“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Coliseum Central in Hampton, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)

NASA Space History

Spacecraft, Procedures, and Communication Systems

NASA Space History Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, May 28, 2017
1. NASA Space History Marker
Inscription. America’s space program got off the ground near here at NASA Langley Research Center. In 1958, spacecraft, procedures, and communication systems were designed and tested at the center, and the follow year the first astronauts reported to NASA Langley. Mercury Boulevard bears the name of the program that first put Americans in space. Along New Market Creek are bridges named after Mercury astronauts Deke Slayton, Gordon Cooper, Wally Schirra, Scott Carpenter, and John Glenn. A Mercury Blvd bridge over Hampton River honors astronaut Gus Grissom. The road from NASA Langley pays tribute to the first American in space, Commander Alan Shepard. Flight Director Christopher Kraft, a native of Phoebus, is honored by an elementary school.

Neil Armstrong Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins’s historic trip to the moon on July 20, 1969, owes much to the Center. Apollo astronauts learned to dock spacecraft and land the lunar module at NASA Langley. The Lunar Orbit Rendezvous method, championed by Langley’s John Houbolt, resulted in a single launch for astronauts and command, service, and lunar modules. The Rendezvous Docking Simulator and the Lunar Landing Research Facility are now National Historic Landmarks.

Additional Langley Landmarks include the Variable Density Tunnel, which was the world’s first pressurized wind tunnel; the
NASA Space History Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, May 28, 2017
2. NASA Space History Marker
Full Scale Tunnel, which was instrumental in improving World War II fighter aircraft; and the Eight-Foot High Speed Tunnel, the first continuous-flow high tunnel that enabled transonic speed studies.

NASA Langley mathematician Katherine Goble Johnson, an African-American, performed the flight calculations for several historic space missions, including the Apollo 11 journey to the moon.

When the Johnson Space Center opened in Houston in 1961, many space flight tasks were moved there. However, NASA Langley continues to be a vital part of the space program and has contributed to the Space Shuttle, climate sensing satellites, the Orion crew capsule, and the Ares rocket.

John Houbolt showing Lunar Orbit Rendezvous method
Original Mercury astronauts
Neil Armstrong at Langley Lunar Landing Facility
Katherine Johnson
Tom Byrdsong with Apollo/Saturn in NASA Langley Transonic Dynamics Tunnel
All images courtesy of NASA
Erected 2010 by Bring History to Life.
Location. 37° 2.615′ N, 76° 21.991′ W. Marker is in Coliseum Central, Virginia, in Hampton. Marker is on West Mercury Boulevard (U.S. 258) west of LaSalle Avenue (Virginia Route 167), on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. Located in Air Power Park. Marker is at or near this postal address: 413 W Mercury Blvd, Hampton VA 23666, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. NACA (here, next to this marker); Langley Field (here, next to this marker); A-7E Corsair II (a few steps from this marker); Mercury Test Capsule (within shouting distance of this marker); T-33A T-Bird (within shouting distance of this marker); M-2 Corporal (within shouting distance of this marker); A-2 Polaris (within shouting distance of this marker); Ajax (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Coliseum Central.
Categories. African AmericansAir & SpaceExplorationScience & Medicine
Credits. This page was last revised on July 11, 2018. This page originally submitted on May 30, 2017, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page has been viewed 67 times since then and 13 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on May 30, 2017, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.
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