October 7, 1999
To: P.M. Assignment Editors/Evening News Producers
From: Laura Lewis 650-604-2162, pager 650-317-0551
RE: October 13 Live interview opportunity with Space Robot Inventor
SMART SPACE ROBOT WILL HELP ASTRONAUTS
A small robot, capable of working independently alongside astronauts in space, is being built at NASA Ames Research Center. About the size of a softball, the Personal Satellite Assistant (PSA) is an intelligent robot that can serve as another set of eyes, ears, and nose to assist the crew and ground support personnel. The PSA is being designed to monitor important environmental conditions onboard the International Space Station and to handle more mundane housekeeping chores so that the astronauts can focus on their research activities.
The compact PSA will be equipped with a variety of sensors to monitor environmental conditions in a spacecraft such as the amount of oxygen, carbon dioxide and other gases in the air, the amount of bacteria growth, air temperature and air pressure. The little round robot will also have a camera for video conferencing, navigation sensors, wireless network connections, and even its own propulsion components enabling it to operate autonomously throughout the spacecraft.
On October 13, Yuri Gawdiak, the principal investigator for the Personal Satellite Assistant (PSA), will be available for live television interviews from 5-9:00 p.m. EDT (2-6:00 p.m. PDT). He will have a prototype of the PSA available during his interviews. Ask Yuri Gawdiak:
To schedule an interview with Yuri Gawdiak, contact Laura Lewis at 650/604-2162 (pager 650/317-0551). In case of trouble during the interview, call Ames master control at 650/604-1536. Great animation supporting the story will be available on NASA TV. For more information about the Personal Satellite Assistant, visit: http://ic.arc.nasa.gov/ic/psa
NASA TV is broadcast on GE-2 (C-Band satellite), transponder 9C at 85 degrees west longitude, vertical polarization with a downlink frequency of 3880 Mhz and audio of 6.8 Mhz.
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