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Moffett Federal Airfield History
June 13, 2012
Republic F-84F Thunderjet: fighter-bomber plane on the Ramp at Moffett Field

In 1933 the United States government commissioned the Sunnyvale Naval Air Station to serve as home base for the Navy dirigible U.S.S. Macon. The Ames Aeronautical Laboratory was established in 1939 by Congress adjacent to the naval station as the west coast site of the National Advisory Committee on Aeronautics (NACA). In 1945 the Sunnyvale airfield was renamed Moffett Field, after Admiral Moffett lost his life in the 1933 crash of the U.S.S. Akron.

In 1958 the Ames Aeronautical Laboratory became a NASA field center when Congress created NASA with the National Aeronautics and Space Act. NASA Ames Research Center, one of the most active R & D centers in the United States, grew to occupy 500 acres adjacent to the Naval Air Station at Moffett Field.

Following the closure of Moffett Field as a military base in 1994, NASA Ames acquired stewardship for the navy property. NASA Ames, with the nearby communities of Mountain View and Sunnyvale, developed an award winning re-use plan to transform part of the former Naval Air Station into a world class R & D center dedicated to serving the goals of the nation's space program.

In 2002 NASA Research Park began collaborative partnerships with academia, industry and non-profits to stimulate innovation and education in science and research disciplines critical to space exploration. NASA Ames strategic partnering in key areas, including astrobiology, information technology, biotechnology and nanotechnology, will create a dynamic, integrated research community that provides R&D leadership into the 21st century.

Learn more about:
› Moffett Field
› Ames
› NASA Research Park

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Page Last Updated: July 28th, 2013
Page Editor: NASA Administrator