Friday, August 7, 2009

Out of this World But Close to Home: The NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

A rocket garden, models of the Hubble Space Telescope, a piece of the Moon and a planetary movie on a sphere await your visit at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. NASA (the National Aeronautics and Space Administration established in 1958 by President Dwight D. Eisenhower) has many field centers around the country, but the Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) is home to the largest organization of combined scientists and engineers in our nation, “dedicated to learning and sharing knowledge of the Earth, Sun, Solar System, and Universe.” The Center is named for Dr. Robert H. Goddard, the father of modern rocket propulsion.

We may take for granted clear global telephone calls, heart-monitoring systems in hospitals, and detailed hurricane predictions, but they are all the result of NASA’s work with human space flight, space and earth science, and aeronautics. Some of these incredible achievements began right in our own neighborhood, and a diverse array of outreach programs at GSFC offers the public an opportunity to learn more about the work that continues to expand our understanding of the Universe.

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