Ames Research Center, also known as NASA Ames, is a major NASA research center at Moffett Federal Airfield in Californias Silicon Valley. It was founded as the second National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics laboratory and that agency was dissolved and its assets and personnel transferred to the newly created National Aeronautics and Space Administration on October 1,1958. NASA Ames is named in honor of Joseph Sweetman Ames, a physicist, at last estimate NASA Ames has over US$3.0 billion in capital equipment,2,300 research personnel and a US$860 million annual budget. Ames was founded to conduct research on the aerodynamics of propeller-driven aircraft, however, its role has expanded to encompass spaceflight. Ames plays a role in many NASA missions, Ames also develops tools for a safer, more efficient national airspace. The centers current director is Eugene Tu, the site is mission center for several key current missions and a major contributor to the new exploration focus as a participant in the Orion crew exploration vehicle. Although Ames is a NASA Research Center, and not a center, it has nevertheless been closely involved in a number of astronomy. The Pioneer programs eight successful missions from 1965 to 1978 were managed by Charles Hall at Ames. By 1972, it supported the bold flyby missions to Jupiter and Saturn with Pioneer 10 and those two missions were trail blazers for the planners of the more complex Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 missions, launched five years later. In 1978, the end of the program brought about a return to the solar system, with the Pioneer Venus Orbiter and Multiprobe. Lunar Prospector was the mission selected by NASA for full development. Based on Lunar Prospector Neutron Spectrometer data, mission scientists have determined that there is indeed water ice in the craters of the Moon. The 11-pound GeneSat-1, carrying bacteria inside a laboratory, was launched on December 16,2006. The very small NASA satellite has proven that scientists can quickly design, the Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite mission to look for water on the moon was a secondary payload spacecraft. LCROSS began its trip to the moon on the rocket as the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. It launched in April 2009 on an Atlas V rocket from Kennedy Space Center, the Kepler mission is NASAs first mission capable of finding Earth-size and smaller planets. The Kepler mission will monitor the brightness of stars to find planets that pass in front of them during the planets orbits, during such passes or transits, the planets will slightly decrease the stars brightness. Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy is a joint venture of the U. S, the aircraft is supplied by the U. S. and the infrared telescope by Germany
Inside 80 by 120 foot wind tunnel facing towards the intake. Aircraft or scaled models of them can be mounted on the three struts in the foreground which in this picture hold individual airplane wing portions.
The Mars Science Laboratory landing parachute under test in the 80 by 120 foot wind tunnel. Note the people in the lower-right corner of the image.