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News Release 99-12

For Release: March 1, 1999

Lori J. Rachul
(Bus: 216/433-8806)

NASA Announces Field Center Name Change

NASA Administrator Daniel S. Goldin today officially changed the name of the Lewis Research Center, Cleveland, OH, to the John H. Glenn Research Center at Lewis Field.

"I cannot think of a better way to pay tribute to two of Ohio's famous names - one an aeronautic researcher and the other an astronaut legend and lawmaker -- than by naming a NASA research center after them," said Goldin.

U.S. Senator Mike DeWine (R-OH) proposed the name change in the FY 1999 VA-HUD Appropriations Bill last October in recognition of Glenn's contributions to science and space, and to the State of Ohio.

"We are honored that the center will now bear the name of two great men, John Glenn and George Lewis," said Center Director Donald J. Campbell. "The blending of names reflects the pioneering research in aerospace technology that employees have performed throughout the center's history, and will continue to perform in the future."

The research facility, built in 1941, was named for George William Lewis, research director for the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, soon after his death in 1948. On October 1, 1958, the name was modified from Lewis Flight Propulsion Laboratory to Lewis Research Center to reflect its becoming part of the new National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

Glenn, a native of Ohio, became the first American to orbit the Earth in 1962. As one of the original seven Mercury astronauts, Glenn trained at Lewis in the Multiple Axis Space Test Inertia Facility (MASTIF), also known as the Gimbal Rig. Astronauts were strapped into the MASTIF to learn how to bring a capsule tumbling in space under control.

In 1998, after serving four terms as a U.S. Senator, Glenn again made history as the oldest astronaut to fly in space as a crew member on the STS-95 mission. During the mission, he served as a test subject for investigations that explored the similarities between aging on Earth and in the microgravity environment of space.

The Glenn Research Center is one of ten NASA centers located across the country. The research and technology development work conducted at the center focuses on aeronautical propulsion, space propulsion, space power, satellite communications and microgravity sciences in combustion and fluid physics.

Over 2100 civil service employees and 1500 on-site support service contractors carry out its work. The center consists of 24 major facilities and over 500 specialized research facilities at the 350-acre Cleveland site, next to Cleveland Hopkins International Airport, and the 6400-acre Plum Brook Station in Sandusky, OH.

Further information on the Glenn center can be found on the Internet at:

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