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March 1, 2000

John Bluck
NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA
Phone: 650/604-5026 or 650/604-9000
E-mail: jbluck@mail.arc.nasa.gov

Tara Kurzawski
IBM Almaden Research Center, San Jose, CA
Phone: 408-927-1289, E-mail: tkurzaw@us.ibm.com

RELEASE: 00-15AR

NOTE TO EDITORS AND NEWS DIRECTORS: You are invited to attend talks by a NASA astronaut from San Jose and three local NASA scientists to 200 students, Saturday, March 4, 2000, 8 :30 a.m. PST at the IBM Almaden Research Center, San Jose, CA. IBM requests that media representatives call Tara Kurzawski at 408-927-1289 before going to the IBM event.

NASA ASTRONAUT TO APPEAR AT IBM DURING SCOUT/JASON PROJECTS

More than 200 high school students will hear talks by a NASA astronaut from San Jose, CA, and three local NASA scientists Saturday, March 4, 2000, at the IBM Almaden Research Center, San Jose, CA.

Astronaut Steven L. Smith will speak to students at 8:30 a.m. PST about the December 1999 Hubble Space Telescope repair mission that took place in Earth orbit. The talks by NASA experts are part of educational Explorer Scout activities at IBM that also include JASON Project XI: Going to Extremes satellite broadcasts.

The NASA talks include a presentation by planetary scientist Chris McKay of NASA’s Ames Research Center, located in California’s Silicon Valley. He will discuss "Earth, Mars and Europa and life in cold places" at 10 a.m during the IBM event. At 1 p.m., Yuri Gawdiak, a NASA Ames scientist, will explain an autonomous, softball size robot, the Personal Satellite Assistant, that engineers are developing for use aboard the International Space Station. At 2 p.m., NASA Ames robotics researcher Hans Thomas will discuss "Planetary Rover Research: Past Successes, Future Opportunities."

NASA also expects 10,000 San Francisco Bay Area students from grades 3 through 9 to visit NASA Ames on weekdays through March 10. Some of the students will talk with astronauts and scientists during 55 satellite broadcasts that are part of the JASON Project. There will be no JASON activities at Ames on Saturday, March 4 and Sunday, March 5. The satellite telecasts will link students with International Space Station astronauts at Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX, and Aquarius Underwater Laboratory scientists in the Florida Keys. Also, a "NASA Expo" in historic Hangar 1 at Ames will include many hands-on activities for students. Ames is one of 36 JASON "primary interactive network sites" located across the nation and in Bermuda, Mexico and the United Kingdom. Worldwide, millions of other youths will take part through the Internet at: http://www.jasonproject.org.

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