SP-4304 SEARCHING THE HORIZON: A History of Ames Research Center, 1940-1976

 

[237] APPENDIX E

 

CHRONOLOGY OF MAJOR EVENTS IN THE TEXT

 

1915

The National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) founded.

 

1918

Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory, the NACA's first research establishment, founded at Langley Field, near Hampton, Virginia.

 

1936

Oct. Special Committee on the Relation of the NACA to National Defense in Time of War recommended a second laboratory be built.

 

1938

Dec. Successor committee on future research needs in the NACA repeated the recommendation for a second laboratory.

 

1939

Aug. President signed bill providing for second laboratory.

Sept. Moffett Field site at Sunnyvale, California, approved for second laboratory.

Dec. Ground was broken for the new laboratory and first construction began.

 

1940

Apr. The new laboratory named after Dr. Joseph Ames, the former chairman of the NACA.

June. Smith J. De France named engineer-in-charge at Ames, though remaining at Langley planning facilities for both Ames and the new engine-research laboratory to be built near Cleveland. Construction at Ames continued, and staff arrived from Langley. Additional aeronautical engineers hired from among recent university graduates.

[238] Aug. Construction of 7- by 10-foot and 16-foot wind tunnels started.

De France arrived at Ames with remainder of Langley transferees.

 

1941

Oct. Additional appropriations of $6 million approved for Ames.

Dec. After U.S. entry into World War II, activity at Ames became almost entirely devoted to war-related aeronautical problems.

 

1942

Mar. Construction of the 40- by 80-foot wind tunnel began.

Apr. The Navy took possession of Moffett Field, replacing the Army.

 

1944

June. The 40- by 80-foot tunnel began operation.

 

1945

Feb. Construction began on two 1- by 3-foot supersonic wind tunnels.

Mar. Sweptback vying, designed to overcome high-speed compressibility effects, tested in Langley wind tunnel.

May. Construction began on 6- by 6-foot supersonic wind tunnel at Ames.

July. High-Speed Research Division formed under H. Julian Allen.

 

1947

George Lewis, director of aeronautical research for the NACA. retired. Hugh Dryden succeeded him.

 

1947

Oct. Capt. Charles Yeager piloted the Bell X-1 to supersonic flight at Muroc.

 

[239] 1950

"Unitary Plan" for national research facilities in aeronautics approved; Ames to build a complex linking one transonic and two supersonic tunnels at a cost of over $27 million.

 

1952

Harvey Allen proposed blunt-body theory to solve problem of aerodynamic heating of reentry bodies, a major aeronautical research breakthrough.

 

1957

The International Geophysical Year proclaimed for 1957-1958; it would feature international competition to orbit an artificial satellite.

Oct. Sputnik 1 orbited by U.S.S.R., beginning the space race.

 

1958

Jan. U.S. Army launched Explorer 1, the first American satellite.

Feb. The Advanced Research Projects Agency established within DoD.

Apr. Legislation initiated to create NASA.

July. National Aeronautics and Space Act passed.

Oct. National Aeronautics and Space Administration established; Ames Aeronautical Laboratory became Ames Research Center.

 

1959

July. Dr. Clark Randt appointed adviser for life sciences by NASA Administrator T. Keith Glennan.

 

1960

Nov. Ames named the life-sciences research facility location.

 

[240] 1961

July. Dr. Webb Haymaker named head of the life-sciences research facility.

 

1962

Oct. Ames gained Biosatellite Project; Carlton Bioletti named project manager.

Nov. Ames gained Pioneer project; Charles Hall named project manager.

 

1965

Feb. Ames-U.S. Army agreement established Army Aeronautical Research Laboratory at Ames. Ames to furnish facilities and personnel support; Army to furnish personnel to operate one of the 7- by 10-foot wind tunnels.

Oct. Smith De France retired as director of Ames Research Center, succeeded by Harvey Allen.

Dec. Pioneer 6, the first of the Ames-managed Pioneers, launched.

 

1966

June. Ames's civil service personnel peaked at 2310.

Dec. Biosatellite 1 launched.

 

1967

July. Ames entered into first consortium agreement with the University of Santa Clara Law School.

Sept. Biosatellite 2 launched.

 

1968

Oct. Harvey Allen announced his intention to retire.

 

1969

Feb. Hans Mark named director of Ames.

 

[241]1969

June. Biosatellite 3 launched.

 

1970

Mar. A C-141 Starlifter, to be fitted with a 91.5-cm telescope, acquired by Ames as a flying astronomical observatory.

Dec. Ames acquisition of ARPA's Illiac IV computer system approved.

 

1971

Sept. Ames-FAA-DOT agreement provided for use of Ames simulators in qualifying checks of new commercial aircraft.

 

1972

Jan. Pioneer Venus project transferred from Goddard Space Flight Center to Ames.

Mar. Pioneer 10 to Jupiter launched.

 

1973

Feb. Ames became lead center for Earth-observation aircraft; Applications Aircraft and Future Planning Office established.

Ames-Air Force agreement for development of STOL aircraft.

Apr. Pioneer 11 to Jupiter launched.

July. Refurbishment of the 40- by 80-foot wind tunnel began.

 

1974

Nov. Design plans for the Quiet Short Haul Research Aircraft completed.

 

1976

June. Ames named lead center for helicopter research.

 


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