NASA (National Air and Space Administration)

NASA (National Air and Space Administration)


The Department of Defense (DOD) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) have to date elevated aerospace technologies to great heights. In a July 31, 1915, interview in Collier's Weekly, aviation pioneer Orville Wright (1871–1948) said, "The greatest use of the aeroplane [airplane] to date has been as a tremendously big factor of modern warfare." His statement could also be considered true today, along with the role played by commercial transportation in world's affairs. The victory of the United States in Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003 illustrated the utilization of air and space to quickly quell an opponent's fighting ability. In this conflict, air and space utilization came in the form of direct air support, air to ground strategic targeting, Global Positioning System (GPS) targeting, and aerospace reconnaissance, both airplane and satellite. This utilization of air and space remains among the most powerful physical tools for ensuring national security.

NASA and DOD joint research has propelled the advances that make air and space important military assets. NASA's part in national security strategy is not as substantial as it was during NASA's first 35 years of existence (during the space race), but it still plays an important

In a joint research project, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, NASA, and the U.S. Air Force used a Grumman X-29A with a forward-swept wing in fighter research during the 1980's and 1990's. ©MUSEUM OF FLIGHT/CORBIS.
In a joint research project, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, NASA, and the U.S. Air Force used a Grumman X-29A with a forward-swept wing in fighter research during the 1980's and 1990's. ©

role. As a national icon, NASA inspires nationalism in the American people, and its achievements are projected worldwide as an exhibit of America's scientific ability. A superpower nation with a space program was historically perceived as a potential threat to other nations, as seen with the United States reaction to the launching of the Soviet Union's Sputnik during the Cold War. The nation's response was the creation of a national civilian air and space agency called NASA.

NASA aeronautical research spurred numerous advances in aviation from which the military benefited; early studies regarding lifting bodies and fly-by-wire aircraft, which used NASA-developed electronics to control the inherently unstable aircraft, are two examples. Many of the aerospace research projects at the Dryden Flight Research Center (DFRC) in California are joint projects that advance aerospace engineering, science, and develop military hardware. Some of the research involves speed of sound (sonic and supersonic) studies, aeroelastic wing research, lifting body studies, unmanned vehicles, and other proprietary research.

Even though DOD and NASA have different space programs, they share numerous resources and have many joint contracts that support both the DOD program and the NASA program. These range from the simple support contracts for routine battery maintenance to expansive operations such as communications and spacecraft tracking. Both organizations share launch pads for expendable launch vehicles. Some of the expendable launch vehicles at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) at Cape Canaveral, Florida, are the Titan, Atlas, and Delta rockets. Launch and other facilities at KSC are resources shared by NASA, the Navy, and the Air Force.

NASA played a direct role in national security by providing the means to take heavy payloads into orbit. DOD has made its most direct use of NASA equipment in utilizing the Space Shuttle to bring up numerous DOD payloads. The contents of many of these payloads are classified information. There have been ten DOD dedicated shuttle launches. They are STS 51C, 51J, 27, 28, 33, 36, 38, 39, 44, and 53 (STS, which stands for Space Transportation System, also known as the Space Shuttle). Many of these missions remain secret even today, although some general knowledge about national security-based payloads has been disseminated and reported. In The Space Shuttle Roles, Missions and Accomplishments space historian David M. Harland stated that the shuttle delivered three new reconnaissance satellites in recent years. One satellite, called Lacrosse, provides all-weather vehicle-tracking capability. Another satellite included an advanced geostationary listening post. The third satellite is considered to house advanced imaging capabilities. It remains a secret as to what other DOD dedicated missions delivered to orbit or accomplished using the shuttle. Classified DOD missions continue to be carried out today, but mainly utilize the expendable launch vehicles. DOD and NASA both frequently have multiple minor payloads in addition to the major payload on a mission (both shuttle and expendable) to save costs. Some of these minor payloads are DOD sponsored payloads.

At one point, the vision of routine Space Shuttle launches was so powerful that the Air Force reluctantly agreed to phase out expendable launch vehicles. The Air Force's acceptance of the shuttle came with imposing requirements on the shuttle to launch heavy payloads of up to 60,000 pounds and to provide a cargo bay of 18 meters. The shuttle's payload mass weight has been downgraded to increase its margin of safety. The failure of the shuttle to run routinely, once a week, and the Challenger accident in 1986 motivated the DOD and NASA to change the DOD's main launching platform back to the expendable launch vehicles. Department of Defense then moved to utilizing new heavy lifting expendable launch vehicles to replace the shuttle's heavy lifting capacity. These new heavy-launch expendable launch vehicles can deliver almost 50,000 pounds to low Earth orbit.

Launch vehicles, including the Space Shuttle, utilize hardware that could be used for military applications such as the sophisticated guidance and navigations systems. The loss of the Space Shuttle Columbia in 2003 required personnel to retrieve instrumentation from the crash site to secure it to protect the secrecy of the technology.

The most well known NASA personnel are its astronauts. Astronauts have been used to carry out the DOD dedicated Space Shuttle missions. This required the astronauts to receive training on the secret payloads in order to properly execute the mission. The classified information given to the astronauts is usually kept to a minimum of relevant required knowledge. The payloads are normally loaded into the launch vehicle at the latest possible opportunity in order to maintain security. Shuttle astronauts repaired one DOD satellite via EVA (Extra Vehicular Activity), spacewalk, when it failed to start. The majority of astronauts chosen for these missions have a military background, mostly for the flight experience. It is difficult to define to what extent NASA personnel have worked on DOD payloads because of the classified nature and the numerous joint research activities.

