HAMPTON, Va. – This year marks the 50th anniversary of the official start of the international space race. A year after Russia launched the first satellite, the country's premiere aviation research agency embraced a new mission and changed its name.
The National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) became NASA, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
Researchers of the NACA had started laying the groundwork for out of-this-world travel even before the space race started. Hundreds of those early aerospace engineers and other NACA employees will be in Hampton this weekend for a reunion, hosted by NASA's Langley Research Center and the Langley Alumni Association.
The reunion is scheduled to kick off with remarks from current NASA Administrator Michael Griffin at Langley's H.J.E. Reid Conference Center, Friday, May 2, at 9:30 a.m. Media interested in covering the event should contact Kathy Barnstorff at 757 864-9886 to gain access to NASA Langley.
"This will be the NACA's twelfth reunion and its last," said Duncan McIver, chairman of the reunion committee. "About 340 people have signed up to come to Hampton from around the country. As the years pass our numbers are dwindling. So we decided it would be fitting that our last reunion would be held at Langley, the country's first civilian aeronautics laboratory."
Employees for the NACA worked at five locations: Headquarters in Washington, D.C., Langley and what are now the Ames Research Center at Moffett Field, Calif., the Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., the Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, and the Wallops Flight Facility at Wallops Island, Va.
For more information about the reunion, please visit the Internet at:
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