All articles in House section

NEIL A. ARMSTRONG FLIGHT RESEARCH CENTER AND HUGH L. DRYDEN AERONAUTICAL TEST RANGE DESIGNATION ACT
(House of Representatives - February 25, 2013)

Text of this article available as:

Formatting necessary for an accurate reading of this legislative text may be shown by tags (e.g., <DELETED> or <BOLD>) or may be missing from this TXT display. For complete and accurate display of this text, see the PDF.

        


[Pages H602-H605]
      NEIL A. ARMSTRONG FLIGHT RESEARCH CENTER AND HUGH L. DRYDEN 
                AERONAUTICAL TEST RANGE DESIGNATION ACT

  Mr. SMITH of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and pass 
the bill (H.R. 667) to redesignate the 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.
  The Clerk read the title of the bill.
  The text of the bill is as follows:

                                H.R. 667

       Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of 
     the United States of America in Congress assembled,

     SECTION 1. REDESIGNATION OF DRYDEN FLIGHT RESEARCH CENTER.

       (a) Redesignation.--The National Aeronautics and Space 
     Administration (NASA) Hugh L. Dryden Flight Research Center 
     in Edwards, California, is redesignated as the ``NASA Neil A. 
     Armstrong Flight Research Center''.
       (b) References.--Any reference in a law, map, regulation, 
     document, paper, or other record of the United States to the 
     flight research center referred to in subsection (a) shall be 
     deemed to be a reference to the ``NASA Neil A. Armstrong 
     Flight Research Center''.

     SEC. 2. REDESIGNATION OF WESTERN AERONAUTICAL TEST RANGE.

       (a) Redesignation.--The National Aeronautics and Space 
     Administration (NASA) Western Aeronautical Test Range in 
     California is redesignated as the ``NASA Hugh L. Dryden 
     Aeronautical Test Range''.
       (b) References.--Any reference in a law, map, regulation, 
     document, paper, or other record of the United States to the 
     test range referred to in subsection (a) shall be deemed to 
     be a reference to the ``NASA Hugh L. Dryden Aeronautical Test 
     Range''.

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from 
Texas (Mr. Smith) and the gentlewoman from Maryland (Ms. Edwards) each 
will control 20 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Texas.


                             General Leave

  Mr. SMITH of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all 
Members may have 5 legislative days to revise and extend their remarks 
and to include extraneous material on H.R. 667, the bill now under 
consideration.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentleman from Texas?

[[Page H603]]

  There was no objection.
  Mr. SMITH of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I yield as much time as he may 
consume to the gentleman from California, Kevin McCarthy, the majority 
whip and, I might add, the originator and author of this bill.
  Mr. McCARTHY of California. I would like to thank the chairman for 
his work.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of H.R. 667, to honor two great 
pioneers in American aeronautics and space exploration, Dr. Hugh Dryden 
and Astronaut Neil Armstrong.
  Neil Armstrong was a Navy fighter pilot, engineer, test pilot, 
astronaut, and educator who was always proud to serve this Nation.
  Before joining the Astronaut Corps in 1962 and eventually taking the 
first small step for a man, Armstrong served as a test pilot for 7 
years at what is presently called the NASA Dryden Flight Research 
Center in Kern County, California, which I am proud to represent. 
Armstrong flew thousands of hours as a test pilot there, mainly in 
experimental jets and high-speed rocket planes. He was also part of the 
team in the early 1960s who developed the Lunar Landing Research 
Vehicle used to train our astronauts on how to safely land on the Moon.
  After the success of the Apollo 11 mission, Armstrong remained an 
active contributor to the aeronautical research programs at the Flight 
Research Center. Most notably of these was the digital fly-by-wire 
program, which is recognized today as a far-reaching technological 
breakthrough. He returned to visit the center in the years that 
followed and, throughout his life, remained a strong advocate of flight 
research.
  H.R. 667 would rename the NASA Center in his honor, the Neil A. 
Armstrong Flight Research Center.
  H.R. 667 would also honor Dr. Hugh Dryden's contributions to 
aerospace engineering that made many of Neil Armstrong's career 
achievements possible.
  Dryden was a key figure in the development of America's aerospace 
programs from the early part of the 20th century to the much more 
complex programs that are still ongoing at NASA Flight Research Center, 
Edwards Air Force Base, and China Lake Naval Air Station in my 
district.
  He was an early pioneer in aerodynamics over the first half of the 
20th century and enabled many scientific breakthroughs. When NASA was 
created in 1958, Dr. Dryden was chosen to be its first deputy 
administrator, focusing his energies on the programs that allowed our 
country to explore space and send our astronauts to the Moon.
  H.R. 667 will memorialize both men by redesignating the Dryden Flight 
Research Center as the Neil A. Armstrong Flight Research Center and 
naming the center's test range as the Hugh L. Dryden Aeronautical Test 
Range.

