Defense Media Network

NASA Begins Celebrating NACA Centenary | A Century of Innovation, Exploration, and Discovery in Flight and Space

Today, NASA and the global aerospace community will commence celebrating the centennial of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA), the precursor to NASA – the original government entity that gave it birth.

A very special 100th anniversary publication titled NACA/NASA: Celebrating a Century of Innovation, Exploration, and Discovery in Flight & Space, has been published just in time for the commencement of the anniversary celebrations.

Follow this link or click the publication’s cover image.NACA100 DMN

In 1915 the U.S. Congress established the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA). The committee was set up under the intense pressures of World War 1, predominantly to develop flight technology. Once established, the NACA immediately began creating world class research and testing facilities and recruiting the best and the brightest scientists in the world. Famously, in 1920 President Wilson appointed Orville Wright to the board of the NACA. Before long the formation of the NACA led to revolutionary research, the design and construction of the most advanced wind tunnels in the world, improvements in flight characteristics through the refinement of airfoil shapes for wings and propellers, new flight testing procedures, the first aircraft to break the sound barrier, and much more. Eventually the NACA would provide the perfect launchpad from which the U.S. would begin its journey into space, through the NACA’s transformation in 1958 to NASA – the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

P-80 Clousing

NACA test pilot Lawrence A. Clousing climbs into a Lockheed P-80 jet fighter on Jan. 1, 1948, for a test flight at the Ames Aeronautical Laboratory, Moffett Field, California. NACA image

We invite our readers to learn more about the NACA and NASA, through interviews with current and past leadership, scientists, astronauts, and aviation notables. You will also be able to examine, through feature articles and photographs, the history and impact of the NACA; the current status and future of NASA, including, missions, programs, and projects that are ensuring the United States will remain the world’s leader in aviation, space exploration, and scientific discovery for years to come; and the critical advances being made in aeronautics, astronautics, and aerospace technology.

You can also watch the The NACA Centenary: A Symposium on 100 Years of Aerospace Research and Development on NASA TV.