60 years ago, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, or NASA, started its existence in Washington, USA. There are currently 10 other centres around the United States and 7 smaller offices where testing is carried out, including stations in Canberra, Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney.
The most memorable day in NASA’s history was probably the 20th of July 1969, when Neil Amstrong became the first ever human to walk on the moon’s surface after landing Apollo 11. This event was marked as the greatest achievement in US space programme’s history. After 5 other Apollo missions, the last one being in December 1972, we have not seen a repeat from them.
NASA instead went on to find ways to further our knowledge about the rest of the solar system. The Viking program in 1975, send spacecrafts to Mars in order to land and send back high-resolution images of this faraway planet. Due to this mission, we found out that there was water on Mars and it is said to have found evidence of microbial life, but these claims have not been supported by everyone.
In 1990, NASA continued its exploration into our universe by launching the Hubble Space Telescope, which provided and still until today, continues to provide mind-blowing images of our solar system and planet. It is the largest and most versatile space observatory in the cosmos, with 10 times the resolution of any that had been launched before it.
Their Voyager 1 and 2 robotic probes celebrated their 40th year in orbit in 2017 and continue to communicate daily with NASA headquarters. They continue to explore the distant planets such as Uranus and Jupiter. NASA continues on its journey to make aircrafts safer and travel faster and our ideas of the solar system more comprehensive.
STEM in NASA
STEM refers to the study of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics related subjects. NASA has an office of STEM engagement and focuses heavily on creating programs for children to get them interested in these important subjects that form the basis of skills that are important to get big teams together to launch rockets into orbit. From a technical view, 60% of NASA’s jobs require skills in science and engineering, as well as maths, computer science, statistics, linear algebra and calculus.
STEMmates and Rockets
STEMmates’ cultivates curiosity, imagination and passion for STEM to inspire and even further encourage those who dream of one day becoming astronauts and space explorers. We are proud to announce a course that has been designed to develop students’ understanding of the aerodynamic forces involved in flight and model building skills. This course has been structured for children aged 10 to 12 years old to teach them about the construction of solid fuel model rockets, an assessment of flight worthiness, launch and recovery preparations, launch procedures and safe controlled launching. This fun and scientific course compliments the Earth and Space Science strand and Physical Science strand of the National Science Curriculum. Find out how your child can grow up to be the next man on the moon, or maybe even find another unknown planet in our solar system. More information can be found on our Facebook and website pages.