July 1, 1960
NASA opened the Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville. Led by director Wernher von Braun, MSFC became NASA’s propulsion research center and, in the 1960s, developed the rockets that sent Americans to space and to the moon. Over the years, MSFC has diversified its research specializations and participated in a variety of NASA programs, including developing the Skylab space station, the Hubble Space Telescope and the International Space Station. In 2011, the center began developing the Space Launch Systems initiative to provide next-generation propulsion for manned missions to other parts of Earth’s solar system.
Read more at Encyclopedia of Alabama.
Marshall Space Flight Center’s F-1 Engine Test Stand is shown in this picture. Constructed in 1963, the test stand is a vertical engine firing test stand, 239 feet in elevation and 4,600 square feet in area at the base, and was designed to assist in the development of the F-1 Engine. Capability is provided for static firing of 1.5 million pounds of thrust using liquid oxygen and kerosene. The foundation of the stand is keyed into the bedrock approximately 40 feet below grade. (Photo Credit: NASA)
Dr. Wernher von Braun and Maj. Gen. August Schomburg officiate the official transfer of the Army Ballistic Missile Agency (ABMA) to the NASA George C. Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) on July 1, 1960. The Official transfer ceremony took place in the front of the ABMA-MSFC joint headquarters, building 4488, Redstone Arsenal, Alabama. (Photo credit: NASA)
President Dwight D. Eisenhower and Mrs. George C. Marshall unveil the bronze bust of General George C. Marshall during the dedication of the Marshall Space Flight Center. Eisenhower signed an Executive Order on October 21, 1959 directing the transfer of persornel from the Redstone Arsenal’s Army Ballistic Missile Agency Development Operations Division to NASA. On March 15, 1960, another Executive Order announced that the space complex formed within the boundaries of Redstone Arsenal would become the George C. Marshall Space Flight Center. The Center was activated on July 1, 1960, with dedication ceremonies taking place September 8, 1960. (Photo credit: NASA)
The Marshall Space Flight Center, a NASA field installation, was established at Huntsville, Alabama, in 1960. The Center was named in honor of General George C. Marshall, the Army Chief of Staff during World War II, Secretary of State, and Nobel Prize Winner for his world-renowned Marshall Plan. (Photo credit: NASA)
For more on Alabama’s Bicentennial, visit Alabama 200.