NASA facts and terms

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NASA, National Aeronautics and Space Administration began in 1958.This occurred one year after the Soviets launched Sputnik 1. Sputnik 1 was the first artificial satellite in the entire world. This began what was known as the “space race” between Russia and the United States.  NASA has excelled in many areas in space science. The greatest is that of having manned (human) space missions. 
Here is a list of those:
U.S. Manned Space Programs
  • Mercury: the first U.S. program for human spaceflight
  • Gemini: the first two-man crews, longer missions
  • Apollo: the first spaceflights to the moon
  • Skylab: a place where humans lived and worked in space for extended periods of time
  • Apollo-Soyuz: first international manned spaceflight
  • Space shuttle: the first reusable spacecrafts
  • International Space Station: an effort to create a permanent orbiting laboratory in space
The following vocabulary helps you to better understand when reading about NASA and its accomplishments. Study the vocabulary, match the vocabulary to definitions. Then fill in the blanks using the context sentences.
Aeronautics-Science dealing with the operation of aircraft.

Astronaut-A person who pilots a spacecraft or works in space; a space traveler, particularly one from the United States. For example, Alan B Shepard Jr was the commander of a number of NASA space missions.

Johnson Space Center- The headquarters for all U.S. manned spacecraft projects conducted by NASA; the location of the Mission Control Center for manned space flights.

Kennedy Space Center-The launch facility for all U.S. space missions that carry crews.

launch vehicle-A powerful rocket used to launch a spacecraft or satellite into space.

NASA (National Aeronautics & Space Administration)-The government agency whose mission is to research and develop safe and meaningful ways to explore space.

orbit-The path of a spacecraft or a heavenly body as it revolves around a planet or other body.

space shuttle-A reusable space vehicle that takes off like a rocket and lands like an airplane.

space station-An orbiting spacecraft designed to be occupied by teams of astronauts or cosmonauts over a long period.

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Related Keywords

Word Lists:

Text : a book or other written or printed work, regarded in terms of its content rather than its physical form

Vocabulary : the body of words used in a particular language.

Astronaut : a person who is trained to travel in a spacecraft.

Meaningful : having meaning

Orbit : the curved path of a celestial object or spacecraft around a star, planet, or moon, especially a periodic elliptical revolution

Satellite : an artificial body placed in orbit around the earth or moon or another planet in order to collect information or for communication

Shuttle : a form of transportation that travels regularly between two places

Launch : set (a boat) in motion by pushing it or allowing it to roll into the water

Context : the circumstances that form the setting for an event, statement, or idea, and in terms of which it can be fully understood and assessed

Mission : an important assignment carried out for political, religious, or commercial purposes, typically involving travel


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