NASA honors Neil Armstrong at Edwards Air Force Base

Published 05/13 2014 05:28PM

Updated 05/13 2014 11:15PM

EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, CA - It was a historic day at Edwards Air Force Base as NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center was renamed after a famous astronaut.


Kali Armstrong, granddaughter of legendary astronaut Neil Armstrong, sang the National Anthem before the curtain dropped Tuesday to reveal a building renamed in her grandfather's honor, the Armstrong Flight Research Center.

Congressman Kevin McCarthy spearheaded the legislation to get the name change, a process that took nine years.

"To be here today took an act of Congress,” said McCarthy. “You know what the little sad part (was). I had to pass it twice."

The NASA Flight Research Center which advances technology and science through flight, was renamed after Hugh Dryden 38 years ago. Dryden was a pioneer in aviation, helping to design the P-51 Mustang and lobbied President Kennedy to create the Apollo Program. Dryden passed away from cancer in 1965 and his grandson was at the ceremony to honor him.

"I think he was a very humble individual, didn't expect to have a facility named for him in the first place,” said Eric Dryden. “I think he would be very pleased and proud to transfer the name over to Neil Armstrong."

Long before Armstrong died in 2012, his imprint on the moon on July 20, 1969 influenced a generation. But, he took his first steps at Edwards as a test pilot in the 1950's, testing aircraft like the X-15, currently the world record holder for the fastest manned aircraft.

While the event celebrated the accomplishments of Dryden and Armstrong, family members spoke more about looking ahead to the future.

"May this center flourish as long as we have the dreams to fly faster and farther than ever before and to make real that which we have imagined," said Mark Armstrong, Neil Armstrong's son.

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