Witty World

Friday, July 29, 2011


The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) succeeded the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) as the U.S. government agency most responsible for advancing flight-related technology. Established on October 1, 1958, with the passage of the National Aeronautics and Space Act, signed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower on July 29, 1958, NASA added the development of space technology to the NACA's aeronautics mission.
The most significant NASA achievement during its early years involved the human exploration of the Moon. Project Apollo became a NASA priority on May 25 1961, when President John F. Kennedy announced, "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 Earth." Kennedy used Apollo as a high-profile effort for the United States to demonstrate its scientific and technological superiority over the Soviet Union, its cold war adversary.
In October 1968, the first successful Apollo mission, Apollo 7, orbited Earth and tested the redesigned Apollo command module. Apollo 8 was the first satellite to orbit the Moon. But it was Neil Armstrong's step onto the Moon's surface on July 20, 1969, that fulfilled President Kennedy's challenge. Armstrong's words: "That's one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind" are imprinted on the memories of most Americans who were alive at the time. After taking soil samples, photographs, planting the American flag, and leaving behind a plaque marking their visit, Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin rendezvoused with their colleague Michael Collins in lunar orbit for a safe return to Earth.



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