Tag Archives: Langley Research Center

Remembering the Gemini Program


Since it is the fiftieth anniversary of the the end of the Gemini program in 1966, with the flight of Gemini XII on November 12-15, I thought it appropriate to reflect on what I refer to as the middle child … Continue reading

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NASA Viking Missions to Mars Retrospective on C-SPAN


In July 2016 NASA’s Langley Research Center celebrated the 40th anniversary of the Viking program, which placed two orbiters around the red planet, and landed two spacecraft on tis surface in 1976. Historians William P. Barry, Roger D. Launius, Glenn E. … Continue reading

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The NACA and the National Unitary Wind Tunnel Plan


During World War II it became obvious that the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) required new tools to pursue a high-speed/high altitude research program. The National Unitary Wind Tunnel Act of 1949 addressed these needs, providing NACA funds to … Continue reading

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The NACA, World War II Aircraft, and Drag Clean-Up


I have often wondered just what research took place at the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) during World War II in relation to “drag clean-up.” John F. Victory, NACA’s secretary boasted in 1942 that “The employees of the NACA … Continue reading

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NASA Aeronautics Research Goes Digital


During the latter 1960s and into the 1970s NASA pursued digital computational capabilities and achieved several significant results. One of the great successes in this arena has been the development of Digital Fly-By-Wire (DFBW) technology. The DFBW program originated at NASA’s Flight … Continue reading

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NASA Aeronautics in an Age of Spaceflight: Transformations


When the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) became NASA in 1958 the organizations that were still charged with aeronautical research underwent a transformation every bit as striking as the reorganization that made the great successes in spaceflight of the 1960s … Continue reading

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Whatever Became of the Apollo 1 Spacecraft?


On January 27, 1967, Apollo-Saturn (AS) 204, later named Apollo 1, was on the launch pad with the astronauts moving through ground simulations in what was called a “plugs out” test. The three astronauts to fly on this mission—Gus Grissom, … Continue reading

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Whatever Happened to the National Aero-Space Plane?


From almost the first flight of the Space Shuttle in 1981, NASA realized that it would need to replace its fleet in the first part of the twenty-first century. Understanding that it took almost a decade to build a new … Continue reading

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