SCIENCE

From The Moon To Mars: NASA Celebrates Its 58th Birthday Today

  • Osvaldo Nunez , Design & Trend Contributor
  • Jul, 29, 2016, 06:17 PM
Tags : Mars, Moon, NASA
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Mars
(Photo : NASA)

70 years ago today, one of the biggest contributors to space exploration was created. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is celebrating its birthday today.

NASA was created in 1958 after Congress and President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed an act that would help "provide for research into the problems of flight within and outside the Earth's atmosphere, and for other purposes."

"The enactment of this legislation is a historic step," Eisenhower said. "I want to commend the Congress for the promptness with which it has created the organization."

NASA was also established as a means for the U.S. to compete with the Soviet Union in what would be called the "space race." Although the Soviet Union was the first to reach space when Sputnick successfully launched on Oct. 4, 1957, the U.S. would get a win when American astronauts reached the moon in the Apollo 11 mission on July 20, 1969.

The landing on the moon was one of President John F. Kennedy's goals for America.

"I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth," said Kennedy. "No single space project in this period will be more impressive to mankind, or more important for the long-range exploration of space."

Now in 2016, NASA has already completed feats such as landing a rover onto Planet Mars that is learning about the planet's history and capability of sustaining a human colony in the future. Recently, NASA's Curiosity rover found traces of manganese on the planet, an element that hints towards oxygen.  

In 2020, NASA will initiate missions that will search for other planets capable of sustaining life, but today, the space agency can celebrate about all of their past accomplishments. 

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