NASA History Office

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The event will be held at Georgetown University on September 29-30, 2022. Learn more about possible topics, deadlines, and other guidelines:…
We (@NASAhistory, @Georgetown & @NJIT) are seeking paper proposals for our 2022 symposium, "The History of NASA and the Environment." We welcome papers exploring NASA’s interest in, responses to, exploration of, and impact upon environments on Earth and other planetary bodies.
**CALL FOR PAPERS** NASA has always had our eyes on the sky, but our heart has never left Earth. As James Fletcher, said, "Virtually everything we do...helps in some practical way to improve the environment of our planet and helps us understand the forces that affect it."
#OTD in 2014, the @isro's Mars Orbiter Mission (aka Mangalyaan) reached Mars orbit. The mission aims to test key technologies for interplanetary exploration and to study the Martian surface.…
Did you know that Neptune was the first planet located through mathematical calculations? Astronomer Johann Galle discovered Neptune #OTD in 1846. In August 1989, Voyager 2 captured this image, recording approximately 2.5 rotations of the planet.…
Taken #OTD in 1952, this photo is a multiple exposure of the X-5 aircraft showing its variable swept-wing capabilities. Did you know that the last flight of the X-5 program was flown by Neil Armstrong? It was his first and only flight in the X-5. @NASAaero
The 2021 class of @NASAglenn's Hall of Fame includes Olga Gonzalez-Sanabria. A leader in battery research and project management, she made @NASAhistory as our center’s first Latina senior executive. More on this trailblazing #HispanicHeritageMonth
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#OTD in 2014, the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN – MAVEN – spacecraft successfully entered Mars’ orbit. MAVEN is the first spacecraft dedicated to exploring the tenuous upper atmosphere of Mars. For more about the MAVEN mission:
Tomorrow, Wednesday, September 22, 2021 at noon ET, Dagomar Degroot from @Georgetown will discuss Project Moon-Blink, a little known, women-led project at NASA to establish the existence and determine the cause of “Transient Lunar Phenomena."
Space Shuttle Endeavour made its final flight #OTD in 2012, as it flew atop of NASA's Boeing 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft to Los Angeles. It is now on display at the @casciencecenter!
📖@NASAhistoryy: In Sept.1976,@NASAA rolled out its first space shuttle named Enterprise, in Palmdale, CA. Over the next few years, NASA used Enterprise to conduct various tests to prepare its sister ships for space flights >>>
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#OTD in 2003, our @NASASolarSystem Galileo mission made space history when it plunged into the clouds of Jupiter. The mission orbited the giant planet for almost eight years, and made close passes by all its major moons.
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45 years ago today in @NASAhistory, space shuttle Enterprise rolled out of the hangar for its public debut. But the @StarTrek-inspired Enterprise was not its original name.…
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Then NASA Administrator O'Keefe named @astro_peggy the first NASA ISS Science Officer #OTD in 2002. With a total of 665 days in space, Whitson also holds the U.S. record for most cumulative time in space. For more about Dr. Whitson:…
A standing ovation! The Gemini V crew, Gordon Cooper and Pete Conrad, addressed the House of Representatives this week in 1965 following their receipt of NASA Exceptional Service Medals by Lyndon B. Johnson. For more on Gemini 5:… @USHouseHistory
#OTD in 2006, Cassini captured our home planet as a pale blue dot from beyond the orbit of Neptune for the first time since Voyager 1. The Earth and Moon System is visible as a bright blue point on the right side of the image above the center. For more:…
The Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite, UARS, was deployed #OTD in 1991 by STS-48. UARS gathered data related to the chemistry, dynamics, and energy of the ozone layer. For more on UARS:…
#OTD in 1998, @NASA spacecraft Galileo sent data to researchers showing that the rings around Jupiter were formed by meteor impacts against the planet's smaller moons. Other images also showed that the outermost ring is actually two rings, one embedded within the other.
Today is the start of #HispanicHeritageMonth! Did you know that Frank Chang-Diaz, NASA's first Hispanic astronaut, is tied for the record of most spaceflights? He logged more than 1,500 hours in space over 7 spaceflights! Check out this photo of him on a spacewalk with STS-111.
It completed one orbit prior to splashdown and was recovered by the destroyer U.S.S. Decatur. For more on MA-4:…
Mercury-Atlas 4 was launched #OTD in 1961 from Cape Canaveral. This uncrewed flight was the first successful orbital flight test of the Mercury Program. The spacecraft had instrumentation that included a pilot simulator, a life support system, and cameras.
This photo of Enterprise was taken #OTD in 1977 as it completed its second free flight over Rogers Dry Lakebed at Dryden Flight Research Center (now @NASAArmstrong). The cone over Enterprise's tail smoothed out turbulent airflow during flight.
Today, on the 20th anniversary, we honor the victims and heroes of September 11th. Astronaut Frank Culbertson was aboard the ISS in 2001 and witnessed the attacks from space. His reflections on that tragic day:… His letters:…
#OTD in 1995, the SPARTAN 201-03 satellite, deployed two days prior on STS-69, was recaptured by the shuttle’s RMS. The primary objective was to study the outer atmosphere of the Sun and its transition into solar wind. More on SPARTAN 201:…
This photo of NASA's GRAIL launch was taken #OTD in 2011. The Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) mission, carried two spacecraft - Ebb and Flow - dedicated to mapping variations in the Moon's lunar gravitational field. Read more:
#OTD in 2007, Cassini made its closest flyby of Saturn's moon Iapetus. Cassini passed by Iapetus at around 1,640 kilometers (1,000 miles). Below is a photo of Iapetus taken by Cassini in 2004 during its first flyby.
