NASA Ames Research Center

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NASA's Ames Research Center (ARC), located at Moffett Field, California, was founded on December 20, 1939 as the second National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) laboratory, and became part of NASA in 1958, as part of the turnover from NACA. The center was named after Joseph Sweetman Ames, a founding member and longtime chairman (1919–1939) of the NACA.

Ames Research Center is one of NASA’s 10 major field centers and is located in California's Silicon Valley, near the high-tech companies, entrepreneurial ventures, universities, and other laboratories that fuel the region's reputation for technology development and research. With over $3.0 billion in capital equipment, 2,300 research personnel and a $600 million annual budget, Ames' economic impact is significant.

Historically, Ames was founded to do wind-tunnel research on the aerodynamics of propeller-driven aircraft; however, Ames has expanded its role to doing research and technology in aeronautics, spaceflight, and information technology. Ames plays a role in many of NASA missions in support of America's space and aeronautics programs. It provides leadership in astrobiology; small satellites; robotic lunar exploration; technologies for the Constellation Program; the search for habitable planets; supercomputing; intelligent/adaptive systems; advanced thermal protection; and airborne astronomy. Ames also develops tools for a safer, more efficient national airspace and unique partnerships benefiting NASA’s mission. The center's current director is Dr. Simon P. "Pete" Worden (Brigadier General, USAF Retired).

Ames is also a mission center for several key current NASA Science missions (Kepler Mission, Lunar CRater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS), Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA)) and a major contributor to the new Exploration focus of the Agency as a participant in the Orion crew exploration vehicle, and the Ares I crew launch vehicle.


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