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  NASA Dryden may be named for Neil Armstrong (Page 2)

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Author Topic:   NASA Dryden may be named for Neil Armstrong
kr4mula
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posted 01-02-2013 11:52 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for kr4mula   Click Here to Email kr4mula     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Now that this legislation actually is up for a vote, it's pretty much a fait accompli. No senator or representative is going to want to look bad by going on record voting against honoring Neil Armstrong, one of the most universally acclaimed men in history, and perhaps one of the most decent and honorable (at least in his rarified air) ones. And especially not to fight for what is essentially a historical quibble over an honor for a guy that (almost) no one has ever heard of. Who in the public cares about Hugh Dryden or his getting shafted by taking his name off of the center?

Even though I've stated my opposition to this a few times, I should've guessed it was inevitable, given the prior re-naming of Lewis Research Center.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 01-02-2013 12:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by kr4mula:
Now that this legislation actually is up for a vote, it's pretty much a fait accompli.
Not necessarily; though your reasoning is solid, the schedule is not. Unless the bill passes the Senate today, the legislation will die and need to be reintroduced in the new Congress (convening for the first time on Thursday).

fredtrav
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posted 01-02-2013 01:19 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for fredtrav   Click Here to Email fredtrav     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Is a funding source included in the bill? It will cost money to change signs, stationery, cards, etc. Or is it something to be absorbed by others' already in place budgets? Congress likes to pass a lot of unfunded mandates.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 01-02-2013 01:58 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The bill does not include funding language but it also doesn't stipulate a timeline for the change. I suspect costs would be mitigated by making changes as existing supplies are depleted rather than all at once.

fredtrav
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posted 01-02-2013 05:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for fredtrav   Click Here to Email fredtrav     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Re-branding still costs money. Signs have to be changed. Information brochures and pamphlets likewise. Also they might wait unto stationery runs out but once one thing runs out they would then have to change everything. A Dryden letterhead put into an Armstrong envelope would not work.

chet
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posted 01-03-2013 01:22 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for chet   Click Here to Email chet     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If this stupid idea EVER gets enacted it will be a rare bit of efficiency by our buffoonish Congress we're unlikely (thank goodness) to witness again soon; managing to dishonor two men, both of whom deserve better, with the passage of just one ill-conceived act.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 01-03-2013 07:10 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Jeff Foust files an update on Space Politics:
The Senate did not consider on Wednesday HR 6612, a bill to rename NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center after Neil Armstrong. The House passed the bill 404-0 on Monday, but the Senate did not bring the bill up for a vote, or passage by unanimous consent, on either Tuesday or Wednesday. With the Senate adjourned until the 113th Congress convenes for the first time at noon on Thursday, backers will have to start over and reintroduce the bill.

Jim Behling
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posted 01-03-2013 01:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jim Behling   Click Here to Email Jim Behling     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Change Marshall Space Flight Center. He had no connection to the space program.

Rusty B
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posted 01-03-2013 07:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rusty B   Click Here to Email Rusty B     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Why no Eisenhower Space Center? Under his administration the military and civilian space programs (NASA) were formed. Projects Vanguard, Explorer, Pioneer, Tiros, Echo, Ranger, Surveyor, Mariner, Saturn, Atlas, Titan, Thor, Redstone, Mercury and Apollo, among others, were started. The first group of astronauts were selected. Why was he left out?

Jay Chladek
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posted 01-03-2013 07:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Chladek   Click Here to Email Jay Chladek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Jim Behling:
Change Marshall Space Flight Center. He had no connection to the space program.

Even though technically it was the first NAMED NASA Center when it was created by the Eisenhower administration when NASA was first chartered?

mjanovec
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posted 01-04-2013 12:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mjanovec   Click Here to Email mjanovec     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Why is it necessary to remove one honorary title in order to bestow an honor on someone else? Why not name a new facility/building after Armstrong...or at least re-name an existing facility/building that is not currently named after a specific individual.

Here's one idea: Rename the VAB. It's the most prominent building in NASA's inventory, and yet still retains a fairly generic title that it has held for close to 50 years. Call it the Neil Armstrong Vehicle Assembly Building (or something similar).

Wouldn't it be most fitting that the building that assembled the rockets that traveled to the moon be named after the first man who walked on the moon? And hopefully, the building will play a significant role in man's ultimate return to the moon, along with voyages to Mars and other worlds beyond.

