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July 1, 1999

Kathleen Burton

NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA

(Phone: 650/604-1731 or 604-9000)

kburton@mail.arc.nasa.gov


NOTE TO EDITORS: 99-42AR

NASA BRIEFING HIGHLIGHTS AMES' ROLE IN STS-93 SHUTTLE MISSION

News media are invited to participate in a live televised broadcast of a pre-flight crew briefing for the STS-93 space shuttle launch via satellite from Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX, on July 7 at 11:00 a.m. PDT.

The briefing will be broadcast in the Main Auditorium, Bldg. N-201, at NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA. Reporters at Ames will be able to ask questions of the crew at JSC and interview Ames researchers involved in the mission. Reporters will need valid press credentials and a visitor pass available from the Visitor Badging Office at the main gate to gain entry.

STS-93 is the first shuttle mission commanded by a woman, Col. Eileen Collins, United States Air Force. Also among the crew is Astronaut Steven A. Hawley, who served as Associate Director of NASA Ames from 1990 to 1992. The primary objective of the mission is to deploy the Chandra X-Ray observatory, designed to observe X-rays from high-energy regions of the universe.

Ames' involvement in STS-93 includes a life science experiment, a technology demonstration, crew training and educational programs. Representatives from each of these areas will be available in the Ames auditorium for interviews.

Dr. Haig Keshishian's life science experiment studies the effects of spaceflight on the developing nervous system using a new strain of genetically-engineered fruit flies whose nervous systems glow in the dark. During the mission, astronauts will conduct a technology demonstration of Biona-C, a tiny biology sensors unit that will monitor onboard cell cultures and serve as a pint-sized "chemistry lab" during future space flights. Before the mission, Collins and members of her crew trained in Ames' Vertical Motion Simulator (VMS), a state-of-the-art flight simulator with an interchangeable cockpit.

During the shuttle's scheduled launch on July 20, three local high school students from Ames' Quest program will write daily on-line journals. Quest will also produce a live webcast of the launch and a follow-up webcast with Eileen Collins. Further information is available at: http://quest.arc.nasa.gov.

The complete STS-93 press kit is available online at http://www.shuttlepresskit.com/ and additional information about the Ames experiments aboard the shuttle is available on the Ames Communication Branch website at http://george.arc.nasa.gov/dx/. Further information about the mission can be found at http://www.ksc.nasa.gov/shuttle/missions/sts-93/.

The STS-93 crew briefing and mission overview can be viewed live on NASA TV beginning at 6:30 a.m. PDT. NASA TV broadcasts on GE-2 (C-Band), transponder 9C at 85 degrees west longitude, vertical polarization, with a frequency of 3880 MHz and audio at 6.8 MHz.

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