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National Aeronautics and Space Administration

300 E Street SW., Washington, DC 20546


Office of the Administrator

Office of the Administrator
Deputy AdministratorPamela A. Melroy

Strategic Engagement and AssessmentThomas E. Cremins

Chief of StaffSusan P. Quinn
Deputy Associate AdministratorMelanie W. Saunders

Administrator Staff Offices

Administrator Staff Offices
CommunicationsMarc Etkind
Diversity and Equal OpportunityStephen T. Shih
International and Interagency RelationsKaren Feldstein
Legislative and Intergovernmental AffairsAlicia Brown
Small Business ProgramsGlenn A. Delgado
STEM EngagementMichael A. Kincaid

Financial OfficerMargaret V. Schaus
Information OfficerJeffrey M. Seaton

General CounselSumara M. Thompson-King

Administrator Staff Offices

Administrator Staff Offices
Senior Climate AdvisorKatherine Calvin

EngineerRalph R. Roe
Health and Medical OfficerJames D. Polk
Safety and Mission Assurance OfficerW. Russ DeLoach
ScientistKatherine Calvin
TechnologistDouglas A. Terrier

Mission Directorates

Mission Directorates
Aeronautics ResearchRobert Pearce
Human Exploration and OperationsKathryn Lueders
ScienceThomas Zurbuchen
Space TechnologyJames L. Reuter

Mission Support Directorate

Mission Support Directorate
Associate AdministratorRobert Gibbs

Human Capital ManagementJane Datta
ProcurementKarla Smith Jackson
Protective ServicesJoseph S. Mahaley
Strategic InfrastructureBurton R. Summerfield, Acting

NASA Shared Services CenterAnita F. Harrell


Ames Research CenterEugene L. Tu
Armstrong Flight CenterDavid D. McBride
Glenn Research CenterMarla Pérez-Davis
Goddard Space Flight CenterDennis Andrucyk
Jet Propulsion LaboratoryMichael M. Watkins
Johnson Space CenterVanessa Wyche, Acting
Kennedy Space CenterJanet Petro, Acting
Langley Research CenterClayton Turner
Marshall Space Flight CenterJoan A. Singer, Acting
Stennis Space CenterRichard J. Gilbrech

NASA Management OfficeMarcus A. Watkins
Inspector GeneralPaul K. Martin

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration advances aeronautic research, explores space, and makes scientific discoveries for the benefit of humankind.


On July 29, 1958, President Dwight D. Eisenhower approved Public Law 85–568, which also is cited as the National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958, "to provide for research into problems of flight within and outside the earth's atmosphere." In the Act's declaration of policy and purpose, the U.S. Congress declared "that it is the policy of the United States that activities in space should be devoted to peaceful purposes for the benefit of all mankind" (72 Stat. 426).

By approving this Act of Congress, President Eisenhower "established the National Aeronautics and Space Administration" (72 Stat. 429). The newly created executive branch agency has become widely known by its acronym NASA.

The National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) was NASA's predecessor organization. The Committee was established on March 3, 1915, as a part of Public Law 63–271, which made appropriations for the naval service and established the Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (38 Stat. 930). After serving four decades as the Nation's premier aeronautical research institution, the NACA was dissolved in 1958, and its laboratories became the nucleus of NASA.

NASA's statement of organization and general information on the agency have been codified and assigned to Part 1201 of 14 CFR. The Administration is headed by a civilian Administrator whom the President appoints by the advice and with the consent of the Senate. The Administrator, whom the President supervises and directs, is responsible for exercising all NASA powers and discharging all of its duties.

NASA posts its organizational chart (FEB 2021) in Portable Document Format for viewing and downloading.

The "NASA Organizational Charts" web page contains information on NASA organizational changes from the agency's formation in 1958 through the year 2015.


Statutory material on national and commercial space programs has been codified and assigned to 51 U.S.C. Statutory material on the coordination of aeronautical and space activities has been assigned to Subchapter II of Chapter 201. Subchapter II includes sections 20111–20117.

Rules and regulations concerning aeronautics and space have been assigned to 14 CFR. Chapter V of Title 14 contains codified rules and regulations that are associated with NASA.


Earth and Space Exploration

The Science Mission Directorate explores Earth and space to advance Earth science, heliophysics, planetary science, and astrophysics. Using in situ and space-based observations, the Directorate seeks a better understanding of the Sun and its influence on the solar system, climate change, the solar system's origin and evolution, whether life is limited to Earth, and the universe beyond.

