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Eileen Hawley August 1, 1995

RELEASE: 95-052

GLIMPSE SPACE FUTURE AT MINNESOTA STATE FAIRConduct a spacewalking tour of America's planned International Space Station or dock the Space Shuttle with Russia's Mir Space Station. For two weeks this summer, Minnesota residents will experience these and other out-of-this world experiences at the NASA booth located in the "Wonders of Technology Exhibit" at the Minnesota State Fair.

From Aug. 23 to Sept. 4, visitors will enjoy hands-on experiences with the same NASA technology and equipment designed to expand humankind's presence in space. The second annual "Wonders of Technology Exhibit" is sponsored by the non-profit Minnesota High Technology Council.

"This exhibit will let visitors use some of the same training equipment used by astronauts as they prepare for Shuttle and future Space Station missions," said Michele Brekke, Manager of the Space Station Utilization Office at the Johnson Space Center. "We are delighted to be a part of the "Wonders of Technology Exhibit" showcasing the unique tools and equipment that will continue our exploration of our world and the universe."

The exhibit will feature a high fidelity mockup of the Manned Maneuvering Unit used by Shuttle Astronaut Bruce McCandless as he conducted the first untethered

spacewalk in 1984. Visitors will be able to climb into the MMU and use hand controllers to take an excursion around a video image of the International Space Station.

A computer work station designed to help astronauts train for Shuttle/Mir docking missions will give visitors unique insight into the delicate choreography involved in bringing together two orbiting spacecraft. At a separate work station, guests will -more-

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practice using the Space Station's robotic arm to lift a simulated Space Station module or node out of the Shuttle's payload bay and attach it to the Russian FGB module. Hand controllers and video displays will guide users through these actual training activities.

With "training" accomplished, visitors to the NASA booth will have the chance to climb into an actual Extravehicular Activity suit and take a photograph to document the experience. This is the same type of suit worn by astronauts whenever they venture outside the Space Shuttle.

The training tools and other demonstrations will be complemented by graphics and video displays of the International Space Station. NASA employees and contractors will be on hand to discuss the "real world" applications and benefits derived from human exploration of space, and Space Station Program officials also will be available via a live videoconference link from the Space Station mockup located at the Johnson Space Center to discuss Space Station science and activities.>

"We hope that everyone will enjoy the activities and demonstrations we have planned," Brekke said. "In addition to those activities, we also will have a great deal of educational information available for teachers to share with their students."

The booth will feature the IAMS Earth Observations data base. This collection of Space Shuttle photography documents changes to the Earth and its atmosphere over the course of several years. In addition NASA's on-line education service, Spacelink, will be available to teachers, faculty and students. Spacelink provides access to lesson plans, NASA news and events, and an opportunity for educators to "chat" on-line about teaching activities and other science projects.

"This booth and the activities we have planned are designed to educate and inspire our visitors," Brekke said. "We hope that after their visit they will share our dream of the International Space Station."

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NASA Photo Nos. S95-05075; S95-05076; S95-05077; S95-05078; S95-05079; S95-05247; and S95-11069 are artistic representations of the International Space Station and may be obtained by contacting the JSC Still Photography Library at (713) 483-4231. Also, animation of Atlantis docking with the Mir Space Station may be obtained by contacting the JSC Newsroom at (713) 483-5111.

 

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