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01-029
For Release: April 20, 2001

Katherine K. Martin
Media Relations Office
216/433-2406
katherine.martin@grc.nasa.gov

Lori J. Rachul
Media Relations Office
216/433-8806
lori.j.rachul@grc.nasa.gov


Facility Tour to Kick Off NASA Glenn's 60th Anniversary

An opportunity to see the inner workings of Cleveland's premier research facility, NASA Glenn Research Center, will take place this Saturday, April 21 as part of Glenn's 60th anniversary celebration.

The Power Systems Facility (PSF) and the Acoustical Testing Laboratory (ATL) are the first facilities to be showcased this Saturday. The tours will start at 11 a.m. and continue at half hour intervals through 2 p.m. Additional monthly tours of selected Glenn facilities are planned for this spring and summer.

The PSF was constructed in the 1990s to develop, manufacture and test power systems to support International Space Station (ISS) components. Since then, the facility has been transformed to support the development of flight hardware and added the capability to monitor and control this hardware from the Telescience Support Center (TSC), which is housed within the building. The facility currently supports development and assembly of microgravity flight hardware that will reside on ISS.

Inside the building visitors will see a full-scale, half-length mockup of the ISS U.S. laboratory module that contains the Glenn-developed Fluids and Combustion Facility (FCF). The FCF is consists of three ISS science racks:

  • Combustion Integrated Rack, to study how materials burn in microgravity;
  • Fluids Integrated Rack, to study how fluids behave in microgravity; and
  • Shared Accommodations Rack, for the housing of avionics and data collection hardware used by the other two racks.

Also included in Saturday's tour is the Acoustical Testing Laboratory (ATL), which is located behind the PSF. The ATL provides a variety of testing and design services for NASA and external customers to support the development of low-noise products, particularly science experiments for the ISS.

Researchers from the PSF, the TSC, the FCF and the ATL will give briefings and answer questions during the tour.

The special tours are being coordinated through Glenn's Visitor Center and are part of the public tours conducted every Wednesday and third Saturday of each month. Free tickets for the tours will be handed out Saturday at the Visitor Center, on a first come, first served basis. Children under the age of 13 must be accompanied by an adult. The Visitor Center is open on Saturday from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. Both the Visitor Center and tour facility are wheelchair accessible.

During its 60 years, Glenn has focused on propulsion systems, or the turbomachinery that propels airplanes and rockets forward and upward. Initially a laboratory for the improvement of airplane engines, the Aircraft Engine Research Laboratory, as Glenn was known then, provided the technical knowledge and support for the Air Force and the Allied war effort. Aircraft icing studies enabled wartime planes to fly the Burma Hump over the Himalayan Mountains into China. Formally renamed in 1999 as Glenn Research Center at Lewis Field, Glenn provides Northeast Ohio with thousands of jobs in technical fields and develops technology for U.S. industry, resulting in major advances in commercial products used in the air, in space and on the ground.

For information about Glenn's Visitor Center, see:
http://www.grc.nasa.gov/Doc/visitgrc.htm

For information about Glenn's history, see:
http://www.grc.nasa.gov/WWW/PAO/html/history.htm

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