Flat Pat at
the NASA Ames Research Center

This is the story of Flat Pat’s visit to the NASA Ames Research Center. Flat Pat is on the sign with one of his new friends, Andrew.

NASA is the part of the government that launches the space shuttle and explores outer space. Can you see Flat Pat in this picture?


The shuttles are launched from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida but the ideas, machines and computers used for space exploration are made at different places across the country. At Ames, we’re proud to be part of the NASA team.

Ann is next to the forklift. Flat Pat is driving!

Ames is next to Mountain View, California, near San Francisco and San Jose.

This part of California is known as "Silicon Valley". There are many computer companies in Silicon Valley. Many people who work at the NASA Ames Research Center also study computers.

The NASA Ames Research Center is part of a big airport owned by the government called Moffett Field. When President Clinton visits his daughter Chelsea at college his plane lands at Moffett Field. Can you see the runways in the picture?

Moffett Field was built in 1933 to house the Navy dirigible the U. S. S. Macon. Here is a picture of the Macon. Flat Pat went to the museum in Hangar One to learn about the Macon.

Here are some other space ships that were studied at the NASA Ames Research Center. The X-15 rocket and a re-entry ship.


A hangar is a building that holds airplanes. Hangar One is very big! Ann and Suzanne are in Hangar One. Steve and Flat Pat are in front of an old Navy plane stored in the hangar.

Hangar One is the future home of the California Air & Space Center. There will be lots of old planes and space craft for people to see.


Here are some other NASA planes in Hangar 1.

Flat Pat wants to go for a ride!

After visiting Hangar 1 Flat Pat and his friends went to the NASA Ames Visitor’s Center.

This is a model of a space shuttle at the Visitor’s Center. It’s much smaller than a real shuttle.

This is an actual Mercury space capsule. The first American astronauts in outer space traveled in one just like it.

This is the back end of the Mercury space capsule. And Flat Pat!

The Apollo missions sent humans to the moon for the time. Here’s Flat Pat on the moon! It would be a lot easier to send people into outer space if they really were flat.

What’s that in the sky above Flat Pat? It’s our planet, the earth, seen from outer space.

The Apollo missions brought rocks back from the moon so scientists could study them. They had to be handled very carefully. The moon rocks were kept in special sealed boxes. Flat Pat is inside a box that was used to study moon rocks.

A centrifuge is a machine that spins really fast. It is used to create gravity in outer space.

Here is a rocket that could fly to outer space. It is lying on its side. Steve is pointing at the thrusters which make the rocket fly. Can you find Flat Pat?

Behind the rocket is one of the wind tunnels at the NASA Ames Research Center. A wind tunnel is used to test airplanes and space ships before they are flown. Big fans inside the building make the air move very fast, like wind. Here’s a plane inside the tunnel.

Here’s Ann and Flat Pat in front of the largest wind tunnel at Ames.

Here’s the wind tunnel at night.

After Flat Pat’s visit to the NASA Ames Research Center Steve, Suzanne, Andrew, Ann and Flat Pat went out for pizza. Flat Pat is hiding on the poster above the table.