Dryden's First NASA Social Kicks Off Today
May 4, 2012

Dryden’s First NASA Social Kicks Off Today

Lee Rannals for RedOrbit.com

The NASA social is about to begin at the Dryden Flight Research Center on Edwards Air Force Base in California, and those attending the event could not be more excited.

NASA invited 60 social media guests to Dryden to see what this leg of the U.S. space agency is all about.

During the event, NASA's guests will get to hear Kevin Rohrer, NASA's Chief of the Office of Strategic Communications, speak, as well as David McBride, Dryden´s Center Director.

Guests at the NASA Social will also have the opportunity to experience a sonic boom presentation, as well as take a walking tour of the Dryden facility.

Amidst pilots, engineers, and space enthusiasts, everyone involved in the NASA social has a common bond, so the sense of anticipation is overwhelming.

Dryden sits inside California's Mojave desert, and at the facility you pick up on a vibe of the important role this center has played in the history of space exploration.

The Dryden Flight Research Center is NASA's main avenue for flight research, conducting atmospheric Earth and space science flight operations, and developing, verifying and transferring advanced aeronautics.

Dryden was first birthed back in 1946, hosting 13 engineers and technicians from the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA), which is NASA's predecessor organization.  These engineers and technicians prepared for the first supersonic research flights by the X-1 rocket plane.

According to NASA, the center flies a variety of specialized research and support aircraft within a 20,700-square mile airspace test range.

Dryden was also NASA's alternate space shuttle landing site, hosting 54 shuttle landings since April 1981.  It also was the approach-and-landing test site for the prototype shuttle orbiter Enterprise in 1977.

NASA said the flight research center also has a partial duty in the development of the space agency's next-generation spacecraft.  Dryden is developing re-entry and landing profiles, range safety requirements and integration, as well as providing flight test support.