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Yesterday, the U.S. Congress passed a bill that would authorize the U.S. Mint to begin making gold and silver coins commemorating NASA's 50th anniversary.

The Mint would make 50,000 gold coins worth $50 each and another 300,000 silver coins worth a $1 each.

According to a news release from Rep. John Culbertson, who helped introduce the bill and represents District 7 in West Houston, the coins "shall be emblematic of the 50 years of exemplary and unparalleled achievements of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration."

The $50 coin would display the image of the sun and the $1 coin would bear an image of the planets in the solar system.

Well, that's certainly an improvement over the images people have in mind right now when you mention NASA. What with all the stories lately about drunken astronauts and baby diapers, these coins couldn't have come along at a better time. There's nothing to distract the Homer Simpson-loving American public from what is really going on like a piece of shiny metal. – Chris Vogel

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Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.