Go ‘Behind the Scenes’ at NASA Glenn Research Center

The NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland (located on Brookpark Road near Hopkins Airport) offers one-hour tours that take visitors behind the scenes and inside certain research facilities, guided by Glenn’s scientists and engineers.


Research pilot Jim Demers

Glenn’s once a month tours begin in April and end in October. They are also free of charge for groups and individuals on an advance reservation basis. Visitor parking is also available free of charge.

All tours include a safety briefing and as time permits, a multimedia presentation on the beginnings of Glenn that explains its transformation from the site of the National Air Races in Cleveland into a world-class aircraft engine research laboratory.

A tour bus departs from Glenn’s main gate every hour beginning at 10 a.m. The last tour departs at 1 p.m. Each tour lasts about 45 minutes and is followed by a stop at Glenn’s Gift Shop.

Glenn’s 2015 Tour Schedule

April 11: Tour the Aero-Acoustic Propulsion Laboratory, where some of the world’s most advanced aircraft noise reduction ideas are developed and tested.

May 2: Visit the Flight Research Building, also known as the hangar, where you will find a new generation of research aircraft, including the S-3B Viking, the Learjet Model 25, the Twin Otter Icing Research Aircraft and a T-34C trainer.  NASA engineers test technologies designed to improve the safety of aircraft. The result is every U.S. aircraft has NASA developed technology on board that is with you when you fly.


NASA’s mission is to drive advances in science, technology, and exploration.

June 6: Take a journey through the Telescience Support Center. This secure, multipurpose facility is designed to provide dedicated support for simultaneous training, simulations and real-time operations of space experiments on the International Space Station. Principle investigators, project scientists and payload operators can send commands and receive telemetry and science data from their payload hardware operating on board the station.

July 11: Tour the Abe Silverstein Supersonic Wind Tunnel.  This facility has conducted supersonic propulsion testing on aircraft components such as inlets, nozzles and engines. It is also ideally suited for launch vehicle tests and other fuel burning applications.

Aug. 1: Check out Glenn’s Graphics and Visualization (GVIS) and the Reconfigurable User-interface and Virtual Reality Exploration (GRUVE) Laboratories. The GRUVE lab is used to analyze data obtained either by computer simulation or from research test facilities. The GVIS Lab uses advanced computer input and output devices paired with a variety of natural user interface devices and 3-D displays.

Sept. 12: Join us on a tour through Glenn’s Extreme Environments Rig (GEER). As NASA ventures through the solar system and beyond, spacecraft will experience hostile environments of Venus and other planetary bodies. Temperatures can reach hundreds of degrees, air pressure is crushing and the toxic atmosphere is thick. GEER is designed to simulate those temperatures and pressure extremes and accurately reproduce the atmospheric compositions of bodies in the solar system. GEER is currently in its commissioning phase for operations simulating Venus surface temperature, pressure and chemistry.


Vacuum chamber at the NASA Glenn Research Center for atmosphere free testing.

Oct. 3: Come explore the Simulated Lunar Operations (SLOPE) facility, which is home to a 60-foot long, 20-foot wide sandpit filled with simulated lunar soil and a lunar rover testbed. Other areas simulate Martian soil conditions.  Research in this facility will help NASA develop the components of rovers capable of traveling long distances and investigating planetary surfaces during future human and robotic missions to keep NASA’s journey to Mars moving forward.

Admission Requirements: Tours are open to U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents. All visitors who are U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents 18 years of age or older, are required to present a form of government-issued photo identification (driver’s license, State ID) to Security at Glenn’s main gate before being allowed entry. Lawful permanent residents are also required to present a United States Permanent Resident Card (green card). Individuals without proper identification will not be admitted to the center.

Reservation Information: To guarantee admission, reservations are required. Reservations can be made up to 30 days in advance, or depending on available space, at least one week before the actual tour date.

To register for NASA Saturday Tours, visitors should call the Tours automated phone line at 216-433-9653, or register by sending an email to Sheila Reese at sheila.d.reese@nasa.gov. For registration assistance, call 216-433-2016.

Visitors with special needs are permitted to use their own vehicles, but must follow the tour bus at all times. Most research facilities are wheelchair accessible; however, some have limited accessibility.

All vehicles and bags are subject to inspection and visitors may experience a slight delay upon entering the center. Please factor this potential delay into your schedule.

For additional information on tours at the Glenn Research Center, visit: www.nasa.gov/centers/glenn/events/tours.html

To learn more about NASA Policies Regarding Visitors, visit: www.nasa.gov/centers/glenn/about/visit_grc_security_policy.html

To view NASA Gift Shop, visit: www.nasagiftshop.comNASA Logo_RGB


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