Flight testing is a branch of aeronautical engineering that develops and gathers data during flight of an aircraft, or atmospheric testing of launch vehicles and reusable spacecraft, analyzes the data to evaluate the aerodynamic flight characteristics of the vehicle in order to validate the design, including safety aspects. The flight test phase accomplishes two major tasks: 1) finding and fixing any design problems and 2) verifying and documenting the vehicle capabilities for government certification or customer acceptance; the flight test phase can range from the test of a single new system for an existing vehicle to the complete development and certification of a new aircraft, launch vehicle, or reusable spacecraft. Therefore, the duration of a particular flight test program can vary from a few weeks to many years. There are two categories of flight test programs – commercial and military. Commercial flight testing is conducted to certify that the aircraft meets all applicable safety and performance requirements of the government certifying agency.
In the US, this is the Federal Aviation Administration. Since commercial aircraft development is funded by the aircraft manufacturer and/or private investors, the certifying agency does not have a stake in the commercial success of the aircraft; these civil agencies are concerned with the aircraft's safety and that the pilot's flight manual reports the aircraft's performance. The market will determine the aircraft's suitability to operators; the civil certification agency does not get involved in flight testing until the manufacturer has found and fixed any development issues and is ready to seek certification. Military programs differ from commercial in that the government contracts with the aircraft manufacturer to design and build an aircraft to meet specific mission capabilities; these performance requirements are documented to the manufacturer in the aircraft specification and the details of the flight test program are spelled out in the statement of work. In this case, the government is the customer and has a direct stake in the aircraft's ability to perform the mission.
Since the government is funding the program, it is more involved in the aircraft design and testing from early-on. Military test pilots and engineers are integrated as part of the manufacturer's flight test team before first flight; the final phase of the military aircraft flight test is the Operational Test. OT is conducted by a government-only test team with the dictate to certify that the aircraft is suitable and effective to carry out the intended mission. Flight testing of military aircraft is conducted at military flight test facilities; the US Navy tests aircraft at Naval Air Station Patuxent River and the US Air Force at Edwards Air Force Base. The U. S. Air Force Test Pilot School and the U. S. Naval Test Pilot School are the programs designed to teach military test personnel. In the UK, most military flight testing is conducted by three organizations, the RAF, BAE Systems and QinetiQ. For minor upgrades the testing may be conducted by one of these three organizations in isolation, but major programs are conducted by a joint trials team, with all three organizations working together under the umbrella of an integrated project team airspace.
All launch vehicles, as well as a few reusable spacecraft, must be designed to deal with aerodynamic flight loads while moving through the atmosphere. Many launch vehicles are flight tested, with rather more extensive data collection and analysis on the initial orbital launch of a particular launch vehicle design. Reusable spacecraft or reusable booster test programs are much more involved and follow the full envelope expansion paradigm of traditional aircraft testing. Previous and current test programs include the early drop tests of the Space Shuttle, the X-24B, Space Ship Two, Dream Chaser, the SpaceX reusable launch system development program including the VTVL Grasshopper and OK-GLI purpose-built test vehicles. Flight testing—typically as a class of non-revenue producing flight, although SpaceX has done extensive flight tests on the post-mission phase of a returning booster flight on revenue launches—can be subject to the latter's statistically demonstrated higher risk of accidents or serious incidents.
This is due to the unknowns of a new aircraft or launch vehicle's handling characteristics and lack of established operating procedures, can be exacerbated if test pilot training or experience of the flight crew is lacking For this reason, flight testing is planned in three phases: preparation. For both commercial and military aircraft, as well as launch vehicles, flight test preparation begins well before the test vehicle is ready to fly. What needs to be tested must be defined, from which the Flight Test Engineers prepare the test plan, certain maneuvers to be flown; each single test is known as a Test Point. A full certification/qualification flight test program for a new aircraft will require testing for many aircraft systems and in-flight regimes. Altogether, a certification flight test program will consist of 10,000 Test Points; the document used to prepare a single test flight for an aircraft is known as a Test Card. This will consist of a description of the Test Points to be flown; the flight test engineer will try to fly similar Test Points from all te
Marshall Space Flight Center
The George C. Marshall Space Flight Center, located in Huntsville, Alabama, is the U. S. government's civilian rocketry and spacecraft propulsion research center. The largest NASA center, MSFC's first mission was developing the Saturn launch vehicles for the Apollo Moon program. Marshall has been the agency's lead center for its external tank. Located on the Redstone Arsenal near Huntsville, Alabama, MSFC is named in honor of Army General George Marshall; the center contains the Huntsville Operations Support Center - known as the International Space Station Payload Operations Center, a facility that supports ISS launch and experiment activities at the Kennedy Space Center. The HOSC monitors rocket launches from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station when a Marshall Center payload is on board. After the end of the war with Germany in May 1945, a program was initiated to bring to the United States a number of scientists and engineers, at the center of Germany's advanced military technologies; the largest and best-known activity was called Operation Paperclip.
