Washington, D.C. — The House of Representatives today approved a resolution to rename the Dryden Flight Research Center, located in southern California, the “Neil A. Armstrong Flight Research Center.” H.R. 667 also re-designates the surrounding test range to honor Hugh Dryden, a prominent aeronautical engineer.
Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) supported the bill in a statement on the House floor.
Chairman Smith: “Not many people know the relationship between these two men. Hugh Dryden was the visionary behind NASA’s X-15 rocket plane and the Apollo program. Neil Armstrong was the one who flew the spacecraft that Dryden envisioned.
“Hugh Dryden recommended to President John F. Kennedy that the goal of putting a man on the Moon within 10 years was achievable and something the American people could rally behind.
“The rest is history. President Kennedy grabbed Hugh Dryden’s idea and addressed a joint session of Congress the very next month. The Apollo program was the brainchild of Hugh Dryden.
“Neil Armstrong turned that dream into reality by making that ‘one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind’ on another world almost 240,000 miles away.
“Hugh Dryden was not able to see his dream become reality, as he died in 1965. And unfortunately, Neil Armstrong passed away last August. It is important for us to honor both men’s legacies by naming the Flight Research Center after Neil Armstrong and the surrounding Test Range after Hugh Dryden.
“With this bill, we re-affirm that America is filled with dreamers like Hugh Dryden, and doers like Neil Armstrong, who—working together—can ‘shoot for the Moon.’”