                              {time}  1710

  Edwards Air Force Base, Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake, and 
NASA Flight Research Center in eastern Kern County remain a hub of 
scientific discovery, aeronautic innovation and space exploration. I 
look forward to many more groundbreaking achievements from the men and 
women inspired by the legacy of Neil Armstrong and Hugh Dryden.
  Mr. Speaker, H.R. 667 is a fitting tribute to Armstrong and Dryden, 
and I urge my colleagues to join me in supporting this bill to 
celebrate the remarkable lives of both men.
  Ms EDWARDS. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, H.R. 667 has been offered to redesignate the National 
Aeronautics and Space Administration's Dryden Flight Research Center as 
the Neil A. Armstrong Flight Research Center. The bill would also 
rename the Western Aeronautical Test Range as the Hugh L. Dryden 
Aeronautical Test Range.
  While I plan to support this bill, it is a bit unfortunate since it 
honors one aerospace pioneer by stripping away the honor previously 
extended to another worthy pioneer, Hugh L. Dryden.
  Dr. Hugh Latimer Dryden was director of the National Advisory 
Committee for Aeronautics, NACA, from 1947 until the creation of the 
National Aeronautics and Space Administration where he was named deputy 
administrator.
  President Johnson said of his passing that it was:

       A reason for national sorrow. No soldier ever performed his 
     duty with more bravery, and no statesman ever charted new 
     courses with more dedication than Hugh Dryden.
       Whenever the first American spaceman sets foot on the Moon 
     or finds a new trail to a new star, he will know that Hugh 
     Dryden was one of those who give him knowledge and 
     illumination.

  NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center in Edwards, California, was 
named in his honor on March 26, 1976. The center is NASA's premier site 
for aeronautical flight research. At the dedication ceremony, then-NASA 
Administrator, James Fletcher, stated:

       It is most fitting that this Flight Research Center, with 
     its unique and highly specialized capability for solving 
     aerospace problems, should memorialize the genius of Hugh 
     Dryden.

  Neil Armstrong joined NACA in 1955 following his service as a naval 
aviator. Over the next 17 years, he was an engineer, test pilot, 
astronaut and administrator for NACA and its successor agency, NASA.
  As a research pilot, he flew over 200 different models of aircraft, 
such as the storied X-15. He transferred to astronaut status in 1962 
and was command pilot for the Gemini 8 mission on which he performed 
the first successful docking of two vehicles in space. As spacecraft 
commander for Apollo 11, Neil Armstrong successfully led the first 
manned lunar landing. His service and his famous words, ``that's one 
small step for man, one giant leap for mankind,'' inspired millions 
around the world, including this Congresswoman sitting in front of a 
black and white television.
  Mr. Speaker, it's clear that Mr. Armstrong never sought the honor of 
having a NASA center named after him while alive. In truth, his name 
will live on throughout history whether or not we ever name anything 
for him. I doubt, in this era of declining funding for NASA, that 
either Neil Armstrong or Hugh Dryden would want a single precious 
dollar to be spent on a cosmetic facility name change when that money 
could be spent instead on fulfilling NASA's mission to reach for the 
stars. And, in fact, when Neil Armstrong appeared before our Science 
Committee, he almost said exactly that.
  While I expect that we will approve this legislation today, I hope 
that all the Members who vote to honor Neil Armstrong today will 
remember his testimony before the House Science, Space and Technology 
Committee during which he said:

       The key to the success of American investment in space 
     exploration is a clearly articulated plan and strategy 
     supported by the administration and the Congress and 
     implemented with all the consistency that the vagaries of the 
     budget will allow. Such a program will motivate the young 
     toward excellence, support a vital industry and earn the 
     respect of the world.

  I hope we can honor his words. But his words were foreshadowed by 
Hugh Dryden in a letter he wrote to Senator Robert Kerr, chairman of 
the Senate Committee on Aeronautical and Space Sciences in 1961:

       The development of space science and technologies 
     strengthen our whole industrial base and serves as insurance 
     against technological obsolescence. Education will profit. 
     The discipline of cooperation in a great national effort may 
     well be the instrument of great social gain.

