On this day in 1958, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration opened for space exploration. Signed into law in July 1958 by President Dwight Eisenhower, as the National Aeronautics and Space Act, establishing NASA. NASA absorbed its 46-year-old predecessor NACA ( National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics) intact, taking its 8,000 employees, its annual budget of $100 million, and three major research laboratories. A NASA seal was approved by President Eisenhower in 1959. Since that day, NASA’s contributions to the United States and humanity in general have been vast-we have walked on the moon, sent probes out beyond the heliosphere, peered 13-16 billion light years out to the edge of the universe. Any one of these accomplishments would have been significant on their own merits-the fact that a single agency has overseen such a staggering array of projects is simply amazing. Happy Birthday, NASA!
NASA logos courtesy NASA.