Archives Library Information Center (ALIC)

Space Exploration

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


Stellar cluster photographed by Hubble Space Telescope
Stellar cluster taken by Hubble Space Telescope.
(Courtesy of the Hubble Heritage Team)

NARA Resources
Finding Aids for NARA Records on Space Exploration

Picture of Mars taken by Hubble Space Telescope
Mars taken by Hubble Space Telescope.
(Courtesy of NASA and the Hubble Heritage Team)

Presidential Libraries

The Dwight D. Eisenhower Library And Museum: Space Sources

John F. Kennedy Library & Museum: Space Sources

  • JFK in History: Space Program
    This is a multimedia web site that offers audio and transcriptions of President Kennedy’s important speeches about space exploration.

  • Remarks at the Dedication of the Aerospace Medical Health Center, November 21, 1963
    Given by Kennedy on the day before his assassination, this speech discusses the role of medicine and health research in space exploration. The page provides a link to audio of the speech.

  • Rice University, 12 September 1962
    "Video of the National Aeronautic Space Administration's (NASA) coverage of President John F. Kennedy's address at Rice University, Houston, Texas, concerning the nation's efforts in space exploration. In his speech the President discusses the necessity for the United States to become an international leader in space exploration and famously states, 'We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard.'" Includes a transcript of the speech.

Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum: Space Resources

Richard Nixon Library: Space Resources

Gerald R. Ford Library and Museum: Space Resources

  • Telephone Conversation of President Gerald R. Ford With Apollo-Soyuz Test Project Crews Following Rendezvous and Docking of the Spacecraft, July 17, 1975
    This conversation was broadcast live on radio and television.

  • White House Central Files Subject File OS: Outer Space
    Contains materials from the Ford administration on planning, programming, researching, exploring, and developing outer space.

Trifid Nebula
Picture of the Trifid Nebula taken by Gemini North 8-meter Telescope.
(Courtesy of the Gemini Observatory/GMOS Image)

Jimmy Carter Library and Museum: Space Resources

  • Civil and Further National Space Policy, October 10, 1978
    Establishes civil and further national policies on space programs and activities in compliance with the National Space Policy.

  • A Coherent U.S. Space Policy, March 28, 1977
    Directs the Policy Review Committee to develop an overall statement of national goals in space.

  • National Space Policy, May 11, 1978
    Explains the national policies in regard to the conduct of space-related programs and activities.

Ronald Reagan Presidential Library: Space Resources

  • Public Papers of the President: Ronald Reagan, 1981-1989
    This collection of statements, speeches and papers released by the Office of the Press Secretary during the Reagan Presidency includes the Address to the Nation on the Explosion of the Space Shuttle Challenger, January 28, 1986; Proclamation 5434, January 28, 1986 which orders flags to be flown at half-staff in memory of the seven astronauts of the Challenger; Remarks at the Memorial Service for the Crew of the Space Shuttle Challenger, January 31, 1986; and Executive Order 12546, February 3, 1986 which establishes a Presidential Commission to examine the circumstances surrounding the Challenger explosion.

  • Resources at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library: Future of Space: Commercialization, Technology Transfer, International Cooperation, and the Space Station
    Includes a list of documents that can be found in our online catalog.

George Bush Presidential Library and Museum: Space Resources

Clinton Presidential Materials Project: Space Resources

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Picture of Neptune taken by Voyager spacecraft
Neptune taken by Voyager spacecraft.
(Courtesy of NASA, JPL, and CALTech)

Space Exploration Timeline
Documents achievements in space since the Soviet Union launched Sputnik in 1957.

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General Space Exploration Resources

Picture of Jupiter's red spot taken by Voyager spacecraft
Jupiter’s red spot taken by Voyager spacecraft.
(Courtesy of NASA, JPL, and CALTech)

  • Legislative Origins of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Act of 1958
    Chronicles the history of the act creating NASA, includes oral histories of those who were instrumental in its creation.

  • NASA Human Spaceflight
    Contains extensive information about the various space programs, including the shuttles and the space station, plus a look behind the scenes of manned space missions.

  • NASA Image eXchange (NIX)
    NIX is a web-based search engine for searching one or more of NASA’s online multimedia collections consisting of photos, images, movies, videos, and audio. The database can also be browsed by several categories, such as aircraft, education, projects, and space flights.

  • NASA Images
    This web site, created by Internet Archive, provides public access to images, video, and audio created by NASA. Images are organized by category: Universe, Solar System, Earth, Aeronautics, and Astronauts. The site also features an interactive timeline of spaceflight.

  • National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958
    Public Law #85-568, 72 Stat. 426, establishes NASA and is designed to "provide for research into problems of flight within and outside the earth’s atmosphere."

  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
    Official site, full of historical and up-to-date information on the space program.

  • Solar System
    NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory site, gives information about and images from NASA’s unmanned spacecraft. Includes the Solar System Simulator, which allows the user to see one planet from the perspective of satellites and other planets.

  • Space Station
    Based on the PBS program, examines the financial, technical and political challenges of creating the International Space Station through questions, interactive activities, and images.

  • Space Today
    Covers general space topics, including current events, history, and lesson plans.

  • StarDate Online
    Maintained by the University of Texas McDonald Observatory, offers tips for stargazers, astronomy education, and lesson plans.

  • Views of the Solar System
    Photos and scientific information, including history of space exploration, rocketry, early astronauts, space missions, spacecraft through the use of text, graphics, images, and videos.

  • Windows to the Universe
    Features interactive resources on Earth and space sciences; graphics intensive site.

Picture of star formation taken by Hubble Space Telescope
Fireworks at star formation taken by Hubble Space Telescope.
(Courtesy of NASA and the Hubble Heritage Team)

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Congressional Research Service (CRS) Reports: Space

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