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NASAN

AN EDUCATIONAL PUBLICATION OF THE
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NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION
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Goddard mace Flight Center
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I GREENBELT, MARYLAND

The Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, The staff at Goddard totals approximately 3,800
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Maryland, is responsible for the development of of which nearly one-half (1881) are scientists or
unmanned orbiting satellites in the interest of basic engineers. The majority of personnel are located
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and applied science, sounding rocket experiments, at the Center, although a number are located at
and NASA's world-wide network of trac'king stations other continental U.S. installations such as the
I serving manned and unmanned scientific space Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York.
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missions. In addition. other members of the Goddard team

NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center's Main Administration Building.

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are located throughout the world operating satellite planet, of the solar system, and of the universe is
tracking and communications network stations, and being obtained.
some are working with foreign nations on inter-
SCIENTIFIC SATELLITES:
national space projects.
Goddard Space Flight Center was established by NASA scientists and engineers at Goddard, work-
the National Aeronautics and Space Administration ing closely with the scientific community here and
on May 1, 1959. It was the first major United abroad, have launched more than 30 scientific
States laboratory devoted entirely t o the investiga- satellites and approximately 500 sounding rockets
tion and exploration of space. Located about ten t o study the mysteries of earth-sun relationships,
miles northeast of Washington, D.C., it is one of the the nature of near-earth space and the universe.
few installations in the world capable of conducting The satellites range from the specialized-mission
a full range space science experimentation program U.S. Explorer series such as the Inter-planetary
from theory, through experimentation, design and Monitoring Platforms, the Atmosphere Explorers,
construction, satellite fabrication and testing, track- through international spacecraft like England’s
ing, data acquisition and reduction. Ariel, Canada’s Alouette and Italy’s San Marco up t o
the family of observatory satellites (solar, geo-
SEARCH FOR NEW KNOWLEDGE: physical, and astronomical).
The Center’s scientific staff is concerned pri- Other programs include missions such as the
marily with research into magnetic fields, energetic Radio Astronomy Explorer with antennas measur-
particles, ionospheres and radio physics, planetary ing 1,500 feet from tip t o t i p and the Anchored
atmospheres, meteorology, inter-planetary matter, Interplanetary Monitoring Platform (Explorer XXXV)
solar physics, and astronomy. which was placed into orbit around the moon t o
Approximately one-third of all the scientific ex- study interplanetary space July 22, 1967.
periments flown in spacecraft by the United States
have been conceived, designed, and built by God- APPLICATIONS SATELLITES:
dard scientists. And, in addition, the Center holds An important area of interest t o NASA is God-
management responsibility for about one-half of dard’s applications satellite program. Among this
the earth satellites launched by NASA. Through group are the TIROS and Nimbus meteorological
such programs, much of the basic scientific infor- satellite programs. A series of TIROS satellites have
mation essential for a better understanding of our been launched with such reliability that the En-

GODDARD SPACE FLIGHT CENTER
? NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION
GREENBELT, MARYLAND
0 SPACE PROJECTS BUILDING
0 RESEARCH PROJECTS LABORATORY
CENTRAL FLIGHT CONTROL AND
SPACECRAFT OPERATIONS FACILITY

INSTRUMENT CONSTRUCTION AND
INSTALLATION LABORATORY

0 SPACE SCIENCES LABORATORY
0 PAYLOAD TESTING FACILITY
0 SATELLITE SYSTEMS LABORATORY
O G A T E HOUSE
0 ENVIRONMENTAL TESTING LABORATORY
0 APPLIED SCIENCES LABORATORY
@TRACKING AND TELEMETRY LABORATORY

Q) DEVELOPMENT OPERATIONS BUILDING

(D METEOROLOGICAL SYSTEMS
DEVELOPMENT LABORATORY

@ MECHANICAL TEST FACILITY

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vironmental Science Services Administration has with the mission control center in Houston and the
adopted the TIROS Operational System (TOS) for recovery fleet deployed on three oceans.
regular weather reporting purposes. Meteorological Named in honor of Dr. Robert H. Goddard, the
research and development is now focused on the NASA Center continues in the scientific tradition of
more versatile and advanced Nimbus satellite. this New England scientist, who has been recog-
In the area of communications satellites, God- nized as the “Father of American Rocketry” and
dard helped develop Echo, the passive communica- as one of the pioneers in the theoretical exploration
tions balloon, and Relay and Syncom, which amplifyof space.
and rebroadcast radio signals back t o earth. The Robert Hutchings Goddard, born in Worcester,
Syncom concept has been employed in the “Early Massachusetts, on October 5, 1882, was a theo-
Bird” communications satellite. retical scientist as well as a practical engineer. His
dream was the conquest of the upper atmosphere
TRACKING AND COMMUNICATIONS: and ultimately space through the use of rocket
Another major responsibility is Goddard’s role propulsion.
as the hub of all of NASA’s tracking activities. Dr. Goddard was probably as responsible for
Without telemetry, command and control, NASA the dawning of the Space Age as the Wrights were
unmanned spacecraft would be silent pieces of for the beginning of the Air Age. Yet his work at-
orbiting hardware, and astronauts in manned craft tracted little serious attention during his lifetime.
would be beyond the reach of the thousands who When the United States began t o prepare for the
support each mission.
Three tracking and data acquisition networks
support NASA’s missions: the manned space flight
network (MSFN), the satellite tracking and data
acquisition network (STADAN), and the Jet Propul-
sion Laboratory’s deep-space network (DSN). This
world-wide system thus serves both manned and
unmanned satellites exploring near-space, and
deep-space missions t o the other planets.
Goddard supports the astronauts with a world-
wide network of tracking stations that link them

NASA’s Goddard Space
Flight Center located at Greenbelt,
Maryland.

Technicians checking and testing an
Interplanetary Monitoring Platform
(IMP) Spacecraft i n the test and
evaluation area.

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Spacecraft being prepared for
a simulation test.

conquest of space in the 1950’s, American rocket awarded him its coveted Langley Medal on June 28,
scientists began t o recognize the enormity of the 1960, in honor of his discoveries in rocketry.
debt which their science owed t o the New England The essence of Goddard’s philosophy, as he
professor. They discovered that it was virtually im- expressed in his high school oration, serves as the
possible to construct a rocket or launch a satellite motto of the Goddard Space Flight Center: “It is
without acknowledging the work of Dr. Goddard. difficult to say what is impossible, for the dream of
This great legacy was covered by more than 200 yesterday i s the hope of today and the reality of
patents, many of which were issued after his death. tomorrow.”
On May 1, 1959, the National Aeronautics and
Space Administration named its new Space Flight
Center at Greenbelt, Maryland, the Goddard Space v
DIRECTOR: DR. JOHN F. CLARK
Flight Center. On September 15, 1959, the Con-
Goddard Space Flight Center
gress of the United States authorized the issuance
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
of a gold medal in honor of the rocket pioneer. The
Greenbelt, Maryland 20771
Smithsonian Institution, long familiar with his work,

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