  If the same Members who vote to rename these two NASA facilities 
today will commit to working in the coming months and years for those 
exploration goals to which both men devoted their lives, then we will 
have truly honored both of their legacies in an enduring and a 
meaningful way.
  I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. SMITH of Texas. I yield myself as much time as I may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the gentleman from California, Majority 
Whip Kevin McCarthy, for honoring Neil Armstrong and NASA Deputy 
Administrator Hugh Dryden with this bill. Not many people know the 
relationship between these two men. Hugh Dryden was the visionary 
behind NASA's X-15 rocket plane and the Apollo program. Neil Armstrong 
was the one who flew the spacecraft that Dryden envisioned.
  The X-15 rocket plane set many speed and altitude records in the 
early 1960s. Hugh Dryden was the engineer

[[Page H604]]

and program manager for that spacecraft which Neil Armstrong flew seven 
times.
  While everyone knows that Neil Armstrong was the first man to set 
foot on the Moon, not many people know Hugh Dryden's role. The Soviets 
had launched the first satellite Sputnik in 1957, and cosmonaut Yuri 
Gargarin became the first man in space in April 1961.
  President John F. Kennedy wanted to demonstrate American ingenuity 
and technical superiority over the Soviet Union, so he convened the 
National Space Council. President Kennedy asked for their advice on the 
best way for America to respond to the Soviet's string of firsts in 
space exploration. In that meeting, Hugh Dryden recommended to the 
President that the goal of putting a man on the Moon within 10 years 
was achievable and something the American people could rally behind.
  The rest is history. President Kennedy grabbed Hugh Dryden's idea and 
addressed a joint session of Congress the very next month. The Apollo 
program was the brainchild of Hugh Dryden. Neal Armstrong turned that 
dream into reality by making that ``one small step for a man, one giant 
leap for mankind'' on another world almost 240,000 miles away. Hugh 
Dryden was not able to see his dream become reality, as he died in 
1965. And, unfortunately, Neil Armstrong passed away last August.
  It is important for us to honor both men's legacies by naming the 
Flight Research Center after Neil Armstrong and the surrounding Test 
Range after Hugh Dryden. With this bill, we reaffirm that America is 
filled with dreamers like Hugh Dryden, and doers like Neil Armstrong, 
who--working together--can ``shoot for the Moon.'' Thanks to Mr. 
McCarthy, we honor their legacy, and that reminds us that America 
always needs to think about new frontiers.
  I encourage my colleagues to support this bill.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield as much time as he may consume to the gentleman 
from Texas (Mr. Hall), former chairman of this committee.
  Mr. HALL. Mr. Speaker, I want to thank Mr. McCarthy for reintroducing 
this bill to redesignate NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center, which is 
co-located with Edwards Air Force Base in California, as the Neil A. 
Armstrong Flight Research Center. This bill, H.R. 667, would also 
rename the Western Aeronautical Test Range as the Hugh L. Dryden 
Aeronautical Test Range.
  Neil Armstrong, everybody will say--and it's so true, he needs 
absolutely no introduction--people know who Neil Armstrong is. He 
covered the country. He has given of his time. He's an American hero, 
and he is one who never took personal credit for his accomplishments. 
Anytime he was speaking about the success of the Apollo 11 mission, he 
always gave recognition to the teams of engineers, technicians, and 
scientists at NASA and the industry. He was quiet, thoughtful, and 
deliberate, choosing his words carefully, whether testifying before a 
congressional committee, giving a speech, or sharing a moment with a 
friend.

