Monday, September 19, 2011

NASA Marks 50th Anniversary of Houston Named as Home of Manned Spacecraft Center

On this date in 1961, the naming of the location of the manned space center went to Houston. Happy 50th birthday, Johnson Space Center!

On the morning of Sept. 12, 1962, Kennedy gave a historic speech in Rice University’s Rice Stadium that re-emphasized his speech to Congress the previous year. During his talk, President Kennedy expressed his reasons for wanting to send Americans to the moon before the close of the decade “to become the world's leading space-faring nation.”

In 1973, the center was renamed in honor of the late president and Texas native, Lyndon B. Johnson. From the early Gemini, Apollo and Skylab projects to the Space Shuttle and International Space Station Programs and beyond, the center continues to lead NASA's efforts in human space exploration.

Some key dates in the history of JSC:
May 25, 1961 - President John F. Kennedy proposes to Congress the national "goal of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the Earth" by the end of the decade.
Sept. 19, 1961 - Houston is officially announced as the location of the Manned Spacecraft Center.
Sept. 22, 1961 - The first official NASA delegation visits Houston.
Oct. 24, 1961 - The Manned Spacecraft Center (Houston Office) is formally established as an entity by NASA.
Nov. 1, 1961 - The first edition of the "Space News Roundup" is published.
Sept. 12, 1962 – President John F. Kennedy gives historic speech at Rice Stadium.
Feb. 17, 1973 - Name changes from Manned Spacecraft Center to Johnson Space Center.

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