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National Aeronautics and Space Administration

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NASA logo

NASA insignia

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) was the designation for an early Human space exploration agency created by the former Earth nation United States of America in 1958. (Star Trek: The Motion Picture)

NASA oversaw the launch of a vast majority of the major spaceflight milestones of the 20th and 21st centuries.

History

Ranger 5

Diagram of Ranger 5

Enterprise OV-101

space shuttle

ISS model, ENT opening credits

ISS

CharybdisDebris

NASA Logotype, ca. 2037 on Charybdis debris

A display graphic not seen on screen in the episode but featured in Star Trek: The Next Generation - The Continuing Mission shows that the spaceship Jacob was subsequently launched to conduct a follow up mission on locating the Charybdis
Many of the dates in this list are derived from real-world information. It is possible that NASA merged later on with the Russian, Japanese, and European space agencies along with the emergence of the United Earth Space Probe Agency.
The similarity of the Starfleet logo/crest to that of NASA design (not to mention the similarity of the mottos) suggests that the NASA component had an influential role.

Personnel

Astronauts

Alan Shepard

Alan Shepard in 1971

A few starships were named for NASA astronauts: USS Shepard (Alan Shepard), USS Grissom (Gus Grissom), and the two USS Armstrongs (Neil Armstrong).

Others

Vehicles and rockets

Background

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration received "grateful acknowledgment" in the closing credits of Star Trek: The Motion Picture, as well as the closing credits of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.

To achieve a more realistic and gritty look for Deep Space 9, the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine production team looked at NASA photographs of the space shuttles and other space vehicles. (Where No One Has Gone Before)

For the rendering of Earth seen in DS9: "Past Tense, Part I" and DS9: "Past Tense, Part II", David Takemura used an eight-by-ten NASA transparency of the planet to create the footage. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)

Three "real" NASA astronauts have appeared in Trek productions – Mae Jemison (the first African-American woman in space) played Lt. Palmer in TNG: "Second Chances", while E. Michael Fincke and Terry Virts (though Virts was uncredited) appeared together as Lt. M. Fincke and Ens. T. Virts, respectively, in the Enterprise finale "These Are the Voyages...".

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