Yuma, Arizona.- On this day 53 years ago, humans touched down on extraterrestrial land for the first time. Humanity’s mobility on the moon was made possible in part by YPG testing: in 1966, the mobility test article (MTA), a precursor to the lunar rover, came to the proving ground for engineer design evaluations.
Nineteen months after taking his giant leap for mankind, Apollo 11 commander Neil Armstrong visited YPG in February 1971 to witness testing of the AH-56 Cheyenne attack helicopter, where he was photographed at Castle Dome Heliport alongside then-congressman Lucien Nedzi (right) of Michigan. Though the AH-56 was cancelled by the Army the following year, the program was a boon to aviation testing at YPG, bringing about the construction of substantial infrastructure like laser and optical tracking sites.
NASA plans to return to the moon and venture further to Mars sometime in the 2030s. When these daring astronauts return to Earth, they will do so safely thanks to the capsule parachute assembly system (CPAS) of the Orion Spacecraft that underwent extensive developmental testing at YPG in recent years.