The probe was originally designed to study the Moon's surface but didn't escape Earth's gravity. Despite this mechanical failure, the probe returned useful data, including a verification of the existence of the Van Allen Belts! Learn about more launches:…
#CountdownToLaunch! Just a few months after the National Aeronautics and Space Act, @NASA launched our very 1st satellite, Pioneer 1. Originally named Able 2, Pioneer 1 was conducted by the @usairforce, but under the aegis of NASA.
Jupiter's moon Amalthea was discovered #OTD In 1892 by Edward Emerson Barnard. Amalthea (the center in the image below) is one of Jupiter's Galilean moons. These moons are all oddly shaped because they lack the mass or fluidity to pull themselves into a spherical shape.
After suiting up, the STS-115 crew members exit the Operations and Checkout Building #OTD in 2006 to head to launch pad 39B for their launch to the International Space Station. For more:…
#OTD in 1931, Friedrich Schmiedl started the first official rocket mail service between two Austrian towns using his Post Rocket R1. Below is an image of a mail missile used by the US, the Regulus I, which delivered the mail once from the USS Barbero.🚀 Image@PostalMuseummT
#OTD in 2010, we took this photo of Venus at our 🔭 Observatory. Under the right conditions, Venus can be seen in the daytime sky since its thick atmospheric clouds reflect sunlight well.3
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#OTD in 2016, the ORIRIS-REx spacecraft lifted off aboard an Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral Airforce Station towards the asteroid Bennu on the first successful U.S. asteroid sample return mission. More on ORIRIS-REx:…
Put your feet up! This photo was taken #OTD in 1966 - Gemini XI's prime and backup crews are pictured having a chat at the Gemini Mission Simulator in Cape Kennedy (now @NASAKennedy), Florida.
Spartan 201-03 contained X-ray, far ultraviolet, and visible light instruments to study the Sun, while the Wake Shield Facility was a stainless steel disk designed to generate a vacuum environment in space to grow thin materials for next-generation advanced electronics.
The crew of STS-69 was launched #OTD in 1995 aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour. This mission was focused on deploying two different payloads - the Spartan 201-03 and Wake Shield Facility-2.
Cassini completed a flyby of Saturn's moon Titan #OTD in 2006. Using its radar system, Cassini was able to identify strong evidence for the existence of hydrocarbon lakes on the surface of Titan.
What's your favorite Apollo mission? Tomorrow (Wednesday, September 8th) at noon ET, author @EarlSwift1 will be giving a talk about the impact and importance of final three Apollo missions titled "Across the Airless Wilds." Join us!…
Today's #TriviaTuesday features the Jovian system! The composite photo below shows Jupiter and it's Great Red Spot as well as its four largest moons - known as the Galilean satellites. Can you name them all?
#OTD in 1985, the Space Shuttle Discovery (STS-51I), landed at Edwards Air Force Base. The crew deployed three communications satellites and performed two EVAs totaling 11 hours, 51 minutes. For more about STS-51I:…
Viking 2 touched down on the surface of Mars #OTD in 1976, about 4,000 miles (ca. 6,460 kilometers) from Viking 1. Viking 1 and Viking 2 returned 52,663 images of Mars and mapped about 97% of the planet’s surface. More on Viking 2:…
What was that?! A solar flare was observed for the 1st time this week in 1859 by British scientist Richard Carrington & Australian scientist Richard Hodgson. They were each viewing sunspots when they observed a large flare. Image taken by Solar Dynamics Observatory in 2015.
Taken in 2012, this photo shows the Space Shuttle Endeavour flying out of @NASA_Johnson on its way to the California Science Center for permanent display. NASA pilots Jeff Moultrie and Bill Rieke were at the controls of the Shuttle Carrier aircraft.
He was one of the first recipients of the U.S. Army Research and Development Achievement Awards and was the first African American inducted into the AMC Hall of Fame. Images: U.S. Army
Dr. McAfee was most famous for his work on Project Diana, an experiment designed to bounce radar echoes off the Moon. His work helped begin what we now call the "Space Age." Read more about Project Diana:
Today are we honoring the life and legacy of Dr. Walter McAfee on the anniversary of his birth. Dr. McAfee was a renowned scientist and astronomer of his time, and worked to advance the field of communications and electronics research.
#OTD in 1979, Pioneer 11 passed the rings of Saturn on the first flyby of the planet. This image shows Saturn and its moon, Titan, taken 1,768,422 miles (ca. 2,846,000 km) away. For more about Pioneer 11's mission:…
This photo was taken in 1989 by Voyager 2. It shows the rings of Neptune from a distance of 175,000 miles (280,000 km) away. The two main rings are clearly visible in the nearly 90 minute long exposure, while the inner ring is a faint circle around the planet. @NASASolarSystem
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