Increasing Efficiency and Safety / Reducing Environmental Harm

The Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate conducts research, ground tests, and flight demonstrations to develop technologies and tools that reduce the adverse effects of aviation on the environment, increase efficiency while maintaining safety in skies that are becoming more crowded, and prepare the way for the emergence of new aircraft shapes and propulsion. The Directorate's four research programs partner with industry, other government agencies, and universities to develop technologies, converge breakthroughs from other fields, and ensure that the next generation workforce has the vision and skills for maintaining U.S. leadership in aviation.

Institutional Support for Mission Objectives

The Mission Support Directorate provides overall leadership, stewardship, advocacy, integration, and optimization of Agency institutional activities. These activities include management of human capital and strategic infrastructure, procurement, protective services, headquarters operations, shared services, partnerships, external audits, and management of Agency directives. To enable successful operations, the Directorate focuses on three major goals: to provide stewardship of major institutional operations; to integrate resources, infrastructure, and processes and to advocate for institutional capabilities and needs; and to optimize mission support services through strategic analysis and business services assessments to achieve greater operational efficiency.

Space Technology for Missions

The Space Technology Mission Directorate develops crosscutting and pioneering technologies and capabilities that the agency needs to carry out current and future missions. Through transparent, collaborative partnerships, the Directorate rapidly develops and demonstrates high-payoff technologies. It uses a merit-based competition model with a portfolio approach, spanning a range of discipline areas and technology readiness levels.

Supporting Human Exploration

The Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate oversees NASA space systems development and operations that support human exploration in and beyond low-Earth orbit. It also oversees low-level requirements development, policy, and programmatic oversight. The International Space Station represents the agency's exploration activities in low-Earth orbit. Beyond low-Earth orbit, exploration activities include the management of exploration systems development, human space flight capabilities, advanced exploration systems, and space life sciences research and applications. The Directorate also provides agency leadership and management of NASA space operations related to launch services and space communications and navigation in support of both human and robotic exploration programs.


Ames Research Center

Located in California's Silicon Valley, the Center enables exploration through selected developments, innovative technologies, and interdisciplinary scientific discovery. It provides leadership in astrobiology; small satellites; technologies for CEV, CLV, and HLV; the search for habitable planets; supercomputing; intelligent-adaptive systems; advanced thermal protection; and airborne astronomy. The Center also develops tools for a safer, more efficient national airspace, and it cultivates partnerships that benefit NASA's mission.

Armstrong Flight Research Center

Located at Edwards Air Force Base, CA, the Center carries out flight research and technology integration, validates space exploration concepts, conducts airborne remote sensing and science missions, enables airborne astrophysics observation missions to study the universe, and supports International Space Station operations. It also supports activities of the Agency's four Mission Directorates.

Glenn Research Center

Located on two campuses—at Lewis Field, next to Cleveland Hopkins International Airport, and at Neil A. Armstrong Test Facility (formerly the Plum Brook Station) in Sandusky, OH—the Center is associated with cutting edge technologies that will enable human exploration to Mars, the design of environmentally friendlier commercial hybrid electric aircraft, and the development of more advanced high-temperature materials. Its 3,200 scientists, engineers, and other specialized employees work in partnership with U.S. companies, universities, and other Government institutions to produce and improve new technologies that are useful on and above and beyond Earth. The Center's specialized staff focuses on air-breathing and in-space propulsion, power and energy storage, aerospace communications, extreme environment materials, biomedical technologies, and high-value space experiments in the physical sciences.

Goddard Space Flight Center

Located in Greenbelt, MD, the Center expands humankind's knowledge of Earth and its environment, the solar system, and the universe by observing them from space. It also conducts scientific investigations, develops and operates space systems, and advances essential technologies.

Johnson Space Center

Located in Houston, TX, the Center specializes in human space flight. It hosts and staffs program and project offices; selects and trains astronauts; manages and conducts projects that build, test, and integrate human-rated systems for transportation, habitation, and working in space; and plans and operates human space flight missions. This work requires a comprehensive understanding of space and planetary environments, as well as research into the effects of those environments on human physiology. It also requires development of technology to sustain and preserve life; maintenance of a supply chain to design, manufacture, and test flight products; selection, training, and provision of medical care to those who fly space missions; and ongoing administrative mission support services. The Center is currently hosting the International Space Station Program, the Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle Program, and the Human Research Program. It plays a lead role in developing, operating, and integrating human exploration missions that include commercial, academic, international, and U.S. Government partners.

Kennedy Space Center

Located on Florida's east coast, the Center is responsible for space launch operations and spaceport and range technologies. Home to the launch services program, it manages the processing and launching of astronaut crews and associated payloads. Its management activities include the International Space Station segments, research experiments and supplies, and NASA’s scientific and research spacecraft. These scientific and research spacecraft range from robotic landers to Earth observation satellites and space-based telescopes on a variety of launch vehicles.

