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November 30, 2012

McKeon, McCarthy want to honor Astronaut Neil A. Armstrong


Washington D.C. Congressman Howard ìBuckî McKeon, R-Calif., and Congressman Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., has introduced legislation in the House of Representatives to redesignate NASAís 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 McCarthy in introducing this legislation are Congressman Howard Buck McKeon, R-Calif., Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., Congressman Ken Calvert, R-Calif., Congressman Lamar Smith, R-Texas, Congressman Steven Palazzo, R-Miss., and Congressman Adam Schiff, D-Calif.

ìToday, I introduced legislation to rename the NASA Dryden Flight Research Center in honor of Neil A. Armstrong,î said McCarthy. ìThis bill recognizes the achievements of Neil Armstrong in aerospace travel and space exploration, and highlights his important connection to Kern County. He was a great American who served as a test pilot and began training for his famous astronaut career here in Eastern Kern.

ìLater, he oversaw aeronautical research programs at the center and spearheaded technological innovation that continues to this day. This bill also continues to recognize Hugh Dryden by renaming the centerís test range in his honor,î McCarthy continued. ìEastern Kern continues to remain a hub of innovation in space exploration, aeronautical research and scientific discovery, and I look forward to more groundbreaking achievements in the future.

McKeon, in a statement, said, ìI will never forget watching Neil Armstrong take those first steps on the Moon. In that remarkable and powerful moment, Neil Armstrong confirmed to the entire world watching that anything is possible and that nothing, not even traveling to outer space and walking on the moon, was too tall of an order for the United States.

Local leaders agree that this action will enhance the profile of the NASA flight research center and recognize the accomplishments Neil Armstrong and Hugh Dryden achieved during their time in Eastern Kern.

ìOur organization has been has been a supporter of the flight test missions at Edwards since the late 1950s,î said Vicki Medina, executive director of the Antelope Valley Board of Trade. ìTo that effect, we have seen numerous name changes of the NASA facility over the years, and we feel that the timing is right to move the center into a new era. In light of NASAís current mission to ëextend the frontiers of space exploration, scientific discovery, and aeronautics researchí we can think of no other person than Neil Armstrong whose name has the ability to inspire the next generation of researchers, scientists and space explorers.

And the CEO of the Mojave Air and Space Port, Stuart Witt, also supports the move.

ìMojave Air & Space Port strongly supports a Resolution in favor of the proposed name change of the current NASA Dryden Flight Research Center to the Neil A. Armstrong Flight Research Center and Western Aeronautical Test Range to the Hugh L. Dryden Aeronautical Test Range, said Witt. ìIt is most appropriate that Astronaut Neil A. Armstrong be honored and memorialized in this way with his noted lifelong accomplishments as the first human to walk on the moon and as a former test pilot who worked at the Dryden Flight Research Center for seven years (1955-1962) as well as emphasis on the contributions of the center to the agency’s space exploration mission.




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