NASA Field Centers

Collage of NASA satellites and rovers.

Around the country and right next door.

Since its inception in 1958, NASA has accomplished many great scientific and technological feats in air and space at the ten NASA Field Centers, which are located throughout the nation. Each Center has unique facilities, people, and resources where the day-to-day work is conducted including laboratories, clean rooms, air fields, wind tunnels, control rooms, and launch pads.

Click your state on the map below to find which center serves education in your region.

U.S. Map showing state assignments by NASA center Puerto Rico - Kennedy Space Center Region Johnson Space Center Region Stennis Space Center Region Dryden Flight Research Center Region JPL Region #ames-research-center Glenn Marshall Space Flight Center Region Kennedy Space Center Region Langley Research Center Region Goddard Space Flight Center Region Ames Research Center Region Ames Research Center Region

Ames Research Center Moffett Field, CA

Ames Research Center

Overview

NASA Ames Research Center was founded Dec. 20, 1939 as an aircraft research laboratory by the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) and in 1958 it became part of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Ames Research Center is a leader in nanotechnology, fundamental space biology, biotechnology, aerospace and thermal protection systems, and human factors research.

Ames current missions include the Kepler Spacecraft scheduled to launch on March 5, 2009 and the Lunar Crater Observing and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) scheduled to launch with the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) aboard an Atlas V 401 rocket from NASA's Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral, Fla., on April 24, 2009. Results from the Kepler mission will allow us to place our solar system within the context of planetary systems in the Galaxy. The LCROSS mission objective is to confirm the presence or absence of water ice in a permanently shadowed crater near a lunar polar region.

View Center Website

Dryden Flight Research Center Edwards, CA

Dryden Flight Research Center

Overview

The Dryden Flight Research Center is NASA's primary center for atmospheric flight research and operations. Dryden is located at Edwards, California, in the western Mojave Desert. Dryden is managing the launch abort systems testing and integration, in partnership with the Johnson Space Center and Lockheed Martin, for the Crew Exploration Vehicle that will replace the Space Shuttle. Dryden is the primary alternate landing site for the Space Shuttle and orbital support for the International Space Station.

For 60 years, Projects at Dryden have led to major advancements in the design and capabilities of many state-of-the-art civilian and military aircraft. The newest, the fastest, the highest - all have made their debut in the vast, clear desert skies over Dryden. Dryden current research includes a DC-8 jetliner airborne science laboratory, ER-2 aircraft, and an F-15B Research Testbed (a flying wind tunnel).

View Center Website

Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH

Glenn Research Center

Overview

The NASA Glenn Research Center originated in 1941 as the Aircraft Engine Research Laboratory of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics. The name was changed in 1999 in honor of John H. Glenn. Glenn's main campus is situated on 350 acres adjacent to the Cleveland Hopkins International Airport in Ohio.

Glenn's work is focused on technological advancements in spaceflight systems development, aeropropulsion, space propulsion, power systems, nuclear systems, communications, and human research. Glenn leads NASA's research in the fields of fluids, combustion, and reacting flow systems, including gravity variation. Glenn also leads in the testing and evaluation of materials and structures for atmospheric and space environments.

Today, Glenn's Space Operations Project Office leads the sustaining engineering and subsystem integration of the International Space Station Electrical Power System, plasma contactor unit, and photovoltaic active thermal control subsystem.

View Center Website

Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD

Goddard Space Flight Center

Overview

NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) is located within the City of Greenbelt, Maryland. The center was named after Dr. Robert Hutchings Goddard, considered the father of modern rocket propulsion.

The Center manages many of NASA's Earth Observation, Astronomy, and Space Physics missions. GSFC is unique in that its facilities provide for the construction and development of spacecraft software, scientific instruments as well as the spacecraft themselves.

View Center Website

Jet Propulsion Laboratory Pasadena, CA

Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Overview

A new generation of space missions to explore the solar system and the universe beyond is unfolding at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The American space age began January 31, 1958, with the launch of the first U.S. satellite, Explorer 1, built and controlled by JPL. JPL continues as a world leader in science and technology, breaking new ground in the miniaturization and efficiency of spacecraft components. At the same time, the Laboratory is pushing the sensitivity of space sensors and broadening their applications for a myriad of scientific, medical, industrial, and commercial uses on Earth.

JPL is a federally funded research and development facility managed by the California Institute of Technology for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. JPL current missions include the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE), to be launched in November 2009. The satellite will scan the entire sky in infrared light, revealing cool stars, planetary construction zones, and the brightest galaxies in the universe.