                              {time}  1720

  Last May of this year, I was honored to have Neil, along with General 
Tom Stafford and Gene Cernan, visit Rockwall, Texas, my hometown in 
Texas, and address graduating high school seniors from the area's 
public schools and private schools. Neil spoke to a packed auditorium 
of seniors and their families and then generously took time for photos 
with all the graduating classes. This was such a magnanimous gesture on 
his side and yet typical of his commitment to inspiring other 
generations of students to pursue fields in science, space, and 
technology. These Rockwall County students and their families will 
remember his visit forever, and this was made even more meaningful when 
Neil passed away just a few months later and when I received a letter 
from him 3 days after he died.
  Naming the Dryden Flight Center after Neil is very appropriate. After 
graduating from college, he joined NASA's predecessor agency, the 
National Advisory Council on Aeronautics, and soon found himself at 
NASA's High-Speed Flight Station located at Edwards, which would in 
time become the Dryden Flight Research Center. They were both great 
friends. He spent 7 years there flying a variety of new-design and 
high-performance aircraft, including the seven flights at the control 
of the X-15.
  Naming the Western Aeronautical Test Range after Dr. Hugh L. Dryden 
is also appropriate. Dr. Dryden, as a close friend of Neil's, held the 
position of Director of the National Advisory Council of Aeronautics 
from 1947 until it was renamed NASA in 1958, then served as Deputy 
Director of NASA until his death in 1965. He pioneered research of 
airfoils near the speed of sound and the problems of airflow and 
turbulence. He greatly contributed to the designs of wings for 
aircraft, including the P-51 Mustang and other World War II aircraft.
  H.R. 667 honors the life and legacy of two great Americans: Neil 
Armstrong and Dr. Hugh Dryden.
  With that, I urge Members to support this bill.
  Ms. EDWARDS. I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. SMITH of Texas. I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from 
California (Mr. Calvert), who has long been an able spokesman on the 
issues related to space.
  Mr. CALVERT. Mr. Speaker, I proudly stand with my good friend and 
fellow Californian, Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, in strong support of 
this legislation we have both championed, H.R. 667, which will 
redesignate NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center as the Neil A. 
Armstrong Flight Research Center and Western Aeronautical Test Range as 
the Hugh L. Dryden Aeronautical Test Range.
  One of the great benefits of public service here in the United States 
House of Representatives is the people you meet in all walks of life. I 
had the high honor and privilege of meeting Mr. Armstrong on several 
occasions before he passed away on August 25, 2012, especially when I 
was chairman of the Space and Aeronautics Subcommittee on Science.
  Given his place as a revered global icon, Neil never sought the 
limelight, as Mr. Hall has said. He never lost his unassuming manner, 
his nature as a midwesterner, and values that his Ohio roots instilled 
in him. He was just a wonderful person.
  Those of us who were old enough to witness firsthand when he took his 
first step on the surface of the Moon will never forget the great sense 
of pride in our country and inspiration in the ability he placed in 
mankind. There are few events in history that have had such profound 
and positive impact, transcending generations across the globe. H.R. 
667 is just one way we can pay tribute to this great American hero.
  This bill will accomplish three important goals: one, to honor Neil 
A. Armstrong, who served as an experimental research test pilot at the 
center from 1955 to 1962; to emphasize the contributions of that center 
to NASA's current space exploration mission; and to memorialize the 
extraordinary career of Dr. Hugh L. Dryden by naming the aeronautical 
test range, approximately 12,000 square miles of special-use airspace, 
in his honor.
  As was said: That's one small step for man, one giant leap for 
mankind. This is a small step to recognize both Neil Armstrong and Hugh 
Dryden.
  I urge my House colleagues to support passage of H.R. 667.
  Ms. EDWARDS. I'd inquire if the gentleman has additional speakers?
  Mr. SMITH of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I believe we have one additional 
speaker.
  Ms. EDWARDS. I'll continue to reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. SMITH of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I will recognize the gentleman from 
California (Mr. Rohrabacher) for as much time as he may consume, and I 
also note that he is the vice chairman of the Science, Space, and 
Technology Committee.
  Mr. ROHRABACHER. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of H.R. 667 as a way 
for us to honor the memories of Neil Armstrong and Dr. Hugh Dryden.

  These two men, these two 20th century frontiersmen, technologists, 
and, yes, visionaries, these two men who led us and, thus, led our 
country into a new era of human history, the era of aerospace when the 
technology of mankind uplifted mankind into the air and then into the 
heavens, this is an era that we are just now seeing the very

[[Page H605]]

