McBride Retires as Longest Serving NASA Armstrong Director

NASA Administrator Bill Nelson shows a picture of the X-3 to NASA Armstrong Center Director David McBride on Oct. 13 when the center’s time capsule, sealed 25 years prior, was opened. (Credits: NASA/Joshua Fisher)

EDWARDS, Calif. (NASA PR) — When David McBride first came to NASA’s remote outpost in the Mojave Desert in 1982 as a cooperative education student, he didn’t imagine becoming its center director.

“I was expecting to be here for one semester, but right away I was captivated by the work and more importantly the people who do the work,” McBride said. “It kept me interested and excited over the last 40 years of seeing the progress, the technology, and some cool airplanes.”

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NASA Announces Armstrong Flight Research Center Director to Retire

David McBride (Credit: NASA)

EDWARDS, Calif. (NASA PR) — David McBride, director of NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center in California, announced plans to retire on June 30 after 35 years of service to the agency. He began his career at NASA as an intern.

During McBride’s tenure as director, the center completed the flight evaluation of the X-48B/C hybrid wing body experimental aircraft and demonstrated the Orion spacecraft’s launch abort system.  

“David’s contributions in aviation, science, and exploration have strengthened our agency’s missions and improved the lives of people throughout our country — and will for generations to come,” said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson. “Individuals at the beginning of their career at NASA – and members of the Artemis Generation who dream of one day working here – will be inspired by David, knowing their work can also lead to a lifetime of service to this storied agency. I wish him and his family all the best in his retirement.”

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NASA Armstrong Accomplished Numerous Milestones in 2021

Joby eVOL acoustic test (Credit: NASA)

EDWARDS, Calif. (NASA PR) — This year marks 75 years of flight research at NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center in Edwards, California and 2021 adds to those achievements. 2021 continued to be challenging while working in a mostly virtual environment, but progress was surely made.

NASA’s next supersonic X-plane, the X-59, is taking shape for upcoming flights; NASA’s first all-electric X-plane, the X-57, completed ground testing to prepare for flights; several Earth science missions were completed around the globe; and many other goals were met to prepare NASA Armstrong for a successful 2022 and beyond.

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Video About Innovation at Mojave, NASA Armstrong & Edwards AFB

Video Caption: In this video, innovative ideas on the future of space travel and aerospace dynamics are the brainchild of Mojave Spaceport’s, Stu Witt; NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center’s David McBride and Rocket Propulsion Lab’s Mike Huggins. The importance of risk as a crucial element in progressing forward is emphasized by the foremost risk-takers in space; rocket science; aerospace and education.The role of STEM education in growing our engineers is championed by AV College Math and Science Dean, Les Uhazy, as well as the space pioneers interviewed for this project.

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