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NASA's Ames Research Center, at Moffet Field, Calif., will be responsible for the thermal protection systems and information technology for Project Constellation. Ames will be developing the heat shield and aeroshell for the Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV). Here's more about the Ames facility.
X-15The Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards, Calif., will do the research on the abort systems, drop tests, landing and recovery tests, flight re-entry and landing profiles, and range safety.
Dryden rose to fame with its testing programs of the '50s and '60s. Many of the first astronauts were test pilots at Dryden. This 1959 photo shows the X-15 being launched by a high-altitude bomber.