The Air Force has had astronaut-like programs, such as the Spaceflight Engineers and the Military-Man-In-Space program. Before the shuttle, spaceflight engineers were recruited to utilize the Gemini spacecraft to go to a planned Manned Orbiting Laboratory. The orbiting laboratory was cancelled with the introduction of automated cameras on satellites. Afterwards, spaceflight engineers were Air Force pilots who would train to be the specialist that would fly on the shuttle to oversee specific DOD payloads. In January, 1985, Gary Payton (a Spaceflight Engineer) flew on the first dedicated DOD shuttle mission, STS 51C, to supervise the deployment of a classified payload. The spaceflight engineers program was later disbanded. The Military-Man-In-Space program was designed to determine the potential for humans to be used for Earth observations. Human vision and intelligence was found to be a valuable asset as remote sensors, because of man's adept ability to distinguish subtle variations in hues more accurately than cameras and film. Remote sensing from space with accurate ground truth can greatly enhance the understanding of large natural systems like forests and ocean dynamics.

NASA's main role for national security is to inspire the youth of today that will populate aerospace professions in the future. This pool of technically minded persons will give the DOD a more intelligent and numerous base from which to recruit a future workforce. High-risk technologies have the potential to provide tremendous benefit for mankind. For aeronautics, NASA research divisions are positioned to study more technologies for their own benefit as well as that of the DOD, and the nation as a whole.



Harland, David M. The Space Shuttle Roles, Missions and Accomplishments. New York: John Wiley & Sons Ltd, 1998.


Dryden Flight Research Center. "Flight Research Milestones." < > (May 6, 2003).


Geospatial Imagery
Infrared Detection Devices
Near Space Environment
Satellites, Spy
Strategic Defense Initiative and National Missile Defense
USSTRATCOM (United States Strategic Command)

User Contributions:

John Doe
Report this comment as inappropriate
Oct 6, 2022 @ 2:02 am
I'm curious how is it for this entire last year or a little close now to going on 2 years is it that a neighbor of mine which is part of this entire reason for my endless stress these f*ckers are using this software for all of the wrong reasons, and will make endless efforts in their attempts of making me to believe that Heather & I like each other/will be together/but they will make all of this sh*t up using NASA software somehow and even make me then believe it wasn't her who I was just speaking with, or have previously recordings of her voice in having spoke to someone else or have the software to then broadcast her conversation to make it seem like I'm speaking with her at present time, and will tell me "meet me at so and so at this precise time" and EVERY single god damn time I will travel to the specific locations and she is NEVER there! Then Heather's voice will apologize to me and tell me it wasn't her that it was such and such, which often will almost ALWAYS be Adam Aldridge and his claiming it was his ex gf who was speaking but I know 100% it wasn't, that it was Heather herself and I cannot figure out why ANYONE who claims to care about someone, have feelings for them and tell them everything from A-Z and claims that herself and I will be together in 3 months or whatever, if it wasn't all true? But then be constantly overheard lying and making up lies for me to meet her at this location at this time and each and every single god damn time is never there...I cannot figure out how/why they are doing this/why she would do this is beyond me but the neighbor(s) are def behind this all! And I even heard that 1 of those involved himself, Kenny Watson, that he was supposedly arrested some time a go for apparently being a sex offender w/ a warrant for his arrest due to not registering with the State Police after moving next to us for his previous offense for statutory rape/illegally accesses NASA software for Global Positioning System for all the wrong reasons* along with his SUPPOSEDLY sister (he claims is his sister) but isn't for sure known as being his sister, the Chief of Probation in Marion County WV is also assisting his creepy self in monitoring individuals for their own sexual desires, Heather Campbell, it's gone as far as her supposedly "HUSBAND" so she has claimed *because their incest & their brother and sister* so to keep anyone from knowing how disgusting and twisted they are she has led everyone to believe 'their' story of claiming Tom Waldheim is her husband, not her family member! And they are truly twisted/sick individuals, for starters they aren't only incest brother/sister who sleep together in hotel rooms in Fairmont WV at the Red Roof Inn but they also involve using their claim if being 'swingers' so they can trade Heather off in prostitution for places to stay, food to eat & drink, drugs & money! It's went as far as Tom's paying OTHER relatives of theirs *a cousin* in allowing Tom (her brother) to sit and masturbate while Heather gives her cousin oral sex and some times even has sex with the paid individual! Other times, they've paid other individuals sometimes even girls to allow Tom to sit and masturbate while Heather will give the girl oral and in return they give Heather oral sex in the hotel room at the Red Roof Inn and even "fingered" his sister Heather while her incest self along with the female individual perform oral sex on one another at the same hotel in the same room as always at the Red Roof Inn in Fairmont WV! All while this previously has occurred it has been recorded by audio recording, and been broadcasted using NASA software, which is somehow being broadcasted to my mind somehow, which is what I've came to the figuring out how my neighbors Kenny Watson & Gary Eagle Jr. have knowingly been heard having their purpose of being the ones doing so, the only reason of having the ability in doing so is due to Gary Eagle Jr's being employed at N (...)

Comment about this article, ask questions, or add new information about this topic:

NASA (National Air and Space Administration) forum