50 Years of NASA

This is a long forgetten post that got lost in the drafts section. Although I don’t intend to say what I originally wanted to say, I do want to point out that this year was the 50th anniversary of the creation of NASA.

Over the course of these 50 years a lot of things have happened… from walking in the Moon to driving RC cars in Mars, the Hubble telescope and the International Space Station.

But the history of space exploration also reflects the history on earth, from a race to space to an era of cooperation with an International Space Station. And now NASA has competition not only from Russia and Europe, but also China and India are investing heavily on their space programs. Last week even Australia announced they are planning on launching a national space agency. All this focus on Space exploration shows the importance it has for real life on earth…

However, although NASA certainly has earned the right to celebrate (despite the several unfortunate accidents that are always innevitable), I can only think of the ageing fleet of Space Shuttles. Built during the 1980s, only 3 remain (Discovery, Atlantis & Endeavour) but are scheduled to be retired in 2010, which is not that far away. They are planned to be succeded by the Orion Spacecraft, but with the current financial crisis and shrinking budgets, lets hope NASA can celebrate with as much pride in 25 years.