This day in 1958 the president of the United States, Dwight D. Eisenhower allows the official “birth” of National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). He said that this act will be a historical one because US will take the leadership in the space age. In other words, Eisenhower created NASA in response to the Soviet Union’s launch of the first artificial satellite the previous year.
After WWII, the US focused to bring the rocket science on a higher level. The new legislation basically has widened the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) into NASA. NASA research was founded with huge amounts of money thanks to Eisenhower and his successors: J.F. Kennedy and R. Nixon.
As you probably know, during that time NASA took the humankind on the Moon and back for several times. They expanded our vision and understanding regarded to space. Recently they even sent robots on Mars and launched spacecraft to view and analyse different planets (Pluto, Jupiter) or other celestial objects.
On the other hand, NASA also contributed to advances in consumer-oriented goods such as computer technology. In the next few rows you’ll find a couple of interesting facts about NASA that you probably didn’t know.
- Chevrolet “Astrovette”
During the 60s, NASA astronauts could buy a new Corvette each year, for only $1.
- Wind Tunnel
In 1965 NASA built a wind tunnel capable of reaching wind speed of up to Mach 50, which is 50 times faster than the speed of sound
- Moon rocks
A NASA intern, That Roberts was sentenced to prison for 7 years because he had sex with his girlfriend on a bed full of stolen moon rocks.
- Text or email from NASA
NASA will text or email you whenever the International Space Station passes overhead. Sign up here: https://spotthestation.nasa.gov/signup.cfm
- Trespassing on Mars
Three Yemen citizens sued NASA for trespassing on Mars. They claimed that they inherited the planet from their ancestors 3,000 years ago.
- The sound of Earth
NASA recorded the radio signature of Earth.
- You can be an astronaut
If you can travel higher than 50 miles from the Earth’s surface, NASA will recognize you as an astronaut
- Radio Station
NASA has its own radio station called “Third Rock Radio”
- We are rich
NASA estimated that the value of resources in the asteroid belt exceeds the amount of $100 billion for every person alive.
- Radio Telescope on Moon
NASA plans to build a radio telescope on the far side of the moon by 2030.