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Happy birthday, NASA!

NASA celebrates its 50th anniversary.  It was created on July 29, 1958.  (NASA photo)

NASA celebrates its 50th anniversary. It was created on July 29, 1958. (NASA photo)

SAN ANTONIO -- NASA is 50 years old. It was established on July 29, 1958, when President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the National Aeronautics and Space Act, providing for research into the problems of flight within Earth's atmosphere and in space.

The act inaugurated a new civilian agency designated the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, or NASA. The agency began operations on Oct. 1, 1958. Today, in addition to its headquarters in Washington, D.C., NASA facilities include 10 centers around the country staffed by nearly 19,000 employees.