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Happy 50th birthday NASA


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In response to the October 1957 launch of Sputnik and other satellites, NASA was formed.

"After Congressional hearings during spring 1958, Congress passed the legislation and President Eisenhower signed the National Aeronautics and Space Act into law on July 29, 1958."

The NASA Act included the following objectives:

  1. The expansion of human knowledge of phenomena in the atmosphere and space;
  2. The improvement of the usefulness, performance, speed, safety, and efficiency of aeronautical and space vehicles;
  3. The development and operation of vehicles capable of carrying instruments, equipment, supplies, and living organisms through space;
  4. The establishment of long-range studies of the potential benefits to be gained from, the opportunities for, and the problems involved in the utilization of aeronautical and space activities for peaceful and scientific purposes;
  5. The preservation of the role of the United States as a leader in aeronautical and space science and technology and in the application thereof to the conduct of peaceful activities within and outside the atmosphere;
  6. The making available to agencies directly concerned with national defense of discoveries that have military value or significance, and the furnishing by such agencies, to the civilian agency established to direct and control nonmilitary aeronautical and space activities, of information as to discoveries which have value or significance to that agency;
  7. Cooperation by the United States with other nations and groups of nations in work done pursuant to this Act and in the peaceful application of the results thereof;
  8. The most effective utilization of the scientific and engineering resources of the United States, with close cooperation among all interested agencies of the United States in order to avoid unnecessary duplication of effort, facilities and equipment


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Personally I think NASA has been a total flop since 1972 when Apollo 17 officially ended the man space program except for going in circles.

Nasa themselves were advocates for the shuttle program as a way to more cost effectively open up space. Only the Shuttle didn't decrease the costs it increased the costs by an order of magnatude.

I personally would love to see the Exploration of Mars and our progression into space as a race; but I'm not hopeful. We just don't seem to have the visionary statesmen required to latch onto that possibility.

Say what you like about Wernher von Braun dark past, the fact is he was capable of capturing the imagination of our nation and motivating us into space. When we lost him in 1977 at the age of 65, NASA lost it's greatest visionary.

Someone they have not replaced yet.

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