An Animated Celebration of NASA’s 60th Anniversary

Planting the U.S. Flag on the Moon during an Apollo Mission, from “The Time of Apollo.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) first opened its doors 60 years ago on October 1, 1958, following the National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958. In celebration of NASA’s 60th, we have created over 60 new animated GIFs derived from historic NASA films held at the National Archives and shared these on our GIPHY channel.

The scenes featured in the GIFs run the gamut of NASA’s history, from John Glenn’s historic orbital flight, to President John F. Kennedy’s inspiring “We choose to go to the Moon” speech, to the Apollo Moon landings which captivated the nation, and to later Space Shuttle missions.

Friendship 7 lifts off, from “The John Glenn Story.


JFK gives his “We choose to go to the Moon” speech, from “Speech at Rice Stadium during President Kennedy’s Visit to Houston.


Walking on the Moon during an Apollo mission, from “The Time of Apollo.


Space Shuttle Discovery lifts off during a nighttime launch, from a series of still photos from Mission STS-116.


Other moments from NASA’s past are also featured, including astronaut training footage, research and development, and other behind-the-scenes clips:

Astronauts during low-gravity training, from “America in Space – The First Decade.


Working on a computer terminal, from “Space for Women.


Behind the scenes at Mission Control, from “The Time of Apollo.


To see more of the original source footage for these GIFs, check out the Space Exploration” playlist on the National Archives’ YouTube channel.

And stay tuned on October 1st when we celebrate with other cultural institutions for our #ArchivesInSpace hashtag party on Twitter and Instagram, sharing a galaxy of other space-related content.

Happy 60th to our colleagues at NASA!

Spectators cheer at an Apollo program launch, from “America in Space – The First Decade.

Screenshot of the National Archives GIPHY channel
You can find and share all our NASA GIFs in the NASA/Space Exploration Collection on the @USNationalArchives GIPHY channel!  Join the GIF party for NASA’s 60th and tweet your favorite NASA GIFs with the hashtag #NASA60THxGIPHY!

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