A group of volunteers came together in 2008 to promote the NASA Plum Brook Station in Perkins Township and formed the Friends of NASA Plum Brook.
The Friends were a loosely organized group by design, according to a press release.
Each volunteer paid his share, without elected officials.
Just a dedicated group of enthusiasts who wanted to tap into the economic potential of our NASA facility, according to the release.
This was done with a persistent and targeted campaign to support and promote NASA Plum Brook.
Fourteen years later, the core group and orientation have remained consistent, but the names have recently changed, according to the release.
Friends of NASA Plum Brook is now the NASA Armstrong Advocacy Coalition (NAAC) and NASA Plum Brook Station is now the Neil A. Armstrong Test Facility (ATF) to honor the late Ohio hero and his legacy.
The name change was an opportunity to reinvent the Friends group and move to a more formal structure, according to the statement.
After a series of stakeholder meetings, the group formed as the NASA Armstrong Advocacy Coalition.
An elected board of directors now runs the group and has been granted non-profit status, according to the statement.
The new organizational structure provides more discipline and allows the group to focus on economic development priorities, according to the statement.
Advocacy, marketing and education are the main objectives, according to the press release
Lessons learned over the past 15 years demonstrate the need to continually promote NASA Armstrong.
National, regional and local recognition keeps the station viable and active.
Federal facilities that are not promoted risk an uncertain future, the statement said.
Most of the testing done at Armstrong is not done by NASA.
Private aerospace companies use the unique test facilities and help pay the bills.
This is critically important to the station’s long-term survival, the statement said.
The Coalition continually evaluates and encourages diversification to ensure that Armstrong facilities are utilized to their full potential.
Although the Armstrong test facility is dedicated to science, there is a certain art form to convincing legislators and government officials to think and work beyond what has been done in the past. , the statement said.
And although the names have changed and the NASA Armstrong Advocacy Coalition is officially organized, members still pay their own way, according to the release.
Travel to Washington, DC to advocate for the Armstrong Test Facility is still covered by members.
Today, the Coalition is seeking the public’s partnership to help it strengthen its voice in the nation’s capital.
“It is vital to the survival of our test facility to ensure that our legislators do not overlook the importance of the ATF,” the statement read. “A donation of $25 will qualify an individual or company for general membership.
“Your NAAC membership represents your support of advocacy, education, and marketing efforts for NASA’s Neil A. Armstrong Test Facility (formerly NASA Plum Brook Station). Your membership helps ensure the long-term viability of the ATF and improves our region and state for future generations.
Membership also includes access to exclusive content and the ability to participate in NASA Armstrong Advocacy Coalition activities, according to the release.
Visit nasaarmstrong.org for more information and to start your membership.