This Federal Laboratory has played a pivotal role in creating our modern air traffic control system. Established as the National Aviation Facilities Experimental Center in 1958, the Technical Center’s research and engineering achievements, and its direct support to airports and FAA air traffic control facilities have led to the highest level of safety in air transportation.
On 15 November 1950, the SSFL conducted its first official test with a Rocketdyne-designed XLR43-NA-1 large liquid propellant rocket engine, which later became the Redstone engine. Encompassing 2558 acres, 18 large static test stands, 5 component test laboratories and an advanced test facility, the SSFL and its dedicated employees have provided significant contributions to U.S. rocketry and space programs for over 50 years.
Charles David Keeling of Scripps Institution of Oceanography was the leading authority in establishing the global atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) record. In 1958, Keeling began measuring atmospheric CO2 concentrations from Hawaii’s Mauna Loa Observatory. Using rigorous analytical procedures, he revealed new information about natural and man-caused carbon trends.
Frozen foods have become a staple of the modern diet. Freezing allows consumers to have access to foods previously unavailable or available only seasonally, and it provides convenience for many families. But frozen foods became commonplace only after World War II, in part due to research conducted at the Western Regional Research Center which helped determine the proper time and temperature at which various foods should be frozen to insure their quality and stability.
The plaque commemorating the research reads:
In the 1940s and 1950s, New Orleans experienced growth. Unfortunately, access from the north to the City continued to be limited by Lake Pontchartrain. Driving around the Lake was a time consuming effort. During this time period, a renewed interest developed to provide a direct connection across the center of the Lake to the north shore. As a result, the Greater New Orleans Expressway Commission was formed to build the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway Bridge. The original bridge (southbound) was opened on August 30, 1956.
The roof system of this building, designed by Lev Zetlin and opened in 1960, was the first of its kind in the world. Before the mid-1950's, the use of long-span cable structures was generally limited to suspension bridges. The only other significant cable roof structure preceding the Utica Memorial Auditorium was the North Carolina State Fair Livestock Judging Pavilion, completed in 1953.
The Dalles Lock and Dam was one of the largest, most complete, and complex multipurpose projects of its kind in the United States at the time of its construction. It provided an example for future projects benefitting navigation, recreation, water for irrigation and hydropower, fish migration, and flood mitigation. The unusual "L" configuration of the project enabled reduced construction dewatering and created a permanent shallow stilling basin that aids fish passage.
In the late 1930s Barry Green, a research chemist at the National Cash Register Company in Dayton, began investigating how the concept of microencapsulation might have potential application in copying documents. If specks of dye could be covered with a special fusible coating, forming a microcapsule, the use of ink could prove much less messy and more efficient. Scientists had long been intrigued by the possibilities of controlling the release of an active ingredient by encapsulating it.
Monroe Wall, Mansukh Wani and colleagues at the Natural Products Laboratory of the Research Triangle Institute discovered and elucidated the structure Taxol®and camptothecin, two life-saving compounds for the treatment of cancer. These natural products kill cancer cells via unique mechanisms of action and in ways scientists had not previously imagined. The work of this research team led to the eventual development and marketing of drugs that have been approved for treatment of ovarian, breast, lung, and colon cancer and Kaposi’s sarcoma.