The Civil Space Mission Area makes critical contributions to the missions of its major sponsor, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), to meet the challenges of space science. We conduct research and space exploration, and we develop and apply space science, engineering, and technology, including the production of one-of-a-kind spacecraft, instruments, and subsystems. We focus primarily on the science discipline of space physics and planetary science. Through our programs, we're acquiring new knowledge as a result of scientific research and exploration, developing practical applications of new knowledge for societal benefits, and creating new paradigms for space mission implementation.
Our purpose is to advance the knowledge and use of space for the benefit of humankind and to support national objectives. We provide leadership in developing innovative, cost-effective, end-to-end space missions. APL has designed, developed, and launched 64 spacecraft and over 150 space instruments. We're developing new space concepts, technology, and implementation strategies while also helping to heighten interest in science and engineering careers through space educational programs.