When you think NASA, you think of space, rockets, and maybe budget overruns. But NASA stands for more than just Space. That first A in the acronym is often ignored, but NASA devotes a considerable amount of time and money into the Aeronautics of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. They do plenty of work within the Earth's atmosphere, including sending up scientific balloons into the atmosphere. Balloons are easier to launch than satellites, and can gather valuable scientific data in relatively short spans of time.