In August 1945, 127 missile specialists led by Wernher von Braun signed work contracts with the U. S. Army's Ordnance Corps. Most of them had worked on the V-2 missile development under von Braun at Peenemünde. Von Braun and the other Germans were sent to Fort Bliss, joining the Army's newly formed Research and Development Division Sub-office. For the next five years, von Braun and the German scientists and engineers were engaged in adapting and improving the V-2 missile for U. S. applications. Von Braun had long had a great interest in rocketry for space exploration. Toward this, he was allowed to use a WAC Corporal rocket as a second stage for a V-2. During World War II, the production and storage of ordnance shells was conducted by three arsenals nearby to Huntsville, Alabama. After the war, these were closed, the three areas were combined to form Redstone Arsenal. In October 1948, the Chief of Ordnance designated Redstone Arsenal as the center of research and development activities in free-flight rockets and related items, the following June, the Ordnance Rocket Center was opened.
A year the Secretary of the Army approved the transfer of the rocket research and development activities from Fort Bliss to the new center at Redstone Arsenal. Beginning in April 1950, about 1,000 persons were involved in the transfer, including von Braun's group. At this time, R&D responsibility for guided missiles was added, studies began on a medium-range guided missile that became the Redstone rocket. Over the next decade, the missile development on Redstone Arsenal expanded. Many small free-flight and guided rockets were developed, work on the Redstone rocket got underway. Although this rocket was intended for military purposes, von Braun kept space in his mind, published a read article on this subject. In mid-1952, the Germans who had worked under individual contracts were converted to civil service employees, in 1954-55, most became U. S. citizens. Von Braun was appointed Chief of the Guided Missile Development Division. In September 1954, von Braun proposed using the Redstone as the main booster of a multi-stage rocket for launching artificial satellites.
A year a study for Project Orbiter was completed, detailing plans and schedules for a series of scientific satellites. The Army's official role in the U. S. space satellite program was delayed, after higher authorities elected to use the Vanguard rocket being developed by the Naval Research Laboratory. In February 1956, the Army Ballistic Missile Agency was established. One of the primary programs was a 1,500-mile, single-stage missile, started the previous year. S. Army and U. S. Navy, this was designated the PGM-19 Jupiter. Guidance component testing for this Jupiter intermediate range ballistic missile began in March 1956 on a modified Redstone missile dubbed Jupiter A while re-entry vehicle testing began in September 1956 on a Redstone with spin-stabilized upper stages named Jupiter-C; the first Jupiter IRBM flight took place from Cape Canaveral in March 1957 with the first successful flight to full range on 31 May. Jupiter was taken over by the U. S. Air Force; the ABMA developed Jupiter-C was composed of a Redstone rocket first stage and two upper stages for RV tests or three upper stages for Explorer satellite launches.
ABMA had planned the 20 September 1956 flight as a satellite launch but, by direct intervention of Eisenhower, was limited to the use of 2 upper stages for an RV test flight traveling 3,350 miles and attaining an altitude of 682 miles. While the Jupiter C capability was such that it could have placed the fourth stage in orbit, that mission had been assigned to the NRL. Jupiter-C flights would be used to launch satellites; the Soviet Union launched Sputnik 1, the first man-made earth satellite, on October 4, 1957. This was followed on November 3 with the second satellite, Sputnik 2; the United States attempted a satellite launch on December 6, using the NRL's Vanguard rocket, but it struggled off the ground fell back and exploded. On January 31, 1958, after receiving permission to proceed, von Braun and the ABMA space development team used a Jupiter C in a Juno I configurat
President of the United States
The president of the United States is the head of state and head of government of the United States of America. The president directs the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces. In contemporary times, the president is looked upon as one of the world's most powerful political figures as the leader of the only remaining global superpower; the role includes responsibility for the world's most expensive military, which has the second largest nuclear arsenal. The president leads the nation with the largest economy by nominal GDP; the president possesses international hard and soft power. Article II of the Constitution establishes the executive branch of the federal government, it vests the executive power of the United States in the president. The power includes the execution and enforcement of federal law, alongside the responsibility of appointing federal executive, diplomatic and judicial officers, concluding treaties with foreign powers with the advice and consent of the Senate.
