Everyone either knows or has heard about the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, or more commonly referred to as NASA. It is mainly the more popular side of NASA, with the rocket launches, rover landings, Mars explorations, and more, that get televised. However, there’s a whole lot more to NASA that is “behind the scenes,” such as the popular NASA facilities in Florida, Texas, and California, and the almost 16 more unknown in states like New Mexico, Louisiana, Ohio, New York, and Virginia. There are also other projects that NASA scientists work on such as Soil Moisture Active Passive and the Hubble space telescope.
NASA is how most people know the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. According to nasa.gov, NASA is a government agency that started during the “Space Age” to organize aeronautics and space exploration. The space age started in 1957, however, NASA didn’t open until 1958. They have about 20 locations across the country including the Jet Propulsion Lab in California. Some of the most popular positions there are scientists, engineers, technicians, and IT specialists. Most people think NASA does not do much for this planet and the problems we already have, but there are about 18,000 employees working to solve or help solve a number of problems. From improving Earth life to the economy, NASA is helping in bigger ways than someone could imagine.
The popular missions Curiosity and Perseverance that went to Mars were phenomenal, but there’s other astonishing missions. According to nasa.gov, one of those lesser known missions is Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) which does incredible things. When they launched it in 2015, its reflective tarp spanned out and started rotating to measure, predict, assist, and more amazing things. SMAP assists crop activity, predicts flooding, improves weather forecasts, and it can do all of these in about two days because of its wide-span circular motion. The “behind the scenes” of the Curiosity and Perseverance rovers are also astounding. From planning and building the rover to having the “7 minutes of terror” while landing. That is because Earth and Mars are 12 minutes apart and it takes 12 minutes for us to get a signal from Mars. So, the rover will either be alive or dead on Mars’ surface for five minutes until we get those life-changing words, “Touchdown confirmed” seven minutes after.
That’s some information on the National Aeronautics and Space Administration or NASA that you can share with your friends and family. Although, even with all of this in mind, the most important detail NASA never fails to accomplish is to use imagination and explore the possibilities.