EDWARDS AFB, Calif., Jan. 17 (UPI) -- The Hugh L. Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base in California is to be renamed the Neil A. Armstrong Flight Research Center, NASA says.
Both Dryden and Armstrong are aerospace pioneers whose contributions are historic to NASA and the nation as a whole, the space agency said Friday.
Armstrong, who died in 2012, joined the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, NASA's predecessor, in 1955, serving as an an aeronautical research scientist and then as a pilot at the High-Speed Flight Station (later to become Dryden,) before becoming an astronaut in 1962 and landing on the moon in 1969.
Dryden was one of America's most prominent aeronautical engineers and was serving as NASA's deputy administrator at the time of his death in 1965. He had joined NASA's predecessor organization in 1931, and by 1949 had become the first person to hold the new position of director of NACA. He helped shape policy that led to development of the high-speed research program at Edwards and its record-setting X-15 rocket aircraft.
On Oct. 1, 1958, NACA became the nucleus of the new National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and Dryden was appointed its first deputy administrator.
NASA said it is developing a timeline to implement the name change for the Flight Research Center, and that the Western Aeronautical Test Range at the center will be renamed the Hugh L. Dryden Aeronautical Test Range.