Innovative technology experts at the Center support NASA’s current programs and future exploration missions by developing new products and processes that benefit the Agency and consumers. The Center remains a leader in cutting-edge research and development in the areas of physics, chemistry, technology, prototype designing, engineering, environmental conservation, and renewable energy.

Langley Research Center

Located in Hampton, VA, and established in 1917 as an aeronautics lab, the Center is renowned for its scientific and technological expertise in aerospace research, atmospheric science, systems analysis and integration, and planetary entry, descent and landing. Its researchers and engineers conduct research in structures and materials, applied sciences, space technology development, and aerosciences across the hyper, super, and subsonic flight regimes. Langley researchers and engineers have developed and validated technologies to improve the effectiveness, safety, environmental compatibility, and efficiency of the Nation's air transportation system. The Center supports space exploration and operations, and it plays a major role in expanding science-based knowledge of Earth and its environment. By determining appropriate preventative and corrective action for problems, trends, and issues across agency programs and projects, its engineering and safety personnel at the NASA Engineering Safety Center have improved mission safety and execution.

Marshall Space Flight Center

Located in Huntsville, AL, the Center oversees complex engineering, technology development, and scientific research for making human space exploration a reality. The Center is building the space launch system and developing advanced technologies that are necessary for the human journey to Mars. It also manages a number of programs and projects: the International Space Station's environmental control and life support system, its payload operations, and numerous other facilities and experiments; the Chandra X-ray Observatory; the Discovery and New Frontiers programs; space technology demonstration missions; and the Michoud Assembly Facility, where space vehicles are manufactured and assembled.

Stennis Space Center

Located near Bay St. Louis, MS, the Center serves as the agency's rocket propulsion testing ground. It provides test services not only for America's space program, but also for the Department of Defense and private sector. Its unique rocket propulsion test capabilities will be used for testing the engines and stages of NASA's space launch system rocket. The Advanced Technology and Technology Transfer Branch develops and licenses state-of-the-art components, processes, sensors, and software.

Jet Propulsion Laboratory

The Laboratory is a Federally Funded Research and Development Center (FFRDC) managed under contract by the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in Pasadena, CA. This FFRDC is a unique nongovernment entity sponsored and funded by the Agency to meet specific long-term technical needs that cannot be met by other organizations within the Agency. As part of this special relationship, the Laboratory must operate in the public interest with objectivity and independence, avoid organizational conflicts of interest, and fully disclose its affairs to NASA. The Laboratory develops and maintains technical and managerial competencies to perform the following missions in support of the Agency's strategic goals: to explore the solar system to understand its formation and evolution; to establish a continuous and permanent robotic presence on Mars to discover its history and habitability; to make critical measurements and models to understand the global and regional integrated Earth system; to conduct observations to search for neighboring solar systems and Earth-like planets and help understand formation, evolution, and composition of the Universe; to conduct communications and navigation for deep space missions; to provide support, particularly in robotic infrastructures and precursors, that enables human exploration of the Moon, Mars, and beyond; and, under Caltech's initiative, to collaborate with other Federal and State government agencies and commercial endeavors in areas synergistic with the Laboratory's work performed for NASA.

Sources of Information

A–Z Index

NASA maintains an online index of all topics to help visitors browse or search for specific information.


A completely iced over Earth would have an albedo of about 0.84, which means that its surface would reflect 84 percent of the sun's light. A completely forested over Earth, on the other hand, would have an albedo of about 0.14, which means that Earth's surface would absorb 86 percent of the sun's light. Changes that affect airborne pollution, cloudiness, ice cover, or land cover (e.g., forest to farmland) also affect the global albedo. Using satellite measurements that have been collected since the late 1970s, scientists estimate that Earth’s average albedo is about about 0.30, which means that its surface reflects about 30 percent of the sun's light.

Archived Records

The "Guide to Federal Records in the National Archives of the United States" indicates that NASA records have been assigned to record group 255.

Arctic Change

NASA's "National Snow and Ice Data Center" website has a "Satellite Observations of Artic Change Overview" web page. Maps that are based on satellite data and research on Arctic change are presented as a collection on the web page. These maps illustrate changes that have occurred in the Arctic over the past decades and that continue without interruption today.

Business Opportunities

Information on business opportunities is available on NASA's Office of Procurement website.

NASA offers contracting and subcontracting opportunities to small businesses. Contact the Office of Small Business Programs. Phone, 202-358-2088. | Email:

Career Opportunities

In addition to astronauts, the agency relies on accountants, engineers, human resources specialists, IT specialists, scientists, technicians, writers, and other skilled professionals, to carry out its mission. To learn more about employment opportunities and programs, visit the "Careers at NASA" web page.

