Today NASA Celebrates 60 Years Of Exploring The Final Frontier – These Are Their Top Three Most Iconic Moments
On October 1, 1958, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration began its history-making operations in the United States. Established by President Dwight D. Eisenhower with the signing of the National Aeronautics and Space Act, NASA has spent the last six decades turning dreams of space exploration into reality and advancing mankind with technological achievements and scientific research. From moon landings to satellite and telescope launches, the space agency has had some great moments over the years, and what better time than today's anniversary to highlight some of the most important ones that changed life on Earth forever?
The Apollo 11 Moon Landing - July 20, 1969
Neil Armstrong's quote about being the first man to walk on the moon still perfectly sums up the achievement ("That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind") and, for a lot of people, the event is still the number one moment in NASA's history. It came over a decade after the administration was formed and was the 11th of 17 Apollo missions. With the exception of Apollo 13 (because there was a movie about it) or the Challenger mission (because of its tragic outcome), if you ask someone on the street to name a NASA mission, the moon landing will probably have the most mentions by a long shot.
Hubble Space Telescope - Launched April 24, 1990
The Hubble Space Telescope is a project that was funded shortly after the first moon landing, but its proposed 1983 launch was delayed for seven years. For nearly three decades, the telescope has provided invaluable data for astronauts and scientists back here on Earth and has allowed us to see further into space than we knew possible. It has also provided stunning high-resolution images of the cosmos that you have probably used as a wallpaper or screensaver at some point in your life.
Kepler Space Telescope - Launched March 7, 2009
The Kepler spacecraft is arguably the most important telescope in orbit right now for the future of space exploration. Intended as a 3.5-year endeavor, the Kepler mission has been going for nearly a decade and is responsible for the discovery of nearly 3800 exoplanets (so far) and enough data to keep researchers busy for decades to come.
Newsweek put together this cool highlight reel of more of NASA's most incredible moments. It will be exciting to see what the space agency accomplishes in the next 60 years.