We reach for new heights and reveal the unknown for the benefit of humankind.
NASA Headquarters, in Washington, provides overall guidance and direction to the agency, under the leadership of the Administrator. Ten field centers and a variety of installations around the country conduct the day-to-day work in laboratories, on air fields, in wind tunnels, and in control rooms. Together, this skilled, diverse group of scientists, engineers, managers, and support personnel share the Vision, Mission, and Values that are NASA.
To implement NASA’s Mission, NASA Headquarters is organized into five principal organizations called Mission Directorates:
Aeronautics: Pioneers and proves new flight technologies that improve our ability to explore and which have practical applications on Earth.
Human Exploration and Operations: Focuses on International Space Station operations and human exploration beyond low Earth orbit.
Science: Explores the Earth, moon, Mars, and beyond; charts the best route of discovery; and reaps the benefits of Earth and space exploration for society.
Space Technology: A catalyst for the creation of technologies and innovation needed to maintain NASA leadership in space while also benefiting America’s economy.
Mission Support: Oversees the management of the institutional functional areas that support the Agency mission.
Since its inception in 1958, NASA has accomplished many great scientific and technological feats in air and space. NASA technology also has been adapted for many non-aerospace uses by the private sector. NASA remains a leading force in scientific research and in stimulating public interest in aerospace exploration, as well as science and technology in general. Perhaps more importantly, our exploration of space has taught us to view Earth, ourselves, and the universe in a new way. While the tremendous technical and scientific accomplishments of NASA demonstrate vividly that humans can achieve previously inconceivable feats, we also are humbled by the realization that Earth is just a tiny “blue marble” in the cosmos. Check out our “Thinking About NASA History” folder online as an introduction to how history can help you.