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NASA Company Logo

Working At NASA

Zippia Score 4.4

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NASA Overview


Aerospace & Defense

Organization Type





Washington, DC



Founded in




Key People

Dwight Eisenhower (founder)

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About NASA

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is an independent agency of the United States Federal Government responsible for the civilian space program, as well as aeronautics and aerospace research. NASA was established in 1958, succeeding the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics.

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The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is an independent agency of the United States Federal Government responsible for the civilian space program, as well as aeronautics and aerospace research. NASA was established in 1958, succeeding the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics.

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What Is

NASA's Mission Statement

We reach for new heights and reveal the unknown for the benefit of humankind.

Is This Your Company?

Do You Work At NASA?

What is it like to work at NASA


May 21, 2019 on Zippia

What Do You Like About Working There?

It was cool going to space.. Show More

What DON'T You Like About Working There?

I did not like throwing up in space it was gros.. Show More

What Are Your Favorite Benefits/Perks?

The.. Show More

What was it like working with ex Nazis brought over in Operation Paperclip? Did you see how they were just human beings like everyone else?

Well there were virulent, Jew-hating National Socialists and there were German guys who joined the Nazi party because that was the only way they'd let them screw around with rockets.

I'm in the process of getting my Mechanical Engineering degree. What can I do in the future to get involved with NASA?

Apply to NASA Pathways while you're a student. There's information on

As someone who is about to graduate high school and wants to work for NASA (or a similar company) after college, do you have any tips/pointers to help me get a foothold in the industry or just tips in general? I plan on majoring in aerospace engineering at the University of Central Florida and possibly transferring to the University of Florida after a few years. Also, what was the atmosphere like in general while you worked as NASA? Did everyone seem to genuinely enjoy their job? How often did the work you were doing feel like something you were only doing because you got paid for it?

If you want to work for NASA, apply as a student intern. NASA loves hiring them. Go to and click the Pathways links at the bottom. There's one for current openings (so keep checking back), and the other has general information about the program.

What was the initial attraction that took you to NASA? Without their track record of going to space, how did they advertise positions?

Keep in mind when I joined up, NASA wasn't even in existence. Back then it was called "Long Range Proving Ground." I was working in Birmingham at the time, and I saw an ad in the paper for RCA jobs for a missile range in Florida. I read the article, and it said they were interviewing in a hotel here in Birmingham. So I called my wife and said I was going to apply later that day. I showed up, filled out an application, took a test. The rest is history.
May 27, 2015 on Reddit

What was your favorite project to work on?

One of the things that impressed me the most is how one program would dovetail into another. Everything had a purpose. And when that purpose was accomplished, to see it turn right into another was really neat. I really had fun. One time, we had an air breathing missile dropped from a plane out in the Atlantic. It had no destruct package on it. It was the only missile I could recall that had no destruct package. So we called in F86's in to follow the missile in case it went off course. They were to shoot it down. This was the only time I ever vectored a fighter plane. It was really exciting. It was one of those jobs where they said: "Here's what you have to do. Now go figure out a way to do it."

Mr. Cochran, how did the systems track the relative orientation of the craft? I understand that in aviation gyroscopes can be reset in extreme turns. I'm very interested in the on-board/ground control operation. Do you know how maneuvers are conducted? Is the vector continually corrected or intermittently corrected?

I really don't have knowledge on the avionics side. My background was in radar and wireless communications. That was my job for Range Safety. The closest I came to navigation at the cape was when I worked to adjust compasses for aircraft, but they were all magnetic.
May 27, 2015 on Reddit

What were your interoffice relationships like with your coworkers given the gravity of what you guys were trying to accomplish?

Relationships were very, very good. We had people that weren't so technically apt, not like we needed them to be, of course. We had one guy that used a hammer to put in a $1000 lamp into a system. Just an example. And that was frustrating, when people operated like a bull in a china shop.

I'm currently 17 years old and looking into becoming an astrophysicist and pursuing a career with the ESA or NASA. What advice could you give to someone like me in what classes to choose while in secondary school and how to be even more prepared for and after college?

(Grandson: He humbly laughs.) Study, study, study. And then study some more.