Surely that's a better way to honor Neil Armstrong, than to strip away the title from Hugh Dryden.

Jim Behling
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posted 01-04-2013 12:56 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jim Behling   Click Here to Email Jim Behling     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Jay Chladek:
Even though technically it was the first NAMED NASA Center when it was created by the Eisenhower administration when NASA was first chartered?
No, MSFC was two years after NASA was chartered. GSFC was NASA's first by a year.

jutrased
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posted 01-04-2013 03:59 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for jutrased   Click Here to Email jutrased     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by mjanovec:
Rename the VAB.
I think that is an excellent idea. Might anyone know how we could get this idea going? I think a lot of cS people as well as the general public would think this would be a fitting tribute to the first man to walk on the moon.

chet
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posted 01-04-2013 04:35 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for chet   Click Here to Email chet     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
With the VAB in danger of becoming a ghost building and its demolition possible in the not too distant future, perhaps naming that structure for Armstrong isn't the best way to go. (Who could've foreseen, after all, that less than 45 years after his historic first step our nation's manned space program would be essentially mothballed)?

While he was alive Armstrong's preference was for keeping out of the public spotlight. That being the case, if he is to be truly honored shouldn't we be talking about trying to quelch any moves to name any public facility after him?

But if our politicians must aggrandize themselves by going through with some kind of plan to name something after the first moonwalker, it would seem to make sense to name some airport, perhaps Cincinnati's, in Armstrong's "honor"; wasn't aviation his first love anyway?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 01-04-2013 05:33 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by chet:
With the VAB in danger of becoming a ghost building and its demolition possible in the not too distant future...
Not likely, at least not if Congress has anything to say about it (the Space Launch System requires the VAB).

chet
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posted 01-04-2013 06:45 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for chet   Click Here to Email chet     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
As I said, with the VAB in danger of becoming a ghost building and its demolition possible in the not too distant future...

kr4mula
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posted 01-07-2013 10:53 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for kr4mula   Click Here to Email kr4mula     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by chet:
...it would seem to make sense to name some airport, perhaps Cincinnati's, in Armstrong's "honor"; wasn't aviation his first love anyway?
I think this is a great idea. It's one of the few major (well, formerly major) airports in the country not already named for someone. However, the name is the hurdle, though: Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG). CVG is actually in Covington, Kentucky (thus the "CVG"). It's owned and operated by the Kenton County (Kentucky) Airport Board. I'm not sure how the Kentucky contingent would view renaming the airport for someone with no obvious connection to that state, no matter how eminent he is.

Blackarrow
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posted 01-07-2013 05:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Blackarrow     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
"For all mankind" includes Kentucky.

Jay Chladek
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posted 01-08-2013 06:06 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Chladek   Click Here to Email Jay Chladek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The VAB is not going to become a ghost building. Sure, there's no current flight hardware in there, but there are a few offices and Columbia's remains are stored in one of the high bays (which engineers can visit to inspect when they need to). I also believe there are some camera mounts there which can be used to cover launches of rockets from CCAFS (since it is the tallest building in the area afterall).

Even though we are years away from the first SLS launch, chances are that stacking of hardware for fit checks will need to take place somewhat sooner than that, even if only to verify procedures with pathfinder hardware. It was done in Apollo and done for shuttle as well with Enterprise. Crews are going to have to be trained to stack SRBs once again eventually (even if they are inert units).

Personally, I prefer the VAB just remaining known as the VAB. Armstrong only flew hardware prepared from there once. Maybe John Young might be more appropriate since he flew four of his six flights on hardware stacked in the VAB (including STS-1).

I'll just wait for somebody to name the first artifical lake on the moon after Armstrong (Star Trek First Contact reference).

mikej
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posted 01-08-2013 12:19 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mikej   Click Here to Email mikej     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
Not likely, at least not if Congress has anything to say about it (the Space Launch System requires the VAB).
Let's hope that Congress does have something to say about it, and soon: NASA seeking to lease or sell space-shuttle facilities:
That has prompted NASA to advertise a long list of KSC facilities and equipment as available for use, lease or, in some cases, outright purchase by the right business.

