The National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958 directed the annual Aeronautics and Space Report to include a "comprehensive description of the programmed activities and the accomplishments of all agencies of the United States in the field of aeronautics and space activities during the preceding calendar year." In recent years, the reports have been prepared on a fiscal year (FY) basis, consistent with the budgetary period now used in programs of the Federal Government. This year's report covers activities that took place from October 1, 1994, through September 30, 1995.
A wide variety of aeronautics and space developments took place during FY 1995. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) successfully com-pleted seven Space Shuttle flights. A program highlight was the docking of the Shuttle Atlantis with the Russian space station Mir.
NASA launched three Expendable Launch Vehicles (ELV), while the Department of Defense (DoD) successfully conducted five ELV launches during the fiscal year. These launches included satellites to study space physics, track Earth's weather patterns, and support military communications. In addition, there were 12 commercial launches carried out from Government facilities that the Office of Commercial Space Transportation (OCST) within the Department of Transportation (DoT) licensed and monitored.
This photo of Earth was processed by NOAA's National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service.
NASA continued the search for a next-generation space launch system with its Reusable Launch Vehicle (RLV) program. NASA hopes to develop new kinds of launch technologies that will enable significantly more affordable and reliable access to space.
In aeronautics, activities included the development of technologies to increase safety, reduce negative environmental impacts, and assist U.S. industry in becoming more competitive in the world market. Air traffic control activities focused on various automation systems to increase flight safety and enhance the efficient use of airspace.
Scientists made some dramatic new discoveries in various space-related fields. Astronomers gained new insights into the size and age of our universe, in addition to studying our solar system. Earth scientists continued to study the complex interactions of physical forces that influence our weather and environment and reached new conclusions about ozone depletion. Agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as well as the Departments of Agriculture and Interior used remote-sensing technologies to better understand terrestrial changes. Microgravity researchers conducted studies to prepare for the long-duration stays of humans planned for the upcoming International Space Station (ISS).
International cooperation, particularly with Russia, occurred in a variety of aerospace areas. In addition to the Shuttle-Mir docking mission and Russian partnership on the International Space Station, U.S. and Russian personnel also continued close cooperation on various aeronautics projects.
During FY 1995, the Government released two significant interagency space policy documents that are included in this report's appendix section. The first is a memorandum of agreement among NASA, DoD, and the Department of Commerce to implement an FY 1994 policy on convergence of the Nation's civilian and military polar-orbiting environmental satellite programs. The second document is a Presidential Review Directive calling for an interagency space policy review.
Curator: Lillian Gipson|
Last Updated: September 5, 1996
For more information contact Steve Garber, NASA History Office,