New Explorers Energized by Visit to NASA Dryden
NASA Dryden Flight Research Center
NASA's newest class of astronaut trainees recently visited the NASA Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base to learn how the desert aeronautical research facility contributes to NASA's overall goals of exploration and research.
The astronaut candidates viewed advanced aeronautics projects at NASA Dryden such as the F-15B Research Testbed aircraft, which is
currently being readied to support NASA's Space Shuttle return to flight effort and for future sonic boom reduction flight experiments. The trainees also visited Dryden's flight simulation lab facilities and several in the group took turns piloting research aircraft simulators. In addition to other research projects visited, the enthusiastic candidates were treated to a tour of NASA's venerable B-52B mothership aircraft, which is being retired after completing its last research mission, the launch of the third X-43A on Nov. 16, 2004.
These new explorers will be the first astronauts focused from the very beginning on realizing the Vision for Space Exploration to return to the moon and journey beyond. The class includes three military pilots, a Navy SEAL, an astrophysicist, two physicians, an engineer and three new mission specialist-educator astronauts, teachers who will help ensure there will always be a next generation primed to explore.