The mission of the Johnsville Centrifuge and Science Museum is to provide a world class educational and entertainment environment for the study of aerospace sciences where learning is an inspirational experience.
The museum is dedicated to preserving the Johnsville Centrifuge and its contribution to the US Space Program as well as the memory of the Naval Air Development Center, Johnsville where the US Navy’s research laboratories helped win the Cold War.
The museum building, also known as the Dynamic Flight Simulator Building, Human Centrifuge Building, or Building 70, is a remnant of the former Naval Air Warfare Center (NAWC) Warminster which closed in 1996.
The site began as farmland acquired by the Brewster Aircraft Company in 1939. By 1941 a factory was in operation on the site building their legacy Buffalo Fighters and Buccaneer Dive Bombers intended for use by the Navy during WWII. The Navy later seized operation of the company after Brewster experienced difficulties with production. When problems continued, the Navy acquired the property outright and converted it for use by the Naval Aircraft Modification Unit (NAMU) a division of the Naval Aircraft Factory. When the war ended the production shops were converted to research laboratories studying pilotless aircraft, electronics, and weapons, and the Naval Air Station Johnsville (NADS) was born.
Over the ensuing years, changes in association with addition of new missions resulted in renaming the site to the Naval Air Development Center (NADC) Johnsville and eventually to the Naval Air Warfare Center (NAWC) Warminster. More than 31 laboratories would call Warminster home including those studying navigation, submarine detection, aerospace materials, aircraft structures, pilot’s equipment, computers, airborne photography and aircraft instrumentation, etc…
Construction of the human centrifuge building began in 1947 was complete by 1949 and initiated operations to research the limits of human tolerance for “G” forces. By the late 1950s it was in use to train astronauts for the US Space Program. It continued to operate for a variety of projects under Navy control until 1996 then under contract until 2004 when operations ceased altogether.
After the closure of the base and disposition of its assets, the building was sold for private development. Extensive work, including planning for the removal of the centrifuge, was undertaken to convert the building to commercial office space. While under renovation new plans were developed to use portions of the space for a museum and renovations were halted in those areas pending further study.
The museum was formally created in July 2008 with the establishment of The Johnsville Centrifuge and Science Museum Inc. to provide governance, funding and oversight.
Saturday, May 22, 2021 at 2:00pm Eastern Time
Thursday, Apr 15, 2021 at 1:00pm Eastern Time
Thursday, Apr 15, 2021 at 3:00pm Eastern Time
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