first steps, and these were the men who pushed the frontier and made 
those first steps.
  Neil Armstrong's name will be one of the few iconic names from our 
era that are found in history books 1,000 years from now. Most people 
know him as a brave astronaut who commanded Apollo 11; but before those 
days, Neil Armstrong was an outstanding aeronautical engineer and a 
great pilot for the U.S. Navy and for the National Advisory Committee 
on Aeronautics, the NACA, a precursor to NASA. Neil flew over 900 
missions at the NACA High-Speed Air Station, and that very center is 
what we seek to name in his honor today.
  At the same time, we wish to continue to recognize the major and 
significant contributions of Dr. Hugh Dryden, one of the world's 
greatest aeronautical scientists who provided critical leadership to 
the NACA and is reported to be the man who gave President Kennedy the 
idea that a Moon landing was the right benchmark for America to set as 
we worked to catch up with the Soviet Union in space.
  Today we honor these great men, and by supporting this legislation, 
we will continue to support them in every way and continue to support 
NASA in its test-flight mission.
  Let us not forget so many people just associate NASA with space, and 
Neil Armstrong is one of those people. But as I've just pointed out, 
their work in developing new technology for aerospace and for jet 
engines and the design of airplanes has had a tremendous impact on our 
way of life and made America the great aerospace power in the world. So 
as we honor them today, we reconfirm our commitment to being the number 
one space power and the number one aerospace power on the planet.
  Ms. EDWARDS. I'd inquire if the gentleman is prepared to close as 
well.
  Mr. SMITH of Texas. Mr. Speaker, we are prepared to close. We have no 
other speakers, and I'm prepared to yield back the balance of my time 
after the gentlewoman from Maryland.
  Ms. EDWARDS. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  I am pleased today that we've been able to bring forward H.R. 667.
  Former Chairman Hall was here today, and we had an opportunity to do 
this in the last Congress. So hopefully, in honor of these two 
gentlemen, real tremendous patriots and heroes and pioneers, we will be 
able to bring forward H.R. 667 and rename the Dryden Center after Neil 
Armstrong. I'm grateful to be here to do that with our colleagues.
  It is sad, however, that here we are on a Monday, prepared to honor 
these two great patriots of NASA, of this Nation, and at the same time, 
by the close of the week, on March 1, enable a sequester to take effect 
which could result in the loss of $894 million from NASA's budget, a 
budget that would include science, technology, engineering, 
investigation of climate change, and all of the things that we need to 
prepare this next generation to be as inspired as our generation was 
with the exploits and exploration of Hugh Dryden and Neil Armstrong. 
Yet here we are.

                              {time}  1730

  So I am pleased to go forward in supporting this legislation today, 
making sure that on a Monday we are able to take a vote to rename these 
two centers and to honor these two pioneers. But I am sad that here in 
this Congress we are also prepared to cut millions of dollars in a 
budget that should be spent on the kind of science and exploration that 
both of these gentlemen pioneered.
  When we think of what needs to be done for the next generation in 
order to inspire future scientists and those who will work in 
technology--our engineers, our math students--we regret that they won't 
see that same kind of inspiration because of the irresponsibility of 
this Congress. I want to say how pleased I am as I look forward to 
working with Chairman Smith, because I know of his commitment to 
science and to technology, and I know of his commitment to NASA and to 
moving forward an agency that's going to propel us in 21st century 
space science and in aeronautics, but this is not the way to do it.
  While we do our renaming today in honor of Hugh Dryden and in honor 
of Neil Armstrong, we will take an ax hammer to NASA's budget on March 
1, at the end of this week, taking out $894 million from an already 
strapped budget. I dare say that future generations will not be 
inspired by what this Congress will do, will not be inspired by what 
the majority is doing by not allowing us and enabling us to sit down 
and actually negotiate in a way that is going to result in our making 
the kind of investment in the 21st century that our young people 
deserve.
  Again, I am pleased to be able to redesignate the National 
Aeronautics and Space Administration Dryden Flight Research Center as 
the ``Neil A. Armstrong Flight Research Center'' and to rename the 
Western Aeronautical Test Range as the ``Hugh L. Dryden Aeronautical 
Test Range''--renaming but slashing a budget.
  With that, Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. SMITH of Texas. I yield myself 1 minute.
  Mr. Speaker, let me thank the gentlewoman from Maryland--who is also 
the ranking member of the Space Subcommittee--for her comments, 
particularly for her personal comments, and I certainly share her 
concerns about the severe cuts that NASA and our space exploration 
programs might take if the sequestration goes into effect, but I also 
feel compelled to point out that there is a way to avoid that 
sequestration.
  The House of Representatives, under the Republican leadership, has 
already passed two bills that would take the place of the 
sequestration, and the Senate has yet to act. After all, the 
sequestration was the President's idea to start with, so I hope we will 
hear from the President and the Senate various suggestions as to how 
the sequestration can be avoided, but the House has certainly done its 
job to avoid those heavy-handed cuts.
  With that, I yield back the balance of my time.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The question is on the motion offered by the 
gentleman from Texas (Mr. Smith) that the House suspend the rules and 
pass the bill, H.R. 667.
  The question was taken.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. In the opinion of the Chair, two-thirds 
being in the affirmative, the ayes have it.
  Mr. SMITH of Texas. Mr. Speaker, on that I demand the yeas and nays.
  The yeas and nays were ordered.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to clause 8 of rule XX, further 
proceedings on this motion will be postponed.

                          ____________________




    

All articles in House section