The president is further empowered to grant federal pardons and reprieves, to convene and adjourn either or both houses of Congress under extraordinary circumstances. The president directs the foreign and domestic policies of the United States, takes an active role in promoting his policy priorities to members of Congress. In addition, as part of the system of checks and balances, Article I, Section 7 of the Constitution gives the president the power to sign or veto federal legislation; the power of the presidency has grown since its formation, as has the power of the federal government as a whole. Through the Electoral College, registered voters indirectly elect the president and vice president to a four-year term; this is the only federal election in the United States, not decided by popular vote. Nine vice presidents became president by virtue of a president's intra-term resignation. Article II, Section 1, Clause 5 sets three qualifications for holding the presidency: natural-born U. S. citizenship.
The Twenty-second Amendment precludes any person from being elected president to a third term. In all, 44 individuals have served 45 presidencies spanning 57 full four-year terms. Grover Cleveland served two non-consecutive terms, so he is counted twice, as both the 22nd and 24th president. Donald Trump of New York is the current president of the United States, he assumed office on January 20, 2017. In July 1776, during the American Revolutionary War, the Thirteen Colonies, acting jointly through the Second Continental Congress, declared themselves to be 13 independent sovereign states, no longer under British rule. Recognizing the necessity of coordinating their efforts against the British, the Continental Congress began the process of drafting a constitution that would bind the states together. There were long debates on a number of issues, including representation and voting, the exact powers to be given the central government. Congress finished work on the Articles of Confederation to establish a perpetual union between the states in November 1777 and sent it to the states for ratification.
Under the Articles, which took effect on March 1, 1781, the Congress of the Confederation was a central political authority without any legislative power. It could make its own resolutions and regulations, but not any laws, could not impose any taxes or enforce local commercial regulations upon its citizens; this institutional design reflected how Americans believed the deposed British system of Crown and Parliament ought to have functioned with respect to the royal dominion: a superintending body for matters that concerned the entire empire. The states were out from under any monarchy and assigned some royal prerogatives to Congress; the members of Congress elected a President of the United States in Congress Assembled to preside over its deliberation as a neutral discussion moderator. Unrelated to and quite dissimilar from the office of President of the United States, it was a ceremonial position without much influence. In 1783, the Treaty of Paris secured independence for each of the former colonies.
With peace at hand, the states each turned toward their own internal affairs. By 1786, Americans found their continental borders besieged and weak and their respective economies in crises as neighboring states agitated trade rivalries with one another, they witnessed their hard currency pouring into foreign markets to pay for imports, their Mediterranean commerce preyed upon by North African pirates, their foreign-financed Revolutionary War debts unpaid and accruing interest. Civil and political unrest loomed. Following the successful resolution of commercial and fishing disputes between Virginia and Maryland at the Mount Vernon Conference in 1785, Virginia called for a trade conference between all the states, set for September 1786 in Annapolis, with an aim toward resolving further-reaching interstate commercial antagonisms; when the convention failed for lack of attendance due to suspicions among most of the other states, Alexander Hamilton led the Annapolis delegates in a call for a convention to offer revisions to the Articles, to be held the next spring in Philadelphia.
Prospects for the next convention appeared bleak until James Madison and Edmund Randolph succeeded in securing George Washington's attendance to Philadelphia as a delegate for Virginia. When the Constitutional Convention convened in May 1787, the 12 state delegations in attendance (Rh
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is an independent agency of the United States Federal Government responsible for the civilian space program, as well as aeronautics and aerospace research. NASA was established in 1958; the new agency was to have a distinctly civilian orientation, encouraging peaceful applications in space science. Since its establishment, most US space exploration efforts have been led by NASA, including the Apollo Moon landing missions, the Skylab space station, the Space Shuttle. NASA is supporting the International Space Station and is overseeing the development of the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle, the Space Launch System and Commercial Crew vehicles; the agency is responsible for the Launch Services Program which provides oversight of launch operations and countdown management for unmanned NASA launches. NASA science is focused on better understanding Earth through the Earth Observing System. From 1946, the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics had been experimenting with rocket planes such as the supersonic Bell X-1.
