NASA celebrates its 50th Anniversary in style – with a Flash-based website.

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NASA is celebrating its 50th Anniversary with a party.

Not a crazy, balls-out, scientists running around getting naked and drunk kind of party. No. What they’re having is a balls-out, online, multimedia, Flash-animated, interactive website kind of party. Rock on!

Actually, they are gonna have a real party (a ‘gala’, no less) later in the year (‘balls-out’, as yet unknown), but they really have launched an interactive, online, what-i-said-above website to celebrate, and it’s really quite good. I’ve been playing with it for over an hour now, and it’s endlessly fascinating. It really is!

I mean, I’m a sucker for pictorial versions of anything. I hate sitting down with a sheet of text and having to read it all, so an interactive, online, thingamy-what-i-said-above is a great fun way for NASA to really communicate (especially to the kids) what exactly it is they’ve been doing for the past 50 years.

Created on the 29th July 1958, the National Aeronautics and Space Act (NASA) was created as an agency of the US Government tasked with dealing specifically with the nation’s public space programme. In their own words, NASA is here to ‘pioneer the future in space exploration, scientific discovery, and aeronautics research’. And, you know what? They have. They’re doing it. When you consider their Greatest Hits album, they really have done an awful lot.

Tracks include: Man in Space, Shuttles in Space, Space-Walks, Man on the Moon, Moon-Walks (credit also to Michael Jackson for this one), Space-Stations, Probes on Mars, Probes on Uranus (yep, there it is, inevitable wasn’t it?).. and so on.. and so on.. the list is endless. Well, not endless, not like SPACE.. but it does go on for a long old time.

The website demarcates its years into five easily digestible decades from the 50s to the Noughties, and they’ve even included a tasty look at NASA of the future, which gets me excited no matter how unlikely the ‘visions’ in reality actually are.

If you’ve got an hour to kill, and you’re hooked up to some pretty fast-flowing broadband (you’ll need it), go and take a look. I promise, you won’t be disappointed. Fun and facts for the entire family.

[via NASA]

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Ryan Weir