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space nasa national history

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is the premier resource for information about the space activities of the United States. NASA headquarters operates a very informative Web site at There are links to all of the facilities operated by NASA around the country. A great number of these NASA Web sites were consulted for this book. In addition, some specific NASA publications proved to be very useful. These include Basics of Space Flight, Space Transportation System, National Aeronautics and Space Administration 2003 Strategic Plan, National Aeronautics and Space Administration Summary of FY 2004 Budget Request, NASA FY 2005 Budget, The Vision for Space Exploration, Columbia Accident Investigation Board Report, Suited for Spacewalking, NASA Hits, and NASA Workforce.

NASA's History Office maintains an extensive collection of historical documents at its Web site ( The collection includes the complete text of books written for NASA about space activities of previous decades. Online books valuable to this project include This New Ocean: A History of Project Mercury, On the Shoulders of Titans: A History of Project Gemini, Apollo by the Numbers: A Statistical Reference, Chariots for Apollo: A History of Manned Lunar Spacecraft, and The Human Factor: Biomedicine in the Manned Space Program to 1980.

NASA publishes a Press Kit for each mission conducted for the Space Shuttle and International Space Station Programs and major missions of the robotic space program. These press kits contain key information on mission objectives, spacecraft design, crew members, and science experiments. Another important NASA series is called NASA Facts. This series provides data about missions and space science and biographies of historical figures key to the nation's space program. The quarterly NASA newsletter Discovery Dispatch describes the progress of ongoing robotic missions.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Space Environment Center has published a series of educational brochures called Space Environment Topics. Informative brochures in the series include "Solar Maximum," "Navigation," "Aurora," "The Ionosphere," "Radio Wave Propagation," "Satellite Anomalies," "NOAA Scales Help Public Understand Space Weather," and "Satellites and Space Weather."

The Congressional Research Service (CRS) is the public policy research arm of the U.S. Congress. CRS publications useful to this book were China's Space Program: An Overview (RS21641), Space Stations (IB93017), and U.S. Space Programs: Civilian, Military, and Commercial (IB92011).

The General Accounting Office (GAO) is the investigative arm of the U.S. Congress. GAO publications used in this book include Space Transportation: Challenges Facing NASA's Space Launch Initiative (GAO-02-1020), Space Station: Impact of the Grounding of the Shuttle Fleet (GAO-03-1107), and Shuttle Fleet's Safe Return to Flight Is Key to Space Station Progress (GAO-04-201T).

Other government agencies with online publications about space activities include the U.S. Army at Redstone Arsenal, the U.S. Air Force Space Command, the U.S. Naval Observatory, the National Science Foundation, the National Academy of Sciences, the U.S. Department of Energy Los Alamos National Laboratory, and the U.S. Geological Survey Astrogeology Research Program.

Information about international space programs and missions was obtained from the Web sites of the European Space Agency, Rosaviakosmos (the Russian space agency), the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency, the Canadian Space Agency, and China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation. The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs operates an excellent Web site describing international space law and treaties.

Private companies and organizations engaged in space-related enterprises and educational programs include The Planetary Society, The X Prize Foundation, the American Radio Relay League, and Space Adventures, LLC. Breaking news about space activities is available from online news services including Spaceflight Now, Environmental News Network, National Geographic News, and

The Smithsonian Institute operates the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C. The museum's Web site is an excellent resource for information about the history of airplane flight and space flight ( Many thanks to the Gallup Organization for their polls and surveys about American attitudes regarding programs and missions conducted throughout the Space Age.

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