The National Aeronautics and Space Administration
No self respecting geek could do other than stand in awe of NASA, and we are no different. In fact, we spent our honeymoon in Huntsville, AL, and a lot of time at the Space Museum there (we were saddened to learn recently of the deteriorating state of the Saturn 5 booster). So all of a sudden we are wondering why we didn't have a NASA page up before? Beats us, but now we have to put one up: During our "Quest out West" we bagged Goldstone Deep Space Communications Complex. So here is our NASA page (we have a ton of pix from Huntsville; we'll get those up when we find them!).
NASA was created on October 1, 1958, with the consolidation of the National Advisory Committee on Aeronautics (NACA) and several other government agencies, to focus on the "crisis of confidence" caused by the launch of Sputnik. Within 11 years NASA had put men on the moon. Who knows where we would be if that level of effort could have continued...
But the downside of NASA: its a government agency, subject to the whims of every tinwhistle politician on the planet (at least it seems that way). Manned space flight was discontinued completely after Skylab and the Apollo-Soyuz missions until we finally got the Shuttle flying in 1981. Now finally we are starting to hear noises about a mission to Mars and permanent bases on the moon... when the nation is in the middle of the worst budget deficit in recent history. So while we firmly believe in NASA and Manned Space Exploration, we have very little faith in the politicians that control the purse strings. We went to the moon for the wrong reason: to beat the Russians. We are convinced that this Moon/Mars talk is a result of the recent success of the Chinese in putting a man in orbit, but, we have to take what we can get. Exploration for the wrong reason is imminently preferable to no exploration at all. But enough of that...
NASA Sites we have visited:
Goldstone DSCC
Be sure to visit NASA's website!