search in the traditional physical sciences as wellas the space sciences and life sciences. Theseinclude
number of wind tunnels, entry-heatingsimulators, and flight ballistic test facilities capa-ble of conducting tests at speeds through andabove earth escape speed, as well as laboratoriesequipped to study solar and geophysical phe-nomena, origin of life, life detection and life en-vironmental factors.Work at the Ames Research Center includes:theoretical, experimental, and analytical studies,and management of space flight projects.Ames studies on basic atmosphere entry heat-ing and aerodynamic characteristics contributed tothe design of Mercury, Gemini and Apollo space-craft. Ames wind tunnel studies have supportedvarious launch vehicle developments; and stressstudies on the astronauts have proven of value tomanned space flight. Studies are also under wayon optical instrumentation for manned lunar rnis-sions; space vehicle attitude control;influence ofcrew station design on performance of Apollo
ance, control and navigation tasks: and pilot-operated attitude stabilization and control sys-tems.
Research in atmosphere entry forms an impor-tant share of the Center’s activity. The Ames staffconceived the theory which led to the solutions ofthe reentry problem required for manned satellites,manned lunar craft, and ballistic missiles. The re-search has led to fuller understanding of the ener-gy exchange between a vehicle and its atmosphericenvironment-heating problems, various techni-ques for protection against destructive frictionalheat, and the problems
stability and controlduring reentry flight.More recently, studies have been initiated onentry into planetary atmospheres (Mars and Ven-us), and into the earth’s atmosphere
the velo-cities associated with return trips from interplane-tary flight.Related to reentry work is lifting body research.These manned wingless research vehicles obtainaerodynamic
from their half-cone shapes. Theyare of interest as a potential spacecraft that couldsurvive the heat of reentry and be maneuveredto one of several prepared sites for a normalground landing. Two versions of the Ames-de-signed M-2 lifting body have undergone experi-mental flight tests at NASA’s Flight Research Cen-ter.
An actual tektite (right) is corn-pared with a synthetic tektite shapedby earth atmospheric entry conditionssimulated in a high speed windtunnel at NASA’s Ames ResearchCenter, near San Francisco, Cali-fornia. The background
the Aus-tralasian area
the world wherea major shower of tektites oc-curred about
years ago.Spacecraft simulation at ArnesResearch Center includes corn-parison
launch and entry stresseswith actual experience. AstronautsWalter Schirra (left) and GordonCooper discuss the Arnes Five-Degrees-of-Freedom Motion Sirnula-ior with Hubert C. Vykukal. engineer,during a recent visit to the Center.The Arnes device is unique and cansi mulate corn binations
Space flight projects managed by Ames includethe Pioneer interplanetary spacecraft, and theearth orbiting Biosatellite biological laboratory.Pioneer deep space probes have traveled morethan
million miles from the earth. Data re-turned by their transmitters have provided new un-derstanding of the interactions of the chargedparticles and magnetic fields that originate at theSun and extend beyond the earth. Pioneers alsohave helped define the extent of the earth’s pro-tective magnetic envelope, and have measured apossible trace atmosphere of the moon.The Biosatellites are launched into 200-milehigh orbits, for flights of three,
days.Experiment capsules are recovered in the Paci-fic. Experiments seek basic effects of weightless-ness, radiation combined with weightlessness, andeffects of removal from the earth’s rotation onliving cells, tissue, and organisms. Specimens
clude primates, plants, and lower animals.
SPACE SCIENCES RESEARCH
Scientists at Ames are conducting extensive re-search in the space sciences, particularly in geo-physics, solar physics, interplanetary and plane-
tary physics, atomic physics, astronomy and astro-physics. The work includes studies pertaining tomagnetic fields and plasmas
space, and studiesto determine the composition and structure ofplanets and of planetary and stellar atmospheres.An experiment, to collect and return upper atmos-phere particles encountered during meteor show-ers, may permit detailed analysis of cometary de-bris and shed some knowledge on the nature
comets.With Ames being NASA’s prime center for lifesciences research, work is conducted in three ma-jor areas: basic research in the physiological andbehavioral sciences concerned with understand-ing the effects of earth and space environmentsand of space flight stresses upon man and otherliving organisms; studies in exobiology oriented to-wards the prediction, detection, and study of ex-traterrestrial life forms: and research in the humanfactors aspects of the relationships between manand machines.
Aeronautical research at Ames is focused onoperational characteristics of vertical and shorttake-off aircraft (V/STOL), research in support ofthe national effort to develop a supersonic trans-port, and advanced research on air-breathing hy-personic aircraft. The Center’s engineers have con-verted the Bell X-14A twin-jet V/STOL into a varia-ble stability aircraft for inflight simulation andfor use as a lunar landing simulator.Another important area of aeronautical researchis simulation techniques and devices under devel-opment at Ames. Moving-base simulation for ex-ample permits a test pilot to “fly” and evaluatea proposed theoretical aircraft without the hazardsof actual flights. Other simulators are employedin the VTOL program, and for use in developingsupersonic transport landing techniques. Ames de-signed simulators also can reproduce the stressesof space flight thus permitting exhaustive studiesof pilot control of space vehicles
launch andduring atmosphere entry. Simulation studies alsoparallel and complement spacecraft and aircraftdesign studies and research carried on throughoutthe Center.Heavy emphasis in the study
air and spaceflight mechanics, guidance and control, and spacenavigation is made
Ames. Studies include analy-ses of guidance systems, space navigation techni-ques and equipment, and optical navigation in-struments for manned spacecraft. These fields of