Sally Ride

NASA officially turns 50 on October 1, but the agency celebrated its golden anniversary with an early birthday party on Sept. 24, 2008, at the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va.

Legendary astronauts Neil Armstrong, John Glenn and Jim Lovell joined NASA Administrator Michael Griffin and other dignitaries in the gala, celebrating the power of innovation and discovery, and recognizing the agency's challenges and achievements over the past five decades.

View Gallery