Langley Research Center
37.09277 - 76.38133Koordinaten: 37 ° 5 ' 34 "N, 76 ° 22' 52.8 " W
The Langley Research Center ( LaRC ) of the American space agency NASA in Hampton ( Virginia) was established in 1917 under the direction of the NACA Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory as. It was the first civilian research center of the United States.
At the beginning of the development of a simple small wind tunnel was in the 1920s. Soon, larger wind turbines were built and opened in the mid- 1940s the first high-speed wind tunnel. The LaRC tested during the Second World War almost all military aircraft of the United States to improve aerodynamic. Currently 10 can be achieved in large Langley wind tunnel Mach.
1958 the center received its present name Langley Research Center in honor of the rocket pioneer Samuel Langley. At the same time, this transition from pure aeronautical research to collaborate in the space programs of NASA. Was led by the so-called the LaRC Space Task Group, which was later extended and now forms the Johnson Space Center in Houston (Texas ). The first project was the Mercury program to put a man into space. The run by Langley of Little Joe starts in Iceland Wallops (Virginia ) to test the Mercury spacecraft and their rescue systems, such as lifeguard tower and parachutes were later extended to the Gemini and Apollo program.
Specially built simulation facilities helped the astronauts in training the docking between Gemini space ships with the Agena target vehicle. Furthermore, could practice landing on the moon in its last phase in the Lunar Landing Research Facility, the Apollo astronauts.
The remains of the landing capsule of Apollo 1 are stored here since the conclusion of the investigation in a storage shed.
Even with the development of satellites and the Space Shuttle Program Langley is involved. A special development was the unmanned Long Duration Exposure Facility ( LDEF ). This research satellite the size of a bus was brought from the shuttle in April 1984 as part of the STS- 41 -C in an earth orbit. On board 57 experiments were installed, which should examine the long-term effects of weightlessness on newly developed materials. Six years later, the LDEF was recaptured and returned from STS -32 in January 1990 to Earth.