NASA's documentary for their 100 years anniversary.July 17

NASA Langley – 100 Years: Something happened 100 years ago that changed forever the way we fly, the way we explore space and how we study our home planet. That something was the establishment of what is now NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia, which commemorates its 100th anniversary on July 17, 2017.
Astronaut Neil Armstrong, the first human to step foot on the moon and who learned how to do so by training at Langley said, "If a competition were held to determine the organization that had accomplished the largest number of advancements to aeronautic and aerospace progress, my nomination would be this place."
This 45-minute documentary looks back across the 100 years, updates us on work being done at Langley today, and takes a peek into the future.


Innovation at 100



Air travel, spaceflight, robotic solar-system missions: science fiction to those alive at the turn of the 20th century became science fact to those living in the 21st. America’s aerospace future has been literally made at NASA’s Langley Research Center by the best and brightest the U.S. can offer. What follows are some of the many highlights from a century of ingenuity and invention.

Making the Modern Airplane

In times of peace and war, NASA Langley helped to create a better airplane, including unique wing shapes, sturdier structures, the first engine cowlings, and drag cleanup that enabled the Allies to win World War II.
Making the Modern Airplane
In 1938 Langley mounted the navy's Brewster XF2A-1 Buffalo in the Full-Scale Tunnel for drag reduction studies.
Credits: Original NACA Photo (Circa-1938)

Wind Goes to Work

Langley broke new ground in aeronautical research with a suite of first-of-their-kind wind tunnels that led to numerous advances in commercial, military and vertical flight, such as helicopters and other rotorcraft.
Wind Goes to Work
Airflow turning vanes in Langley’s 16-Foot Transonic Tunnel.
Credits: NASA

Aeronautics Breakthroughs

Aviation Hall of Famer Richard Whitcomb’s area rule made practical jet flight a reality and, thanks to his development of winglets and the supercritical wing, enabled jets to save fuel and fly more efficiently.
Aeronautics Breakthroughs
Richard Whitcomb examines a model aircraft incorporating his area rule.
Credits: NASA

Making Space

Langley researchers laid the foundation for the U.S. manned space program, played a critical role in the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo programs, and developed the lunar-orbit rendezvous concept that made the Moon landing possible.
Making Space (Neil Armstrong)
Neil Armstrong trained for the historic Apollo 11 mission at the Lunar Landing Research Facility,
Credits: NASA

Safer Air Above and Below

Langley research into robust aircraft design and construction, runway safety grooving, wind shear, airspace management and lightning protection has aimed to minimize, even eliminate air-travel mishaps.
Safe Air Above and Below
NASA’s Boeing 737 as it approached a thunderstorm during microburst wind shear research in Colorado in 1992.
Credits: NASA

Tracking Earth from Aloft

Development by Langley of a variety of satellite-borne instrumentation has enabled real-time monitoring of planet-wide atmospheric chemistry, air quality, upper-atmosphere ozone concentrations, the effects of clouds and air-suspended particles on climate, and other conditions affecting Earth’s biosphere.
Tracking Earth from Aloft
Credits: NASA

Crucial Shuttle Contributions

Among a number of vital contributions to the creation of the U.S. fleet of space shuttles, Langley developed preliminary shuttle designs and conducted 60,000 hours of wind tunnel tests to analyze aerodynamic forces affecting shuttle launch, flight and landing.
Critical Shuttle Contributions
Space shuttle model in Langley wind tunnel.
Credits: NASA

Decidedly Digital

Helping aeronautics transition from analog to digital, Langley has worked on aircraft controls, glass cockpits, computer-aided synthetic vision and a variety of safety-enhancing onboard sensors to better monitor conditions while airborne and on the ground.
Decidedly Digital
Aerospace research engineer Kyle Ellis uses computer-aided synthetic vision technology in a flight deck simulator.
Credits: NASA

Fast, Faster, Fastest

Langley continues to study ways to make higher-speed air travel a reality, from about twice the speed of sound – supersonic – to multiple times: hypersonic.
Faster, Faster, Fastest
Langley continues to study ways to make higher-speed air travel a reality, from about twice the speed of sound – supersonic – to multiple times: hypersonic.
Credits: NASA

Safer Space Sojourns

Protecting astronauts from harm is the aim of Langley’s work on the Orion Launch Abort System, while its work on materials and structures for lightweight and affordable space transportation and habitation will keep future space travelers safe.
Safer Space Sojourns

Unmasking the Red Planet

Beginning with its leadership role in Project Viking, Langley has helped to unmask Martian mysteries with a to-date involvement in seven Mars missions, with participation in more likely to come.
Mars surface
The surface of Mars as seen from the Viking 2 lander.
Credits: NASA

Touchdown Without Terror

Langley’s continued work on advanced entry, descent and landing systems aims to make touchdowns on future planetary missions routinely safe and secure.
Touchdown without terror
Artist concept of NASA's Hypersonic Inflatable Aerodynamic Decelerator - an entry, descent and landing technology.
Credits: NASA

Going Green

Helping to create environmentally benign aeronautical technologies has been a focus of Langley research, including concepts to reduce drag, weight, fuel consumption, emissions, and lessen noise.
Going Green
Credits: NASA

Intrepid Inventors

With a history developing next-generation composite structures and components, Langley innovators continue to garner awards for a variety of aerospace inventions with a wide array of terrestrial applications.
Intrepid Innovators
Boron Nitride Nanotubes: High performance, multi-use nanotube material.
Credits: NASA

 
by Jim Shultz
​NASA Langley Research Center

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