Portman, Brown Applaud House Passage of Bipartisan Legislation to Rename NASA’s Plum Brook Station Test Facility After Neil Armstrong



WASHINGTON, DC December 16, 2020 Today, U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) applauded the U.S. House of Representatives for passing their bipartisan legislation to rename NASA’s Plum Brook Station, the agency’s test facility in Sandusky, Ohio, after Neil Armstrong. Portman and Brown introduced the legislation last year and it was passed by the Senate in June. Plum Brook is part of the NASA Glenn Research Center. It houses unique world-class facilities that conduct critical and innovative ground tests for the international aerospace community. The legislation now heads to the president’s desk to be signed into law.

“From his service as a Navy fighter pilot, to his courageous experiments as a test pilot, to his space exploration and first step on the surface of the Moon, Neil Armstrong left an indelible mark in mankind’s history of flight. In all his accomplishments, he considered himself first and foremost a test pilot who pushed the boundaries of what was possible in the air and in space,” Senator Portman said. “Neil was a humble and patriotic Ohioan who believed the honor of serving his country was a reward in and of itself. That’s why, when I asked him the year before he passed away whether he wanted me to pursue naming Plum Brook after him, he demurred. But he was a strong supporter of Plum Brook Station and the important simulations and testing being done there, and I believe it is precisely because of his humility, coupled with his unparalleled accomplishments, that the renaming is appropriate. In consultation with his family and NASA, Senator Brown and I introduced this legislation last year and I applaud the House for passing it today. I urge the president to sign this legislation into law soon as a fitting tribute to Armstrong‘s amazing accomplishments in air and in space.”

“Before Neil Armstrong became the first person to step foot on the moon, he was an up-and-coming test pilot in northeast Ohio at what is now known as the NASA John H. Glenn Research Center. I’m pleased to join Sen. Portman in honoring Ohio-native Neil Armstrong by renaming NASA Glenn’s Plum Brook Station in Sandusky for a man who inspires future Ohioans to continue our state’s tradition of breaking barriers in space,” said Senator Brown, who now occupies the late Ohio Senator and astronaut John Glenn’s old office in Washington, DC.

NOTE: In July of 2019, in advance of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, Portman and Brown announced their intention to rename the facility. Prior to the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, Portman paid tribute to his friend, Ohio-native Neil Armstrong in a video, as well as on the Senate floor. In August of 2019, Portman accompanied NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine in a visit to NASA’s Glenn Research Center at Lewis Field in Cleveland and Plum Brook Station in Sandusky to view progress on the agency’s Artemis Program — its multi-year plan to return American astronauts to the Moon and eventually send manned missions to Mars.

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