The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is an agency of the United States federal government responsible for the administration of the nation's space program.
Faced with budget cuts and the loss of military shuttle payloads to the United States Air Force (USAF) in the late 1990's, NASA became relegated to deep space probes and scientific exploration. The NASA "Galileo" space station was finally abandoned in 2004. This appeared to spell the end for NASA as a serious space pioneer.
The successful commissioning of NASA's deep space-capable Explorer class manned vehicle (based on the Proteus nuclear propulsion system) quickly opened the highway to the outer solar system. The now historic Colombus Mars mission placed NASA, and its familiar technology partner, JAB, firmly into the lead in planetary colonization. This first mission successfully landed sixty-three people on Mars with sufficient equipment to construct a small permanent base. Subsequently, NASA has initiated regular Mars flights which leave Earth approximately every fourteen months (this will be shortened to a year very soon).
NASA now provides the majority of the personnel and equipment transport to Mars, including renting payload space (at exorbitant rates) to the somewhat embarrassed ESA/Soviet colony. NASA has also begun using its stable position on Mars as a base for further exploration of the outer Solar System and the Belt. NASA has a manned research station and four mining facilities already in operation in the Belt and several more are planned in the next year.
By 2020, NASA held a basic patent for orbital energy transmissions with the American Telephone and Telegraph (AT&T) company. Both of which, being controlled by the federal government, allowed for government provisions of energy and energy brokerage.
In the summer of 2020, NASA launched the crewed Pathfinder mission to the moons of Jupiter. Pathfinder was expected to reach Jupiter by 2025, but contact with the mission was lost in 2023 when Cape Canaveral and NASA's mission control center were bombed during the Fourth Corporate War. Militech attempted to reestablish contact with Pathfinder in 2026 after the war's end, but failed, and as of 2077, Pathfinder's fate remained a mystery.
- PONDSMITH, M. Deep Space. 1st ed. Berkeley CA; R. Talsorian Games, 1993 (pg.8-9)
- Home of the Brave p.54: "The basic patents for orbital energy transmission are held jointly by NASA and AT&T. Coupled with the large scale control of energy brokerage, this allows a decent income that is invisible to the consumer. Instead of taxing the service, the government provides the service. This cuts out the middlemen and turns a profit. The government also controls a great deal of land. It uses some of the land, but leases some to other interests as well. It does this not only on Earth, but also on various off-planet facilities."
- Pathfinder: Half a Century of Silence
MACDONALD, M. Home of the Brave. 1st ed. Berkeley CA: R. Talsorian Games. 1992