Wednesday, October 01, 2008

NASA is 50!

Happy birthday NASA! The space agency began operations on October 1, 1958. Watching this 50th anniversary video with commentary from so many notable figures in the history of the space age (even Neil Armstrong!), I am reminded again of how much my life and career were influenced by the US space program, especially the parts I witnessed on TV and in LIFE magazine as a kid in the sixties. I can trace my interest in science, math, flying, and computers to those exciting missions.

I first started paying close attention on John Glenn's 1962 orbital Mercury flight, and by the time Gemini was flying in 1964-1966, I was devouring "NASA Facts" and everything else I could find, and I considered myself an expert (at the age of 12) on space and aviation. I was sure I would have a space-related career, though I ended up working with computer software and optics instead. Now I'm a 50-something "space kid" who plays with space flight simulators and gives educational talks on space and astronomy as a volunteer JPL Solar System Ambassador. I never really lost the space bug.

NASA has truly been an inspiration to me as it has been to so many others. Congratulations on 50 amazing years in space!

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