Ribbon cut on NASA’s newest laboratory

Clayton Turner, Director of NASA Langley Research Center, provides remarks during the MSL ribbon cutting ceremony.
Clayton Turner, Director of NASA Langley Research Center, provides remarks during the MSL ribbon cutting ceremony. Photo courtesy: NASA/David Bowman

On April 21, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) held a ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Measurement Systems Laboratory (MSL) at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia. Langley’s Center Operations Director, Loretta Kelemen, was the emcee. More than 250 guests attended the ceremony and heard remarks provided by:

  • Joanna Rosato, Acting Regional Administrator, GSA Mid-Atlantic Region
  • Clayton Turner, Director of NASA Langley Research Center
  • Casey Swails, Deputy Administrator for Business Operations
  • Jimmy Gray, Vice Mayor of Hampton, Virginia
  • Jeion Ward, 92nd District of Virginia House Delegates
  • Robert C. “Bobby” Scott, U.S. Representative for 3rd District of Virginia

All speakers and John Lawson, Executive Chairman of W.M. Jordan Company, together cut the ceremonial ribbon and commenced the official opening of MSL.

Eight dichroic glass panels are installed in the wall of a circulation path.
Eight dichroic glass panels are installed in the wall of a circulation path. These panels are installed on floors 1-4, at both the east and west curtain wall, and catch the sun's rays at various times during the daily path. Photo courtesy: ©2021 Robb Williamson / AECOM.

The five-story, 175,000 gross square foot Measurement Systems Laboratory supports research and development of new measurement concepts, technologies and systems that will enable NASA to achieve its missions in space exploration, science and aeronautics. Designed for flexibility and collaboration, this facility hosts 48 labs for various research and development operations including electronics, lasers, clean room operations and instrumentation. This lab was built with highly compressed, reinforced concrete walls and floors to ensure pristine flat floor surfaces required for laser activities and to minimize vibrations, essential for conducting precise measurements.

During his remarks, NASA Langley Center Director, Clayton Turner shared, “MSL enables us to continue our rich legacy of contributions and innovations.”

Architectural/engineering firm, AECOM, worked closely with NASA to showcase NASA innovations and artifacts throughout the new lab. The MSL incorporates several dichroic glass panel installations throughout the building to highlight some of the research that takes place in the labs where employees build, test and study properties of light. A four-story dichroic glass mobile is displayed in the monumental stairwell, eight dichroic glass panels are displayed on four floors at the east and west elevation walls, and fan blades salvaged from a demolished Langley wind tunnel are displayed in the first floor main lobby.

This project is the largest of the new facilities built at NASA Langley in support of the center’s 20-year revitalization plan. Joanna Rosato shared during her remarks, "The GSA has a longstanding partnership with NASA, and the laboratory represents our latest collaboration to bring cutting-edge facilities to Langley."

Joanna Rosato, GSA Acting Regional Administrator, provides remarks during the MSL ribbon cutting ceremony.
Joanna Rosato, GSA Acting Regional Administrator, provides remarks during the MSL ribbon cutting ceremony.

The revitalization plan includes new, efficient facilities; critical infrastructure renovation; and demolition of non-essential assets, all of which enable Langley to respond to agency strategic and infrastructure challenges. The goals include reducing the Center’s footprint; incorporating a healthy, pedestrian friendly environment similar to a college campus; and transforming the remaining infrastructure to be energy efficient, sustainable and adaptable to changing mission and societal needs. These goals ensure Langley remains a critical research and development center for NASA and the nation well into the 21st century.

Project partners who contributed to the MSL project were architectural/engineering firm AECOM, project management and construction management firm Hill International, general contractor W.M. Jordan Company, and furniture, fixtures and equipment firm GovSolutions, Inc. AECOM has been an instrumental partner in the Center revitalization. In addition to designing MSL, the firm also designed the Langley Headquarters Building and the Integrated Engineering Services Building at Langley.

A NASA Langley Research Center video shown during the ceremony highlights the research and development technologies and lab spaces in the MSL facility.


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Last Reviewed: 2022-06-21