Sixty Years of NASA

Lydia Sidrys, News Editor

NASA, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, turned sixty on this past Monday, October 1. NASA pioneered many projects in rocketerring and space exploration, including, but not limited to moon landings, space shuttles, and even landing rovers on Mars. However, NASA has achieved much more; NASA

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was one of the first scientific agencies to encourage and allow women to join, have contributed to health and public safety, as well as to education.
NASA has had many great and amazing project over the year. From moon landings, to telescopes, to exploration studies, every single one of NASA’s projects have been fascinating. The Apollo 11 is perhaps the most famous, and most amazing, mission that NASA has lead. This groundbreaking action of putting a man on the moon, has been the highlight of NASA’s history. Another, less known, mission of NASA is the Cassini mais sinon. Launched jointly by NASA and two other organizations, the Cassini explored and studied Saturn, as well as it photographed many awe striking photos of the solar system. The Hubble Space telescope has given us many images of our universe that are simply astounding. This huge telescope has also provided us with much of the information about our universe that has contributed to our science of the world in many ways. The Mars rovers have contributed to our study and knowledge of the solar system in another unique way. By studying the planet of Mars, these rovers have provided us valuable information for the planet that may be inhabited by humans in decades to come.

While all of NASA’s scientific accomplishments are important and amazing in their own right, NASA has also done a lot to better our global community. NASA was one of the first scientific organizations to allow women to work and study at the same level as men. Since the creation of NASA in 1958, NASA has been committed to giving opportunities to women in this organization. NASA’s research and space exploration studies have also lead to many inventions in health and public safety. This inventions include artificial limbs, invisible braces, and LASIK eye surgery. NASA has also contributed to improving education. From offering camps and conferences to encouraging more STEM related studies, NASA has encouraged and formed a new generation of thinkers and researchers.

At Ignatius, the GSTEM club is working to allow students to take advantage of the many astronomical opportunities that are present in Chicago. Rhiannon O’Keefe, GSTEM President, said that GSTEM “hopes to take advantage of some of the many opportunities offered at the Adler Planetarium in the near future.” She said that although this club has not done much in this astronomical field so far, she said that “if people show interest in it, we’d be more than happy to watch lectures or videos like Carl Sagan’s Cosmos, host speakers, or participate in one of NASA’s national challenges.”

So, where is NASA going from here? The James Webb Telescope will also be observing the history of our solar system, and the Parker Solar Probe will travel close to the sun in an effort to gain more information and data. NASA plans on adding more robots to Mars, in an effort to study the interior of the planet and look for signs of microbial life. This will be done in an effort to discover if humans will ever be able to visit, and perhaps inhabit, Mars. Only time will tell where NASA will go in the future, but if it’s anything like what NASA has done in the past sixty years, it is sure to amazing!