NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) was an independent agency of the executive branch of the United States government on Earth. It was responsible for space exploration, the civilian space program, aeronautics and aerospace research. NASA's vision:"We reach for new heights and reveal the unknown for the benefit of humankind."
NASA was founded on 29 July 1958 by U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower with a distinctly civilian orientation encouraging peaceful applications in space science.
During NASA's first 50-year history it launched over 500 missions and over 150 missions had humans on-board.
- 1958 - NASA is founded by US President Dwight D. Eisenhower
- 1959 - The Ranger program starts
- 1960 - The space probe Pioneer 5 is launched
- 1961 - Alan Shepard is the first American astronaut in space
- 1962 - John Glenn is the first American to complete an orbit of Earth
- 1962 - The space probe Mariner 2 is launched
- 1962 - The spacecraft Ranger 5 is launched
- 1969 - The Apollo 11 spacecraft lands on the Moon, recording Humanity's first steps on another celestial body; Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin are the first humans to step on the Moon.
- 1971 - Alan Shepard commands Apollo 14 mission
- 1972 - The space probe Pioneer 10 is launched
- 1973 - The first American space station Skylab is launched into Earth's orbit. The space probe Pioneer 11 is launched
- 1976 - The Space Shuttle orbiter program starts by conducting the first tests with the spaceplane component of NASA's Space Shuttle.
- 1977 - Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 space probes launched to study the outer planets of the Sol system.
- 1979 - Pioneer 11 becomes the first Human spacecraft to visit Saturn. This success is the culmination of 22 years of work to visit and survey those planets that had been seen by humans prior to the invention of the telescope.
- 1986 - The Space Shuttle Challenger (OV-099) explodes 78 seconds after liftoff, killing seven astronauts
- 1997 - The Sojourner is the Mars Pathfinder robotic Mars rover that landed on July 4, 1997 in the Ares Vallis region, and explored Mars for around three months.
- Since 1990s - NASA participates with other space agencies in a joint project for the International Space Station.
- 2006 - The New Horizons interplanetary space probe launched as a part of NASA's New Frontiers program
- 2011 - Curiosity, a car-sized rover, launched to explore Gale Crater on Mars. It landed on Aeolis Palus in Gale Crater on August 6, 2012.
- 2013 - Voyager 1 becomes the first space probe to leave the Sol System.
- 2015 - The New Horizons probe flies by Pluto.
- NASA streamed Elite Dangerous on their Twitch channel on September 27, 2018 (starts at 15m 18s).