In the early 1950s, there was challenge to launch an artificial satellite for the International Geophysical Year. An effort for this was the American Project Vanguard. After the Soviet launch of the world's first artificial satellite on October 4, 1957, the attention of the United States turned toward its own fledgling space efforts; the US Congress, alarmed by the perceived threat to national security and technological leadership, urged immediate and swift action. On January 12, 1958, NACA organized a "Special Committee on Space Technology", headed by Guyford Stever. On January 14, 1958, NACA Director Hugh Dryden published "A National Research Program for Space Technology" stating: It is of great urgency and importance to our country both from consideration of our prestige as a nation as well as military necessity that this challenge be met by an energetic program of research and development for the conquest of space... It is accordingly proposed that the scientific research be the responsibility of a national civilian agency...
NACA is capable, by rapid extension and expansion of its effort, of providing leadership in space technology. While this new federal agency would conduct all non-military space activity, the Advanced Research Projects Agency was created in February 1958 to develop space technology for military application. On July 29, 1958, Eisenhower signed the National Aeronautics and Space Act, establishing NASA; when it began operations on October 1, 1958, NASA absorbed the 43-year-old NACA intact. A NASA seal was approved by President Eisenhower in 1959. Elements of the Army Ballistic Missile Agency and the United States Naval Research Laboratory were incorporated into NASA. A significant contributor to NASA's entry into the Space Race with the Soviet Union was the technology from the German rocket program led by Wernher von Braun, now working for the Army Ballistic Missile Agency, which in turn incorporated the technology of American scientist Robert Goddard's earlier works. Earlier research efforts within the US Air Force and many of ARPA's early space programs were transferred to NASA.
In December 1958, NASA gained control of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a contractor facility operated by the California Institute of Technology. The agency's leader, NASA's administrator, is nominated by the President of the United States subject to approval of the US Senate, reports to him or her and serves as senior space science advisor. Though space exploration is ostensibly non-partisan, the appointee is associated with the President's political party, a new administrator is chosen when the Presidency changes parties; the only exceptions to this have been: Democrat Thomas O. Paine, acting administrator under Democrat Lyndon B. Johnson, stayed on while Republican Richard Nixon tried but failed to get one of his own choices to accept the job. Paine was confirmed by the Senate in March 1969 and served through September 1970. Republican James C. Fletcher, appointed by Nixon and confirmed in April 1971, stayed through May 1977 into the term of Democrat Jimmy Carter. Daniel Goldin was appointed by Republican George H. W. Bush and stayed through the entire administration of Democrat Bill Clinton.
Robert M. Lightfoot, Jr. associate administrator under Democrat Barack Obama, was kept on as acting administrator by Republican Donald Trump until Trump's own choice Jim Bridenstine, was confirmed in April 2018. Though the agency is independent, the survival or discontinuation of projects can depend directly on the will of the President; the first administrator was Dr. T. Keith Glennan appointed by Republican President Dwight D. Eisenhower. During his term he brought together the disparate projects in American space development research; the second administrator, James E. Webb, appointed by President John F. Kennedy, was a Democrat who first publicly served under President Harry S. Truman. In order to implement the Apollo program to achieve Kennedy's Moon la
Edwards Air Force Base
Edwards Air Force Base is a United States Air Force installation located in Kern County in southern California, about 22 miles northeast of Lancaster and 15 miles east of Rosamond. It is the home of the Air Force Test Center, Air Force Test Pilot School, NASA's Armstrong Flight Research Center, it is the Air Force Materiel Command center for conducting and supporting research and development of flight, as well as testing and evaluating aerospace systems from concept to combat. It hosts many test activities conducted by America's commercial aerospace industry. Known as Muroc Air Force Base, Edwards AFB is named in honor of Captain Glen Edwards. During World War II, he flew A-20 Havoc light attack bombers in the North African campaign on 50 hazardous, low-level missions against German tanks, troops, bridges and other tactical targets. Edwards became a test pilot in 1943 and spent much of his time at Muroc Army Air Field, on California's high desert, testing wide varieties of experimental prototype aircraft.
He died in the crash of a Northrop YB-49 flying wing near Muroc AFB on 5 June 1948. The base is next to Rogers Dry Lake, an endorheic desert salt pan whose hard dry lake surface provides a natural extension to Edwards' runways; this large landing area, combined with excellent year-round weather, makes the base good for flight testing. The lake is a National Historic Landmark; the base has helped develop every aircraft purchased by the Air Force since World War II. Every United States military aircraft since the 1950s has been at least tested at Edwards, it has been the site of many aviation breakthroughs. Notable occurrences at Edwards include Chuck Yeager's flight that broke the sound barrier in the Bell X-1, test flights of the North American X-15, the first landings of the Space Shuttle, the 1986 around-the-world flight of the Rutan Voyager; the 412th Test Wing plans, conducts and reports on all flight and ground testing of aircraft, weapons and components as well as modeling and simulation for the U.
S. Air Force; the Wing oversees the base's day-to-day operations and provides support for military, federal civilian, contract personnel assigned to Edwards AFB. Planes assigned to the 412th carry the tail code: ED. U. S. Air Force Test Pilot School: Part of the 412th Test Wing, USAF TPS is where the Air Force's top pilots and engineers learn how to conduct flight tests and generate the data needed to carry out test missions; the comprehensive curriculum of Test Pilot School is fundamental to the success of flight test and evaluation. 412th Operations Group: The 412th OG flies an average of 90 aircraft with upwards of 30 aircraft designs. It performs an annual average including more than 1,900 test missions, its squadrons include: 411th Flight Test Squadron: 416th Flight Test Squadron: 419th Flight Test Squadron: 445th Flight Test Squadron: 461st Flight Test Squadron: 412th Flight Test Squadron: 418th Flight Test Squadron: 452d Flight Test Squadron: 412th Test Management Division 412th Test Management Group 412th Electronic Warfare Group 412th Engineering DivisionThe Engineering Division and the Electronic Warfare Group provide the central components in conducting the Test and Evaluation mission of the 412 TW.
They provide the tools and equipment for the core disciplines of aircraft structures, propulsion and electronic warfare evaluation of the latest weapon system technologies. They host the core facilities that enable flight test and ground test—the Range Division, Benefield Anechoic Facility, Integrated Flight Avionics Systems Test Facility and the Air Force Electronic Warfare Evaluation Simulator; the Project and Resource Management Divisions provide the foundation for the successful program management of test missions. 412th Civil Engineer Division 412th Maintenance Group 412th Medical Group 412th Mission Support Group There are a vast array of organizations at Edwards that do not fall under the 412th Test Wing. They are known as Associate Units; these units do everything from providing an on-base grocery store to testing state-of-the-art rockets. The 31st Test and Evaluation Squadron provides Air Combat Command personnel to support combined test and evaluation on Air Force weapons systems. Established in 1917, it is one of the oldest units of the United States Air Force.
The "Desert Pirates" are part of the 53d Test and Evaluation Group, Nellis AFB, Nevada and the 53d Wing, Eglin AFB, Florida. It provides the Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center, Kirtland AFB, New Mexico, Air Force Materiel Command, Wright-Patterson AFB, with test team members who have an operational perspective to perform test and evaluation on Combat Air Force systems; the 31st is staffed with a mixture of operations and engineering experts who plan and conduct tests, evaluate effectiveness and suitability, influence system design. The squadron's personnel are integrated into the B-1, B-2, B-52, Global Hawk, MQ-9 and F-35 Joint Strike Fighter programs, their results and conclusions support Department of Defense acquisition and employment decisions. An Air Force Materiel Command named unit assigned to Kirtland AFB, New Mexico, AFOTEC Detachment 1 is responsible for accomplishing Block 2 and 3 Initial Operational Test and Evaluation of the F-35 Lightning II for the US Air Force, United States Navy, United States Marine Corps, United Kingdom Ministry of Defense, the Royal Netherlands Air Force.
