— Neil Armstrong didn’t need NASA’s Plum Brook Station to be named after him.
The primary particular person to stroll on the moon politely declined the glory when requested, however on Wednesday (Aug. 11), 9 years after Armstrong died and per week after what would have been his 91st birthday, a bunch of NASA officers and members of Congress presided over a small ceremony in Sandusky, Ohio, to do exactly that. Plum Brook Station is now the Neil A. Armstrong Check Facility.
“I want he could possibly be seated right here, at age 91. He could be hiding within the again, very modestly,” mentioned Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH), who spearheaded the legislation that led to Wednesday’s dedication. “I bought to inform you truthfully although, he wouldn’t be enthusiastic about this renaming. He’d be nice with it, however he would not be enthusiastic about it — and that’s all of the extra the rationale for us to have accomplished it.”
A distant, 6,400-acre campus managed by NASA’s Glenn Analysis Middle in Cleveland, the Neil A. Armstrong Check Facility is residence to the House Environments Advanced, the world’s largest and strongest house atmosphere simulation chambers, and the In-House Propulsion Facility, the world’s solely technique of testing full-scale, upper-stage launch automobiles and rocket engines underneath simulated high-altitude circumstances.
The Armstrong Check Facility, which was initially named for a close-by stream, was lately used to topic NASA’s Artemis I Orion to the acute temperatures and electromagnetic atmosphere that the spacecraft will encounter on its mission to the moon. The uncrewed flight, which is deliberate for later this 12 months, will affirm that the capsule is ready to begin delivering astronauts to the moon — following within the 50-year-old footsteps of Armstrong and his fellow Apollo moonwalkers.
“That is a part of Neil’s dream,” Portman mentioned. “Neil was a giant advocate of the house program and, particularly, getting Artemis off the bottom and shifting ahead.”
Armstrong started his NASA profession at Glenn Analysis Middle (then referred to as the Lewis Flight Propulsion Laboratory) as a check pilot in 1955. A local of Ohio who spent his childhood in Higher Sandusky, Armstrong flew plane at Lewis earlier than transferring to NASA’s Excessive Pace Flight Station in southern California (now the Neil A. Armstrong Flight Research Center) and later turning into an astronaut.
NASA Administrator Invoice Nelson mentioned it was a “grand event” to call one thing after Neil Armstrong.
“Whereas we bid farewell to one among our most cherished heroes a number of years in the past premature early, I’m proud we will honor him at present,” mentioned Nelson, a former senator and house shuttle payload specialist. “It’s with Neil’s spirit in our hearts and in our minds that we work on the unbelievable missions right here at NASA.”
Armstrong’s personal emotions concerning the honor are identified as a result of Portman requested him about it a 12 months earlier than he died.
“He mentioned, ‘You recognize, thanks, however I actually do not want that,'” recalled Portman. “That is what he mentioned, ‘The reward I acquired for my service and sacrifice was the chance and privilege to serve. The reward I acquired was my likelihood to serve my nation. That is all I need.'”
“Ten years later, right here we’re and we’re not precisely following his needs,” mentioned Portman, “however we’re following ours. It’s notably necessary we do it due to who he was. By renaming this particular facility after a proud son of Ohio whose extraordinary accomplishment and character we need to maintain up for example for future generations — that is what we’re doing.”
Mark Armstrong, Neil’s youngest son, helped to unveil an outside signal bearing the location’s new designation.
“It’s our household’s hope that the Neil A. Armstrong Test Facility will proceed to vault us ahead for sooner and safer aerospace transport,” he mentioned, “and this new identify will probably be a beacon for the most effective, the brightest and maybe most significantly, probably the most decided.”