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NASA Goddard Space Flight Center celebrates 60 years

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center celebrates 60 years

Press release
From: Goddard Space Flight Center
Posted: Monday, April 29, 2019

On May 1, 1959, the Beltsville Space Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, was renamed NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in honor of Robert H. Goddard, widely considered the father of modern rocketry. So began a 60-year boom in science and technology innovation.

The center led or contributed to many of the agency's accomplishments, from missions to the moon to the detection of the first light in the universe and the arrival of an asteroid in space to collect a sample. Goddard now has the largest concentration of scientists and engineers dedicated to the study of Earth and space and successfully sent over 300 satellites, obtained more than 800 patents, produced more than 50,000 scientific and technical publications and contributed to several significant awards. , including the Nobel Prize in Physics.

Many of its innovations have resulted in commercial applications such as spacecraft sensors and control centers being adapted for traffic management and methods for grinding large observatory mirrors being used to improve the machines for Lasik surgery. Thanks to his previous successes, Goddard is ready to contribute to NASA's future goals, including sending a crewed spaceflight to land on the Moon by 2024 and eventually to Mars.

Over six decades, Goddard expanded from 1,200 acres at Greenbelt to include five other locations in New York; White Sands, New Mexico; Wallops Island, Virginia; Palestine, Texas; and Fairmont, West Virginia. Goddard stimulates and strengthens economic activity from local to national scale, investing in technology, manufacturing and contracting. Goddard partnerships and technology transfer stimulate innovation and business growth. Its workforce grew from 650 employees in 1959 to approximately 13,000 in 2019. Consisting mainly of scientists and engineers, its workforce also includes a large cadre of professionals in areas such as purchasing, advertising and finance – all contributing to the success of the center . It has a diverse workforce as a key element in problem solving and innovation. In 2018, NASA ranked first among 17 major agencies and Goddard ranked second among NASA centers in the best places to work for the federal government, according to the Partnership for Public Service – a nonprofit organization that works for make government more effective.

Computer engineer Harvey Walden has worked at Goddard for 56 years and has seen breakthroughs that were unimaginable 60 years ago. "I witnessed many changes in Goddard in the last 56 years of Goddard's 60-year history," he said. "Nothing describes them better than the very maxim often quoted by Dr. Robert H. Goddard:" It is hard to say what is impossible, for yesterday's dream is the hope of today and the reality of tomorrow. & # 39; NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center proves the truth of this statement better than almost anywhere on Earth. "

Goddard's work in studying the Sun, the Earth, the solar system, and the confines of the cosmos – as well as in the development of technologies such as space communications and robotics – maintaining a vibrant workforce makes his announcement "Transforming the Universe into Vision "be a reality.

To learn more about Goddard, go to:

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