NASA’s Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley invites members of the news media on Monday, Feb. 10, into the Unitary Plan Wind Tunnel complex to view one of the unique testing facilities supporting NASA’s Artemis program to return astronauts – including the first woman – to the surface of the Moon.


When NASA astronauts go to the Moon in 2024, they will be riding on the largest rocket ever built: the Space Launch System. This behind-the-scenes tour will show media how models of the SLS are designed and tested for performance and safety by combining the unique, high-velocity conditions of wind tunnels and the powerful simulations from the NASA Advanced Supercomputing facility. Ames researchers recently conducted breakthrough tests that could significantly speed up the design of rockets, lunar landers and other spacecraft – all with the goal of forwarding human space exploration to the Moon, Mars and beyond.


This is an opportunity for media in television, radio, print and digital to see the wind tunnel facilities and hear from experts who are innovating new approaches to solving the complex physics of spaceflight. The media will view the interior of the 9- by 7-foot supersonic wind tunnel and an 8-foot-long Space Launch System test model, as well as have the opportunity to interview the following experts at Ames:

  • Eugene Tu, center director of Ames
  • Frank Kmak, Ames’ wind tunnel division chief
  • Nettie Roozeboom, Ames aerospace engineer and principal investigator of the tests


The Ames event will start at 11:30 a.m. PST. Members of the media who are interested in participating should RSVP by or Media should contact either by 5 p.m. PST Sunday, Feb. 9.


This media opportunity will be hosted as part of the agency’s “State of NASA” events across the country, which coincides with the White House’s release of NASA’s Fiscal Year 2021 budget. NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine will speak to the agency’s workforce at 10 a.m. PST from Stennis Space Center, near Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. His remarks will air live on NASA Television and the agency’s website.


At 2 p.m. PST, NASA’s Office of the Chief Financial Officer will host a teleconference to brief media on the agency’s FY 2021 budget proposal. This briefing will stream live on the agency’s website. To participate in this briefing, media must contact Karen Northon at no later than 12 p.m. PST Feb.10.


The agency budget proposal and supporting information will be available online at 9 a.m. PST Feb.10 at: