NASA’s 60th anniversary: Space agency celebrates incredible achievements, honors sacrifices


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NASA is celebrating its 60th anniversary Monday, honoring the unimaginable achievements and sacrifices made by the women and men concerned in America’s house program.

“For six a long time, NASA has led the peaceable exploration of house, making discoveries about our planet, our photo voltaic system, and our universe,” explains the house company on its web site. “As we rejoice NASA’s first 60 years of feat, we honor the sacrifice that got here with it: the tragic lack of lives together with aviation pilots and the crewmembers of Apollo 1, Challenger, and Columbia.”

Astronauts Gus Grissom, Edward White II and Roger Chaffee had been killed within the tragic Apollo 1 fireplace on Jan. 27, 1967. Seven crewmembers, together with faculty instructor Christa McAuliffe, misplaced their lives when the Challenger House Shuttle exploded simply 73 seconds after launch on Jan. 28, 1986. The seven-person crew of the Columbia died when the house shuttle broke up throughout reentry on Feb. 1, 2003.


From placing Individuals on the Moon to its Mars exploration missions and hunts for brand spanking new planets, NASA continues to grip the general public’s creativeness. In August, for instance, the company’s Parker Photo voltaic Probe blasted off from Cape Canaveral Air Drive station on a historic mission to the Solar. The $1.5 billion mission will take humanity nearer to the Solar than ever earlier than. Parker would be the first spacecraft to fly via the Solar’s corona, the outermost a part of the star’s ambiance. It’s anticipated to succeed in the Solar in November.

Mars additionally looms ever bigger in NASA’s future. The company’s purpose is to ship a manned mission to the Pink Planet within the 2030s.

Moreover, the Trump administration has cited Moon missions a key aspect of the 2019 NASA price range. President Donald Trump needs U.S. astronauts to return to the Moon as a basis for future Mars missions.


In December, Trump signed a coverage directive instructing NASA to “refocus America’s house program on human exploration and discovery.” The transfer, Trump mentioned, “marks an vital step in returning American astronauts to the Moon for the primary time since 1972 for long-time exploration.”

The final time a human set foot on the Moon was through the Apollo 17 mission in December 1972. Solely 12 males, all Individuals, have set foot on the Moon.

NASA can also be highlighting its contribution to U.S. business and scientific analysis throughout its 60th anniversary. “At house, NASA analysis has made nice advances in aviation, helped to develop a business house business, enrich our financial system, create jobs, and strengthen nationwide safety,” it mentioned, on its web site. “Exterior the USA, our worldwide partnerships shine as examples of diplomacy. House exploration has introduced collectively individuals of numerous backgrounds working for the nice of all humankind.”

Fox Information Madeleine Rivera and The Related Press contributed to this text.

Observe James Rogers on Twitter @jamesjrogers

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