The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is an agency of the United States government, responsible for the nation's public space program. NASA was established on July 29, 1958, by the National Aeronautics and Space Act. NASA Headquarters is located in Washington, DC, with its most important launch facilities being in Houston, Texas and Cape Canaveral, Florida.
Incidents from NASA's history, c. 1970, were written up in fictional format by Michelle Gordian in the 1980s. Gordian time traveled to the early 1950s and published the "imaginative" story then, to put important ideas in the minds of an unsuspecting public.
NASA sent the Viking space probe to Minerva, uncovering evidence of intelligent life on that planet, and some years later sent the manned space shuttle Athena on a mission to make contact with the species.
To give itself an advantage when it and the Soviet Union sent manned missions to Minerva, NASA officially gave incorrect coordinates for the Viking's landing, and sent the correct coordinates in an encoded message to Athena shortly before the shuttle landed.