So many kids growing up in the United States dream of being astronauts, and flying through space. Many adult Americans can remember where they were when the Eagle landed, or when (sadly) the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded. You know you're invested in American culture when you can successfully use the phrase, "Houston, we have a problem" in a social conversation. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is the reason why we have these touchstones in American culture. NASA celebrated the anniversary of its establishment on July 29; the agency has been doing its job passionately for the last fifty-five years, since it began in 1958. When NASA hit its fiftieth anniversary, NASA issued commemorative volumes in 2009. NASA at 50: Interviews With NASA's Senior Leadership takes a look at the new direction senior management wants to guide the agency towards after its first successful half-century.
It really is interesting for readers to look back at NASA's storied past on this memorable occasion. NASA took that look back with the companion volume, NASA's First 50 Years: Historical Perspectives. However, space exploration fans will be eager to learn more about NASA's future as well as its past, and that's the purpose of this book.