National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA)
NACA built several wind tunnels that were used to support its research on airfoils and other aerodynamic components. It is particularly well known for its classification of airfoils and for its invention of a low-drag engine cowling.
Major NACA contributions to the military missile programs came in 1955-57. Materials research led by Robert Gilruth at Langley confirmed ablation as a means of controlling the intense heat generated by warheads and other bodies reentering Earth's atmosphere; H. Julian Allen at Ames demonstrated the blunt-body shape as the most effective design for reentering bodies; and Alfred Eggers at Ames did significant work on the mechanics of ballistic reentry.
Related category HISTORY OF ROCKETRY
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