Florida is the southernmost contiguous state in the United States. The state is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the northwest by Alabama, to the north by Georgia, to the east by the Atlantic Ocean, to the south by the Straits of Florida. Florida is the 22nd-most extensive, the 3rd-most populous, the 8th-most densely populated of the U. S. states. Jacksonville is the most populous municipality in the state and the largest city by area in the contiguous United States; the Miami metropolitan area is Florida's most populous urban area. Tallahassee is the state's capital. Florida's $1.0 trillion economy is the fourth largest in the United States. If it were a country, Florida would be the 16th largest economy in the world, the 58th most populous as of 2018. In 2017, Florida's per capita personal income was ranking 26th in the nation; the unemployment rate in September 2018 was 3.5% and ranked as the 18th in the United States. Florida exports nearly $55 billion in goods made in the 8th highest among all states.
The Miami Metropolitan Area is by far the largest urban economy in Florida and the 12th largest in the United States with a GDP of $344.9 billion as of 2017. This is more than twice the number of the next metro area, the Tampa Bay Area, which has a GDP of $145.3 billion. Florida is home to 51 of the world's billionaires with most of them residing in South Florida; the first European contact was made in 1513 by Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de León, who called it la Florida upon landing there in the Easter season, known in Spanish as Pascua Florida. Florida was a challenge for the European colonial powers before it gained statehood in the United States in 1845, it was a principal location of the Seminole Wars against the Native Americans, racial segregation after the American Civil War. Today, Florida is distinctive for its large Cuban expatriate community and high population growth, as well as for its increasing environmental issues; the state's economy relies on tourism and transportation, which developed in the late 19th century.
Florida is renowned for amusement parks, orange crops, winter vegetables, the Kennedy Space Center, as a popular destination for retirees. Florida is the flattest state in the United States. Lake Okeechobee is the largest freshwater lake in the U. S. state of Florida. Florida's close proximity to the ocean influences many aspects of daily life. Florida is a reflection of multiple inheritance. Florida has attracted many writers such as Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, Ernest Hemingway and Tennessee Williams, continues to attract celebrities and athletes, it is internationally known for golf, auto racing, water sports. Several beaches in Florida have emerald-colored coastal waters. About two-thirds of Florida occupies a peninsula between the Gulf of the Atlantic Ocean. Florida has the longest coastline in the contiguous United States 1,350 miles, not including the contribution of the many barrier islands. Florida has a total of 4,510 islands; this is the second-highest number of islands of any state of the United States.
It is the only state that borders both the Gulf of the Atlantic Ocean. Much of the state is characterized by sedimentary soil. Florida has the lowest high point of any U. S. state. The climate varies from subtropical in the north to tropical in the south; the American alligator, American crocodile, American flamingo, Roseate spoonbill, Florida panther, bottlenose dolphin, manatee can be found in Everglades National Park in the southern part of the state. Along with Hawaii, Florida is one of only two states that has a tropical climate, is the only continental state with either a tropical climate or a coral reef; the Florida Reef is the only living coral barrier reef in the continental United States, the third-largest coral barrier reef system in the world. By the 16th century, the earliest time for which there is a historical record, major Native American groups included the Apalachee of the Florida Panhandle, the Timucua of northern and central Florida, the Ais of the central Atlantic coast, the Tocobaga of the Tampa Bay area, the Calusa of southwest Florida and the Tequesta of the southeastern coast.
Florida was the first region of the continental United States to be visited and settled by Europeans. The earliest known European explorers came with the Spanish conquistador Juan Ponce de León. Ponce de León spotted and landed on the peninsula on April 2, 1513, he named the region Florida. The story that he was searching for the Fountain of Youth is mythical and only appeared long after his death. In May 1539, Conquistador Hernando de Soto skirted the coast of Florida, searching for a deep harbor to land, he described seeing a thick wall of red mangroves spread mile after mile, some reaching as high as 70 feet, with intertwined and elevated roots making landing difficult. The Spanish introduced Christianity, horses, the Castilian language, more to Florida. Spain established several settlements with varying degrees of success. In 1559, Don Tristán de Luna y Arellano established a settlement at present-day Pensacola, making it the first attempted settlement in Florida, but it was abandoned by 1561.
