Joseph Sweetman Ames, NASA, National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958

The NASA Ames Research Center

In 1939, the United States Congress approved a second aerodynamics research center for the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA). The second center was built within a Naval Air Station, called Moffett Field, and was named for the chairman of NACA, Joseph Sweetman Ames.

In 1958, the center was renamed to the NASA Ames Research Center, after NACA was renamed to NASA.

In present day, the Ames Research Center is utilized for flight and space research.

Author’s Note:

This NASA Documentary goes more in depth in the history of the center.

Google, NASA, National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958, The Naval Air Station Moffett Field Musuem

Naval Air Station Moffett Field Museum

In August 1931, the Chamber of Commerces of various Bay Area cities purchased a plot of land in Sunnyvale and deeded the land to the U.S. Navy for only one U.S. Dollar. On October 5, 1931, construction of the Naval Air Station, Moffett Field, which was commissioned as “U.S. Naval Air Station, Sunnyvale, California”, began. On April 12, 1933 the Moffett Field was officially dedicated.

From 1935 to 1942, Moffett Field was under the ownership of the U.S. Army. In the middle of World War II, the Department of War decided to give the ownership of the facility back to the U.S. Navy.

Moffett Field continued to operate as a military base until 1994, when the Clinton administration ordered a series of base closures to reduce the size of the United States military after the end of the Cold War.

Presently, the former Moffett Field is owned by the NASA Ames Research Center and one of the former hangers serves as a museum.

Author’s Note:

In 2019, NASA negotiated with the company Google, Incorporated to lease the historical hydrogen balloon hanger to Google for the testing of drones.

Alexandria, Virginia, George C. Marshall Flight Center Director Wernher von Braun., NASA, National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958

The George C. Marshall Space Flight Center – Developer Of The Saturn V Rocket

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s George C. Marshall Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama was the center where the Saturn V Rocket, which brought the first humans to the moon, was developed.

Former George C. Marshall Flight Center Director Wernher von Braun.

Doctor Wernher von Braun, whom was a former Nazi V-1 and V-2 rocket scientist who was brought to the United States via the Central Intelligence Agency’s classified Operation Paperclip program, was made the Director of a team of 5,500 employees working on the Saturn V Rocket and other NASA projects. The Deputy Director for Research and Development and the Deputy Director of Administration reported directly to former George C. Marshall Flight Center Director Wernher von Braun.

Author’s Note:

On June 16, 1977, Wernher von Braun died of cancer in Alexandria, Virginia.

Dr. Robert Hutchings Goddard, Greenbelt, Maryland, NASA, National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, The NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, U.S. Senator John Glenn Beall, Junior

The NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

In August of 1958, U.S. Senator John Glenn Beall, Junior announced that the federal government would establish a “Space Projects Center” in Greenbelt, Maryland. The center site was part of the Department of Agriculture’s Beltsville Agricultural Research Center.

U.S. Senator John Glenn Beall, Junior after he won an election.

Months later, after the passage of the National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958, the Naval Research Laboratory’s Project Vanguard was legally transferred to the “Beltsville Space Center,” though it remained at the Naval Research Laboratory facilities until the completion of the new center.

Dr. Robert Hutchings Goddard with a liquid rocket.

In May of 1959, NASA formally announced that the new facility would be called Goddard Space Flight Center, after Dr. Robert Hutchings Goddard. Robert Goddard, whom is widely considered the father of modern rocketry, theorized that rockets would work in a vacuum, and thus could potentially be used to send payloads into space. On March 16, 1961, the 35th anniversary of Goddard’s first liquid-propellant rocket launch Goddard Space Flight Center was officially dedicated.

Researchers prepare Explorer XX, the Topside Sounder IE-A, for launch. The satellite was put into orbit on 25 August 1964. (Credit NASA Goddard Space Center).

The NASA Goddard Visitor Center has various exhibits for visitors to see.

Ariel view of NASA’s Goddard Visitor Center. (Credit NASA Goddard Flight Center).

Author’s Note:

Dan Hamilton, the father of author Philip Hamilton, worked at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center from 1991 to 2018.