Welcome to Nevada Aerospace Hall of Fame!
Nevada, the Battle Born state, is unique in that it did not meet the constitutional requirements for statehood until well into the 20th century. Nonetheless, Nevada was rushed into statehood as the 36th state in the union on October 31, 1864, to ensure Abraham Lincolns reelection on November 8 and post-Civil War Republican dominance in Congress. The new state of Nevada soon became a Mecca for independent people who wanted to do new and different things, developing the state of Nevada into the west coast line of defense during World War II and our nation's battlefield of the Cold War. Among the state's unique accomplishments were the pioneering of space travel during which Nevada produced more astronauts than any other state. Nevada hosted the development of nuclear power for space exploration and as a deterrent to aggression by our enemies. The state's development and testing of the accouterments of space, war, and defense have contributed to our nation's successes in its wars, the most significant being the winning of the Cold War. With the initial U-2 plane flight tests at Groom Lake, almost every flight established a new world altitude record for manned flight. The flights of the CIA's A-12 spy plane at Groom Lake set world altitude and speed records that still stand today.
Nevada has continued to exhibit its unique heritage through many aerospace pioneers and programs that have been either based here or in the interest of national security based elsewhere, but conducted their activities within the state of Nevada. Though these individuals and programs made major contributions to the state of Nevada, the United States, and the free world, little is known of some because many of these aerospace pioneers and icons made sacrifices and contributions in ultra secrecy at locations that even today are not well known. Contributing to their obscurity, they often used pseudo names in the interest of national security, thus ensuring that they remained nonexistent until declassification of the associated programs. In many instances, national security concerns required these aerospace pioneers to reside in another state and commute to work at secret venues in Nevada. This occurred with the CIA when it chose Nevada for the Agency's Area 51 to develop the U-2 spy plane and discovered the laws of Nevada required the reporting to state authorities of the names of all contractor personnel staying in the state for more than 48 hours. Listing the names of contractor employees and identifying the companies involved exposed the existence of such secret facilities and ongoing projects within the state.
Formed 1 December 2008, the Nevada Aerospace Hall of Fame (NVAHOF) is a non-profit, educational institution dedicated to preserving the legacy of these men and women who pioneered and advanced our nation's aerospace within and above the State of Nevada.
NVAHOF serves as an educational tool to assist both researchers and the general public in better understanding the very significant aerospace history of Nevada as well as a means of recognizing those hidden beneath the shroud of secrecy who contributed so much to their country.
Executive Director: TD Barnes