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NASA

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA; ) is an independent agency of the U.S. federal government responsible for the civilian space program, as well as aeronautics and space research.NASA was established in 1958, succeeding the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA). The new agency was to have a distinctly civilian orientation, encouraging peaceful applications in space science. Since its establishment, most US space exploration efforts have been led by NASA, including the Apollo Moon landing missions, the Skylab space station, and later the Space Shuttle. NASA is supporting the International Space Station and is overseeing the development of the Orion spacecraft, the Space Launch System, Commercial Crew vehicles, and the planned Lunar Gateway space station. The agency is also responsible for the Launch Services Program, which provides oversight of launch operations and countdown management for uncrewed NASA launches. NASA's science is focused on better understanding Earth through the Earth Observing System; advancing heliophysics through the efforts of the Science Mission Directorate's Heliophysics Research Program; exploring bodies throughout the Solar System with advanced robotic spacecraft such as New Horizons; and researching astrophysics topics, such as the Big Bang, through the Great Observatories and associated programs.

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NASA Headquarters

NASA Headquarters, officially known as Mary W. Jackson NASA Headquarters or NASA HQ and formerly named Two Independence Square, is a low-rise office building in the two-building Independence Square complex at 300 E Street SW in Washington, D.C. The building houses NASA leadership who provide overall guidance and direction to the US government executive branch agency NASA, under the leadership of the NASA administrator. Ten field centers and a variety of installations around the country conduct the day-to-day work.NASA Headquarters is organized into four Mission Directorates: Aeronautics, Exploration Systems, Science, and Space Operations. The James E. Webb Memorial Auditorium, named for NASA's second administrator James E. Webb, hosts agency news conferences and NASA Social events. A lending library, the history office, archives, production facilities for NASA TV, and a NASA gift shop are also housed in the building.The building, which opened in 1992, was designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox, with George How as the senior designer. It is currently owned by South Korean investment firm Hana Asset Management and leased to NASA through 2028.On June 12, 2019, the street in front of the building was renamed Hidden Figures Way in honor of some of NASA's black women mathematicians, Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson, who were the central characters in the 2016 film Hidden Figures. On June 24, 2020, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine announced that the agency’s headquarters building in Washington, D.C. had been renamed to Mary W. Jackson NASA Headquarters, after NASA's first black woman engineer, Mary W. Jackson. On February 26, 2021 a ceremony was held officially renaming the building.

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NASA TV

NASA TV (originally NASA Select) is the television service of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). It is broadcast by satellite with a simulcast over the Internet. Local cable television providers across the United States and amateur television repeaters may carry NASA TV at their own discretion, as NASA-created content is considered a work of the U.S. government and is within the public domain. NASA TV is also available via various cable, satellite, and over-the-top media services around the world. The network was formally created in the early 1980s to provide NASA managers and engineers with real-time video of missions. NASA has operated a television service since the beginning of the space program for archival purposes, and in order to provide media outlets with video footage.The network airs a large amount of educational programming, and provides live coverage of an array of manned missions (including the International Space Station), robotic missions, and domestic and international launches. The network completed its conversion from analog to digital transmission in late 2005 following the launch of STS-114, ending a period of dual analog and digital broadcasting, although some cable television systems may still have transmitted in analog prior to the U.S. digital television transition. The satellite link uses the DVB-S system for transmission.

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NASA facilities

There are NASA facilities across the United States and around the world. NASA Headquarters in Washington, DC provides overall guidance and political leadership to the agency. There are 10 NASA field centers, which provide leadership for and execution of NASA's work. All other facilities fall under the leadership of at least one of these field centers. Some facilities serve more than one application for historic or administrative reasons. NASA has used or supported various observatories and telescopes, and an example of this is the NASA Infrared Telescope Facility. In 2013 a NASA Office of the Inspector General's (OIG) Report recommended a Base Realignment and Closure Commission (BRAC) style organization to consolidate NASA's little used facilities. The OIG determined at least 33 of NASA's 155 facilities were underutilized.

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Space Shuttle

The Space Shuttle is a retired, partially reusable low Earth orbital spacecraft system operated from 1981 to 2011 by the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) as part of the Space Shuttle program. Its official program name was Space Transportation System (STS), taken from a 1969 plan for a system of reusable spacecraft where it was the only item funded for development. The first of four orbital test flights occurred in 1981, leading to operational flights beginning in 1982. Five complete Space Shuttle orbiter vehicles were built and flown on a total of 135 missions from 1981 to 2011, launched from the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida. Operational missions launched numerous satellites, interplanetary probes, and the Hubble Space Telescope (HST), conducted science experiments in orbit, participated in the Shuttle-Mir program with Russia, and participated in construction and servicing of the International Space Station (ISS). The Space Shuttle fleet's total mission time was 1,322 days, 19 hours, 21 minutes and 23 seconds.Space Shuttle components include the Orbiter Vehicle (OV) with three clustered Rocketdyne RS-25 main engines, a pair of recoverable solid rocket boosters (SRBs), and the expendable external tank (ET) containing liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen. The Space Shuttle was launched vertically, like a conventional rocket, with the two SRBs operating in parallel with the orbiter's three main engines, which were fueled from the ET. The SRBs were jettisoned before the vehicle reached orbit, while the main engines continued to operate, and the ET was jettisoned after main engine cutoff and just before orbit insertion, which used the orbiter's two Orbital Maneuvering System (OMS) engines. At the conclusion of the mission, the orbiter fired its OMS to deorbit and reenter the atmosphere. The orbiter was protected during reentry by its thermal protection system tiles, and it glided as a spaceplane to a runway landing, usually to the Shuttle Landing Facility at KSC, Florida, or to Rogers Dry Lake in Edwards Air Force Base, California. If the landing occurred at Edwards, the orbiter was flown back to the KSC atop the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft, a specially modified Boeing 747.

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