Fifty years ago, President John Kennedy challenged us to go to the moon within the decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard.
As we remember Neil Armstrong this week – the man who, with a single step realized the hopes of a president, this nation and the world – we are recognizing the extraordinary achievements of the past five decades achieved by our nation's space agency and where the passion to explore will lead us in the future.
President Barack Obama has set NASA on course toward an asteroid and to send humans to Mars within the next two decades. This goal is not without notable challenges, but using the knowledge, expertise and American ingenuity that has been the trademark of NASA scientists and engineers for the last half-century, NASA continues to make possible that which is seemingly impossible.
At 3:00 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, September 12, NASA astronauts, scientists and engineers will hold a Google+ Hangout to talk about NASA's rich history of innovation and ingenuity and talk about NASA's future goals for scientific discovery and human spaceflight.
During the event, we'll be joined by:
- Dan Dumbacher, Deputy Associate Administrator for Exploration Systems Development in NASA's Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate. He is the former Director of Engineering at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center. Previously, he was the deputy director of safety and mission assurance at Marshall.
- Ron Garan, astronaut who lived and worked aboard the International Space Station. He has been in space for 178 days and has conducted four spacewalks.
- John Grunsfeld, Associate Administrator for NASA's Science Mission Directorate. He is a former astronaut and researcher in high energy astrophysics, cosmic ray physics, and in the emerging field of exoplanet studies. He was also the deputy director of the Space Telescope Science Institute, managing the science program for the Hubble Space Telescope and the forthcoming James Webb Space Telescope.
- Michael Lopez-Alegria, the President of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation. He is a former Naval Aviator and test pilot (Capt., U.S. Navy, Ret.), NASA astronaut and International Space Station (ISS) commander.
To join the event, visit http://plus.google.com/+NASA
at 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday.
Ask your questions of the group in the comments below or using hashtag #askNASA