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[For the National Aeronautics and Space Administration statement of organization, see the Code of Federal Regulations, Title 14, Part 1201]
In carrying out the policy of Congress that activities in space should be devoted to peaceful purposes for the benefit of all humankind, the principal statutory functions of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration are to conduct research for the solution of problems of flight within and outside the Earth's atmosphere and develop, construct, test, and operate aeronautical and space vehicles; conduct activities required for the exploration of space with manned and unmanned vehicles; arrange for the most effective utilization of the scientific and engineering resources of the United States with other nations engaged in aeronautical and space activities for peaceful purposes; and to provide for the widest practicable and appropriate dissemination of information concerning the agency's activities and their results.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) was established by the National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958, as amended (42 U.S.C. 2451 et seq.).
Planning, coordination, and control of
Headquarters. Directors of NASA Field
Planning, direction, and management of NASA research and development programs are the responsibility of five program offices, all of which report to and receive overall guidance and direction from the Administrator. The overall planning and direction of institutional operations at the field installations and management of agencywide institutional resources are the responsibility of the appropriate Institutional Associate Administrator under the overall guidance and direction of the Administrator.
Aeronautics and Space Technology The Office of Aeronautics and Space Technology is responsible for the conduct of programs to develop advanced technology to enable and enhance an aggressive pursuit of national objectives in aeronautics, space, and transatmospherics, including the National
Aero-Space Plane Program; to demonstrate the feasibility of this advanced technology in ground, flight, and in-space facilities to ensure its early utilization; and to ensure the application of NASA capabilities and facilities to programs of other agencies and the U.S. aerospace industry. In addition, the Office is responsible for managing the Ames, Langley, and Lewis Research Centers.
For further information, call 202-453–2693. Space Science and Applications The Office of Space Science and Applications is responsible for NASA's efforts to understand the origin, evolution, and structure of the universe, the solar system, and the integrated functioning of the Earth. The Office conducts space application activities, such as remote sensing of the Earth, developing and understanding microgravity processes, and developing and testing advanced space communications as well as basic and applied science to facilitate life in space. The Office also is responsible for managing the Goddard Space Flight Center and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and maintaining contacts with the Space Science Board of the National Academy of Sciences, the Space Applications Board, and other science advisory boards and committees.
The Office coordinates its program with various government agencies, foreign interests, and the private sector to maximize space science and applications opportunities to further knowledge of the universe, the solar system, and the Earth. Its objectives are accomplished through research and development in astrophysics, life sciences, Earth sciences and applications, solar system exploration, space physics
communications, microgravity science and applications, and communications and information systems. The Office also utilizes the space shuttle, expendable launch vehicles, automated spacecraft, human-occupied spacecraft, sounding rockets, balloons, aircraft, and groundbased research to conduct its programs.
For further information, call 202-453-1409.
Space Flight The Office of Space Flight is responsible for advancing the space shuttle and for carrying out space transportation and other associated programs, including the management of the Johnson Space Center, Marshall Space Flight Center, Kennedy Space Center, and John C. Stennis Space Center. The Office plans, directs, and executes the development, acquisition, testing, and operation of all elements of the Space Transportation System; plans, directs, and manages execution of prelaunch, launch, flight, landing, postflight operations, and payload assignments; maintains and upgrades the design of ground and flight systems throughout the operational period; procures recurring system hardware; manages, directs, and coordinates all U.S. Government civil launch capabilities and U.S. spacelab development, procurement, and operations; develops and implements necessary policy with other government and commercial users of the Space Transportation System; and coordinates all research.
For further information, call 202-453-2326. Space Operations The Office of Space Operations is responsible for the development of a comprehensive plan for managing NASA space operations, which will be implemented when shuttle recovery is complete. The function of space tracking and data will become an integral part of the Space Operations. The Office will continue to be responsible for providing vital tracking, command, telemetry, and data acquisition support to meet the requirements for all NASA programs that include Earth-orbital science and applications missions, planetary missions, expendable launch vehicles, sounding rockets, balloons, research aircraft, and the Space Transportation System. The Deep Space Network, the Spaceflight Tracking and Data Network, the first of the Tracking and Data Relay Satellite Systems spacecraft, and various facilities currently provide this support. A global communications system links tracking sites, control centers, and data
processing facilities that provide real-time data processing for mission control, orbit and attitude determination, and routine processing of telemetry data for space missions.
For further information, call 202-453-2019.
Space Station The Office of Space Station is responsible for managing and directing all aspects of the national Space Station Program and to achieve the goals established by the President. These goals include the development of a
permanently manned space station in the mid-1990's; to involve other countries in the Space Station Program; and to promote scientific research, technology development, and private sector investment in space. The Office of Space Station has overall policy and management responsibilities for the program. The Johnson Space Center, the Marshall Space Flight Center, the Goddard Space Flight Center, and the Lewis Research Center are responsible for developing major elements of the space station.
The concept of the Space Station Program is to provide a manned base, initially accommodating a crew of six to eight people and two unmanned
platforms. The space station will make the greatest possible use of automation and robotics in its design and operation and will permit evolutionary growth in both size and capability.
The space station will provide facilities for an orbital laboratory for a wide range of science experiments and technology developments; a manufacturing facility in space to develop and produce new materials and products; a servicing facility to repair and maintain free-flying platforms and other satellites; permanent observatories for viewing Earth below and outward to the solar system and universe; a staging facility for assembling and servicing spacecraft destined for higher orbits or missions to the Moon or other planets; and an assembly and storage facility to build large structures.
For further information, call 202-453-2015.
A brief description of the principal and supporting roles of NASA's field installations follows:
Ames Research Center The Center, which is located at Moffett Field, CA, manages a diverse program of research and development in support of the Nation's aerospace program and maintains unique research and test facilities including wind tunnels, simulators, supercomputers, and flight test ranges. Current areas of emphasis include the development of aerospace vehicle concepts through interactive application of the Center's complete capabilities, ranging from computation and experimentation (in wind tunnels and simulators) to flight testing; research in support of human adaptation and productivity in the microgravity environment; and research and development of human/machine interfaces and levels of automation to optimize the operation of future aerospace systems, as well as future hypersonic vehicles and probes. Specifically, the Center's major program responsibilities are concentrated in computational and experimental fluid dynamics and aerodynamics; fluid and thermal physics; rotocraft, power-lift, and high-performance aircraft technology; flight simulation and research; control and guidance; aerospace human factors; automation sciences; space and life sciences; airborne sciences and applications; space biology and medicine; and ground and flight projects in support of aeronautics and space technology. In addition to these major program responsibilities, the Center provides support for military programs and major agency projects such as the Space Transportation System, Space Station, and the National Aero-Space Plane.
Goddard Space Flight Center The Center, which is located in Greenbelt, MD, conducts Earth-orbital spacecraft and experiment development and flight operations. It develops and operates tracking and data acquisition systems and conducts supporting mission operations.