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Into the wind tunnel ... and the future.

Into the wind tunnel . . . and the future

Walking on the future's edge, visitors toNASA's Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California, get a first-hand view of technology at the frontiers of aeronautics, planetary exploration, and life science.

On the free 2-hour tour, you'll see anorientation film that shows highlights of the research center's work, walk along the world's largest wind tunnel complex, inspect research aircraft, and, depending what experiments are in progress, you may visit centrifuge operations and a flight simulator.

The tours--they're limited to 70 people--are given on a reservation-only basis at 9:30 and 1:30 weekdays. Participants must be at least nine years old. It's best to reserve at least two weeks in advance; call (415) 694-6497. During summer months, the tours are especially popular; you may have to wait several weeks for an opening.

Ames is about 40 miles south of SanFrancisco. Take the Moffett Field exit from U.S. Highway 101. Turn left in front of the main gate and proceed to the NASA tour center. You'll walk about 2 miles on the tour and will be outside most of the time; wear walking shoes and bring a windbreaker. Cameras are permitted; flash units are not.

Photo: Part helicopter, part plane, the XV-15 "Tilt-Rotor' is a half-scale prototype for fast and fuel-efficient commuter aircraft

Photo: World's largest wind tunnel (above) can holda full-size plane, as the model at left shows

Photo: In the business end of this large centrifuge,chair occupants can feel forces up to 6 Gs
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Title Annotation:NASA's research center in Mountain View, California
Date:Jun 1, 1987
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