NASA's Dryden Facility Being Renamed After First Man On The Moon
January 17, 2014

NASA’s Dryden Facility Being Renamed After First Man On The Moon

Lee Rannals for - Your Universe Online

NASA’s Hugh L. Dryden Flight Research Center is being renamed after the first man to walk on the moon.

President Barack Obama has signed the congressional resolution known as HR 667, renaming Dryden to the Neil A. Armstrong Flight Research Center. This resolution also means that Dryden's Western Aeronautical Test Range will be renamed as the Hugh L. Dryden Aeronautical Test Range.

“Both Hugh Dryden and Neil Armstrong are aerospace pioneers whose contributions are historic to NASA and the nation as a whole,” the space agency said in a statement.

NASA said it is developing a timeline to implement the name change, which could take some time since the aeronautical research center has been named after Hugh L. Dryden since 1976. Originally, the Hugh L. Dryden Flight Research Center was named the High-Speed Flight Station.

“Dryden was one of America's most prominent aeronautical engineers and was serving as NASA's deputy administrator at the time of his death in 1965,” NASA said.

The engineer was named the head of the National Bureau of Standards’ aerodynamics section back in 1920, and he joined the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) in 1939, after which he became the first person to hold the new position of Director of the NACA ten years later.

“Dryden helped shape policy that led to development of the high-speed research program and its record-setting X-15 rocket aircraft. Dryden's leadership was evident in establishing vertical- and short-takeoff-and-landing aircraft programs, and he sought solutions to the problem of atmospheric re-entry for piloted spacecraft and ballistic missiles,” NASA said. “Dryden was also instrumental in the development of the Unitary Wind Tunnel Plan, which saved millions of dollars by avoiding facility duplication.”

The name Armstrong is well known because Neil was the first man to put a foot on the moon. However, even more famous than his name was his quote when he took that first step onto the lunar surface, “That's one small step for (a) man, one giant leap for mankind.”

Armstrong joined NACA in 1955 and served as an aeronautical research scientist and then as a pilot at the High-Speed Flight Station before becoming an astronaut in 1962. The infamous astronaut racked up more than 2,450 flying hours and served as a project pilot on several test planes. He was the leader in the development of many high-speed aircraft and was one of only 12 pilots to fly the hypersonic X-15. According to NASA, Armstrong flew more than 200 different types of aircraft during his lifetime.

Neil Armstrong passed away on August 25, 2012 due to complications from cardiovascular surgery. He was 82 years old.