It is difficult to comprehend all of the variables involved in getting men to the moon. NASA must have been a chaotic beehive full of the most brilliant people. within that massive symphony of thought, there must have been people who disagree'd with major engineering decisions. Do you have any examples of engineers going against the grain?

I really wasn't exposed to that level, really. Keep in mind, I worked for RCA, so we were often told what to according to their guidelines and specs.
May 27, 2015 on Reddit

What do you think about the rocket company, SpaceX?

Seems like they are doing a great job, in my opinion. I don't read the paper much anymore. But I see it on TV and I think it is wonderful. I've been away long enough to not have much inside knowledge.
May 27, 2015 on Reddit

1) Did you work with Homer Hickman? What was he like? 2) What was it like to have to help the Apollo 13 mission? 3) Does NASA and/or you believe that one day we will make contact with alien races? Thanks so much for your time and service! :)

1. I'm sorry I don't know Homer Hickman. I know who he was, but never had any sort of interaction with him. 2. To me, it was successful because it got off the ground. That was my job. For NASA, it was a disaster. But for NASA to get those men back home, it became successful all over again. 3. I have no idea. (laughter.)

How was a normal working day?

Working day with no launch: My job was to ensure equipment was in good shape for the next launch. Very procedural. Working day with launch: Filled with checks and tests being done on a very rigid schedule. Everything had to be done at an exact time with certain checking being done and done successfully. They had to be done at the exact right time to fit in with the launch itself. There were times we couldn't test for things if the 'bird' wasn't in configuration for it. So we had very narrow windows to test for things. Otherwise, we'd set off bells and sirens across the area.

Did you find that the organisation changed in a positive or negative manner during your time working there? P.s. Do you have any contacts? I would like a Job.

I didn't know much about the politics since I wasn't that high up. But the attitudes among our fellow people I knew quite a lot. Many NASA employees didn't even know the full extent to what we were doing (in terms of missile launches, etc.) (Grandson note: He won't say more as he doesn't want to implicate. Sorry.)

How hard was it to get a job at NASA in the 50's compared to today?

I don't know much about today. But back in the 50's, it wasn't hard at all. I interviewed, took a short test and that was that. They sent me the whole package and a short time later, I was a contractor at RCA working for NASA. At that time, they were hiring just about anyone that showed interest and had any sort of aptitude at all. And as we grew, we had to do all the training.

What was it like waiting 3 days for your men to get to the moon? Any trouble sleeping? Where nerves high?

I wasn't too nervous really. My part was over after they were safely off the ground and into space. My nerves were high up until that point.

When took the job, did you think the moon landing was an actual possibility, or a crazy goal that you could only try to achieve?

When I took the job, I didn't even know a moon landing was on the table. We were just busy trying to keep the Russians at bay. It was strictly a defensive job at first. Initially it was a joint program for testing long range missiles for Army, Navy, Air Force together. In fact, before NASA, we were called the "Long Range Proving Ground". NASA came after all this.

Thanks for doing this ama! I have 2 questions: 1- What is the most memorable point of your career? 2- What was it like working for NASA during the space race?

People forget how much testing we did for things no one had tried before. During a Navy launch, the main stage the missile came up and started cartwheeling over our building. The second stage of the missile went up and landed just a couple thousands yards away from us. The funny thing was, the press was there and quite a lot of photographers were with us at the time. At T minus 5, we turned off the radar so it wouldn't interfere with the launch. Right as the rocket went haywire and flipped end over end a message came on the radio "Take cover!" The rocket hit the ground and rocked us. It was the nearest I ever came to being hit by a missle.

What was the atmosphere at NASA like during the moments before the moon landing? What was it like witnessing it and what were you thinking?

It was very intense. We really wondered if they were going to make it alive. It was extremely dangerous. It gave us all heart attacks. When the landing occurred, I was actually at home. We had made the launch so my duties and responsibility were over.

How was the culture there as the history of the space race went on? Could you sense a change of attitude as time wore on? How do you feel about the cutbacks towards NASA?

It started out intense and ended up more intense. The more people we put into space, the more challenging it become, safety-wise. As for the cutbacks, I feel that we should continue all the exploration that we can. I don't know that I would cut back on anything else over priority to this.

