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NASA Armstrong's New Signs: What's in a Name?
May 12, 2014

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[image-51]As part of the official renaming of what was formerly NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base in honor of the late Neil A. Armstrong, much of the center's signage is being updated to reflect the center's new designation.

The father-son team of Don and Kyle Whitfield of the center's experimental fabrication shop had their work cut out for them, as they fabricated and then installed new lettering on several of the center's marquee signs.  Among them were masonry signs at Rosamond Boulevard and Lilly Avenue, by the HL-10 lifting body monument on display near the front entrance of the center, and on the center's main administrative building, the latter to be unveiled during formal ceremonies on May 13, 2014.  

[image-96]Legislation to redesignate the 68-year-old facility, NASA's center of excellence for atmospheric flight research, in honor of Armstrong was passed by the House of Representatives in early 2013, by the Senate on Jan. 8, and was signed into law by President Obama on Jan. 16, 2014. In addition to being the first person to set foot on the moon during the Apollo 11 mission in 1969, Armstrong had been a research test pilot at the center that now bears his name for seven years prior to his joining NASA's astronaut corps. 

The legislation also directed the naming of the center's aeronautical test range for the late Hugh L. Dryden, the center's namesake since 1976, who had been the director of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics from 1949 to 1958 and NASA's first deputy administrator from 1958 until his death in 1965.

The name changes became official March 1.

NASA photos by Tom Tschida

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Signs are being updated around NASA's Armstrong Flight Research Center to reflect the center's new name.
Signs are being updated around NASA's Armstrong Flight Research Center to reflect the center's new name.
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Kyle and Don Whitfield carefully align the new letters being affixed to the masonry sign during installation.
Kyle and Don Whitfield carefully align the new letters being affixed to the masonry sign during installation.
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Don Whitfield and his son Kyle, both of whom work in NASA Armstrong's fabrication shop, add final touches to the center's new marquee at the intersection of Rosamond Boulevard and Lilly Avenue at Edwards Air Force Base.
Don Whitfield and his son Kyle, both of whom work in NASA Armstrong's fabrication shop, add final touches to the center's new marquee at the intersection of Rosamond Boulevard and Lilly Avenue at Edwards Air Force Base.
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Kyle Whitfield screws in the four bolts holding the familiar NASA logo on the center's sign at Rosamond Boulevard and Lilly Avenue on the base.
Kyle Whitfield screws in the four bolts holding the familiar NASA logo on the center's sign at Rosamond Boulevard and Lilly Avenue on the base.
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Page Last Updated: May 12th, 2014
Page Editor: Jaimie Baccus