Lab Gets a New Name: Welcome Armstrong Flight Research Center

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On Saturday, one of our members got a new handle: NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center became Armstrong Flight Research Center.

To honor the late Neil Armstrong, in January Congress officially renamed the center, located in Edwards, Calif., as the Neil A. Armstrong Flight Research Center.

In addition to being the first man on the moon, Armstrong had also spent seven years as a research test pilot at the center that now bears his name. Between 1955 and 1962, he amassed more than 2,400 flight hours in 48 different models of aircraft. Armstrong was also part of a team that conceptualized the Lunar Landing Research Vehicle, a flight test craft that evolved into the Lunar Landing Training Vehicle. Armstrong and the other commanders of Apollo lunar landing missions trained in that vehicle for their descents from lunar orbit to the surface of the moon.

After his historic Apollo 11 mission, Armstrong became NASA’s Deputy Associate Administrator for Aeronautics, overseeing aeronautical research programs being conducted at the center, particularly its pioneering work developing digital electronic flight control systems.

The Center’s previous namesake was Hugh Dryden, the first Deputy Administrator of NASA and head of its predecessor NACA. NASA will continue to honor Dryden by renaming the center’s 12,000-square-mile Western Aeronautical Test Range as the Dryden Aeronautical Test Range.

"I cannot think of a more appropriate way to honor these two leaders who broadened our understanding of aeronautics and space exploration," said NASA Administrator Charles Bolden. "Both Dryden and Armstrong are pioneers whose contributions to NASA and our nation still resonate today."

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