What You Didn’t Know About NASA.

Did you know that NASA stands for National Aeronautics and Space Administration?

I did, however, there’s a lot of things I didn’t know and I bet you don’t either.

  • Before NASA came to exist, President Woodrow Wilson started NACA, National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, to lead scientific study of the problems of flights. NACA was also in charge of researching and experimenting in the field of aeronautics.
  • NASA became operational on the 1st of October, 1958, a whole year after the Soviet Union launched Sputnik 1.
  • The first African American woman in space was Dr. Mae Jemison.
  • “Charlie Brown” was the name given to Apollo 10’s command module, while its lunar module was named “Snoopy”.
  • The first piloted Apollo mission was Apollo 7, which took place October 11–12, 1968. The astronauts on board the spacecraft were Wally Schirra, Donn Eisele, and Walter Cunningham.
  • Armalcolite, a mineral discovered by the crew of Apollo 11, was named after the three astronauts — ARMstrong, ALdrin and COLlins.
  • The first female commander of the space shuttle was Eileen M. Collins.
  • To be an astronaut, a pilot must complete 1000 hours of flying in a jet aircraft.
  • The Space Shuttle program had over 120 successful flights and two disasters, Challenger in 1986 and Columbia in 2003 that resulted in the loss of crew.
  • Only one president witnessed a space shuttle launch! President Bill Clinton and wife Hillary Clinton watched STS-92 launch to space on October 29, 1998.
  • Why the name Apollo? Apollo was a Greek god of prophecy and colonization. Abe Silverstein, one of the founding fathers of NASA’s Spaceflight Center, suggested the name Apollo be given to the first lunar missions.
  • The first American to conduct a spacewalk was Ed White, during the Gemini 4 mission on June 3, 1965.