Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Happy 50th Birthday NASA

Hubble wishes NASA a happy birthday

Today I learned that yesterday was the 50th anniversary of NASA's founding, though they'll celebrate again later in the year with much more fanfare. On July 29, 1958, President Eisenhower signed the bill creating NASA into law; NASA formally came into being on October 1, 1958. In less than 11 years, NASA sent the first humans to the moon. In 50 years, NASA has sent probes to every planet in the solar system, launched multiple space telescopes, built two space stations, and much, much more.

When you think about it, our attitude toward space has changed drastically in that short span. In 1958, people argued over if humans could survive in space, or if it were even possible to send rockets to the moon. These days, we argue about whether to send humans to Mars, but the argument is over the cost, not over whether it is possible. Things we take for granted, like satellite communication and navigation, were only dreamed of (if even that!) 50 short years ago. How times have changed!

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