In 2020, NASA ranked the highest among 17 large Government agencies in the Best Places To Work Agency Rankings!


NASA's website contains a variety of informational resources on the topic of climate and the effects of its continued warming.

Contact Infomation

NASA Communications Office personnel work hard, answering questions and responding to requests in a timely manner. Before relying on the "Contact Page" or directing an email to the public inquiries inbox, search NASA's website to see if the desired information is already accessible. NASA also has communication tools that make it easy to keep abreast of the agency's announcements and exciting achievements. | Email:

The "Media Contacts and Information" web page was designed with journalists and reporters in mind.

Earth Images

The "Earth Observatory" website contains various collections of images of Earth.

Federal Register

Significant documents and documents that NASA recently published in the Federal Register are accessible online.

Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)

Any person has a court-enforceable right to request and obtain access to Federal agency records. That right has restrictions and does not extend to records, or portions of them, that are shielded from public disclosure by one of nine statutory exemptions or by one of three special law enforcement record exclusions. The FOIA established a statutory right that affects the process for accessing executive branch information in the Federal Government. | Email:

NASA maintains a hyperlinked list of FOIA websites for each of its centers.

NASA maintains a hyperlinked list of its centers' electronic libraries.


NASA;s Earth Observatory maintains an online glossary.

The Science Mission Directorate website has a glossary.

Greenland's Melting Glaciers

NASA's Oceans Melting Greenland (OMG) mission investigates the role that warm ocean water plays in accelerating the melting of Greenland's glaciers. The OMG mission gathers data on water temperatures and Greenland's glaciers to improve the science on the melting ice and the global sea level rise that it is causing.

NASA has posted a short animated video on YouTube that shows how a glacier melts.


Students of aeronautical and space history can find a treasure trove of resources on the the "NASA History" web page, which includes links to audio and written sources and image and video collections. | Email:

The History Program Office maintains its own topical index.


The NASA Headquarters Library welcomes visitors. Located in the East Lobby of NASA Headquarters in Washington, DC, the library is open Monday–Friday, 8 a.m.–4:30 p.m. It is closed on Federal holidays. Phone, 202-358-0168. | Email:


NASA's Earth Observatory maintains a collection of maps on its "Global Gaps" web page.


A hyperlinked list of NASA missions is maintained on the "NASA Missions A–Z" web page.

The "Mission Key" assigns a color code to NASA's science missions and groups them in the following categories: universe, solar system, Sun, and Earth.

NASA posts science mission posters for downloading. Posters are grouped in the following four categories: astrophysics, solar system, Sun, and Earth.

Open Government

NASA supports the Open Government initiative by promoting collaboration, participation, and transparency.

Picture of the Day

Discover something new about the universe each day by visiting NASA's "Astronomy Picture of the Day" web page. A professional astronomer provides a brief explanation for each daily image or photograph. A picture of the day archives is also accessible from the same page.

Plain Writing

The Plain Writing Act of 2010 requires Federal agencies to communicate clearly. NASA editors and writers aim to use plain language in any document that is necessary for obtaining agency benefits or services, that provides information on agency benefits or services, or that explains how to comply with a requirement that the agency administers or enforces.


The "NASA Headquarters Library" website includes a "Find Publications" web page. The web page contains a section for bibliographies, one for books, one for databases, and another for journals.

The NASA scientific and technical information program makes conference papers and research reports accessible online. | Email:

The scientific and technical information program website has a site map to make browsing its contents easier.

Scientific Visualization

NASA's Scientific Visualization Studio maintains a web page of astrophysics, Earth science, heliophysics, mission and instrument, planetary science, and special events and productions galleries.

Social Media

NASA maintains a presence on popular social media websites. The "Social Media at NASA" page provides easy access to the agency's social media accounts.

Space Technology

Explore space technology by visiting the "Technology Overview" web page.

Students / Teachers

A feast of educational resources for educators and learners is available on the "NASA STEM Engagement" web page.

Sun / Earth

NASA has web pages whose content is dedicated to educating people about our star, the Sun.

Learn more about our home from a planetary perspective by visiting the "Explore Earth" web page.


NASA is making its workplaces nationwide more sustainable. Its facilities cover 47 million square feet and include 5,000 buildings. While working to fulfill its mission of exploration and revealing the unknown, NASA is reducing its demand on Earth and lessening its consumption of her finite resources.

Webb Space Telescope

NASA posts the latest James Webb Space Telescope news on the mission's project website.