Aeronautical research in the US began in 1915 with Congress establishing the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA). NACA developed 4 laboratory areas, one of which would become the Ames Research Center. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) was developed in 1958 with the NASA Ames Research Center as part of the research behind the scenes of the race to the moon in the late 1960s. For over 70 years, NASA has been the root of much of the innovation and development that has become part of the fabric of American life; including invisible ceramic braces for teeth, scratch resistant lens, ear thermometers and memory foam which is now part of the popular memory foam mattress.
For updates on the world of NASA, the best source is the NASA blog. The blog focuses on new developments, the people of NASA and new information in the world of science.