Centers

NASA Headquarters in Washington, DC provides overall guidance and direction to the agency, under the leadership of the Administrator, Jim Bridenstine. The four Mission Directorates are based at NASA Headquarters. However, much of the work performed by NASA is done elsewhere. Ten field centers and a variety of installations conduct the day-to-day work, in laboratories, on airfields, in wind tunnels and in control rooms.

The map below shows the locations for each center, which are spread across the country.

Source: NASA

The locations and brief description of capabilities of NASA’s centers and facilities are identified below:

Ames Research Center

Moffett Federal Airfield, California

  • Autonomy & Human/Machine Learning
  • High Performance & Quantum Computing
  • Small Spacecraft Systems
  • Unmanned Aerial Systems
  • Atmospheric Entry Systems
  • Sensor Technologies
  • Astrobiology & Space Biology
  • Air Traffic Management Tools

Armstrong Flight Research Center

Edwards Air Force Base, California

  • Spacecraft/Aircraft Loads, Instrumentation & Systems Integration
  • Thermal & Ground Testing
  • Thermal Analysis & Systems Development
  • Flight Testing of Unique Research Vehicles & Space Systems
  • Enable Low-cost Access on Commercial Suborbital Space Platforms
  • Global Atmospheric Research

Glenn Research Center including Plum Brook Station

Cleveland, Ohio and Sandusky, OH

  • Air-Breathing Propulsion
  • Electric Propulsion & Power Systems
  • Communications, Materials & Physical Sciences
  • Major Test Facilities including Aero-Propulsion Wind Tunnels & Engine Test Cells
  • R&D Labs including the World’s Largest Vacuum Facility

Goddard Space Flight Center including Wallops Flight Facility

Greenbelt, Maryland and Wallops Island, Virginia

  • Earth System Observation & Modeling
  • Instrument Development & Miniaturization
  • Distributed Sensing
  • Space Weather
  • Spacecraft Development & Integration
  • Robotic Acquisition, Servicing & Assembly
  • Space Communications
  • Launch Range Services

Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Pasadena, California

  • Remote Sensing Systems
  • Advanced Optics
  • Robotics & Autonomy
  • Communication & Navigation Systems
  • Avionics
  • Mission Design & Concurrent Engineering
  • Earth Science Research & Applications Development
  • Data Analytics

Johnson Space Center including White Sands Test Facility

Houston, Texas and Las Cruces, New Mexico

  • Human Spaceflight Design, Development, Systems Integration & Mission Operations
  • ISS Coordination & Access
  • Crew Training & Mission Planning
  • Life Support Systems
  • Space Suits
  • Human Health & Safety in Space
  • Orbital Debris
  • Facility Available for High-Pressure Oxygen Systems, Materials & Rocket Propellant Testing

Kennedy Space Center

Cape Canaveral, Florida

  • Launch & Landing Capabilities & Technologies
  • Available Land
  • Vehicle, Payload, Spacecraft & Small Satellite Processing
  • Integration & Testing
  • Plant Research & Production

Langley Research Center

Hampton, Virginia

  • On-Demand Mobility Technologies
  • Commercial Air Transport Technologies
  • Earth’s Atmospheric Composition
  • Lidar Remote Sensing Techniques
  • Entry, Descent & Landing Systems
  • Advanced Space Structures
  • Autonomous In-Space Assembly & Manufacturing

Marshall Space Flight Center including Michoud Assembly Facility 

Huntsville, Alabama and New Orleans, Louisiana

  • Chemical Propulsion Development, Testing & Technology
  • Habitat & Environmental Control
  • Life Support Systems Development, Testing & Technology
  • Facility Available for Large Scale Manufacturing & Equipment

Stennis Space Center

Bay St. Louis, Mississippi

  • Propulsion & Launch Systems Test & Technology
  • Test Operations & Engineering Consulting
  • Lease Opportunities for Commercial Space Activities
  • Small UAV & Lander Test Sites

Source: NASA

Updated October 2020 by Diane M. Long