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  9/24: NASA's 50th Anniversary Celebration

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Author Topic:   9/24: NASA's 50th Anniversary Celebration
Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27327
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 09-23-2008 11:06 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA release
50th Anniversary Gala Event Carried Live On NASA TV and Internet

NASA Television and nasa.gov will broadcast a gala event commemorating the agency's Golden Anniversary on Wednesday, Sept. 24, at 8 p.m. EDT.

The invitation-only celebration, organized by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), is being held at the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va.

The program honors NASA's 50th Anniversary and celebrates the power of innovation and discovery, and recognizes the agency's challenges and achievements over the past five decades. Award-winning journalist and WJLA-TV news anchor Leon Harris will serve as master of ceremonies. Event participants include:

  • George Muellner, AIAA president
  • U.S. Sen. John Glenn, former Mercury and space shuttle astronaut
  • Neil Armstrong, former Gemini and Apollo astronaut
  • Michael Griffin, NASA administrator
The event also will feature a video presentation hosted by Gemini and Apollo veteran Jim Lovell and a message from the Expedition 17 crew aboard the International Space Station. The televised program will end with a special performance of "Fly Me to the Moon," directed by music impresario Quincy Jones and the Space Philharmonic, and performed by Frank Sinatra, Jr.

collocation
Member

Posts: 365
From: McLean, VA, USA
Registered: Feb 2004

posted 09-24-2008 08:11 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for collocation   Click Here to Email collocation     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thursday's edition of the Washington Post will have a special section for NASA's 50th.

collocation
Member

Posts: 365
From: McLean, VA, USA
Registered: Feb 2004

posted 09-25-2008 10:58 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for collocation   Click Here to Email collocation     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I was able to attend this gala. The speeches were nice and short. Basically a huge cocktail party for 2500 people. It was neat to see the Hazy artifacts at night time, you get an entirely different perspective.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27327
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 09-25-2008 07:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I also attended last night's celebration as a guest of a friend at Lockheed Martin. It was a memorable evening and like Joe (collocation), I enjoyed the opportunity to see the Udvar-Hazy's exhibits lit at night (one particular striking effect was on the SR-71, where rotating lights gave the impression that its engines were firing).

In addition to the lights, the hangars were set-up with seating and serving stations, some with some very nice ice sculptures.

The food ranged from fine hors d'oeuvres to carving stations to delightful and appropriately-themed desserts (e.g. Black Hole Brownie Bites, Solar Flares and Sorbet, and white chocolate shuttles with black chocolate bellies). At the center of one of the dessert tables was this chocolate International Space Station that was perhaps a bit too nice, as no one wanted to break off a piece to eat.

(Looking at the photo now, it may have not been chocolate, but rather painted to look like such. It was very convincing if so!)

If you were watching the NASA TV broadcast, a toast was offered, and the champagne glasses had the NASA 50th Anniversary logo on them (whether planned or not, they quickly became for many a souvenir of the event).

As was aired on NASA TV, the evening featured several speakers including NASA Administrator Michael Griffin, John Glenn and Neil Armstrong.

Though not recognized during the program by name, there were numerous other astronauts and NASA personalities in the audience. I talked to or spotted in passing Buzz and Lois Aldrin, Tom Stafford, Dan and Jane Brandenstein, Jim Voss, Kathy Sullivan, Loren Shriver, Rick Hieb, Andy Allen, Steve Squyres and Bill Gerstenmaier.

Most of all though, it was a chance to see and celebrate with friends from the cS and space communities, including members of the National Air and Space Museum's space history division, Dan LeBlanc from the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex and many, many others. A few fellow journalists were there, too, (taking the night off from our respective roles as press) as can be seen here posing with Enterprise: yours truly, Tariq Malik from Space.com and Jeff Foust of The Space Review.

heng44
Member

Posts: 2564
From: Netherlands
Registered: Nov 2001

posted 09-26-2008 12:26 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for heng44   Click Here to Email heng44     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
With all due respect, I find the right half of the picture more interesting...

Ed

cspg
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Posts: 4046
From: Geneva, Switzerland
Registered: May 2006

posted 09-26-2008 01:28 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Ha-ha, you too?

Chris.

bruce
Member

Posts: 830
From: Fort Mill, SC, USA
Registered: Aug 2000

posted 09-26-2008 05:46 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for bruce   Click Here to Email bruce     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Just thinking the same thing...

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27327
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 09-26-2008 08:54 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Well, I did say the Solar Flares and Sorbet was delightful...

NASA has posted a gallery of celebration photographs, too.

Wehaveliftoff
Member

Posts: 728
From:
Registered: Aug 2001

posted 09-26-2008 12:27 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Wehaveliftoff   Click Here to Email Wehaveliftoff     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
John Glenn and Neil Armstrong holding gold records with Quincy Jones is priceless.

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