Ike Signs the NASA Act - Today in History
On July 29, 1958, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958 establishing the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Woot!
President Eisenhower Presents NASA Commissions to Dr. T. Keith Glennan as the first administrator for NASA and Dr. Hugh L. Dryden as deputy administrator. Courtesty of NASA.
Mr. Speaker, let us all salute Neil Armstrong, Ed Aldrin and Mike Collins and pray for a safe splashdown in the Pacific on Thursday. But let us also say a prayer for Roger Chaffee, Gus Grissom and Ed White and pay tribute to them for the heroic contributions they made so that Eagle might land on the moon and return to planet earth.
Statement by Representative Gerald R. Ford regarding the Apollo 11 space flight, placed in the body of the Congressional Record of Tuesday, July 22, 1969.
Let us all salute Neil Armstrong, Ed Aldrin, Mike Collins, Roger Chaffee, Gus Grissom and Ed White.
"IN EVENT OF MOON DISASTER"
Unbeknownst to the American people, one President Nixon’s speechwriters, William Safire, was asked to write a statement that the President would make to the American people in the event of a disaster and the Apollo 11 astronauts were stranded on the Moon. Though never delivered, it remains an eloquent tribute to the bravery and pioneering spirit of the astronauts. When the astronauts of Apollo 11 returned safely to earth, their mission was hailed around the world as an achievement of epic proportions, and this statement was quietly tucked away into the record.
JFK Visits Cape Canaveral
On what would be his last visit to Cape Canaveral, President Kennedy is briefed by Dr. Wernher Von Braun regarding the Saturn rocket on November 16, 1963.
Pictured: (L-R) Associate Administrator of National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Dr. Robert C. Seamans, Jr.; Senator George Smathers of Florida; unidentified (mostly hidden); President Kennedy; Administrator of NASA James E. Webb; Dr. Von Braun (partially hidden); Deputy Administrator of NASA Dr. Hugh L. Dryden; Military Aide to the President Chester V. Clifton. (Cecil Stoughton/JFK Library)
-from the Kennedy Library
On July 29, 1958, President Eisenhower signed the National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958 establishing the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
NASA absorbed the earlier National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) which was a U.S. federal agency founded on March 3, 1915 for aeronautical research. On October 1, 1958, the agency was dissolved, and its assets and personnel formed the core of the newly created National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
Photo courtesy of NASA: President Eisenhower presents NASA Commissions to Dr. T Keith Glennan, right, as the first administrator for NASA, and Dr. Hugh L. Dryden as deputy administrator.
Apollo 11 - This Week in History
Tomorrow is the 44th anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar landing. On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first men to walk on the moon.
Soon after their historic steps, they received a phone call from President Nixon in the Oval Office. To celebrate the occasion, we’re teaming up with the NASA History Office to tweet out the lunar call between the President and astronauts.
Photo: Edwin E. (Buzz) Aldrin, Jr. standing on the moon next to the U.S. flag, 7/20/1969.
"We sometimes joked, ‘You don’t climb into the Mercury spacecraft, you put it on.’ You squeeze past all the gear that is mounted inside, like a man sliding under a bed."
-John Glenn, 1962
Here’s John Glenn being inserted into the Friendship 7 spacecraft on the day of his launch as the first U.S. astronaut to orbit earth. February 20, 1962.
Described as a claustrophobic’s nightmare, the Mercury capsule had just barely enough room for its pilot. The capsule’s escape tower had a solid rocket motor. In case of an explosion during the launch, that rocket would fire, lifting the capsule (with the astronaut) away from the explosion. The capsule would then parachute into the ocean.
The base of the capsule was covered with a heat shield to protect it from the 3000-degree (Fahrenheit) heat of reentry into the Earth’s atmosphere. The capsule sat on top of the Atlas 6 rocket (95 feet tall, and 10 feet in diameter) which boosted the Friendship 7 into space.
Happy 92nd Birthday John Glenn!
"IN EVENT OF MOON DISASTER"
For the Apollo 11 space flight, President Nixon’s speechwriter William Safire composed this statement on July 18, 1969. It was to be used in the event the astronauts were stranded on the Moon and could not return to Earth.
Neil Armstrong later said, “The unknowns were rampant” and “there were just a thousand things to worry about.”
Fortunately, the speech as was never used, and this Saturday will be the 44th anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar landing. After astronauts Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the moon, President Nixon phoned them for “an interplanetary conversation.”
On July 20, The Presidential Libraries and NASA’s History Office are celebrating the Apollo 11 anniversary by tweeting out the lunar phone call between the President and astronauts. We’ll be tweeting from @OurPresidents and @NASAHistory.
Join us Saturday at noon by following #LunarCall on Twitter!
Handshake in Orbit
After many months of preparation for U.S. Astronauts and Soviet Cosmonauts, The Apollo-Soyuz Test Project docked two space crafts together in orbit.
Here, U.S. commander Thomas P. Stafford and Soviet commander Aleksey A. Leonov shake hands upon meeting each other in space.