The Western Aeronautical Test Range at NASA's Armstrong Flight Research Center was named in honor of the late Hugh L. Dryden in brief ceremonies at the center April 15.
In so doing, the memory of Dryden, the person for whom the NASA field center owes its existence as a permanent aeronautical research facility, is perpetuated.
Center director David McBride and NASA Associate Administrator Robert Lightfoot presided at the brief dedication ceremonies in the lobby area of the test range's mission computer and control room complex on the third floor of the center's administration building at Edwards Air Force Base.
Naming the test range for Dryden was included in the legislation redesignating the center in memory of the late NASA research pilot and Apollo 11 astronaut Neil A. Armstrong, the first person to set foot on the moon.
Dryden, who had been the namesake of the center since 1976, was a brilliant aeronautical engineer with the National Bureau of Standards for more than a quarter century. He became the first director of research for the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) in 1947 and that agency's first director in 1949. Upon the NACA being folded into the newly established National Aeronautics and Space Administration in 1958, Dryden served as its first deputy director until his death in 1965.
A formal ceremony to mark the renaming of the center as the Neil A. Armstrong Flight Research Center is planned for May 13.
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