Among them: Launch Pad 39A, where shuttles were launched; space in the Vehicle Assembly Building, the iconic 526-foot-tall structure first used to assemble Saturn V-Apollo rockets...

A lot of the stuff needs to be transferred by the end of 2013, when federal maintenance money will run out. When it does, machinery will start to rust, and buildings will deteriorate in the harsh coastal-marsh environment of Cape Canaveral.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 01-08-2013 12:48 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA has been open about, and Congress has been supportive of, leasing the VAB and launch pads for commercial use as the Space Launch System (SLS) comes online.

The space agency is not outright selling either facility, and neither are in any danger of being demolished. The facilities being offered for sale (reportedly) are those that were single use to the shuttle.

Orion handling and stacking tests are already underway in the VAB. The facility is not abandoned.

p51
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posted 01-08-2013 06:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for p51   Click Here to Email p51     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
To those who feel it should be changed, how would you feel if you knew that after 50-75 years, it gets changed to someone just a little more well known in that timeframe instead?

Bad enough we change the names of ball fields to suit whatever sponsor gave the most money that year.

Naming something after someone is an honor, and if you're not giving any honor at all if someone later is going to change the name to give warm and fuzzies to someone else down the road...

Name something NEW after Armstrong that will be expected to be around a while. Then keep it named after him as long as it exists. THAT is how you really honor someone.

Mr Dryden's memory deserves far better than this.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-26-2013 07:53 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space, and Technology release
House Renames Flight Center After Neil Armstrong

The House of Representatives today approved a resolution to rename the Dryden Flight Research Center, located in southern California, the "Neil Armstrong Research Center." H.R. 667 also re-designates the surrounding test range to honor Hugh Dryden, a prominent aeronautical engineer.

Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) supported the bill in a statement on the House floor.

Chairman Smith: "Not many people know the relationship between these two men. Hugh Dryden was the visionary behind NASA's X-15 rocket plane and the Apollo program. Neil Armstrong was the one who flew the spacecraft that Dryden envisioned.

"Hugh Dryden recommended to President John F. Kennedy that the goal of putting a man on the Moon within 10 years was achievable and something the American people could rally behind.

"The rest is history. President Kennedy grabbed Hugh Dryden's idea and addressed a joint session of Congress the very next month. The Apollo program was the brainchild of Hugh Dryden.

"Neil Armstrong turned that dream into reality by making that 'one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind' on another world almost 240,000 miles away.

"Hugh Dryden was not able to see his dream become reality, as he died in 1965. And unfortunately, Neil Armstrong passed away last August. It is important for us to honor both men's legacies by naming the Flight Research Center after Neil Armstrong and the surrounding Test Range after Hugh Dryden.

"With this bill, we re-affirm that America is filled with dreamers like Hugh Dryden, and doers like Neil Armstrong, who — working together — can 'shoot for the Moon.'"

Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-26-2013 07:57 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Congressman Kevin McCarthy release
McCarthy Applauds Passage of Legislation Honoring Neil A. Armstrong and Hugh L. Dryden

Congressman Kevin McCarthy today applauded House passage of legislation to redesignate the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) Dryden Flight Research Center as the Neil A. Armstrong Flight Research Center and the Western Aeronautical Test Range as the Hugh L. Dryden Aeronautical Test Range. Joining Congressman McCarthy as cosponsors of this legislation were Congressman Buck McKeon, Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, Congressman Ken Calvert, Congressman Lamar Smith, Congressman Steven Palazzo, and Congressman Adam Schiff.

Congressman Kevin McCarthy issued the following statement:

"I am pleased that today, the House voted to pass legislation I introduced to rename the NASA Dryden Flight Research Center in honor of Neil A. Armstrong," said Congressman McCarthy. "This bill recognizes the achievements of Neil Armstrong in aerospace travel and space exploration, and emphasizes his affiliation with Kern County. He was an American hero who began his career as a test pilot here and later trained for his historic astronaut career right here in Eastern Kern. Later in life, he oversaw aeronautical research programs here and piloted the advances in technology that continue to this day."

"This legislation also recognizes Hugh Dryden by renaming the Center's test range in his honor. Eastern Kern remains a hub of innovation in scientific discovery, aeronautical research and space exploration, and I look forward to groundbreaking achievements to come."

Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-26-2013 08:01 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
To clarify for our international readers and others not familiar with the process, the House of Representatives alone cannot rename the center. The bill will now be referred to the U.S. Senate for consideration.

