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Celebrate NASA’s 59th Birthday with a Pool Party at Scott Carpenter Park

On July 29, 1958, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) was created with one sentence encompassing a number of goals: “To provide research into problems of flight within and outside the earth’s atmosphere, and for other purposes.”

Of course, this sentence was only the beginning of the National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958, signed into law by President. Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Now, over a half century later, NASA has just admitted its next batch of astronauts. From a pool of over 18,000 applicants, only 12 men and women were chosen as the agency’s new astronaut candidate class. One of the select twelve, Jessica Watkins, 29, even hails from Boulder’s own Lafayette area.

As it turns out, Colorado has a storied history with supplying astronauts to NASA. Scott Carpenter is a perfect example of this.  Born in Boulder, CO in 1925, he graduated from the University of Colorado with a degree in aeronautical engineering.

Following a long list of accomplishments as a Naval aviator and serving in the Korean War, he was selected as an astronaut and was the backup pilot to John Glenn – the first American to orbit the Earth. In May of 1962, Carpenter’s Aurora 7 capsule circled the Earth three times and he became the second American in orbit, spending a total of 4 hours and 54 minutes in space.

From the beginning of NASA until now, it seems Colorado residents have a knack for space exploration.

As for NASA’s birthday party, on Saturday, July 29 from 3-5 p.m., enjoy the pool and reminisce about history at Scott Carpenter Park. The park is Boulder’s only 50-meter pool and includes large and small slides, temperatures ranging from 80˚ to 82˚, two one-meter spring boards, and everything one would expect from a late July pool birthday party.

The park includes a number of amenities, including:

  • Playgrounds
  • Sun shelter
  • Public Restrooms
  • Open turf
  • Paved walking paths
  • Parking lots
  • Leashed dogs permitted outside of the swimming pool area
  • RTD bus access
  • Bike route access
  • And more!

It may come as no surprise that Colorado has a storied history with NASA and outer-orbit exploration – after all, with the Rocky Mountains at our doorstep and over 300 days of sun, it’s easy to climb miles above sea level and become engulfed by the beauty and mystery of this final frontier.

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