I've been a NASA civil servant for the last two and a half years, and I've had enough. I'm planning on starting to send out resumes this week. Did you feel like companies you were applying to were wowed that you had 'NASA' on your resume?

Congratulations on making the switch. Yes, definitely. It might vary depending on your field, but I would say the NASA background is a big bonus on your resume over a regular company or research organization.

How easy is it to start your own projects at NASA? If you came up with new ideas, were you given support? Or did you really have to stick to completing the jobs handed down from up top?

It was not easy to start my own projects. For example, at one point I created a new testing framework for our large software project that had literally zero tests. It was ignored by management because they didn't really understand what testing is or what the benefits were. During my time there I never wrote a proposal, but I heard from people who did that it was a horrible process. It was the norm to lie about your expected cost just to get it through approval, and you were expected to exaggerate benefits and de-exaggerate expected time.

Last question, how in the world did you manage to work for such high profile employers? I have friends who would cream at the opportunities you've had. Any advice.....

NASA was my first job. I started as a summer intern while an undergrad, and they thought I did a good job, so they kept me as an intern throughout undergrad. I didn't know if I would get the internship when I first applied to NASA, since I had zero job experience, but I applied anyway. I think my internship at Google was partially accepted because I had a beefed up resume with NASA experience. So my advice is just to apply to internships even if you don't think you won't get them, because employers are more open than you'd think.
July 16, 2010 on Reddit

How would you "fix" NASA?

I think one of the major problems (at least in the group I was working with) is that the people in charge really didn't know how to do the jobs of the people they were managing. This lead to decisions that didn't make sense, and unspoken frustration from the "underlings." For example, my manager was a physicist/meteorologist and that's really all he knew. He didn't know anything about programming. Yet, he was in charge of 10+ engineers whose main job was programming this piece of software. He would often try to make really uninformed decisions, such as which library we should be using, and because he was the manager there was no choice but to listen to him. In my opinion, the power should be in the hands of the people doing engineering, and the top-down management style should go.
July 16, 2010 on Reddit

What will you be doing next?

I am still young, so I was lucky enough to get a paid internship at Google in Mountain View, California. That's where I am right now.

NASA Employees

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NASA Careers

NASA Employees Education


San Jose State University


University of Houston


University of Central Florida


University of Phoenix


Texas A&M University


University of Maryland - College Park


University of Maryland - University College


University of Alabama at Huntsville


Cleveland State University


George Washington University


University of Texas at Austin


University of Alabama


New Mexico State University


Ohio State University


Florida Institute of Technology-Melbourne


Purdue University


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University of Arizona


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Old Dominion University

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How Would You Rate Working At NASA?

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NASA Employee Political Affiliation

