June 27, 2019

Astro-Vid Of the Week: Happy 55th, NASA!

Astronaut Chris Cassidy snaps a pic during a recent spacewalk. (Credit: NASA).

‘Tis both the best of times & the worst of times for our noble national space agency. On this day way back in 1958, the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) became known as the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, or NASA. Over the past 55 years, NASA’s list of achievements have included landing men on the Moon, placing a permanent human presence in low Earth orbit, and sending probes to explore every planet from Mercury to Neptune. NASA is also a wonderful public resource, a reference for students of space to mine for a wealth of information about our universe. As a science-writer, I find myself searching NASA daily as a rich resource, all in the public domain.

We thought it would be interesting to take a look back at the message from the very 1st administrator Thomas Keith Glennan on the eve of NASA’s founding:

The sad irony is, this 55th anniversary sees NASA largely shuttered on the first day of a government shutdown. It’s a shame, as NASA has consistently provided a huge bang for the American tax-payers’ buck. And all that money that goes into space exploration gets spent right back here, on good ole Earth. And although the government may have come to a grinding halt, the universe presses on. Our rovers continue to explore Mars and may get their first looks at Comet C/2012 S1 ISON today. Juno is slated to swing-by the Earth next week, headed towards Jupiter. And New Horizons is bound for Pluto in 2015.

You ain’t seen nothing yet… be sure to wish NASA a Happy Birthday today, and here’s to many more!

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  1. [...] is an odd scenario for the space agency, which also celebrated its 55th birthday on Oct. 1. Of course, its robotic pioneers continue to explore the solar system. New Horizons [...]

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