Who Owns NASA?

Who Owns NASA

The United States of America is the classified owner of NASA.

NASA is an independent agency of the U.S Federal Government and was created under President Eisenhower in the summer of 1958 after absorbing the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA). 

Most of the space explorations have been conducted by NASA including the famous Apollo Moon landings and the Space Shuttle. 

Who created NASA?

NASA was created by the United States Government under President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1958 when NASA succeeded the previous NACA, including all staff, the budget, and facilities and being combined with earlier efforts into Space research by the US Air Force. 

Is NASA privately funded?

No, NASA is publically funded by the US government with taxpayer’s money. NASA’s budget since its formation in 1958 has drastically risen.

Back in 1958, the US government allocated $89 million to the new NASA program where in recent years, the federal government has allocated over $20 billion to the research and development of NASA. 

However, the budget actually peaked during the development of the Apollo program during 1964-1966 where it used 4% of federal spending.

The Moon landing was one of the nation’s top priorities at the time, hiring 34,000 employees and over 300,000 contractors from both educational and industrial sectors to help get everything done on time.

NASA reported that the Apollo moon landing cost the nation about $25 billion which would equate to over $150 billion in today’s money. 

However, NASA’s budget is not simply handed over every year by the US government, the budget proposal has to be passed through and signed by the president, congress, key congressional committees in the Senate and the House of Representatives all before the start of the fiscal year on October 1st, otherwise, NASA does not get its funding and will not be able to function

NASA can accept and use donations and monetary gifts to put towards research and functioning, however, the donation must be offered without conditions on its use.

Where does NASA's money go?

The money given by the government to NASA is divided into the major program areas at the agency to manage their own projects.

Most of NASA’s budget from the US government is spent on human spaceflight activities with the smallest percentage being spent on educational purposes. 

Generally, around 30% of the budget is spent on robotic missions and scientific research.

The remainder of the US federal budget given to NASA is spent on aeronautics, technology developmental programs, salaries, and also the overheads of running the facilities every day. 

None of the budget is spent on intelligence gathering or for national defense and all of it goes towards the peaceful exploration of space.

National security space programs are the ones who take care of other space agencies who monitor space security which also cover some areas of the military. 

Some people may think the US government spends a lot of money on funding NASA, but it is only around 0.5% of the federal budget, with the majority of it being spent on funding health care and income assistance. 

Without NASA being funded, programs like Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo would not have been created and taught us all about space and we would have not been able to land the first man on the moon. 

NASA also spends some of the budget on investing in education in schools so teachers can learn ways to teach science, engineering, and maths to inspire students to want to become NASA employees. 

What does NASA do today?

NASA is currently working on a new program to try and send humans to go and explore the Moon and Mars.

The NASA astronauts conduct scientific research whilst in orbit whilst space probes are used to study and explore the solar system and anything beyond it. 

NASA shares all its research with the government and companies to help make life better for people back on Earth. 

Why did NASA choose Houston?

The Manned Space Program, or now known as the Johnson Space Center was based in Houston because it required good access to water transportation by large barges and a moderate climate.

It was also important for the center to be close to a culturally attractive area with good links to high-quality higher education resources as well as being somewhere where laborers and technical workers would be able to easily travel to and from work.

NASA needed to have at least 100 acres of land but they did have certain restrictions on how much they could spend building Mission Control and Houston must have fit the bill perfectly. 

The Texan vice-president at the time Lyndon B Johnson had a lot of influence on the decision to base the Mission Control center. However, the land that Mission Control was built on was donated by an oil company and Rice University. 

However, contrary to belief, NASA HQ isn’t actually in Houston but is actually in Washington DC.

NASA centers were scattered all over the United States to maximize the congressional votes for NASA at the time, these facilities are located in a U-shape framing the entire country. 

NASA does most of its space launches in Cape Canaveral in Florida because it is close to the equator and has greater kinetic energy so the rocket has to use less energy to launch itself into space.

The location of the launches also needed to be near the ocean so civilians won’t be killed or hurt by anything from launches falling off or blowing up during transport.

At the time, there was not much there in that area of Florida and the population density was low, which provided good grounds to start building a launch center for rockets. 

Gordon Watts
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