Our History

Brief History of NASA Glenn

wind tunnel

The NASA Glenn Research Center originated in 1941 as the Aircraft Engine Research Laboratory of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics. The name was changed in 1999 in honor of John H. Glenn.

› Read More
› Timeline

History Highlights

  • Surveyor-1 launched on an Atlas-Centaur on May 30, 1966.

    Centaur Launched a Generation of Interplanetary Missions

    The Centaur rocket, developed at NASA Lewis Research Center (now Glenn) has been launching vehicles into space for 50 years.

  • early aircraft crash test

    Aircraft Crash Testing

    In the late 1940s and the 1950s, Glenn performed aircraft crash tests in Ravenna, Ohio.

  • atlas agena rocket

    Launch Vehicle History

    Between 1963 and 1998, Glenn managed more than 119 unmanned launches, including SOHO, Pioneer, Cassini and three GOES weather satellites.

  • centaur rocket

    The Centaur Upper Stage Rocket

    Glenn perfected the Centaur rocket and used it for more than 100 launches. For almost 30 years, the center was responsible for the technical, cost and schedule management of Centaur.

  • multiple-axis space test inertia facility

    Project Mercury

    All seven Mercury astronauts trained in Glenn's "Gimbal Rig," which simulated tumble-type maneuvers that could be encountered in space flight.

  • apollo 15

    The Apollo Program

    Glenn provided important early research and technical support to the Apollo moon missions.

  • solar panel

    1970's Energy Crisis

    In the 1970s, concerns about the environment and anxiety over fuel prices prompted unified energy planning within the federal government. Glenn helped to develop cleaner, more efficient solutions.

  • skylab

    Skylab 3

    Glenn tested Skylab 3's payload shroud in it Space Power Facility at Plum Brook Station.

  • Deep Space 1 spacecraft

    Deep Space 1

    Glenn provided critical technologies for Deep Space 1, the first of NASA's New Millennium Program missions.

  • mir station

    Mir Space Station

    Glenn managed the Mir Cooperative Solar Array and contributed several experiments to the Mir mission.

  • Pathfinder launch

    Mars Pathfinder

    Glenn was a key participant in Mars Pathfinder, an engineering proof-of-concept mission that sent a rover to Mars in 1997.


View Archives

Related Web Sites

Related Links