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Space Exploration

Information about the United States’ space flight programs, including NASA missions and the astronauts who participate in the efforts to explore Earth's galaxy.


Contents:


Space Centers

Ames Research Center, Moffett, California
NASA site that develops information technologies including supercomputing, networking and intelligent systems. Named after physicist Dr. Joseph S. Ames.

Armstrong Flight Research Center, Edwards, California
NASA’s primary site for atmospheric flight research and operations. Named after Neil A. Armstrong, research pilot and astronaut.

Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, Ohio
Develops systems technologies and capabilities that enable exploration of the solar system and beyond. Named after Astronaut John Glenn.

Aldrin posing by flag on moon's surface
"Buzz" Aldrin posing by U.S. flag on moon’s surface.
(Courtesy of NASA JSC Digital Image Collection)

Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland
Develops and operates spacecraft, instruments and new technology to study the Earth, the sun, our solar system, and the universe. Named after Dr. Robert Goddard, "The Father of American Rocketry."

Independent Verification and Validation Facility, Fairmont, West Virginia
Conducts quality control testing for software; governed by the Goddard Space Flight Center and the Office of Safety and Mission Assurance.

Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California
NASA’s site for robotic exploration of the solar system.

Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas
Site of astronaut training and the Mission Control Center, also manages the International Space Station. Named after President Lyndon B. Johnson.

Kennedy Space Center, Florida
Main launch center for both manned and unmanned missions since 1962, named after President John F. Kennedy.
sun
Picture of sun.
(Courtesy of NASA Skylab)
Langley Research Center, Hampton, Virginia
Site of research in aeronautics and global climate change.

Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Alabama
NASA’s leading center in space transportation systems and space propulsion, named after George C. Marshall.

National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Washington, D.C.
Web site of NASA Headquarters.

Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, Maryland
Home of science program selection, grant administration, planning, scheduling, and public outreach activities for the Hubble Space Telescope (HST).

Stennis Space Center, Bay St. Louis, Mississippi
NASA program manager for rocket propulsion testing and earth science applications. Named after former U.S. Senator John C. Stennis.

Wallops Flight Facility, Wallops Island, Virginia
Handles management and implementation of suborbital research programs; part of Goddard Space Flight Center.

White Sands Test Facility, Las Cruces, New Mexico
Test and evaluation site for hazardous materials, space flight components, and rocket propulsion systems.

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Space Programs

Project Mercury, 1961-1963

Mercury
Kennedy Space Center site dedicated to Project Mercury, the United States’ first man-in-space program: project goals and history, flight summaries, astronaut biographies, technical diagrams, and an extensive image collection.

Project Mercury
This NASA site includes links to Mercury's Goals, Mercury Technical Diagrams/Drawings, the First 100 U.S. Human Space Flights, and more.

Project Mercury Drawings and Technical Diagrams
Drawings and diagrams of the Redstone engine, spacecraft instrument panel, navigational aids, and more.

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Alan Shepard in pressure suit
Close up of Alan Shepard in his pressure suit.
(Courtesy of NASA JSC Digital Image Collection)

Project Gemini, 1965-1966

Gemini
Project goals and history, flight summaries, astronaut biographies, and an extensive image collection.

On the Shoulders of Titans: A History of Project Gemini
Online version of NASA Special Publication-4203 by Barton C. Hacker and James M. Grimwood.

Project Gemini
Explanation of Gemini’s goals, descriptions of each mission, brief launch video, and link to extensive history.

Project Gemini Drawings and Technical Diagrams
Drawings and diagrams of spacecraft cabin equipment, parachute landing system, and more.

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Apollo Program, 1968-1972

Apollo
National Air and Space Museum site dedicated to the Apollo Program. Features online exhibits, a blog, lectures, and a book talk.

Apollo Lunar Surface Journal
Transcripts of astronauts’ conversations with each other and with Mission Control in Houston; includes video clips.

The Apollo Program
Links to a large number of NASA and non-NASA sites including over fifteen online books about the Apollo Program, press kits, flight journals, and transcript and audio of President Kennedy's speech before Congress on space flight.

Project Apollo Drawings and Technical Diagrams
Drawings and diagrams of Command Module main control panel, guidance navigation and control systems, Lunar Module landing configuration, and more.

Earth taken from moon's surface
Picture of Earth taken from surface of the moon from Apollo 11 spacecraft.
(Courtesy of NASA JSC Digital Image Collection)

  • Apollo 1, 1967 (Apollo 1 never reached flight status.)

    • Apollo 1
      Dedicated to the Apollo 1 fire that claimed the lives of Gus Grissom, Edward White, and Roger Chaffee. Gives information about the accident, the investigation into the accident, and the conclusions; includes a section on the incident from chapter nine of book Chariots of Apollo: A History of Manned Lunar Spacecraft.
  • Apollo 11, 1969

    • 30th Anniversary of Apollo 11: 1969-1999
      Pictures, sound recordings of crew and mission control, links to other Apollo 11 sites.

    • Apollo 11 30th Anniversary
      Dedicated to the 30th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar landing: links to crew interviews, cost figures, picture galleries, and the flight log.

