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January 7, 2013

Presented by the Office of Community and Media Relations

These are some of the most frequently asked questions made by our virtual visitors. We hope that you will find the answers we provide to be informative. For a basic overview of the NASA Glenn Research Center, go to the General Information page. If your question is not addressed here, feel free to use our contact form.  



General Information

Q: What is the mission of the Glenn Research Center?
Q: Do you have any online information on ...?
Q: Can NASA engineers evaluate my invention, drawing or plans?
Q: Can you help me find an individual who works at NASA Glenn?
Q: Can you help me find information about a former employee of NASA Glenn?
Q: Can I use an image off the web site?
Q: Can I visit and tour NASA Glenn?
Q: Can I buy NASA gifts and souvenirs?


John Glenn and Astronauts

Q: Do you have any information on John Glenn's missions?
Q: Can I write to John Glenn or invite him to make an appearance?
Q: Can I exchange e-mail with an astronaut?
Q: Can an astronaut make an appearance at my function?
Q: Are other NASA speakers available?
Q: Can you help me find out about the medical research done on/by astronauts?
Q: How do you become an astronaut?


Microgravity and Spaceflight

Q: What is microgravity?
Q: Does NASA have anti-gravity chambers to train astronauts and conduct experiments?
Q: Can I see the shuttle or Space Station from the ground?
Q: Can I listen to shuttle missions via amateur radio?

Employment and Careers

Q: Are there any job opportunities at your facility?
Q: Can I get a summer internship at NASA Glenn?
Q: Are there any opportunities in Graduate-level Post-doc research?

Computers and Software

Q: Can I get NASA software?
Q: How can I buy excess US Government property? →
Q: How can our schools get excess computers and equipment?


Q: Is the Earth in danger of a collision by an asteroid? →

General Information

If you are looking for some specific technical information, it would probably be easiest to utilize our online search system →.

You may also want to try three other sources:

  1. The Glenn Technical Report Server →
  2. The annual Research and Technology Reports →

These should provide you with some good starting points for a search for specific information. If you come up empty, you can submit a comment using the contact form. We will do our best to provide you with a related URL or forward your request someone who works in your area of interest.

We receive hundreds of requests each month from individuals who want NASA to comment on their ideas. Typically these submissions do not contain the kind of information needed for an evaluation, or they are too complex to be easily evaluated. NASA does not have enough scientists and engineers to evaluate such ideas in addition to their regular duties.

To submit an idea that can be evaluated by NASA, please adhere to the guidelines specified in the NASA booklet entitled "Guidance for the Preparation and Submission of Unsolicited Proposals →." Such submissions require that the idea has been developed sufficiently that a specific proposal can be made.

More suggestions

You should be able to find current employees (civil service and contractors) via our Phone/Email Directory

Records are kept for 30 days after an employee separates and are then sent to National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis. Instructions for requesting information can be found at http://www.archives.gov/facilities/mo/st_louis.html →.

The NASA Glenn Exchange has an online catalog → from which you can purchase items via a toll free phone number.

John Glenn and Astronauts

With his retirement from the Senate, John Glenn's offices have been transferred to the John Glenn School of Public Affairs at the Ohio State University. Written requests for information can be submitted via fax to 614/292-4868 or by mail at:

The John Glenn School of Public Affairs
350 Page Hall
1810 College Road
Columbus, Ohio 43210

The astronauts do enjoy the opportunity to talk with as many people as possible and education is a major interest of NASA. You can write them at the following address:

CB/Astronaut Office
NASA Johnson Space Center
2101 NASA Road 1
Houston, TX 77058

On every shuttle mission, we maintain a shuttle home page →. One of the features of that page is the opportunity to submit questions which may be selected to be sent up to the crew on orbit. Selected questions are sent up to the crew on orbit and answered as the crew has time.

Requests for astronaut appearances are handled through the Astronaut Office at JSC. You can make the request directly to them on letter head at:

CB/Astronaut Appearances
NASA Johnson Space Center
2101 NASA Road 1
Houston, TX 77058

By phone, call (281) 244-8867 or by FAX at (281) 244-8863.

When you write, include the information about your organization and event. You will be asked to provide reimbursement for travel expenses, usually airfare from Houston and overnight accommodations. The only way to lower this cost is to coordinate the event with another local appearance on the same date.

You can make specific requests for astronauts by name or characteristic, e.g., "from Ohio." If you haven't seen it yet, you can visit our Ohio Astronauts page to see who is from Ohio.

Yes! Visit our Speakers Bureau page. There is a form you can complete to initiate the request.

An overview of NASA's Biological and Physical Research is available at: http://exploration.nasa.gov/programs/station →

Other helpful sites are:

Microgravity and Spaceflight

In short, the answer is, "No." However, read on...

NASA uses a variety of facilities to create or simulate microgravity conditions:

The most "famous" way is by aircraft flying in parabolic arcs to create microgravity for tests and simulations. NASA JSC has the KC-135 → ("Vomit Comet"). It makes several trips each year to NASA Glenn in support of ground-based microgravity research. It was also used to shoot the weightless scenes in the movie "Apollo 13."

The facilities most-likely to be misconstrued as "anti-gravity chambers," are drop towers. Specifically, NASA Glenn has the "Zero Gravity Research Facility →." It is a large, evacuated shaft some 500 feet deep that allows test packages to free fall for just over 5 seconds. In this state of free fall, weightlessness (at or near microgravity, 1x10-6 g) can be obtained. NASA Glenn also has a 2.2 second drop tower →.

For more information on all of these and other microgravity facilities, visit the NASA Glenn Microgravity Science Division's facility page.

Although not true microgravity facilities, astronaut training for missions requiring space walks are conducted in simulated weightless environments in neutral buoyancy facilities. These are large water tanks in which people and objects are weighted to be made neutrally buoyant, neither rising or sinking. There are two such facilities within NASA:

Several of the NASA centers, including NASA Glenn, have Amateur radio clubs which provide shuttle audio retransmission →.

Employment and Careers

Our Human Resources department does have a web page for vacancy announcements →. They also have an employment "hotline" which is updated weekly. You can call 216/433-WORK. A listing of on-site support service contractors → is also available.

There is also a new NASA-wide job site →. It includes information for non-U.S. citizens →. Here is more career information.

The NASA Glenn Research Center does have a summer internship program → for college and high school students. The deadline for applying for the program each year is January 31. Some of the criteria that applicants must meet to be considered for the program are a grade point average of 3.0 or above, as well as be a U.S. citizen. Other requirements are listed in the application itself. These are the only two programs that the Center has for interns. E-mail inquiries should be directed to intern@grc.nasa.gov.

Please visit NASA Glenn's University Programs → page for information about possible opportunities. Please note that they are limited to U.S. citizens.

Computers and Software

If you are looking for a particular piece of software that you believe was generated at NASA Glenn, you might first try using our Software Source site →.

For non-Glenn NASA software, the best place to check would be our software distributor, the COSMIC program →.

Through our normal personal property disposal procedures, significant amounts of NASA surplus property have always been donated to schools and other eligible donees. Information on eligibility and procedures → is available online.

If you don't live close to a NASA center, there is a central web site for the program, Computers for Learning →. This web site allows schools and educational nonprofits to register to request surplus Federal computer equipment. Federal agencies will then use the web site to donate computers to schools and educational nonprofits based upon indications of need.

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Page Last Updated: October 24th, 2013
Page Editor: NASA Administrator