NASA Space History

NASA Space History (HM1YM1)

Location: Hampton, VA 23666
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Country: United States of America
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N 37° 2.615', W 76° 21.991'

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Spacecraft, Procedures, and Communication Systems

America's space program got off the ground near here at NASA Langley Research Center. In 1958, spacecraft, procedures, and communication systems were designed and tested at the center, and the follow year the first astronauts reported to NASA Langley. Mercury Boulevard bears the name of the program that first put Americans in space. Along New Market Creek are bridges named after Mercury astronauts Deke Slayton, Gordon Cooper, Wally Schirra, Scott Carpenter, and John Glenn. A Mercury Blvd bridge over Hampton River honors astronaut Gus Grissom. The road from NASA Langley pays tribute to the first American in space, Commander Alan Shepard. Flight Director Christopher Kraft, a native of Phoebus, is honored by an elementary school.

Neil Armstrong Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins's historic trip to the moon on July 20, 1969, owes much to the Center. Apollo astronauts learned to dock spacecraft and land the lunar module at NASA Langley. The Lunar Orbit Rendezvous method, championed by Langley's John Houbolt, resulted in a single launch for astronauts and command, service, and lunar modules. The Rendezvous Docking Simulator and the Lunar Landing Research Facility are now National Historic Landmarks.

Additional Langley Landmarks include the Variable Density Tunnel, which was the world's first pressurized wind tunnel; the
Full Scale Tunnel, which was instrumental in improving World War II fighter aircraft; and the Eight-Foot High Speed Tunnel, the first continuous-flow high tunnel that enabled transonic speed studies.

NASA Langley mathematician Katherine Goble Johnson, an African-American, performed the flight calculations for several historic space missions, including the Apollo 11 journey to the moon.

When the Johnson Space Center opened in Houston in 1961, many space flight tasks were moved there. However, NASA Langley continues to be a vital part of the space program and has contributed to the Space Shuttle, climate sensing satellites, the Orion crew capsule, and the Ares rocket.

John Houbolt showing Lunar Orbit Rendezvous method
Original Mercury astronauts
Neil Armstrong at Langley Lunar Landing Facility
Katherine Johnson
Tom Byrdsong with Apollo/Saturn in NASA Langley Transonic Dynamics Tunnel
All images courtesy of NASA
HM NumberHM1YM1
Year Placed2010
Placed ByBring History to Life
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Tuesday, May 30th, 2017 at 9:04am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 378478 N 4100580
Decimal Degrees37.04358333, -76.36651667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 37° 2.615', W 76° 21.991'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds37° 2' 36.9" N, 76° 21' 59.46" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)757
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling East
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 401-451 US-258, Hampton VA 23666, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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