© 2021 WKSU
Public Radio News for Northeast Ohio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Health & Science

NASA Glenn Research Center Turns 75 With Public Open Houses

photo of spring tire

  NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland turns 75 this year, and it’s been celebrating by opening its doors to the public.

  The facility near Cleveland Hopkins Airport welcomed about 20,000 visitors over the weekend to see everything from a zero-gravity drop-tower to the latest in moon buggy tires made of piano wire. AnkhurChokshi, a recent Cleveland State engineering grad, was intrigued by the possibility of tires made of metal or springs wrapped in rubber for use here on Earth.

“Why not, right? If ...  [it] can run on Mars or [the] Moon, why not here [in] good conditions" here?

The “spring tire,” as it’s called, was one of several pieces on display that would help NASA put humans on Mars in the next 20 years.

The weekend open house was NASA Glenn’s first since 2008. Spokeswoman Jan Wittry says next month, NASA will have an open house at Plum Brook Station in Sandusky, which will showcase spacecraft testing.

“We have the world’s largest vacuum chamber there. And we have the most powerful mechanical vibration table for shaking a spacecraft to simulate the vibrations that they experience when they’re launched. And then we also have the most powerful acoustic chamber. And so all in that one place, we can subject a spacecraft to the vibration, the intense sounds, the intense heat and cool of a journey into space.”