The organization is composed of four mission directorates: Aeronautics Research, for the development of advanced aviation technologies; Science, dealing with programs for understanding the origin, structure, and evolution of the universe, the solar system, and Earth; Space Technology, for the development of space science and exploration technologies; and Human Exploration and Operations, concerning the management of crewed space missions, including those to the International Space Station, as well as operations related to launch services, space transportation, and space communications for both crewed and robotic exploration programs. A number of additional research centres are affiliated, including the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland; the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California; the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas; and the Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia. Headquarters of NASA are in Washington, D.C.
NASA was also responsible for the development and launching of a number of satellites with Earth applications, such as Landsat, a series of satellites designed to collect information on natural resources and other Earth features; communications satellites; and weather satellites. It also planned and developed the space shuttle, a reusable vehicle capable of carrying out missions that could not be conducted with conventionalspacecraft.
As part of the Artemis space program, launched in 2017, NASA aims to return humans to the Moon by 2025, with the goal of establishing a sustainable presence there and on other planets. The program also seeks to land the first woman and first person of colour on the Moon, and that woman may be Jessica Meir.