Democratic Party


Republican Party






Employee Political Donations

Name Job Title Party Donation
Edward ReskeEngineer $22,650Republican Party
Vigdor TeplitzPhysicist $18,250Democratic Party
Murzy JhabvalaEngineer $17,950Democratic Party
Dale FinkPhysicist $17,150Democratic Party
Scott BridgeEngineer $14,532Republican Party
Ellen StofanChief Scientist $14,500Democratic Party
Laurence de QuayEngineer $12,868Democratic Party
Pamela SullivanEngineer $12,500Democratic Party
Wilton SandersScientist $10,814Democratic Party
Arsen SarkisianPresident $10,750Democratic Party
Todd LauderdaleAerospace Engineer $10,500Democratic Party
Laurence DequayEngineer $9,086Democratic Party
Griffin AndersonRetired $8,750Democratic Party
Caroline KilbournePhysicist $7,890Democratic Party
David BlakeScientist $7,500Democratic Party
John MatherSenior Technician Specialist $6,735Democratic Party
Richard GrindelandPhysiologist $6,468Democratic Party
Mary LuckeyGovernment Employee $5,192Democratic Party
Andre GoforthAerospace Engineer $5,008Democratic Party
Kenneth WagnerEngineer $5,000Democratic Party
Carl WagenfuehrerFinance Manager $4,900Democratic Party
Linda ShackelfordMedical Officer $4,729Republican Party
AKI RobergeScientist $4,600Democratic Party
John LabrecqueScientist $4,000Democratic Party
Michelle LewisNasa $3,540Republican Party
Ilker GureEngineer $3,500Republican Party
John Hall JrSenior Executive $3,400Democratic Party
Steven GreenEngineer $3,400Democratic Party
Linda JahnkeResearch Scientist $3,294Democratic Party
Dolores BeasleyCommunications $3,200Democratic Party
David HollenbachAstro $3,174Democratic Party
Steven EvansEngineer $3,120Republican Party
Steve EvansEngineer $3,100Republican Party
Joseph GurmanAstrophysicist $2,942Democratic Party
George PattisonExpert $2,835Democratic Party
Christine JhabvalaEngineer $2,827Democratic Party
Eric MalroyEngineer $2,715Republican Party
Sukie StanleyManager $2,700Democratic Party
Judith AltonScientist $2,700Democratic Party
Jason WillisEngineer $2,700Democratic Party
Laura IraciScientist $2,650Democratic Party
Thomas StaffordLieutenant $2,600Republican Party
Maureen Werft MuncyDirector $2,600Republican Party
Lowell WolfeResearcher $2,500Republican Party
John Stanford JrRetired $2,375Democratic Party
Michael RichmondEngineer $2,300Republican Party
Howard LawEngineer $2,250Democratic Party
JIM BilbroEngineer $2,250Democratic Party
Kathy JonesEngineer $2,210Democratic Party
Kenneth BlumenstockElectrical Engineer $2,205Republican Party
Curtis SmithProcurement $2,100Republican Party
Nick SarkisianExecutive $2,000Democratic Party
Brewster ShawVice President $2,000Democratic Party
Lawrence BaitlandEngineer $2,000Republican Party
Cynthia EvansScientist $1,950Democratic Party
Leonhard PfisterScientist $1,933Democratic Party
Catherine McLeodManager $1,900Democratic Party
Brienne ShkediEngineer $1,890Democratic Party
Edgar CanavanEngineer $1,875Democratic Party
Jenny KishiyamaEngineer $1,750Democratic Party
Gordon JohnstonEngineer $1,750Democratic Party
Udayan MallikEngineer $1,711Republican Party
Chris DobsonPhysicist $1,650Democratic Party
Eric StonekingEngineer $1,650Democratic Party
Sachidananda BabuEngineer $1,600Democratic Party
Thomas MooreScientist $1,583Democratic Party
Kathryn WursterAerospace Engineer $1,550Democratic Party
Paul MahaffyScientist $1,550Democratic Party
Lee FinkAttorney $1,550Democratic Party
Ruth AmundsenEngineer $1,535Democratic Party
Linda Dukes CampbellCommunication Chief $1,500Democratic Party
Randal VanvalkenburgPhysical Scientist $1,500Democratic Party
David KubalakEngineer $1,500Democratic Party
Serhat AltuncEngineer $1,500Democratic Party
Justin OliveiraAnalyst $1,450Republican Party
Mike EffingerProject Manager $1,420Republican Party
Cyprian EjiasaServant $1,375Democratic Party
Andrew RourkeProcurement Analyst $1,290Democratic Party
Kevin ZahnleScientist $1,250Democratic Party
Francis GreeneEngineer $1,250Democratic Party
Mary VantinoEngineer $1,250Democratic Party
Patrick HoganScientist $1,219Democratic Party
Catherine ColemanAstronaut $1,200Democratic Party
Troy ZiglerAuditor $1,191Republican Party
Daniel HelfrichEngineer $1,123Democratic Party
James FranklinRetired $1,112Democratic Party
Charles DennistonAerospace Engineer $1,110Republican Party
Gary GutkowskiEngineering Manager $1,100Republican Party
John BrasunasPhysicist $1,100Democratic Party
Minoru FreundDirector $1,100Democratic Party
Alexander ScherbichInformation Engineer $1,070Democratic Party
Richard DeloachResearch Scientist $1,050Republican Party
Lonny KauderEngineer $1,035Democratic Party
Aaron RobertsPhysicist $1,025Democratic Party
JON JenkinsEngineering Scientist $1,001Democratic Party
Richard BroderickEngineer $1,000Republican Party
Kevin MellettEngineer $1,000Democratic Party
David WoltSenior Vice President $1,000Democratic Party
Joseph KerwinAstronaut $1,000Republican Party
Charles Bolden JrAdministrator $1,000Democratic Party
