Rep. Schiff Cosponsors Legislation Recognizing Two Pioneers of Innovation and Exploration

WASHINGTON, DC – Yesterday, Congressman Adam Schiff joined Rep. Ken Calvert (R-CA), Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), and Howard “Buck” McKeon (R-CA) in introducing legislation to re-designate NASA’s 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.

“Neil Armstrong and Hugh Dryden are true American Heroes,” said Adam Schiff.  “Naming NASA’s Flight Research Center and the Western Aeronautical Test Range after these men is not only a fitting way to honor them but it is a great way to help inspire our next generation to strive to follow in their footsteps.”

 “Southern California is an integral part of our country’s space exploration and aeronautical history,” said Rep. Calvert, the former Chairman of the Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics.  “It is important to recognize both the NASA Flight Research Center and the Western Aeronautical Test Range for their contributions and what better way to do that then to associate them with two great American space and aeronautics pioneers; Neil Armstrong and Hugh Dryden.”

“It is fitting that we pay tribute to these two American heroes who contributed to the great success of the American space program,” said Rep. McCarthy. “Neil Armstrong and Dr. Hugh Dryden embody the innovative spirit that continues to move NASA forward, inspiring the next generation of aerospace pioneers and advancing our legacy as the global leader in space exploration.”

“Developing the United States space program has become one of the greatest endeavors this country has undertaken, so it is with tremendous honor that I help memorialize two of our most notable aeronautical contributors, Neil A. Armstrong and Dr. Hugh L. Dryden,” Rep. McKeon noted.  “The success of these two men helped advance NASA to be one of the finest exploration programs in the world.”

The legislation, H.R. 3245, will accomplish three important goals: (1) to honor Neil A. Armstrong, the first human to walk on the Moon and a former test pilot who worked at the center from 1955 to 1962; (2) to emphasize the contributions of that center to the agency’s current space exploration mission; and (3) to memorialize the extraordinary career of Dr. Hugh L. Dryden by naming the aeronautical test range, approximately 12,000 square miles of special use airspace in his honor. 

The Dryden Flight Research Center, located at Edwards, California, is NASA's primary center for atmospheric flight research and operations. NASA Dryden is also critical in carrying out the agency's missions of space exploration, space operations, scientific discovery, and aeronautical research and development. Before Armstrong became an astronaut in 1962, he served for seven years as a test pilot at what was then called the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) High-Speed Flight Station.  The station was later established as a NASA center and eventually named after Hugh L. Dryden, one of America's most prominent aeronautical engineers.  By the time he became an astronaut, Armstrong amassed 2,400 hours of flying time as a test pilot there, about 900 of it in jets. 

Dr. Hugh L. Dryden, was Director of NACA from 1947 until the creation of NASA in 1958, and was named Deputy Administrator of the new aerospace agency when it was created in response to the Sputnik crisis.  As an aeronautical scientist and engineer, Dr. Dryden made great contributions to our nation and the world in fields such as aerodynamics research and rocket plane research and testing.