NASA Research Center holds 75th anniversary open house

By Shonushka Sawant | Web Editor


On October 18th, NASA’s Ames Research Center held its 75th Anniversary Open House. The doors were opened at 9 A.M. and were supposed to close at 3 P.M. (the event was scheduled to end at 5 P.M.), but entry into the research center was stopped about an hour early due to the massive numbers of guests in attendance The event was capable of accommodating approximately 120,000 people, and more were present by 2 P.M., when the gates were closed. By that time,traffic had slowed down and public transportation was flooded with eager families bound for the research center.

The open house featured three main venues: the Shenandoah Plaza, Chase Park, and a walking tour. The two-mile-long walking tour wound by NASA’s buildings and included areas where NASA engineers could talk to guests about newly-developed technology. In the Technology Way area, visitors could learn about smaller spacecraft missions and view Ames’ rotorcraft research. Guests were given a briefing of astrochemistry and thermal protection systems in the Arc Jet Alley and Science Showcase. Following these three areas were assorted displays and an education area.

The second venue of the open house was the Shenandoah Plaza, large open field, which included a children’s museum as well as some of the NASA missions, such as K2, and unmanned air vehicles. There was also an aircraft display, featuring the Army’s Blackhawk and California Air National Guard C-130, among others. Chase Park, the third section of the open house, was the site of several talks where crowds could pose questions to NASA members.

A fourth attraction was opened to a lucky few who had secured “backstage passes,” in which a pass holder was given tours through the facilities. However, only a limited number of these were available.