The Virginia Space Grant Consortium (VSGC) is a coalition of five Virginia colleges and universities, NASA LaRC, state educational agencies, Virginia’s Center for Innovative Technology and other institutions representing diverse aerospace interests. VGSC acts as an umbrella organization, coordinating and developing aerospace-related and high technology educational and research efforts throughout the Commonwealth, and connecting Virginia’s effort to a national community of shared aerospace interests. In 1987, a joint congressional study panel met to address a number of issues facing the aerospace industry and the Nation, among them a looming shortage of workers prepared for a high tech workforce and a decline in scholastic achievement, especially in the disciplines of math and science. Congress was also concerned with building research infrastructure at our Nation’s institutions of higher education. Congress passed legislation in 1988 which established the National Space Grant College and Fellowship Program. The Virginia Space Grant Consortium received its designation from NASA in 1989.
The next time you get on a plane or watch a U.S. space launch, picture in your mind coastal Virginia and the city of Hampton, near the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay. It's the home of NASA's Langley Research Center, 800 acres of cutting edge aerospace technology. Langley continues to forge new frontiers in aviation and space research as it has since 1917, when it was established as the nation's first civilian aeronautics laboratory. Langley's mission and contributions to aerospace, atmospheric sciences and technology commercialization are improving the way the world lives. More than half of NASA Langley's research is in aeronautics. Many of the facility's 3,300 civil service and contract employees focus on improving today's military and civilian aircraft, while designing tomorrow's jets. Not only does Langley develop Airframe Systems, scientists also examine the layers of air planes and spacecraft fly through in Atmospheric Sciences. Researchers have expanded their studies into other atmospheres, the kind spacecraft will find on distant planets. Next generation spaceships will be able to survive unforgiving extraterrestrial environments, because of work done at Langley in NASA's Center of Excellence for Structures and Materials and in wind tunnels and test facilities. Langley leads NASA initiatives in aviation safety, quiet aircraft technology, small aircraft transportation and aerospace vehicles system technology. It supports NASA space programs with atmospheric research and technology testing and development. Its research has a significant impact on the global economy, making the skies safer, quieter and more efficient.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is the central civilian agency that directs the United States space program. NASA began its operation on October 1, 1958, as a result of the National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958. Although NASA activities are integrated with other scientific and technological efforts, the Agency is an independent organization with the primary mission of the peaceful exploration of space for the benefit of all humankind.