5 of 6Image
There used to be 26 wind tunnels at the NASA Ames Research Center, now only two remain. Most of the tests have been replaced by computer simulations.
The NASA space shuttles have been around for 25 years, but will soon be grounded for good. Jim Strong is one of the engineers performing shuttle safety tests, moving on to developing the new Crew Exploration Vehicle aiming for the moon.
This shark nose is pointing into one of the NASA Ames wind tunnels. Spacecraft models are attached to it before a giant fan is switched on, simulating the air pressure that vehicles face when entering or leaving the earth atmosphere.