Space & Astronomy
NASA is celebrating its 60th anniversary
By T.K. Randall
July 29, 2018 · 1 comment
One small step for man. Image Credit: NASA
Today marks exactly six decades since the National Aeronautics and Space Administration was established.
The creation of NASA in 1958 was primarily driven by Russia's successful launch of the world's first artificial satellite, Sputnik, aboard an intercontinental ballistic missile.
The agency's goal was to establish the United States as a world leader in peaceful space exploration.
"How many benefits there were to space," said Eilene Galloway, a senior national security consultant to Lyndon Johnson. "Especially communications, meteorology, and navigation. We could not do all those things under the law in the Department of Defense. We had to set up a civilian agency."
NASA went on to become a huge success, accomplishing not only its scientific objectives but also the seemingly impossible goal of landing the first human on another world in 1969.
In later years it developed and flew the world's first fleet of reusable manned space vehicles - the space shuttles - while sending robotic probes to explore the distant planets of our solar system.
Today, its goals remain as lofty as ever, with a manned mission to Mars set firmly in its sights.
By the time NASA celebrates it's 100th anniversary, we could very well be a multi-planetary species.
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