If the Senate approves the resolution without change, then it will be go to the President for his signature. If not, then it will return to the House for reconciliation.

kr4mula
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posted 02-26-2013 11:07 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for kr4mula   Click Here to Email kr4mula     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It's interesting to note that no one (here) has seen/posted any comments from Armstrong on this issue before he died, nor has anything come out from his family since then. I wonder if their perspective, whichever way it was, has changed since his death? Given that this looks to be happening in the near future (though this DoD employee would much rather Congress concern itself with sequestration than renaming stuff), you'd think they'd make a statement of some sort. Or perhaps they're going with the "discretion is the better part of valor" mantra and don't want to appear ungrateful by opposing it and having it happen anyway. That would make for an awkward ceremony. Likewise, it would be counter to Neil's humble ethos to overtly support something like this, so maybe they'll keep their silence.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-26-2013 12:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Not a comment from Armstrong or his family, but his biographer James Hansen has come out in favor of the renaming:
"In some respects, I think Neil might have been a happier man if he had stayed a test pilot, becoming chief test pilot at NASA Dryden," historian James Hansen, the author of Armstrong's 2005 authorized biography "First Man," wrote on Facebook. "His career in test flying will be remembered even more now that his name will be forever associated with the Flight Research Center."

"It is also nice that Dr. Dryden's name will remain attached to the facility," Hansen said.

machbusterman
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posted 03-06-2013 04:19 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for machbusterman   Click Here to Email machbusterman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I personally think its very sad that they are renaming NASA Dryden Flight Research Center after Armstrong. It would be akin to changing NASA Goddard Space Flight Center to the NASA Von Braun Space Flight Center. a

And if anything, the man who's vision created the Apollo program should have had something named after him, like the VAB. Without von Braun I doubt very much whether the U.S. would have had much of a space program at all.

garyd2831
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posted 03-06-2013 05:03 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for garyd2831   Click Here to Email garyd2831     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Personally, I think Armstrong's test pilot career pails in comparison to other test pilots. The only reason this is happening is because Armstrong made the first step onto the moon and he is now deceased.

I think a college, office building or hall of some sort should be named in his honor, but not renaming a whole test facility.

I would agree with strapping a name like von Braun to the VAB would be more appropriate than this latest move. Plus I could think of a few more important issues that our politicians should be focusing on rather than facility name changes.

chet
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posted 03-08-2013 02:33 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for chet   Click Here to Email chet     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I wonder if any of the good Congressmen even took the small step of consulting with Armstrong's family before undertaking their own giant leap (in ignoring that the "First Man" was also a very private man who likely would've never gone along with their renaming schemes.)

robsouth
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posted 03-08-2013 10:53 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for robsouth     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
To me p51 said it best. Mr Dryden's memory deserves better. If you honour someone this way then it shouldn't come with a time limit. Neil Armstrong will have plenty of things named after him in the future, lets leave the centre named as it is.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 03-20-2013 08:54 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Aviation author Philip Handleman has written an op-ed for the Los Angeles Times, advocating that NASA's Flight Research Center remain named after Hugh Dryden.
In late February, the House cast a 394-0 vote to rename NASA's cutting-edge flight research center in Southern California after the late astronaut Neil Armstrong. What could possibly be wrong with that?

chet
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posted 03-20-2013 06:38 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for chet   Click Here to Email chet     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Handleman's article is a perfect synopsis making the case for NOT renaming what is today still named after Dryden.

It's well thought out, well written and makes perfect sense...which is why I expect it will be totally ignored by Congress and the renaming will go ahead as planned.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 11-08-2013 06:44 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) introduced S. 1636 ("A bill to redesignate certain facilities of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration") on Oct. 31, seeking to rename the Dryden Flight Research Center for Neil Armstrong. Marcia Smith at SpacePolicyOnline.com reports:
The bill, S. 1636, was introduced October 31, 2013 and referred to the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee. It is identical to H.R. 667, introduced by House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and passed by the House on February 25. That bill in turn is identical to a bill (H.R. 6612) that passed the House on December 31, 2012, but time ran out on the 112th Congress without any Senate action.
The Senate bill has at present no cosponsors and was referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.

Editor's note: Discussion of this topic continues here.


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