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March 9, 2000

John Bluck

NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA

650/604-5026 or 604-9000

Email: jbluck@mail.arc.nasa.gov


RELEASE 00-18AR

SHUTTLE EXPERTS CHAT LIVE WITH STUDENTS VIA THE INTERNET

How a crawler carries the Space Shuttle to its launch pad, space suit care and babying the Shuttle before, during and after flight are some subjects students will discuss live via the Internet with an astronaut and other experts during a week of web ‘chats’ from March 13 – 17, 2000.

By way of simple Internet ‘chats’ and more intricate ‘webcasts’ that include live audio and moving video pictures, youths will use computers to direct questions to, and receive real-time answers from, more than a dozen NASA professionals through the NASA Quest website:

http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/space/events/cc/

"The Vertical Motion Simulator at NASA Ames is the world's largest motion simulator. I am one of the engineers responsible for ensuring this simulator responds exactly as a real aircraft would in the air," said Leslie Ringo at NASA Ames Research Center, located in California's Silicon Valley. She will kick off the Internet activities on March 13 at 10 a.m. PST with two other NASA experts. "Some of the simulations I have worked on include the Comanche helicopter, Space Shuttle and future versions of fighter jet aircraft," Ringo added.

"No, I don't really work on kitchen sinks," said ‘kitchen-sink engineer’ Ken Schrock of NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, AL, who will also participate in the March 13 chat session with Ringo. "It's just that I've had lots of different types of jobs as an engineer, You know the expression, ‘everything but the kitchen sink.’ I've worked as a technical writer (flight manuals), flight test engineer, instrumentation engineer, telemetry engineer, data communications engineer and now radio frequency engineer," he explained.

First-come, first-served pre-registration via the Internet is required in order for students to participate in the chat sessions. Other people can observe the conversations without registering.

The NASA Quest Project is collaborating with Classroom Connect, Foster City, CA, to provide the week of Internet activities with NASA Space Shuttle experts, according to Linda Conrad of NASA Ames.

Educators can register to receive e-mails with advanced notice of other NASA Quest Internet events by e-mailing: subscribe@quest.arc.nasa.gov

Internet Chat Session Schedule

Monday, March 13, 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. PST, chat with Leslie Ringo, a simulator engineer at NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA; Frank Merceret, Chief of the Applied Meteorology Unit, NASA Kennedy Space Center, FL; Engineer Ken Schrock, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, AL; and, if time permits, spacecraft designer Andrew Petro of NASA Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX.

Monday, March 13, 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. PST, webcast with Astronaut Michael P. Anderson, NASA Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX.

Tuesday, March 14, 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. PST, chat with Tracy Gill, NASA Kennedy Space Center, FL, who installs experiment hardware into the Space Shuttle; and Space Station Payload Integration Manager Diane McMahon of NASA Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX.

Wednesday, March 15, 10:00 –11:00 a.m. PST, webcast with Mike Ciannilli and Brandt Secosh of Kennedy Space Center, FL, about the huge crawler that carries the Space Shuttle three-and-a-half miles to the launch pad.

Wednesday, March 15, 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon PST, chat with the vehicle manager for Space Shuttle Discovery, Jenny Lyons, Kennedy Space Center, FL, who follows the Shuttle orbiter through ground testing and checkout; and Chuck Davis, also of Kennedy Space Center, who is in charge of fuel delivery to the Shuttle launch pad.

Thursday, March 16, 10:00 –11:00 a.m. PST, chat with a panel of experts from NASA Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX, including Space Shuttle Flight Controller, Mike Moses, who monitors data from the Shuttle during missions; Space Shuttle flight controller Lisa Shore; Ground Controller William Foster who is responsible for providing all other flight controllers with timely and reliable access to Shuttle data; and Tim Terry who prepares the flight control teams.

Friday, March 17, 10:00 –11:00 a.m. PST, chat with Ron Woods of NASA Kennedy Space Center, FL, who is on a team that works with space suits.

Schedule updates are on the Web at:

http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/space/events/cc/

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