This timeline includes events and activities related to the Cyclotron Facility at the NASA Lewis Research Center.
A timeline of the center’s history is available at NASA Glenn’s Historical Timeline.
- Ernest Rutherford discovered natural atomic reactions.
- Ernest Lawrence operated the first cyclotron built at U.C. Berkeley.
- Manhattan Project established to design atomic weapon.
- Atomic bombs demonstrate the power of nuclear fission.
- NACA researchers express interest in nuclear powered aircraft.
- General Electric began studying cyclotron design.
- Lewis researchers initiate nuclear propulsion and heat transfer studies.
- Nuclear Energy for the Propulsion of Aircraft (NEPA) instituted.
- Eugene Wigner theorizes that radiation displaces of atoms in solids.
- First application of Iodine-131 to treat thyroid disease.
- Lewis submits requests to study effect of radiation on materials.
- Atomic Energy Commission established to control nuclear research and development.
- The NACA requests bids for the construction of a cyclotron.
- The NACA accepts General Electric bid to build and install a cyclotron.
- Construction of the Cyclotron and Materials and Stresses Building begins.
- The Air Force and the AEC form Aircraft Nuclear Propulsion (ANP) program.
- President Dwight Eisenhower gives Atoms for Peace address.
- The NACA and General Electric haggle over expectations for the cyclotron.
- Design of the Plum Brook Reactor begins.
- Cyclotron fails to meet specifications during performance test.
- James Blue is hired to supervise Cyclotron activities.
- General Electric agrees to add Target Room and focusing equipment.
- Eugene Wigner publishes “The Effects of Radiation on Solids.
- The Lewis cyclotron begins operation.
- Formation of Nuclear Reactor Division, including Radiation Physics Branch.
- The NACA becomes part of the new NASA space agency.
- The ANP nuclear aircraft program is cancelled.
- Nuclear Engine for Rocket Vehicle Application (NERVA) program initiated.
- Preliminary engineering report for the modification of cyclotron.
- Program initiated for scattering of 600 MeV protons from light nuclei.
- NASA issues contracts for the upgrade of the Cyclotron.
- Final runs of the original 60-inch-diameter cyclotron.
- New 69-inch diameter cyclotron begins operation.
- NASA cancels nuclear propulsion and power programs.
- Agreement signed with Cleveland Clinic for Neutron Therapy Program.
- Jim Blue received R&D 100 Award for his Cyclotron Target for Continuous Production.
- Lewis Cyclotron neutrons administered to the first patients.
- National Cancer Institute and Clinic take over operation of the cyclotron.
- Cleveland Clinic makes final use of the cyclotron.
- Lewis issues plan to mothball the Cyclotron Facility.
- Mothballing of the Cyclotron Facility is completed.
- Center begins process of decommissioning the Plum Brook Reactor.
- NASA begins efforts to remove unused facilities at all of its centers.
- NASA initiates plans to decommission the Cyclotron.
- A Site Characterization Report is issued.
- Environmental Assessment Report is issued for the Cyclotron.
- Cyclotron accelerator is removed from the Cyclotron Facility.
- Cyclotron Facility is demolished.