Learning from NASA’s Pioneering Past and Looking to its Future

U.S. President John. F. Kennedy spoke at Rice Stadium in Houston, Texas on September 12, 1962, detailing the technological challenges ahead for putting a human on the Moon. (Credit: NASA)

This is part two in a technology series celebrating NASA’s 60th anniversary, featuring excerpts from past and present agency leaders. Read part one a look back on technologies that enabled early space exploration.

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — NASA was only a few years old when U.S. President John F. Kennedy spoke at Rice University’s stadium in Houston on Sept. 12, 1962, underscoring the technological hurdles of placing a human on the Moon and assuring safe passage of that person back to Earth.

America’s space effort, while still in its infancy, was already paying dividends in new jobs, new companies and sharpening the skills of the nation’s technological workforce, Kennedy noted. Still, the challenge ahead was daunting.

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NASA Celebrates 60th Birthday

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — From 2018 through 2022, NASA is marking a series of important milestones – the 60th anniversary of the agency’s founding by Congress in 1958, and the 50th anniversary of the Apollo missions that put a dozen Americans on the Moon between July 1969 and December 1972.

Celebrations already are under way. Some are complete, some are scheduled in the coming months, and some are still being planned.

July 29 will mark 60 years since President Dwight D. Eisenhower established NASA as a U.S. government agency by signing Public Law 58-568, the National Aeronautics and Space Act. The act consolidated several federal and military research organizations, including the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, under one agency.

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Is Trump the New JFK of Space?

Yeah, I don’t think so….

OK, let me clarify that. I’ve seen no real signs so far that Trump wants to do anything really bold in space. That could change; never say never. But, it’s been five months, and he hasn’t even gotten around to nominating a NASA administrator yet. His FY 2018 budget proposal doesn’t include anything novel.

“Mr. Trump’s charisma, vision, and style are reminiscent of JFK…”

Mmmmm…..no. Definitely not.

Here’s a challenge for you guys for the comments sections: JFK’s greatest and most inspiring quotes side-by-side with Trump’s worst quotes and Tweets. Don’t limit yourself to space.

Read the full op-ed piece.

PBS and American Experience Announce Chasing the Moon Documentary

Apollo 11 astronauts trained on Earth to take individual photographs in succession in order to create a series of frames that could be assembled into panoramic images. This frame from Aldrin’s panorama of the Apollo 11 landing site is the only good picture of mission commander Neil Armstrong on the lunar surface. (Credit: NASA)

BOSTON (PBS PR) — American Experience today announced Chasing the Moon, a four-hour documentary series about the space race, from its earliest beginnings to the monumental achievement of the first lunar landing in 1969 and beyond. Premiering on PBS in 2019 during the 50th anniversary year of the Apollo 11 moon landing, the series is executive produced by Mark Samels and produced and directed by Robert Stone. Chasing the Moon is Stone’s eighth project for American Experience. Distribution outside the U.S. will be handled by PBS International. Ballantine Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House, will publish the book Chasing the Moon, by Stone and writer/researcher Alan Andres, to coincide with the PBS premiere. The book will include and expand on the stories shared in the documentary.
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Ted Cruz Invokes JFK on Assuming Senate Space Subcommitee Chairmanship

Sen. Ted Cruz
Sen. Ted Cruz

WASHINGTON, DC (Ted Cruz PR) — U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, in anticipation of his recently-announced chairmanship of the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Science, Space, and Competitiveness, today released the following statement:

“In 1961, President John F. Kennedy laid down a marker for space exploration that inspired a generation of Americans to reach for the stars, recognizing that the race to the heavens was nothing less than a crucial front in the battle between freedom and tyranny.

“More than 50 years later, we have lost sight of that clarion call. Russia’s status as the current gatekeeper of the International Space Station could threaten our capability to explore and learn, stunting our capacity to reach new heights and share innovations with free people everywhere. The United States should work alongside our international partners, but not be dependent on them. We should once again lead the way for the world in space exploration.

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JFK Library to Recreate Thrill of Apollo 11 Landing

The crew of Apollo 11
The crew of Apollo 11

PRESS RELEASE

The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum today announced an interactive new website to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the first moon landing and President Kennedy’s grand vision that made that achievement possible.

WeChooseTheMoon.org will go live at 9:32 a.m. on July 16th, 2009 – exactly 40 years to the minute after the historic launch. The site, powered by AOL, will recreate Apollo 11’s lunar mission, minute by minute, with an interactive experience that lets visitors experience the mission as it happened, using archival audio, video, photos and “real time” transmissions.

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