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April 8, 1998

Michael Braukus
Headquarters, Washington, DC
(Phone: 202/358-1979)

James Hartsfield
Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX
(Phone: 281/483-5111)

Release: N98-26

Space Station Media Workshop Scheduled for May 12-14 at JSC

Members of the news media are invited to attend press briefings and hands-on demonstrations at training and simulation facilities May 12-14 at NASA's Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX. The activities will provide information about the International Space Station and its five-year assembly in orbit that will begin with launches this year.

The workshop will follow a day of standard preflight media briefings -- on the last Shuttle-Mir docking mission, STS-91 -- that are currently planned for May 11 at Johnson. On May 12, a series of briefings will describe the International Space Station, its current status and its assembly in orbit. On May 13 and 14, media representatives can visit a variety of facilities at Johnson for demonstrations and activities that will provide familiarity with the station and assembly operations.

Media planning to attend the workshop must fax a written request for press accreditation to the Johnson Space Center newsroom at (281) 483-2000 before April 30. Because of limited capacity in some facilities, attendance at the demonstrations may be limited to one reporter and/or camera crew per news media organization. The briefings will be carried live on NASA Television, available on GE-2, transponder 9C at 85 degrees West longitude, with vertical polarization. Frequency is on 3880.0 megahertz, with audio on 6.8 megahertz.

Planned briefings for May 12 include: (all times CDT) 8 a.m. International Space Station: Overview and Status 9:30 a.m. International Space Station: Research and Exploration Noon International Space Station: Assembly in Orbit 1:30 p.m. Flight Control of the International Space Station

News media at Johnson also will receive details and logistical information concerning coverage of the launch of the first International Space Station component, the Control Module or Functional Cargo Block (FGB), from Russia later this year.

Media demonstrations on May 13-14 will include an opportunity for hands-on activities and briefings by experts in station engineering, training and operations. Several sessions of each demonstration will be held each day, and media will be able to attend in small groups to allow individual attention and participation. The planned demonstrations include:

*Space Station Training Facility -- viewing and demonstrations in the U.S. Segment and Russian Segment International Space Station trainers under development at Johnson, including a new Soyuz emergency egress trainer.

*Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory -- Adjacent to Johnson's new 6.4-million gallon spacewalk training pool, high-fidelity mockups of the first two components, the Control Module and the Node 1 connecting module, will be displayed, along with demonstrations of spacewalking tools, suits and equipment developed and flight-tested by NASA in preparation for station assembly.

*Shuttle Cockpit Rendezvous Simulators -- Demonstrations of the rendezvous and capture activities that will be required to join the Control Module and Node 1 during Shuttle mission STS-88 will be viewed in a domed Space Shuttle aft cockpit simulator, as well as on a desktop rendezvous simulation.

*Virtual Reality Training and Station Mockups -- Demonstrations of Johnson's Virtual Reality Laboratory used by astronauts to train for upcoming assembly spacewalks will be performed. Media also will have an opportunity to tour nearby trainers for the Shuttle and station robotic arms; the International Space Station full-scale mockups and trainers; and the X-38 crew return vehicle development facility.

In addition, throughout the three-day workshop, Johnson personnel with expertise on all aspects of the International Space Station program and assembly operations will accommodate as many individual interview requests as possible. Facilities with International Space Station mockups and backgrounds will be available for such interviews.

 

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