Wind Tunnel and Propulsion Test Facilities: An Assessment of NASA’s Capabilities to Serve National Needs
Nov 16, 2004
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The National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA’s) establishment and use of wind tunnel and propulsion test facilities have helped the United States build and maintain aerospace competitive advantage across the military, commercial, and space sectors. Are these major facilities continuing to serve the current and future needs of the nation at large? At the request of Congress and NASA, the RAND Corporation performed a yearlong study of the 31 such facilities at three NASA centers. The study examined current and future national needs for wind tunnel and propulsion test facilities, the technical competitiveness of NASA’s facilities, functional overlap and redundancy among NASA facilities, and management issues. Through its findings, the RAND team provided many recommendations for NASA regarding the future of these facilities. This technical report supports a companion monograph (Wind Tunnel and Propulsion Test Facilities: An Assessment of NASA’s Capabilities to Serve National Needs, MG-178-NASA/OSD), providing more detailed data, observations, and conclusions.