NASA's Ames Research Center will be open to the public on Saturday, for the first time since 1997. Celebrating its 75 anniversary, the center is expecting over 120,000 visitors, who will be given tours including wind tunnels and NASA's 20G centrifuge.

A concept aircraft by Cal Poly being tested at Ames (NASA photo)

What's cool about Ames? Wind tunnels, for one! The worlds largest wind tunnel is located there, and you get to see it. It's used not only for military research but commercial aircraft design as well. Ames has been the site of ground-breaking research in the subsonic, transonic, supersonic, and hypersonic flight regimes. The swept-wing aircraft design used on all high-speed aircraft today was developed there. Currently, Ames research center is a leader in nanotechnology, information technology, fundamental space biology, biotechnology, thermal protection systems, and human factors research.


NASA's 20G centrifuge at Ames Research Center (NASA photo)

The Center was established in 1939 as the second research center for the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, and named for the NACA chairman, Joseph C. Ames. Silicon Valley has grown up around the facility, which is located at Moffet Field in Sunnyvale. All tickets have been reserved, but if you're one of the lucky ones who gets to go, please share the experience with us!

h/t Popular Science

Top photo: the Ames Research Center campus, via NASA