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April 10, 1997
Ed Campion
Johnson Space Center, Houston
(281) 483-5111

Release: J97-11

Nassau Bay Community Hosts JSC and Russian Space Officials During Second Annual Russian Festival

For the second year in a row, Johnson Space Center senior management along with officials from the Russian space program will join the Nassau Bay community in a celebration of the key role Texas has played in the U.S. space program.

The second annual Russian Festival, which runs for two days beginning tomorrow, is sponsored by the City of Nassau Bay. This year’s celebration follows a Concurrent Resolution passed earlier this year by the Texas House and Senate calling on all Texans to observe April 12 as "Space Explorer’s Day. The resolution highlights the role of the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center and its performance of "such vital national functions as designing, developing, and testing spacecraft, selecting and training astronauts, and planning and conducting human space flight missions for more than 30 years.

Nassau Bay is the home of numerous astronauts and has a formal Sister City relationship with Zvyozdny Gorodok (Star City), Russia, the training center for Russian cosmonauts.

Veteran NASA astronaut Frank Culbetson and Russian Cosmonaut Vladimir Titov are the honorary co-chairs for the festival. Culbertson is currently the NASA manager for the first phase of joint NASA-Russia cooperative effort. Titov was the second cosmonaut to fly on the Space Shuttle on Mission STS-63 which made the first close approach and fly around of Mir, the orbiting Russian space station.

Public events begin on Friday, April 11 at 4:30 p.m. at Space Center Houston. From 6 p.m. to 7 p.m., hot air balloon inflation will take place and the Clear Lake Symphony will perform beginning at 7 p.m.

On Saturday, April 12, activities will begin in the early morning at 6:30 a.m. with the inflation of the Nassau Bay Texas Shuttle Balloon at Nassau Bay Park. The balloon is a larger than life-size, scale model hot air balloon replica of NASA’s Space Shuttle spacecraft.

Other activities on Saturday include The Space Race fun run at 8 a.m., Russian art exhibitions, a film festival with appearances by Russian film makers, a Russian heirloom display, the First In Space: Star City Cosmonauts’ Collection, along with other exhibits, food and entertainment.

Information about the Russian Festival is available by calling Nassau Bay City Hall at (281) 333-4211.

Nassau Bay is located about half way between Houston and Galveston, about 3 miles east of Interstate Highway 45, along NASA Road One across from the Johnson Space Center.

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