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After setting up shop on the moon, it's on to the red planet. It isn't entirely clear right now, but the early answer seems to be "both. NASA is also preparing for a big milestone when it turns transportation of astronauts to the International Space Station over to commercial companies, namely SpaceX and Boeing.

NASA already struggles with planning one decade ahead, given the scientific complexities of its missions and political uncertainties of its budgets.

NASA's first 50 years : historical perspectives | Search Results | IUCAT Southeast

But it's pretty clear the vision is to have a presence on Mars within a few decades, and to continue exploring deeper into the solar system. A mission to Jupiter's moon Europa is being planned with lots of support. There's also a push for a series of next-generation telescopes that will bring our view of the universe ever more in focus and hopefully answer the question of whether there's life anywhere else.

A few NASA facilities will be holding events and celebrations to commemorate the occasion. The event will be open to the public and feature appearances by NASA astronauts and science demonstrations. And of course, NASA's 60th birthday is part of a long windup to another big celebration coming in the summer of , when the agency celebrates 50 years since the Apollo 11 moon landing. This piece was originally published on Sept. Nasa turns 60 : And it's reinventing itself for the SpaceX era.

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Using CRISPR to resurrect the woolly mammoth : Bringing extinct species back from the dead is now on the table thanks to the gene-editing technology. Building a rocket in a garage to take on SpaceX and Blue Origin : Gilmour Space Technologies is a plucky startup in the new space race.

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Discussion threads can be closed at any time at our discretion. Don't show this again. December 24, Apollo 8 crew saw the Earth while orbiting the Moon for the first time. They took the famous Earthrise photograph and spent Christmas in space.

Stunning images from NASA's first 60 years of space exploration

May 14, The first U. They became the first U. As our knowledge of the planet increases, so does the opportunity to send humans to explore Mars. The space shuttle was the first reusable spacecraft and all five orbiters flew a cumulative of missions until the program was retired in January 28, Space Shuttle Challenger crew passed away in a tragic accident after launch. April 25, Hubble Space Telescope deployed.

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This spacecraft has travelled more than 4 billion miles in a low Earth orbit since its launch and made more than 1. A total of 15 countries participated in building the ISS, which took 13 years to complete. February 1, Space Shuttle Columbia was lost in an accident after re-entry.

October 7, The first commercial resupply mission launched atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with the Dragon spacecraft. Come see it up close! By Kenna On June 14, By Alaina On June 13, Earth Optimism Summit. Ingenuity Ingenuity Festival.

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NASA's first 50 years : historical perspectives

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