The National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA), created in 1915 to revitalize American aviation, was a pivotal force behind opening Langley Field in 1917 nearby to the north. It was named for the late Smithsonian Secretary Samuel P. Langley. The NACA's first research facility, Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory, opened in 1918. Over the years, it solved complex problems of atmospheric flight, yielding ongoing advances in aircraft design. After World War II, the laboratory also laid the foundation for space flight. When the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) emerged in 1958, Langley trained America's first astronauts.