Walter MaullSystems Engineer $1,000Republican Party
Nicky SarkisianExecutive $1,000Democratic Party
Linda JacksonExecutive $1,000Democratic Party
Eblan FarrisScientist $1,000Republican Party
Charles Cummings JrPhysician $1,000Republican Party
David McNallyEngineer $1,000Democratic Party
Mike ShellEngineer $1,000Republican Party
Kenneth FrameContractor $1,000Republican Party
David YasteSenior Engineering Technician $1,000Democratic Party
John ClaytonProgram Analyst $975Republican Party
Kurt McCallEngineer $950Republican Party
ANN FridlindScientist $950Democratic Party
Carol JacobsEngineer $925Democratic Party
Connie MiltonElectrical Engineer $905Democratic Party
Diane BrownEngineer $900Democratic Party
Timothy AdamsEngineer $900Republican Party
Leonard PfisterScientist $900Democratic Party
Compton TuckerScientist $900Democratic Party
Eileen GrindelandPhysiologist $875Democratic Party
TOD StrohmayerAstrophysicist $864Democratic Party
Manjula AmburInformation Technology Manager $850Democratic Party
Bruce StormsEngineer $850Democratic Party
Neil GehrelsAstrophysicist $850Democratic Party
Lisa MayEngineer $850Democratic Party
Justin BautistaServant $818Democratic Party
Scott ReaganPilot $800Republican Party
William FolknerTechnologist $800Democratic Party
Andrew OrourkeProcurement Analyst $800Democratic Party
Ricky BlackwelderEngineer $800Republican Party
Pamlea SullivanEngineer $800Democratic Party
Keith JahodaAstrophysicist $750Democratic Party
Michael SollyEngineer $750Democratic Party
Kenneth DudleyResearcher $750Democratic Party
Steve FrankelEngineer $750Democratic Party
Simon WordenCenter Director $750Republican Party
Susie PollardAerospace Engineer $730Republican Party
Harold GetzelmanEngineer $705Republican Party
Alex KisinEngineer $625Republican Party
Dale HulsSystems Engineer $600Republican Party
James FreesAttorney $550Republican Party
John WrbanekResearch Engineer $500Republican Party
Rose BobbyAssociate Chief Nurse $500Republican Party
Paul Stoner JrPhysician $500Republican Party
Paul FerkulScientist $500Republican Party
Manoj SinghElectrical Engineer $500Republican Party
Matt LaceyProject Manager $500Republican Party
R McAllisterEngineer $500Republican Party
Mark WhitakerFacilities Manager $500Republican Party
Darrell NewScientist $500Republican Party
Pamela ZeitlerTechnical Assistant $500Republican Party
Donald PryerMechanical Engineer $500Republican Party
Don PerkinsonContractor/Consultant $500Republican Party
Richard PappaEngineer $475Republican Party
Carol WiesemanEngineer $450Republican Party
Larry NEUEngineer $450Republican Party
John NoelEngineer $450Republican Party
Richard KurkowskiRetired $450Republican Party
Laura GroceHuman Resource Specialist $450Republican Party
Ronald WinklerBudget Analyst $405Republican Party
Susan RuncoCs $400Republican Party
Steve ElrodProgram Manager $400Republican Party
Donald CampbellDirector $370Republican Party
Margery RichRetired $360Republican Party
Gail BarnettEngineer $350Republican Party
Keith CornettEngineer $325Republican Party
Eric Dimpault DarcyEngineer $300Republican Party
Robin ClaytonProgram Analyst $300Republican Party
Susan WrbanekResearch Engineer $286Republican Party
Alan MatherServant $285Republican Party
Sandra TetleyFamily Preservation Officer $275Republican Party
Georgia PappaEngineer $275Republican Party
Jonathan PirkeyEmergency Management Director $250Republican Party
Joey KirkpatrickRocket Scientist $250Republican Party
Linda AdamsContract Management $250Republican Party
James SleddAerospace Engineer $250Republican Party
Arthur FlowersEngineer $250Republican Party
Gary RuffScientist $250Republican Party
Fabiola FrankSenior Project Engineer $250Republican Party
Shaun McWherterEngineer $250Republican Party
Richard RauchProject Manager $250Republican Party
Robert EasleyChief Of Staff $250Republican Party
Robert FudickarBusiness Development Director $250Republican Party
Stephen ChapmanComputer Scientist $250Republican Party
Beverly MerrileesRetired $250Republican Party
Adam MartinPhysicist $250Republican Party
John SadleirPhysicist $250Independent
John CreechBudget Manager $250Republican Party
Kevin EngelbertAerospace Engineer $250Republican Party
Carol WaddellEngineer $250Republican Party
Timothy VaughnEngineer $250Republican Party
Susan AndersonEducator $250Republican Party
Damon RiedElectronics Technician $250Republican Party
Barbara CherryRetired $250Republican Party
David FlowersEngineer $250Republican Party
B PonikEngineer $250Republican Party
Cynthia HavenEngineer $250Republican Party
John HaynesMeteorologist $250Republican Party
Lindley JohnsonCivil Service Worker $250Republican Party
Britton WaltersEngineer $250Republican Party
Cheryl AndrewsEngineer $250Republican Party
Richard MebsFederal Agent $250Republican Party
Michael VinjeEngineer $250Other
Maxwell HovatenEngineer $150Libertarian Party
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NASA Salaries

