Washington D.C. – Congressman Howard “Buck” McKeon and Congressman Kevin McCarthy announced legislation today that re-designates the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Dryden Flight Research Center as the Neil A. Armstrong Flight Research Center and the 12,000 square mile Western Aeronautical Test Range as the Hugh L. Dryden Aeronautical Test Range.
“I will never forget watching Neil Armstrong take those first steps on the Moon,” said McKeon. “In that remarkable and powerful moment, Neil Armstrong confirmed to the entire world watching that anything is possible and that nothing, not even traveling to outer space and walking on the moon, was too tall of an order for the United States.”
Joining the two congressmen in introducing this legislation are, Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, Congressman Ken Calvert, Congressman Lamar Smith, Congressman Steven Palazzo, and Congressman Adam Schiff.
The bill would honor Neil A. Armstrong, the first man and American to walk on the Moon and a former test pilot who worked at the center for seven years (1955-1962), recognize the contributions of the Center to NASA’s space exploration mission and continue to recognize the extraordinary career of aeronautical engineer and former NASA Deputy Administrator Hugh L. Dryden.
“Neil Armstrong braved the unchartered territory of space exploration and paved the way for revolutionary scientific discovery. I am proud to be an original co-sponsor of this bill renaming the NASA Dryden Flight Research Center in honor of Neil A. Armstrong,” said McKeon. “Dedicating this stellar institution to Neil Armstrong is a small token of our public gratitude and will hopefully work to ensure that his legacy is honored for generations to come.”
Local leaders including the Antelope Valley Board of Trade, Antelope Valley Chambers of Commerce, Mojave Chamber of Commerce, Palmdale Chamber of Commerce and Mojave Air and Space Port agree upon the re-designation of the NASA Flight Research Center and the Test Range which will enhance the profile of the NASA flight research center and recognize the accomplishments Neil Armstrong and Hugh Dryden achieved during their time in Eastern Kern.
Armstrong’s career was closely tied to NASA’s Flight Research Center, Before he became an astronaut in 1962, he served for seven years as a test pilot (1955-1962) at the Center, which was then called the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics High-Speed Flight Station. By the time he became an astronaut, Armstrong amassed 2,400 hours of flying time as a test pilot there. While still a test pilot at the Center in the early 1960s, Armstrong was part of a team that conceptualized the Lunar Landing Research Vehicle which helped create the training vehicle Armstrong and other Apollo commanders use to train on to land on the moon.