In 1565, the settlement of St. Augustine was established under the leadership of admiral and
Space Shuttle Enterprise
Space Shuttle Enterprise was the first orbiter of the Space Shuttle system. Rolled out on September 17, 1976, it was built for NASA as part of the Space Shuttle program to perform atmospheric test flights after being launched from a modified Boeing 747, it was constructed without engines or a functional heat shield, was therefore not capable of spaceflight. Enterprise had been intended to be refitted for orbital flight to become the second space-rated orbiter in service. However, during the construction of Space Shuttle Columbia, details of the final design changed, making it simpler and less costly to build Challenger around a body frame, built as a test article. Enterprise was considered for refit to replace Challenger after the latter was destroyed, but Endeavour was built from structural spares instead. Enterprise was restored and placed on display in 2003 at the Smithsonian's new Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Virginia. Following the retirement of the Space Shuttle fleet, Discovery replaced Enterprise at the Udvar-Hazy Center, Enterprise was transferred to the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in New York City, where it has been on display since July 2012.
The design of Enterprise was not the same as that planned for the first flight model. A large number of subsystems—ranging from main engines to radar equipment—were not installed on Enterprise, but the capacity to add them in the future was retained, as NASA intended to refit the orbiter for spaceflight at the conclusion of its testing. Instead of a thermal protection system, its surface was covered with simulated tiles made from polyurethane foam. Fiberglass was used for the leading edge panels in place of the reinforced carbon–carbon ones of spaceflight-worthy orbiters. Only a few sample thermal tiles and some Nomex blankets were real. Enterprise used fuel cells to generate its electrical power, but these were not sufficient to power the orbiter for spaceflight. Enterprise lacked RCS thrusters and hydraulic mechanisms for the landing gear; as it was only used for atmospheric testing, Enterprise featured a large nose probe mounted on its nose cap, common on test aircraft because the location provides the most accurate readings for the test instruments, being mounted out in front of the disturbed airflow.
Enterprise was equipped with Lockheed-manufactured zero-zero ejection seats like those its sister Columbia carried on its first four missions. Construction began on Enterprise on June 4, 1974. Designated OV-101, it was planned to be named Constitution and unveiled on Constitution Day, September 17, 1976. Fans of Star Trek asked US President Gerald Ford, through a letter-writing campaign, to name the orbiter after the television show's fictional starship, USS Enterprise. White House advisors cited "hundreds of thousands of letters" from Trekkies, "one of the most dedicated constituencies in the country", as a reason for giving the shuttle the name. Although Ford did not publicly mention the campaign, the president said that he was "partial to the name" Enterprise, directed NASA officials to change the name. In mid-1976 the orbiter was used for ground vibration tests, allowing engineers to compare data from an actual flight vehicle with theoretical models. On September 17, 1976, Enterprise was rolled out of Rockwell's plant at California.
In recognition of its fictional namesake, Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry and most of the principal cast of the original series of Star Trek were on hand at the dedication ceremony. On January 31, 1977, Enterprise was taken by road to Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base to begin operational testing. While at NASA Dryden Enterprise was used by NASA for a variety of ground and flight tests intended to validate aspects of the shuttle program; the initial nine-month testing period was referred to by the acronym ALT, for "Approach and Landing Test". These tests included a maiden "flight" on February 18, 1977, atop a Boeing 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft to measure structural loads and ground handling and braking characteristics of the mated system. Ground tests of all orbiter subsystems were carried out to verify functionality prior to atmospheric flight; the mated Enterprise/SCA combination was subjected to five test flights with Enterprise unmanned and unactivated. The purpose of these test flights was to measure the flight characteristics of the mated combination.
These tests were followed with three test flights with Enterprise manned to test the shuttle flight control systems. On August 12, 1977, Enterprise flew on its own for the first time. Enterprise underwent four more free flights where the craft separated from the SCA and was landed under astronaut control; these tests verified the flight characteristics of the orbiter design and were carried out under several aerodynamic and weight configurations. The first three flights were flown with a tailcone placed at the end of Enterprise's aft fuselage, which reduced drag and turbulence when mated to the SCA; the final two flights saw the tailcone mockup main engines installed. On the fifth and final glider flight, pilot-induced oscillation problems were revealed, which had to be addressed before the first orbital launch occurred. Following the conclusion of the ALT test flight program, on March 13, 1978, Enterprise was flown once again, but this time halfway across the country to NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama for the Mated Vertical Ground Vibration Testing.
The orbiter was lift