Neil A. Armstrong, the first man to step on the moon during the historic Apollo 11 mission in 1969, would have been 85 today, Aug. 5.
The former NASA research test pilot passed away Aug. 25, 2012.
The NASA center located on Edwards Air Force Base was renamed Armstrong Flight Research Center officially on March 1, 2014, recognizing his numerous contributions to aeronautics and space exploration.
Armstrong had significant ties to the center, both before and after his days as a NASA astronaut. He served as a research test pilot at the center from 1955 to 1962, amassing more than 2,400 flight hours in 48 different types of aircraft, including seven flights in the rocket-powered hypersonic X-15. Armstrong was part of a team that conceptualized the Lunar Landing Research Vehicle, a flight test craft that evolved into the Lunar Landing Training Vehicle. Armstrong and the other commanders of Apollo lunar landing missions trained in that vehicle for their descents from lunar orbit down to the surface of the moon.
Following Apollo 11, Armstrong left the astronaut corps and became NASA’s Deputy Associate Administrator for Aeronautics, overseeing aeronautical research programs being conducted at the center, particularly its pioneering work on developing digital electronic flight control systems.
The video above details Armstrong’s seven years as a research test pilot at the center that now bears his name.