View Center Website

Johnson Space Center Houston, TX

Johnson Space Center

Overview

Johnson Space Center was established in 1961 as the Manned Spacecraft Center. In 1973, the Center was renamed in honor of the late President and Texas native, Lyndon B. Johnson. JSC is home to NASA's astronaut corp. The center is responsible for the training of space explorers from the United States and our space station partner nations. As such, it is the principal training site for both space shuttle crews and International Space Station expedition crews. JSC's team is dedicated to the development, testing, production and delivery of all U.S. human spacecraft and all human spacecraft-related functions. This includes life support systems, power systems, crew equipment, electrical power generation and distribution, guidance, navigation and control, cooling systems, flight software, robotics, spacesuits, and spacewalking equipment.

JSC leads NASA's flight-related scientific and medical research efforts. The center strives to make revolutionary discoveries and advances to benefit all humankind.

View Center Website

Kennedy Space Center Kennedy Space Center, FL

Kennedy Space Center

Overview

On July 29, 1958, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed Public Law 85-568, creating the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, also known as NASA. In July 1962, the agency established its Launch Operations Center on Florida's east coast, and renamed it in late 1963 to honor the president who put America on the path to the moon. NASA's John F. Kennedy Space Center has helped set the stage for America's adventure in space for more than four decades.

View Center Website

Langley Research Center Hampton, VA

Langley Research Center

Overview

In 1917 -- just fourteen years after the Wright Brothers made their first historic powered flight -- the United States decided to establish the first civilian laboratory dedicated to unlocking the mysteries of flight. It was on the banks of the Chesapeake Bay in Hampton, Virginia. NASA's Langley Research Center (LaRC) was the initial home of the first astronauts, who flew on Mercury 7. Now the Center is working to design and test a new launch abort system for the next generation space capsules. Langley scientists study the atmosphere to improve life here on Earth and to better understand the conditions planes and spacecraft fly through. Langley researchers analyze materials and structures to help spacecraft withstand unforgiving extraterrestrial environments. Langley research concentrates on Explorations, Science, and Aeronautics. In exploration, LaRC is currently testing Ares I-X, the first test vehicle in the development of the Ares I rocket, part of NASA's Constellation program. Beginning in 2015, Ares rockets will launch Orion crew exploration vehicles to the International Space Station. The rocket also will be used for missions to explore the Moon and beyond.

View Center Website

Marshall Space Flight Center Huntsville, AL

Marshall Space Flight Center

Overview

Since its beginning in 1960, Marshall Space Flight Center has provided the agency with mission-critical design, development, and integration of the launch and space systems required for space operations, exploration, and scientific missions. Marshall is located in Huntsville, Alabama. Marshall's legacy in rocket science includes providing the rockets that powered Americans to the moon, developing the space shuttle propulsion system, and managing the development of Skylab, Spacelab, space station nodes, the Hubble Space Telescope, the Chandra X-ray Observatory, and many other scientific instruments. Marshall plays a key role in supporting missions such as Moon and Mars missions, other science missions, the Space Shuttle, and the International Space Station.

View Center Website

Stennis Space Center Stennis Space Center, MS

Stennis Space Center

Overview

John C. Stennis Space Center in south Mississippi is one of ten NASA field centers in the United States. Because of its important role in engine testing for four decades, Stennis is NASA's program manager for rocket propulsion testing with total responsibility for conducting and/or managing all NASA propulsion test programs.
Stennis tested the first and second Saturn V rocket stages for NASA's Apollo Program, including those used to carry humans to the moon. In fact, in the late 1960s and early 1970s, there was a saying in the communities surrounding Stennis, "If you want to go to the moon, you first have to go through Hancock County, Mississippi."

In 2009, Stennis completed 34 years of testing space shuttle main engines used on more than 130 low-Earth orbit missions. The high-performance, liquid-fueled engines provide most of the total thrust needed during the shuttle's eight and one-half-minute-flight to orbit. All space shuttle main engines had to pass a series of test firings at Stennis prior to being installed in the back of an orbiter. Stennis also provided testing for engine components, design modifications and shuttle-related needs as they arose.


Next-generation rocket engines now are being developed to help carry humans beyond low-Earth orbit once more. Stennis will use the A-1 and A-2 stands for early testing of the J-2X engine for possible use on future space flight vehicles. A new 300-foot-tall A-3 Test Stand under construction will provide simulated high-altitude testing. Using a series of chemical steam generators, operators at Stennis will be capable of providing rocket propulsion testing at simulated altitudes up to 100,000 feet, a critical requirement for engines that must fire in deep space.

View Center Website