    • March to the Moon
      This site is a cooperative venture of the Johnson Space Center and the School of Earth and Space Exploration at Arizona State University. It provides scanned photographs, videos, and information from Projects Mercury, Gemini and Apollo.

    • To the Moon and Back: Life's Complete Special Issue on Apollo 11
      Digitized version of LIFE Magazine's Special Edition, August 11, 1969.

    • We Choose the Moon
      This site, produced by the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, commemorates the 40th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar landing with a multimedia presentation that follows the flight from prelaunch activities to the landing on the moon to the return to earth.

Apollo 11 crew
Apollo 11 crew during training.
(Courtesy of NASA JSC Digital Image Collection)

  • Apollo 13, 1970

    • Apollo 13: "...A Problem"
      Links to the Apollo 13 Surface Journal, a chronology of events, and a narrative on the mission, and the Air and Space Museum's Apollo 13 Virtual Exhibit.

    • Apollo 13 Image Library
      Large collection of photographs showing pre-flight activities, launch preparation, launch, in-flight activities, recovery and post-flight activities.

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Skylab, 1973-1974

A New Sun: The Solar Results from Skylab
Online version of NASA publication by John A. Eddy.

Skylab
Links to the program’s goals, flight summary, statistics, images, and more.

Skylab Drawings and Technical Diagrams
Drawings and diagrams of configuration detail, crew quarters, airlock module interior, and more.

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Apollo-Soyuz Test Project, 1975

The Apollo-Soyuz Test Project
Overview of the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project: goals, flight summary, and a digital image collection.

The Partnership: A History of the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project
An online version of a book written by Edward Clinton Ezell and Linda Neuman Ezell, originally released as NASA Special Publication-4209 in the NASA History Series, 1978.

Astronaut Thomas Stafford and Cosmonaut Aleksey Leonov in Soyuz Orbital Module
Picture of Astronaut Thomas Stafford and Cosmonaut Aleksey Leonov in Soyuz Orbital Module.
(Courtesy of NASA JSC Digital Image Collection)

Project Apollo-Soyuz Drawings and Technical Diagrams
Drawings and diagrams of the docking module, Apollo spacecraft configuration, the Soyuz spacecraft, and more.

Soyuz Apollo Test Project
This site provides a chronology of the project.

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Space Shuttle Program, 1981-2011

History of the Space Shuttle
Includes general information, technical information, publications, and information about specific missions.

The Shuttle
An interactive site from NASA that provides an overview of the shuttle program, a timeline, videos, and more.

Space Shuttle
NASA’s main page about the space shuttle, including information on shuttle missions and multimedia features.

Astronaut Piers Sellers
Picture of Astronaut Piers Sellers on spacewalk.
(Courtesy of NASA Human Space Flight Gallery)

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Shuttle-Mir, 1994-1998

History of Shuttle-Mir
NASA site on the Shuttle-Mir Program: links to the history of the program, scientific experiments, spacecraft information, and information about the participating astronauts and cosmonauts.

Shuttle-Mir
Information about the Shuttle-Mir Program. Includes the Shuttle-Mir Image Gallery and the Shuttle-Mir Audio/Video Gallery.

Shuttle-Mir Program Earth Science
Description of the Visual Earth Observations project conducted by the Johnson Space Center’s Office of Earth Sciences aboard Mir.

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sunrise from Space Shuttle Endeavor Mission STS-068
Sunrise from Space Shuttle Endeavor Mission STS-068.
(Courtesy of NASA Human Space Flight Gallery)

International Space Station, 2000-present Flights

Current position of the ISS
This site tracks the position of the ISS, including the view from the ISS directly down to earth.

International Space Station
NASA’s main site for the International Space Station; includes reference guide, information about past, present and future missions, multimedia, and more.

International Space Station: An Interactive Reference Guide
Modules include How the Crew Lives, How It Works, and ISS 360 Tour.

International Space Station Tracker
Shows the position of the space station in earth orbit.

Spot the Station
This website provides lists of opportunities to watch the ISS from locations around the world.

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Hubble Space Telescope (HST)

Edwin Hubble 1889-1953
Article from the Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada featuring Hubble’s scientific findings.

Everything You Wanted to Know about the Hubble Telescope, But Were Afraid to Ask
Hubble site from the Public Broadcasting System featuring information provided by the Space Telescope Science Institute. Includes diagram of the Hubble, information about its scientific instruments, data storage and transmission, and mission operations and observations.

storm of turbuent gases taken by Hubble
Storm of turbulent gases taken by Hubble Space Telescope.
(Courtesy of NASA, European Space Agency, and J. Hester (ASU))

Hubble Essentials: Quick Facts
Hubble trivia.

Hubble Space Telescope
Official NASA Hubble Site at Goddard Sapce Center.

Hubble Space Telescope
Hubble section on the Space Telescope Science Institute web site with extensive information about Hubble, its instruments, and programs scheduled for observation.

HubbleSite
Created by the Space Telescope Science Institute. Includes an image gallery, news center, reference desk, discoveries, technical information on the telescope, and more.

Top 100 Images
A collection of images sent by the Hubble Space Telescope. Provided by the European Space Agency.

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