NASA Langley's Bell UH-1H Huey helicopter returned to the Center Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2011, after a five-year long stint supporting space shuttle operations at Kennedy Space Center. The KSC work added another chapter to the Huey's more than 40-year history. It was manufactured in 1968 and, according to records, spent part of its life as a MASH (Mobile Army Surgical Hospital) helicopter in Viet Nam.
The helicopter, whose call sign is N535NA, arrived at NASA Langley in 1991 as a replacement for another helicopter used primarily for drop model testing.
The Huey's first mission upon its return is to support ALHAT or Autonomous Landing and Hazard Avoidance Technology research. ALHAT is developing technologies that will allow future spacecraft to automatically identify and navigate to a safe landing site while detecting potential hazards during descent to the surface.
Image Credit: NASA/George Homich
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