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US Space Research Agency NASA Completes 60 Years

The agency remembered the sacrifices laid down by astronauts during space research.

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NASA, Hubble, Keplar, asteroids
Nasa's Opportunity rover might have 'died' on Mars. Flickr

US space agency NASA has completed 60 years of human space exploration, discovering the world beyond Earth and developing new technologies.

“For six decades, NASA has led peaceful exploration of space, making discoveries about our planet, our solar system, and our universe,” the agency posted on its website late on Monday.

NASA has not just launched spacecrafts to unlock mysteries of the universe, dispatched probes to make close-up observations of every planet in the solar system, but has also, in August, sent a probe named Parker Solar Probe to the Sun.

The historic small car-sized probe will journey steadily closer to the Sun until it makes its closest approach at 3.8 million miles.

NASA
NASA Administrator James Bridenstine delivers remarks as he tours the NASA Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans. VOA

The agency has also conducted nine manned missions and is planning for a human return to the Moon, followed by missions to Mars and beyond.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) officially opened for business for the first time on October 1, 1958.

It was created by then President Dwight D. Eisenhower to lead America’s civilian space programme in response to the then USSR’s advances in space exploration.

In just 10 days after opening its doors, NASA launched its first spacecraft — Pioneer 1. Although it did not achieve its intended mission to orbit the Moon due to a rocket malfunction, Pioneer 1 did reach a record altitude of about 70,000 miles, highest till then.

Parker-Solar-2, NASA
The Parker Solar Probe sits in a clean room at Astrotech Space Operations in Titusville, Fla., after the installation of its heat shield. VOA

The probe returned scientific data confirming the existence of the Van Allen radiation belts until it burned up on re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere 43 hours after launch, the post said.

In the US, NASA’s research made great advances in aviation, helped to develop a commercial space industry, enriched the economy, created jobs, and strengthened national security.

The agency also remembered the sacrifices laid down by astronauts during space research. “The tragic loss of lives including aviation pilots and the crewmembers of Apollo 1, Challenger, and Columbia (which included Indian-born astronaut Kalpana Chawla)…,” the post said.

Chawla was one of the seven crew members who died in the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster when the craft disintegrated during its re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere on February 1, 2003.

Also Read: NASA’s Parker Solar Probe Launches Successfully

“Sacrifice has also come in the countless hours dedicated by the NASA personnel — on the ground and in space — (that they) have spent away from families to plan and execute missions.”

“We will go back to the Moon to learn more about what it will take to support human exploration to Mars and beyond… We will continue to try to answer the question: “Are we alone?” NASA said. (IANS)

Next Story

Donald Trump to Declare ‘Emergency’, Use Military Funds for Mexico Border Wall

He will sign a border security bill to avert a government shutdown, but also act to bypass Congress and use military funds for the wall, a statement said.

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Donald Trump
US President Donald Trump will declare a national emergency to fund his planned border wall with Mexico, the White House has said. Pixabay

US President Donald Trump will declare a national emergency to fund his planned border wall with Mexico, the White House has said.

He will sign a border security bill to avert a government shutdown, but also act to bypass Congress and use military funds for the wall, a statement said.

Senior Democrats have responded by accusing him of committing a “gross abuse of power” and a “lawless act”, the BBC reported on Friday.

The Congress passed the bill on Thursday which does not meet Trump’s demands for wall funding. It now has to be signed by the President to become law.

 

Donald Trump, Mexico
Senior Democrats have responded by accusing him of committing a “gross abuse of power” and a “lawless act”. VOA

The compromise legislation passed by Congress includes $1.3 billion in funding for border security, including physical barriers, but it does not allot money towards the border wall for which Trump had wanted $5.7 billion.

“The President is once again delivering on his promise to build the wall, protect the border, and secure our great country,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement on Thursday.

She added he would “take other executive action – including a national emergency – to ensure we stop the national security and humanitarian crisis at the border”.

Speaking on the Senate floor on Thursday, however, Republican leader Mitch McConnell indicated his support for the move, saying the President was taking action with “whatever tools he can legally use to enhance his efforts to secure the border”.

In a 83-16 vote, the Senate on Thursday passed the border security bill. The House of Representatives later also backed the measure, by 300 to 128.

 

US, Donald Trump
“The President is once again delivering on his promise to build the wall, protect the border, and secure our great country,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said. VOA

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has already suggested a legal challenge from Democrats should the President make an emergency declaration.

She and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer also issued a joint statement condemning the move.

 

ALSO READ: Mexico Announced to Relocate Central American Migrants, 4 People Injured

“Declaring a national emergency would be a lawless act, a gross abuse of the power of the presidency and a desperate attempt to distract from the fact that President Trump broke his core promise to have Mexico pay for his wall,” they said.

Republicans fear this will set a precedent for presidential power that Democrats can someday use to circumvent the will of Congress. (IANS)