Fact Check

NASA Was Created Before the US?

"Flat Earthers" — i.e. conspiracy theorists who are convinced the earth is flat, not a sphere — circulated the rumor.

Published Dec 15, 2023

Image Via Screengrab/X
NASA was established before the U.S.

Was NASA established before the nation that oversees it? The claim circulated via a November 2023 post on X (archived here) that presented the argument to support the baseless conspiracy theory that the earth is a flat disk, not a sphere.

With an alleged creation date before the U.S., under the pretense of the post, NASA was able to "keep the flat earth hidden from the public." At the time of this publication, the post had received nearly 12,000 views:

The post provided no evidence to support its claim that NASA was older than the U.S. In reality, the Declaration of Independence was adopted on July 4, 1776 — that is, when American colonists announced their intentions to create a nation independent from their former British rulers — nearly two centuries before the designation of NASA in 1958. Considering that timeline, we rated this claim "False."

Signed by the Continental Congress during the American Revolution, which began in 1775, the Declaration of Independence signaled to the world American colonists' goal of declaring themselves an independent nation. Then, when the war officially ended with the signing of the Treaty of Paris on Sept. 3, 1783, U.S. independence was secured.

NASA, on the other hand, officially began operations on Oct. 1, 1958, after former President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the National Aeronautics and Space Act earlier that year.

Before NASA, an organization called the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) lead the country's aeronautics research. It was founded in 1915, and all of its assets — including projects, research laboratories, and test facilities — were absorbed by NASA with its creation in 1958.

Such claims attempting to convince people of fictional stories about aerospace or history are part of the unproven, conspiratorial "Flat earth" movement. The Library of Congress has called it a “pseudoscientific theory.”

Snopes has debunked other flat-earth claims here.


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“Declaration of Independence: A Transcription.” National Archives, 1 Nov. 2015, https://www.archives.gov/founding-docs/declaration-transcript.

“Https://Twitter.Com/i/Birdwatch/t/1729454710485143941.” X (Formerly Twitter), https://twitter.com/i/birdwatch/t/1729454710485143941. Accessed 10 Dec. 2023.

“Https://Web.Archive.Org/Web/20231210213137/Https://Twitter.Com/ExploreCosmos_/Status/1729454710485143941.” X (Formerly Twitter), https://web.archive.org/web/20231210213137/https://twitter.com/ExploreCosmos_/status/1729454710485143941. Accessed 10 Dec. 2023.

“Https://Www.Nasa.Gov/Wp-Content/Uploads/Static/60counting/NASA: 60 Years & Counting - Beginnings.” Https://Www.Nasa.Gov/Wp-Content/Uploads/Static/60counting/NASA, https://www.nasa.gov/specials/60counting/begin.html. Accessed 10 Dec. 2023.

Milestones: 1776–1783 - Office of the Historian. https://history.state.gov/milestones/1776-1783/declaration#:~:text=By%20issuing%20the%20Declaration%20of,political%20connections%20to%20Great%20Britain. Accessed 10 Dec. 2023.

“Revolutionary War: Groping Toward Peace, 1781-1783 | The American Revolution, 1763 - 1783 | U.S. History Primary Source Timeline | Classroom Materials at the Library of Congress | Library of Congress.” Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. 20540 USA, https://www.loc.gov/classroom-materials/united-states-history-primary-source-timeline/american-revolution-1763-1783/revolutionary-war-groping-toward-peace-1781-1783/. Accessed 10 Dec. 2023.

“The American Revolution, 1763 - 1783 | U.S. History Primary Source Timeline | Classroom Materials at the Library of Congress | Library of Congress.” Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. 20540 USA, https://www.loc.gov/classroom-materials/united-states-history-primary-source-timeline/american-revolution-1763-1783/. Accessed 10 Dec. 2023.

“The Declaration of Independence.” National Archives, 30 Oct. 2015, https://www.archives.gov/founding-docs/declaration.

The Flat Earth Society. https://theflatearthsociety.org/home/. Accessed 10 Dec. 2023.

Treaty of Paris: Primary Documents of American History (Virtual Programs & Services, Library of Congress). https://www.loc.gov/rr/program//bib/ourdocs/paris.html#:~:text=The%20American%20negotiators%20were%20joined,signed%20until%20September%203%2C%201783. Accessed 10 Dec. 2023.

Madison Dapcevich is a freelance contributor for Snopes.