2. On Feb. 6, 1958, the United States Congress formed the Committee on Space and Astronautics to frame legislation for a national space program.
3. President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the National Aeronautics and Space Act into lawn July 29, 1958 and NASA began operating two months later.
4. The NASA Launch Operations Center in east Florida was opened in 1962.
5. This facility was later renamed in honor of President Kennedy, who set America on the path to land on the moon.
7. A major central Florida tourist destination for more than 1.5 million visitors per year, The Kennedy Space Center is approximately one hour's drive from the Orlando area.
8. The Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex offers public tours of the center and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
9. Since 1995, when Delaware North Companies Parks & Resorts, Inc. began managing the Visitor Complex, every aspect of this 70-acre facility has been entirely redeveloped and enhanced.
10. Kennedy Space Center is both an important hub for NASA activity,and a tourist destination with everything from rides and movies to a rocket garden and Astronaut Hall of Fame.
11. One of Kennedy Space Center's missions is to serve as a public education facility, with exhibits and displays about the history of space flight and travel.
13. From 1981 to 2011, NASA’s Space Shuttle Program enabled a wealth of scientific achievements, most notably, the construction of the International Space Station (ISS) and the launch and repair of the Hubble Space Telescope.
14. Countless advances in biology and biotechnology; Earth and space science; human research; physical science; and technology development, including numerous consumer product spinoffs were made possible by NASA technology.
15. Today, NASA continues to support the ISS through its Commercial Crew Program and is focused on deep space exploration with the development of the Space Launch System, or SLS, which will one day carry astronauts to deep space, including Mars, asteroids and beyond.
16. NASA currently maintains 10 field centers and seven test and research facilities across the country, as well as headquarters in Washington, D.C. and the agency employs more than 18,000 people as well as thousands of government contractors.