Images credit: NASA.
The National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) began its life on March 3, 1915. Its logo; a circular seal depicting the Wright Brothers fist flight at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. Eventually that evolved into the familiar yellow wings and crest with NACA across it. The NACA served the United States well through the end of World War 1 through the late 1950s but it was beginning to be clear that the sky was not the limit and things needed to be taken a step beyond.
On September 30, 1958, NACA closed its doors and on October 1, 1958 those doors reopened as the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and their first employee; legendary test pilot Bill Dana. Since then we have embarked or the greatest of adventures in the name of progress. Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, Skylab, Apollo-Soyuz Test Project (ASTP), Space Transportation System (STS or the Space Shuttle), International Space Station (ISS), and countless science missions from the Pioneers, to the Voyagers and of course, Hubble all the way through to today’s great achievements such as New Horizons and numerous Mars rovers.
Today, the future of NASA is as magnificent as ever as we prepare new science missions and a new human spaceflight mission to the Moon and Mars. Please join me in sharing your greatest memories of NASA and there’s no better day than today to write your members of government in support of NASA, human spaceflight and planetary science. Let them hear it!