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Test section of a wind tunnel at Langley as seen through a window from the outside.

1 x 1 foot Block Tunnel with a missile prototype model installation. These tests were performed at the Lewis Flight Propulsion Laboratory, now the John H. Glenn Research Center.

Spin models under construction in the model shop of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics at Langley Field, Virginia in 1939. These models would be placed in the Spin Tunnel to test how the aircraft would spin out of control.

NASA technician W.L. Jones inspects a transport model Pathfinder I between test runs at Langley's National Transonic Facility (NTF). The stainless steel model is representative of the next generation of subsonic transports. With the help of super-cold nitrogen and high pressure, the NTF is the first major wind tunnel that can simulate full scale aerodynamic flight conditions.

Detail view of Schlieren setup in the 1 x 3 Foot Supersonic Wind Tunnel.

Jack Cotter inspects a Commuter Transport Engine undergoing testing in the Icing Research Tunnel while Ray Soto looks on from the observation window. The Icing Research Tunnel, or IRT, is used to simulate the formation of ice on aircraft surfaces during flight. Cold water is sprayed into the tunnel and freezes on the test model.

he Mercury space capsule undergoing tests in Full Scale Wind Tunnel, January 1959. (Great Images in NASA)

A technician mounts a model of the Apollo Launch Escape System (LES) in the Unitary Wind Tunnel at the NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California. The LES was a tower like structure consisting of four solid propellent motors mounted atop the Apollo Command Module. In the event of a contingency, (booster failure or some other imminent failure) the LES would be commanded to ignite, subsequently removing the Command Module from the Saturn launch vehicle.

Aerial view of the NASA Ames Research Center, Mountain View, California. The large flaired rectangular structure in the center of the photo is the 80 x 120 Foot Full Scale Wind Tunnel. Adjacent to it is the 40 x 80 Foot Full Scale Wind Tunnel which has been designated a National Historic Landmark.