SANDSUKY, Ohio (AP) — A NASA research facility in Ohio has been renamed after astronaut Neil Armstrong, who was born in the state and returned shortly after he became the first man to walk on the moon.
Ohio’s U.S. senators led the efforts to change the name of the NASA Plum Brook Station in Sandusky to the Neil A. Armstrong Test Facility.
Republican Rob Portman said he raised the idea with Armstrong in 2012, shortly before Armstrong’s death, but he wasn’t comfortable with the attention it would bring.
“It was never about him. It was about the mission,” Portman said Wednesday at a ceremony marking the name change.
NASA and Armstrong’s family supported renaming the research center, Portman said.
Armstrong’s son, Mark Armstrong, said the early space missions showed people across the world that they could do things they could never imagine.
“That is more empowering than any scientific advancement,” he said. “It’s more empowering than the transistor. It’s more empowering than the computer. Because it’s unlimited. And that’s what we have to remind people.”
Armstrong was born just outside Wapakoneta in 1930, took flying lessons at a nearby airstrip and made his first solo flight at age 16. After the moon landing in 1969, he taught at the University of Cincinnati.