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NASA crammed 60 years of achievement into just 60 seconds

Published Oct 2nd, 2018 11:34PM EDT
NASA 60th Anniversary
Image: Willy D

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The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is celebrating its 60th anniversary, and it’s been a wild six decades for the many scientists, researchers, and engineers, and others that have contributed to NASA’s achievements. NASA has done more in the time since its inception than the administration could possibly pull together in a tribute video, so it instead decided to celebrate its anniversary with a measly 60 seconds.

This isn’t to say the video is bad, really, but let’s just say it’s an extremely modest glimpse at just a few of the most famous of NASA’s accomplishments. Check it out for yourself below.

As far as tributes go, it’s fine. It features some historical voice-over, lots of archival footage, and a rapid-fire mix of NASA missions both old and new. There’s satellites, rockets, Earth, the Moon, Mars, and a whole lot of half-second clips that barely show what’s really going on.

To be honest, this might be the best example of NASA modesty ever displayed. I mean, they could have put together a ten-part mini-series and droned on for hours about all the things they’ve discovered, tested, launched, and completed over the course of the group’s 60 years, and even then they wouldn’t have even scratched the surface. Instead, they decided to keep it nice and short, which you have to appreciate.

“Congress passed the National Aeronautics and Space Act, on July 16 and President Eisenhower signed it into law on July 29, 1958. NASA opened for business on Oct. 1, 1958, with T. Keith Glennan as our first administrator,” NASA says in a footnote on the new video. “Our history tells a story of exploration, innovation and discoveries. The next 60 years, that story continues.”

If the video leaves you craving a deeper look at NASA’s history, you’re in luck. A new website has been set up to celebrate NASA’s 60 years, complete with retrospectives on the group’s beginnings as well as its biggest challenges, setbacks, and achievements. It’s definitely worth a look.