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What Is NASA?



What Is NASA?
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 8 to 10
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   8.12

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    rocketry, russia, rocketed, civilian, formerly, satellite, launching, launches, propulsion, launched, laboratory, military, successful, flights, kennedy, responsible
     content words:    United States, National Aeronautics, Space Administration, National Advisory Committee, Marshall Space Flight Center, Army Ballistic Missile Arsenal, Hubble Space Telescope, International Space Station, When NACA, Today NASA


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What Is NASA?
By Trista L. Pollard
  

1     On October 1, 1958, one of the most important United States government agencies was born. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) rocketed onto the scene. NASA is a civilian agency that is part of the U.S. federal government.
 
2     Before NASA, the U.S. had the National Advisory Committee on Aeronautics (NACA). The NACA focused on laboratory research. NASA began after the U.S. witnessed the success of the Russian space program. Russia launched the first artificial satellite, Sputnik 1, on October 4, 1957. The space race had begun!
 
3     NACA conducted research at the Langley, the Ames, and the Lewis research centers in the U.S. NASA took over these research centers when it began. It also took over from the U.S. army a jet propulsion laboratory and the Marshall Space Flight Center (formerly the Army Ballistic Missile Arsenal) in Huntsville, Alabama. NASA's goal was to research and develop space exploration programs. Its research would also include artificial satellites, rocketry, and space telescopes. Today the Hubble Space Telescope is one of NASA's most famous telescopes. NASA also works with other countries on space exploration projects like the International Space Station.

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