Portal:Government of the United States

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Introduction

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The federal government of the United States (U.S. federal government) is the national government of the United States, a constitutional republic in North America, composed of 50 states, one district, Washington, D.C. (the nation's capital), and several territories. The federal government is composed of three distinct branches: legislative, executive, and judicial, whose powers are vested by the U.S. Constitution in the Congress, the president, and the federal courts, respectively. The powers and duties of these branches are further defined by acts of Congress, including the creation of executive departments and courts inferior to the Supreme Court.

Selected article

NASA insignia
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is the executive branch agency responsible for the nation's civilian space program and aeronautics and aerospace research. Since February 2006, NASA's self-described mission statement is to "pioneer the future in space exploration, scientific discovery and aeronautics research." NASA was established by the National Aeronautics and Space Act on in July 1958, replacing its predecessor, the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA). NASA has led U.S. efforts for space exploration since, including the Apollo moon-landing missions, the Skylab space station, and later the Space Shuttle. Currently, NASA is supporting the International Space Station and has been developing the manned Orion spacecraft. NASA science is focused on better understanding Earth through the Earth Observing System, advancing heliophysics through the efforts of the Science Mission Directorate's Heliophysics Research Program, exploring bodies throughout the Solar System with advanced robotic missions such as New Horizons, and researching astrophysics topics, such as the Big Bang, through the Great Observatories and associated programs.

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LOC Main Reading Room Highsmith.jpg
The reading room of the Library of Congress
Photo credit: Carol M. Highsmith

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