MOJAVE — Long before he gained international fame as the first man to walk on the moon, Neil Armstrong contributed to aerospace knowledge through his work as a research pilot for NASA and its predecessor, the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, or NACA.
The majority of that work took place at what is today, NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base. The center took the name in 2014, of arguably its most famous employee.
On Saturday, that portion of Armstrong’s career will be the subject of a presentation at the Mojave Air and Space Port titled, “Neil Armstrong, Before the Fireworks.”
According to presenter Cam Martin, the title comes from an Armstrong quote from a 2005 interview with Ed Bradley for “60 Minutes.”
“We all like to be recognized, not for one piece of fireworks, but for the ledger of our daily work,” Armstrong said.
The presentation will begin at 11 a.m. in the Board Room located in the Administration Building at the end of Airport Boulevard.
Martin’s presentation will cover Armstrong’s contributions to flight research between 1955 and 1962, when he left to join the astronaut corps, as a pilot of experimental aircraft including the X-1B, X-5 and the hypersonic X-15 rocket plane.
The Armstrong discussion is part of Plane Crazy Saturday, a monthly gathering of aviation enthusiasts presented by the Mojave Transportation Museum Foundation.
Martin’s own NASA career spanned 30 years at both Armstrong Flight Research Center and Langley Research Center in Virginia as a communications director and congressional liaison.
He served as a technical advisor on the feature film “First Man” for the opening scenes of Armstrong’s 1962 X-15 mission.
He also served as a research consultant for the “First Flights” series on A&E and hosted by Neil Armstrong.
The free, family-friendly educational event features a flight line filled with aircraft of varied types and vintages, available for visitors to see up-close.
The event will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Admission to the flight line with its displays is through the Voyager restaurant, in the Administration building. The restaurant opens for breakfast at 8 a.m.
Dogs and other animals, other than service animals, are not permitted on the flight line.
Aviation and space art, hats, shirts, books and collectibles will be available for sale.
Seating is limited and reservations are requested at www.mojavemuseum.org