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04.09.08
 
RELEASE : 08-024
 
 
NASA Langley Forecast
 
 

STUDYING THE ARCTIC: THE WORLD'S MOST CLIMATE-SENSITIVE REGION
The Arctic is undergoing significant environmental changes related to climate warming, as evidenced by the dramatic loss of sea ice cover that recently reached a record low. NASA has brought its considerable satellite and aircraft research capabilities to bear on the matter in its most extensive study to date of the Arctic's lower atmosphere. NASA Langley researchers are part of a 40-member team deployed in Fairbanks, Alaska. With the help of five aircraft instruments, the team is collecting atmospheric chemistry data that will be compared to data from satellites that routinely monitor the Arctic environment. The campaign is called the Arctic Research of the Composition of the Troposphere from Aircraft and Satellites (ARCTAS).
For more information, contact Chris Rink at 757-864-6786 or christopher.p.rink@nasa.gov

NASA AND CHRISTOPHER NEWPORT PARTNER TO HOST EARTHFEST
The Christopher Newport University (CNU) Institute for Science Education and NASA Langley Research Center will host the first EarthFest April 26, a daylong community celebration designed to address the challenges facing our home planet and what individuals can do to preserve and protect it. EarthFest will include a talk by an astronaut-scientist, children's and educational activities, hourly presentations by scientists, art displays, music, food and information about the Earth science work of CNU and NASA. EarthFest is a free, indoor-outdoor event to be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., rain or shine, at the Ferguson Center for the Performing Arts in Newport News. For more information about EarthFest, go to: http://www.nasa.gov/langley or http://eventnews.cnu.edu/earthfest/
Or contact Chris Rink at 757-864-6786 or christopher.p.rink@nasa.gov

HYPERSONIC ENGINE TO BE TESTED
Technology is one step closer to producing air-breathing engines that can fly at hypersonic speeds thanks to a partnership between NASA, the United States military and industry. An engine configuration that will power a record-setting test flight of the Boeing X-51A hypersonic vehicle will be tested this summer in the 8-Foot High-Temperature Tunnel at NASA Langley. The tests will develop and verify the engine's start sequence and demonstrate its ability to operate at speeds from Mach 4.5 to Mach 6+. Research partners include NASA Fundamental Aeronautics Program's Hypersonics project, engine developer Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne, the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and Boeing.
For more information, contact Kathy Barnstorff at 757-864-9886 or kathy.barnstorff@nasa.gov

NASA NAMES LANGLEY FOAM COMMERCIAL INVENTION OF THE YEAR
Flexible or rigid, structural or non-structural, highly durable -- and described as an excellent insulation for sound, heat or extreme cold -- a polyimide foam developed at NASA Langley for the agency's aerospace program is the 2007 NASA Commercial Invention of the Year. Lighter and safer than earlier materials, the foam can be produced at one-fifth the cost of competing foams. Its commercial potential is already proven: thousands of board feet of the foam have been purchased for interior wall space in United States Navy and Coast Guard ships. The foam's inventors will be honored at a ceremony at the NASA Project Management Challenge Conference.
For more information, contact Chris Rink at 757-864-6786 or christopher.p.rink@nasa.gov

AS NASA TURNS 50, ITS PREDECESSOR HOLDS LAST REUNION
Dozens of men and women who worked for the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) are expected to be in Hampton, May 2-4, for a reunion at NASA Langley. The NACA became NASA, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, in 1958. NACA was founded in 1915 to provide advice and carry out revolutionary aeronautical research. Its first laboratory was Langley, so it's fitting that the veterans of NACA will hold their last reunion there.
For more information, contact Kathy Barnstorff at 757-864-9886 or kathy.barnstorff@nasa.gov

NASA DIGS MARS
A milestone in Martian exploration is scheduled for Memorial Day weekend. With the help of NASA Langley's entry, descent and landing team, the Phoenix Mars Lander is set to land on the northern polar regions of the Red Planet on Sunday, May 25. Three members of the Langley team will be at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California to help guide Phoenix through the challenging Martian atmosphere. Once safely on the surface, scientists plan to have the lander claw into the Martian soil using a robot arm to search for frozen water under the surface. What it discovers will help reveal whether Mars can support life.
For more information, contact Kathy Barnstorff at 757-864-9886 or kathy.barnstorff@nasa.gov

NETWORK TO CONNECT NASA, STUDENTS FOR RETROSPECTIVE SERIES
Via NASA's Digital Learning Network (DLN), the next generation of explorers can connect with scientists and engineers without leaving the classroom. This May, the DLN will host a special series of interactive videoconferences to celebrate the agency's 50th anniversary. On May 20, NASA Langley will partner with Dryden Flight Research Center in Edwards, Calif., to talk about their roles in the advancement of aeronautics over NASA's 50 years. Langley was one of three original "hub sites" for the Digital Learning Network and has helped to expand the network across all the centers.
For more information, contact Emily Outen at 757-864-7022 or at emily.s.outen@nasa.gov

ASTRONAUT LELAND MELVIN TO VISIT SCIENCE MUSEUM OF VIRGINIA
Astronaut Leland Melvin will share stories of his experiences in space with more than 600 students May 9 at the Science Museum of Virginia in Richmond, Va. Melvin, a Detroit Lions NFL draftee and former NASA Langley Research Center chemist, was a mission specialist on the crew of space shuttle Mission STS-122 that flew in February.
For more information, contact Emily Outen at 757-864-7022 or at emily.s.outen@nasa.gov

 

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