NASA - 77058
"An Act to provide for research into the problems of flight within and outside the Earth's atmosphere, and for other purposes." With this simple preamble, the Congress and the President of the United States created the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) on October 1, 1958; in direct relations to the pressures of national defense. The Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, originally known as the Manned Space Craft Center, is one of nine NASA field installations and serves as training facilities for the nation's astronauts. With over 140 buildings on a 1,600 acre lot, the Johnson Space Center is home to the Mission Control Center that coordinates all human spaceflights, all space shuttle missions and any activities aboard the International Space Station. From the moment the spacecraft leaves the launch tower until it lands back on earth, Mission Control monitors, commands and communicates with the astronauts. The Johnson Space Center also handles all the planning and training of the US Astronaut Corp. and has training facilities like the Sonny Carter Training Facility and the Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory, which helps astronauts train in a simulated zero-gravity pool. With several thousand employees and contractors, the Johnson Space Center leads NASA's scientific and medical research programs. Technologies developed for spaceflight are now in use in many areas of medicine, energy, transportation, agriculture, communications and electronics.