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  • The eastern hemisphere of the Moon, Apollo 8. Moon from 50’000 Miles
  • Close up of james Irwin (Apollo 15) Mount Hadley beyond, Apollo 15 by David Scott
  • Discovery for sale
  • Apollo 11 riding a pillar of flame before liftoff 16 July

NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) is the government agency responsible for the space program of the United States of America and the civil and military aerospace research. On July 29th, 1958 President Eisenhower signed the act of incorporation of the NASA, which began its activities in October of that year. Wernher Von Braun became the director of the Marshall Space Flight Center occupying 7,000 people. The first NASA programs were focused on the possibility of human missions in space, under the pressure of competition between the U.S. and the USSR due to the Cold War. The Mercury program was the first NASA program designed to determine whether the man could travel in space. On May 5th, 1961, astronaut Alan Shepard became the first American in space, piloting the Mercury 3 in a 15-minute suborbital flight. John Glenn was however the first American to orbit around the Earth on February 20th, 1962, during the Mercury 6 mission. Once demonstrated the possibility of human spaceflight with the Mercury program, the Apollo Program was launched in order to arrive in lunar orbit. On May 25th, 1961, President John F. Kennedy changed the program by saying that the U.S. would have to “landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the Earth” by 1970. After eight years of preparatory missions and the loss of Apollo 1 crew, the Apollo program achieved its goal on July 20th, 1969, when Apollo 11 landed on Moon’s surface. Neil Armstrong, the first man to touch the lunar soil uttered the famous phrase “That’s one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind”. Ten other astronauts walked on the moon in other Apollo missions ended in December 1972. Lately, the activity was focused on the exploration of Mars.