NASA Completes 60 Years of Space Research

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The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) marked the 60th anniversary of its establishment as a United States government agency on October 1. For 60 years, the space agency has led calm and great exploration of space.

This helped the mankind to discover more about our planet, our solar system, and our universe. At home, NASA research has made great advances in aviation, it has helped to develop a commercial space industry, enhance the economy and create jobs.

The agency has conducted nine manned missions and is planning for a human return to the Moon, followed by missions to Mars and beyond. Recently in August, NASA sent a probe named Parker Solar Probe to the Sun. The historic small car-sized probe will journey steadily closer to the Sun until it makes its closest approach at 3.8 million miles.

The National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) came into being, much like its successor organization, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), in response to the success of others. The NASA officially opened for business for the first time on October 1, 1958. It was created by then President Dwight D Eisenhower to lead America’s civilian space programme in response to the then USSR’s advances in space exploration.

In just 10 days after opening its doors, NASA launched its first spacecraft – Pioneer 1. Although it did not achieve its intended mission to orbit the Moon due to a rocket malfunction, Pioneer 1 did reach a record altitude of about 70,000 miles, highest till then. The probe returned scientific data confirming the existence of the Van Allen radiation belts until it burned up on re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere 43 hours after launch.

In August, The agency also remembered the sacrifices laid down by astronauts during space research. “The tragic loss of lives including aviation pilots and the crew members of Apollo 1, Challenger, and Columbia (which included Indian- born astronaut Kalpana Chawla)…”. Sacrifice has also come in the countless hours dedicated by the NASA personnel – on the ground and in space – (that they) have spent away from families to plan and execute missions.

“We will go back to the Moon to learn more about what it will take to support human exploration to Mars and beyond… We will continue to try to answer the question: “Are we alone?” NASA said.