Neutral buoyancy's value was far from obvious when human spaceflight began in 1961. Starting in 1964, Environmental Research Associates, a tiny company in the suburbs of Baltimore, developed the key innovations in an obscure research project funded by NASA's Langley Research Center. The new Houston center dismissed it until a mid-1966 EVA crisis, after which it rapidly took over. In parallel, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center developed many of the same techniques, as did many large aerospace corporations, yet the long-run technological impact of corporate activity was near zero. Because ERA and Marshall's pioneering activities led to the two long-running NASA training centers at Houston and Huntsville, those two organizations deserve primary credit for the construction of the neutral buoyancy technological system.