News From Our Blog

Image description:

From the Presidential Libraries:

It’s the Birthday of LBJ!

Lyndon Baines Johnson was born on August 27, 1908, in central Texas, not far from Johnson City, which his family had helped settle. 

In 1937 he campaigned successfully for the House of Representatives on a New Deal platform, effectively aided by his wife, the former Claudia “Lady Bird” Taylor, whom he had married after a whirlwind courtship in 1934. 

During World War II, Lyndon Johnson served briefly in the Navy as a lieutenant commander, receiving a Silver Star in the South Pacific. After six terms in the House, he was elected to the Senate in 1948. In 1953, he became the youngest Minority Leader in Senate history, and the following year, when the Democrats won control, Majority Leader. With rare legislative skill he obtained passage of a number of measures during the Eisenhower Administration. He became, by many accounts, the most powerful Majority Leader of the twentieth century.

LBJ’s “Great Society” program included aid to education, Medicare, urban renewal, beautification, conservation, development of depressed regions, control and prevention of crime and delinquency and removal of obstacles to the right to vote. Read More

Photos: 

Studio portrait of Lyndon B. Johnson at 18 months old, ca. 1910.

Portrait of President Lyndon B. Johnson in the Oval Office. December, 1963.

-from the LBJ Library 

Image description: In case you missed it, giant panda Bao Bao celebrated her first birthday at the National Zoo over the weekend. Check out some of the other pictures from her party.

Image description: In case you missed it, giant panda Bao Bao celebrated her first birthday at the National Zoo over the weekend. Check out some of the other pictures from her party.

Image description: Happy 98th Birthday National Park Service!
Today is the 98th birthday of the National Park Service. To celebrate, entrance to all 401 national parks across the country is free! 
Enjoy the natural beauty of this nation by spending some time outdoors, and participate in special events planned to celebrate this big birthday. Kids can even earn their free Junior Ranger badge at almost any of the parks!
Photo of Glacier National Park from the Department of Interior

Image description: Happy 98th Birthday National Park Service!

Today is the 98th birthday of the National Park Service. To celebrate, entrance to all 401 national parks across the country is free!

Enjoy the natural beauty of this nation by spending some time outdoors, and participate in special events planned to celebrate this big birthday. Kids can even earn their free Junior Ranger badge at almost any of the parks!

Photo of Glacier National Park from the Department of Interior

Happy Birthday, Curiosity!

Video description

NASA’s Curiosity rover celebrated its Martian birthday on August 5 (PDT), the day that it landed on Mars. In honor of this special ocassion, engineers at Goddard Space Flight Center used the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument to “sing” Happy Birthday to Curiosity.

You can help Curiosity celebrate its first birthday too by sending it a postcard, learning about landing on Mars and more.

Video transcript

My name is Florence Tan, I’m the SAM Electrical Lead Engineer, I work at Goddard Space Flight Center. SAM stands for Sample Analysis at Mars. It is an organic chemistry lab on the Curiosity rover, it is the most well-equipped chemistry lab that we’ve sent to Mars to date.

Curiosity landed on Mars on August 5, 2012. It was born on Mars that day, and so we consider that day as its birthday.

We’re here at the test bed lab where SAM was built. It is an identical unit to the unit on Mars, and we use this unit to test our experiments before it is transmitted to Mars.

SAM will be running some great science experiments on Mars, we will be analyzing some soil samples. To make the soil samples go down, we have to program it to vibrate at various frequencies. When we’re introducing a sample into SAM, it will go through a resonance and it will sound like this.

[ electronic tone ]

To commemorate SAM’s birthday and Curiosity’s birthday on Mars, we decided to play a little song. If there’s anyone listening on Mars on this special occasion, you will hear this.

[ Happy Birthday to You ]

It’s really neat, and it’s exciting! This is a first for NASA and for the world, and music brings us all together so this is fun!

It’s been a great year on Mars and I cannot wait to get to Mount Sharp next year. We’ve discovered so many new things, and there’s still lots more discoveries to come.