Business AnalystUpper Marlboro, MD $85,700
Call Center ManagerUpper Marlboro, MD $72,500
Client Support RepresentativeBowie, MD $62,500
Programmer AnalystUpper Marlboro, MD $57,500
Store ManagerSweeny, TX $55,328
Mortgage SpecialistBowie, MD $52,500
Mortgage SpecialistBowie, MD $52,500
Consumer Loan UnderwriterBowie, MD $47,500
Call Center ManagerBowie, MD $47,500
Quality Control SpecialistBowie, MD $47,500
Call Center ManagerUpper Marlboro, MD $47,500
Assistant Branch ManagerBowie, MD $45,000
Call Center AssociateBowie, MD $44,870
Correspondence Review ClerkBowie, MD $42,500
CorrespondentBowie, MD $42,500
Loan ProcessorBowie, MD $35,000
AssistantBowie, MD $35,000
SpecialistBowie, MD $30,000
Product Specialist/Sales SpecialistBowie, MD $30,000
Service AssociateBowie, MD $30,000
SpecialistBowie, MD $30,000
Customer Service AssociateLanham, MD $29,218
CollectorUpper Marlboro, MD $27,500
Inventory SpecialistBowie, MD $22,500

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NASA Employment Videos

Building a Career at NASA

NASA Careers

NASA Interns Arrive at Goddard - Summer 2017

NASA Student Recruitment Video

NASA Awards

Other Awards
  • Forbes: Best Workplaces

NASA Stock Performance

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    Performance Score
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NASA Competitors

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Frequently Asked Questions about NASA

When was NASA founded?

NASA was founded in 1958.

How many Employees does NASA have?

NASA has 17,219 employees.

How much money does NASA make?

NASA generates $5.5B in revenue.

What industry is NASA in?

NASA is in the aerospace & defense industry.

What is NASA's mission?

NASA's mission statement is "We reach for new heights and reveal the unknown for the benefit of humankind."

What type of company is NASA?

NASA is a government company.

Who are NASA's competitors?

NASA competitors include Boeing, Google, Tesla, Inc.,, Space Exploration Technologies, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Science Applications International ..., Raytheon, Siemens, Wipro, Los Alamos National Laboratory, BAE Systems, Unisys, EDS Electronic Financial Services Inc., Sandia National Laboratories, Battelle, United Space Alliance, National Institutes of Health, HP.

Who works at NASA?

Dwight Eisenhower (founder)

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You can find out what it is like to work at NASA, also known as NASA and NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

Zippia gives an in-depth look into the details of NASA, including salaries, political affiliations, employee data, and more, in order to inform job seekers about NASA. The employee data is based on information from people who have self-reported their past or current employments at NASA. While we have made attempts to ensure that the information displayed are correct, Zippia is not responsible for any errors or omissions, or for the results obtained from the use of this information. The data presented on this page does not represent the view of NASA and its employees or that of Zippia.