Area 51, accessed through Groom Lake Road, is part of a restricted area with connections to the Nevada Test Site and State Route 375, the "Extraterrestrial Highway."
Groom Lake, a salt flat near Area 51, lies in the Tonopah Basin's Groom Lake Valley, south of Rachel, Nevada.
Groom Lake test facility was established by the CIA in 1955 for the U-2 aircraft's development, emphasizing extreme secrecy.
Project OXCART initiated in 1959 for antiradar studies and development of the Lockheed A-12, prompting construction upgrades at Groom Lake for testing.
Converting the A-12 into an unmanned drone led to the development of the D-21 "Tagboard" project by October 1963.
The F-117 development contract led to the first flight from Area 51 in 1981, and the 4450th Tactical Group operated there until 1982.