NASA Turns 60

On Monday, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) turned 60 years old, having opened on October 1st, 1958, less than three months after Congress passed and President Eisenhower signed the National Aeronautics and Space Act.

This week, to mark the occasion, the agency devoted a portion of its website to a series of articles and videos marking the anniversary, also releasing a (currently 7-episode-long) “season” of videos marking key NASA accomplishments over the past 60 years and a video message from NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine, who praised NASA employees for their contributions.

“NASA and its workforce have never failed to raise the bar of human potential or to blaze a trail into the future,” Bridenstine said. “We are still doing it.”

Bridenstine added, “We celebrate our legacy today with great promise and a strong direction from the president to return to the moon, and go on to Mars.”

Within a week of its establishment, NASA had launched its first satellite, the Pioneer 1, a device that had originated in the U.S. Army. The next year, the agency announced its first class of astronauts, spending the next decade focused on successfully putting a man on the moon, a feat it accomplished just ten years later, on July 20th, 1969.

“America will continue to lead in space…and we will inspire the next generation to build on our legacy,” Bridenstine concludes.

Today, the agency’s 17,000-plus employees continue to innovate, with this year marking the roll-out of the first commercial crew missions carried out in conjunction with entities such as Boeing and SpaceX, and increased talk in recent years of carrying out (potentially manned) missions to Mars.

Earlier this year on FEDtalk, several of the current cutting-edge projects being worked on both by NASA and other private entities within the spaceflight industry, were discussed in greater detail.

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