NASA AT 50 | The Road Ahead

In addition to its manned space exploration program, NASA has a large and growing fleet of unmanned orbiting observatories, satellites and spacecraft that collect information and sometimes dramatic images of Earth, the solar system and the far galaxies. NASA and other government agencies currently participate in 65 active science missions, many of which are in cooperation with the space agencies of other countries. Click on the information bubbles below to learn more.

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Designer: Noel Smart - | Graphics: Patterson Clark - The Washington Post | Images courtesy of the International Astronomical Union, NASA and JPL

In Search of The Next Frontier In our own halting, herky-jerky fashion, human beings are becoming inhabitants not just of a planet but of a solar system.
The Biggest Question in the Universe The expansion of the universe is not slowing down, as scientists had long believed.
Space Inspires Passion, Practicality in China China conservatively aiming to capture 15 percent of the global market for launcher and satellite services.
Funding Cuts Have Meant Losing 'Magic' Scientists say it has become harder to dream big and weird about space, since NASA cut a program designed to fund future projects.
Aiming for Stars, Entrepreneurs May Fill Gaps Officials are encouraging private companies to get more involved in space transport, with the goal of getting NASA back into pure exploration.

Photo Gallery
A NASA Timeline After a half a century at work, look back at how NASA began and images of what it's missions have brought back to Earth.
Transcript: Wayne HaleNASA's deputy associate administrator joins The Post's Marc Kaufman to answer questions about the agency's future.
Transcirpt: Elon MuskThe founder of SpaceX discusses the role of privatized space transport with The Post's Marc Kaufman.
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