-47 which marked the 50th shuttle mission. On board are Mae Carol Jemison, the first African-American woman in space, Mamoru Mohri, the first Japanese citizen to fly in a US spaceship, and Mark Lee and Jan Davis, the first married couple in space.
1993
8.21.1993
NASA loses contact with the Mars Observer spacecraft.
1994
10.12.1994
NASA loses radio contact with the Magellan spacecraft as the probe descends into the thick atmosphere of Venus (the spacecraft presumably burned up in the atmosphere).
1996
2.17.1996
NASA's Discovery Program begins as the NEAR Shoemaker spacecraft lifts off on the first mission ever to orbit and land on an asteroid, 433 Eros.
8.6.1996
NASA announces that the ALH 84001 meteorite, thought to originate from Mars, contains evidence of primitive life-forms.