NASA will celebrate 60 years since US President Dwight Eisenhower signed the National Aeronautics and Space Act on July 29, 1958.
Ahead of the anniversary, NASA has partnered with the US National Symphony to present a one-of-a-kind concert in Washington titled: “NSO Pops: Space, the Next Frontier”.
The magical performance was complemented with stunning images of the moon captured by NASA’s experts at the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter.
The music video of the moon above was created by NASA science visualiser Ernie Wright and is set to Claude Debussy’s “Claire de Lune” or “Moonlight”.
To mark the anniversary, NASA graphic artist Matthew Skeins designed a bold new logo for the space agency, capitalising on NASA’s proud history of space exploration.
In a statement, the agency said the logo “depicts how NASA is building on its historic past to soar toward a challenging and inspiring future.”
NASA came into existence when Congress passed the National Aeronautics and Space Act in July although the space agency considers its actual birthday to be October 1 – the first day of business at NASA.
The federal agency was largely built upon a framework laid out by the National Advisory Committee on Aeronautics (NACA) which NASA eventually absorbed into its own structures.
NACA was founded in March 1915, in the middle of World War One, in a bid for the US to catch with the rest of Europe with its lacking aeroplane technology.
By 1958, NACA had already successfully put a number of pilots into the upper reaches of the atmosphere.
But it was NASA’s transformation of NACA’s planes into viable spacecraft that set the pace for the space agency.
Between 2018 and 2022, NASA will mark a series of achievements centred around the diamond jubilee.
NASA already kicked off the 60th anniversary back on January 31 this year by remembering the 1958 launch of the first US satellite, the Explorer 1.
And on July Friday, July 20, NASA celebrated the Apollo 11 mission which placed the first human on the moon.
But the 60th anniversary also offers NASA a chance to reflect on the men and women at the forefront of space exploration, especially those who died in the line of duty.
The agency said: “As we celebrate NASA’s first 60 years of achievement, we honour the sacrifice that came with it: the tragic loss of lives including aviation pilots and the crew members of Apollo 1, Challenger and Columbia.
“Sacrifice has also come in the countless hours dedicated NASA personnel – on the ground and in space – have spent away from families to plan and execute missions.
“The next decade promises to be full of adventures that only science fiction writers dreamed of and only NASA and its partners will accomplish.”
Until December 5, NASA will host a wide range of celebration events to mark the anniversary.
Between July 23 and July 29 more than 500,000 aviation enthusiasts will attend the EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.
On September 20 to September 23 people are invited to attend the Intrepid Museum Space & Science Festival in New York.
You can read more about NASA’s planned anniversary events here.