NASA officially turns 50 on October 1, but the agency celebrated its golden anniversary with an early birthday party on Sept. 24, 2008, at the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va.
Legendary astronauts Neil Armstrong, John Glenn and Jim Lovell joined NASA Administrator Michael Griffin and other dignitaries in the gala, celebrating the power of innovation and discovery, and recognizing the agency's challenges and achievements over the past five decades.
NASA's 50th Anniversary was a celebration of inspiration and discovery. The event was held at the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center.
NASA Lecture Series :
NASA Administrator Michael Griffin speaks at the opening of the NASA Lecture Series in Washington on Sept. 17, 2007. Credit: NASA/Paul Alers
NASA Administrator Michael Griffin kicked off a lecture series honoring the agency's 50th anniversary with an important address on Sept. 17, 2007, on the role of space exploration in the global economy.
"NASA opens new frontiers and creates new opportunities, and because of that is a critical driver of innovation," said Griffin. "We don't just create new jobs, we create entirely new markets and possibilities for economic growth that didn't previously exist."
The 50th anniversary NASA lecture series will feature prominent speakers to discuss the benefits that space exploration, scientific discovery and aeronautics research provide in addressing global issues such as the economy, education, health, science and the environment. Lockheed Martin Corporation of Bethesda, Md., is co-sponsoring the two-year lecture series.
Dr. Eric Schmidt
Professor Stephen Hawking
In partnership with Discovery, "NASA at 50" highlights key innovations and milestones in chemistry, physics, engineering, and space
exploration. Video and audio clips from NASA's 50 year history are provided and are accompanied by teacher guides to facilitate integration of this exciting and engaging content into lesson plans.