NASA Historical Data Book, Volume III: Programs and Projects 1969-1978
Linda Neuman Ezell
NASA Historical Data Book, Volume III: Programs and Projects 1969-1978
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The NASA Historical Data Book Series provides a statistical summary of the first 20 years of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. NASA finances, personnel, and installations, 1958-1968, are covered in the first volume; while the second and third volumes provide information on the agency's major pro- grams and projects for 1958-1968 and 1969-1978, respectively. Congress established the civilian space agency in July 1958, when it passed the National Aeronautics and Space Act. NASA opened its doors the following October. The new organization was charged not only with expanding man's knowledge of the universe, but also with such monumental tasks as sending man to the moon. The story of NASA's first decade is one of enthusiasm, competition, growth, and success. Congress, the White House, and the public largely supported the young agency fiscally and morally. But after Apollo ll's exciting lunar landing and Neil Armstrong's first steps onto the moon in 1969, the attention of many of NASA's supporters turned elsewhere. The space agency would survive its second decade, but not with big budgets and large-scale programs. President Richard M. Nixon urged NASA to build on the knowledge and experience of its first 10 years to develop programs that would lead to the solution of practical problems on earth. There would be no space spectaculars during the 1970s. Personnel cuts, minimal budgets, and more sober objectives would flavor the decade. Like Volume II, this book covers NASA's six major program areas: launch vehicles, manned spaceflight, space science, space applications, tracking, and aeronautics and space research.

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