NASA’s Hugh L. Dryden Flight Research Center in southern California will be renamed to honor the first man to walk on the Moon.
U.S. President Barack Obama signed H.R. 667 into law Jan. 16, renaming the flight facility the Neil A. Armstrong Flight Research Center. The new law still pays homage to Dryden — an aeronautical engineer — by naming the area surrounding the center the Hugh L. Dryden Aeronautical Test Range.
“Both Hugh Dryden and Neil Armstrong are aerospace pioneers whose contributions are historic to NASA and the nation as a whole,” NASA officials wrote in an announcement. “NASA is developing a timeline to implement the name change.”
The Senate passed the renaming bill Jan. 8, giving final passage to legislation the House of Representatives approved in February 2013. Congress had made at least two prior attempts to rename the facility for Armstrong.
Armstrong died at age 82 on Aug. 25, 2012. Before becoming an astronaut and walking on the Moon in 1969 as commander of NASA’s Apollo 11 mission, Armstrong was a research pilot at the center that is now named for him.
“Armstrong racked up over 2,450 flying hours, serving as a project pilot on several test planes, including the X-15 rocket plane,” NASA officials wrote of the famed astronaut’s work at the center.