July 29, 2008

Fifty Years in Space

Fifty years ago today, The National Aeronautics and Space Administration was first introduced. A half century ago, the Soviets kicked American ass with the launch of Sputnik. Eight years and 356 days later, Apollo 11 landed on the moon.

That’s determination.

NASA formed on July 29th, 1958. It began operation on October 1st that same year and Pioneer 1 – the first launch from Cape Canaveral was on October 11th, 1958.

Forty-four days after its inception, NASA launched its first rocket into space – that’s less time that it takes to build the average house.

That’s focus.

Space exploration has not only been about the flashy. Payload Specialists have been studying, collecting, and analyzing our solar system for much more information than what we see in the press. Not to mention the research that has been conducted from here on Earth.

It's never easy to summarize these monumental advancements in short form but in the last 50 years; we have orbited planets, landed on the moon seven times, landed on mars once, launched an international space station, developed the Canadarm, and tragically lost lives in the Challenger and Columbia disasters.

In 50 years, the cost of space exploration is in the trillions. It has also cost many lives, enjoyed many victories, and resulted in seemingly countless advancements. There are those who say it’s a big waste of money, there are many of us who say we haven’t done enough.

There are more than 800 satellites currently orbiting Earth giving us the ability to send massages across the globe in an instant, watch sporting events in Hi-Def, and transfer sensitive information to each other through secured Internet transmission.

NASA and the millions of scientists, engineers, and technicians over the last half century have changed the world dramatically.

km

 
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