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Government & Politics

Senators Propose Renaming Plum Brook Station In Honor Of Neil Armstrong

Ohio’s U.S. senators, Sherrod Brown (D) and Rob Portman (R), say they plan to introduce legislation renaming NASA’s Plum Brook Station test facility in honor of astronaut Neil Armstrong, the first human to set foot on the moon.

Brown and Portman made their announcement on the eve of the 50 th anniversary of Ohioan Armstrong’s historic "one small step." Armstrong and fellow Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin landed on the lunar surface on July 20, 1969.

Plum Brook encompasses 6,500 acres just outside Sandusky and is part of the NASA Glenn Research Center. It specializes in large-scale tests simulating the rigors of space flight.

The Ohio lawmakers said it was only appropriate that a NASA facility that had a hand in developing the spacecraft that took Americans to moon should be named for Armstrong. The Wapakoneta, Ohio native died in 2012 at age 82.

"Neil was first a humble and patriotic Ohioan who believed the honor of serving his country was a reward in and of itself," Portman said in a Friday statement. "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."

Senator Brown added, "Neil Armstrong wrote a new chapter in human history, and in Ohio’s proud story of reaching for the heavens — a tradition the workers at NASA Glenn’s Plum Brook Station continue today. Neil embodied the best in our country: service, sacrifice, a sense of adventure, and a passion for serving the common good. And while he’s been showered with no shortage of accolades, it’s a fitting tribute to rename Plum Brook Station in his honor, as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of his giant leap for humankind."

Later this summer, NASA plans to begin testing vehicles at Plum Brook that will be used in the space agency’s Artemis program, designed to land a crew on the moon as early as 2024.

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