Portal:Government of the United States

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Obverse of the Great Seal of the United States
United States Congressional Seal
The Seal Of The President Of The United States
Seal of the United States Supreme Court

The federal government of the United States is the central United States governmental body, established by the United States Constitution. The federal government has three branches: the legislative, executive, and judicial. Through a system of separation of powers and the system of "checks and balances," each of these branches has some authority to act on its own, some authority to regulate the other two branches, and has some of its own authority, in turn, regulated by the other branches, the policies of the federal government have a broad impact on both the domestic and foreign affairs of the United States. In addition, the powers of the federal government as a whole are limited by the Constitution, which, per the Tenth Amendment, reserves all power not directed to the National government, to the individual states, respectively, or "to the people", the seat of the federal government is in the federal district of Washington, D.C.

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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
reading room of the Library of Congress
Photo credit: Carol M. Highsmith

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Rodney King, victim of the police brutality that sparked the 1990 Los Angeles riots

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