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For Release: March 29, 1996

Catherine Watson
(804) 864-6122

Release No. 96-023

NOTE TO EDITORS:

Russian Scientists Visit Hampton Roads to Plan Joint Atmospheric Mission

NASA and Russian researchers will meet in Hampton Roads next week to discuss plans to launch a U.S. atmospheric instrument on a Russian weather satellite. The NASA Langley Stratospheric Aerosol and Gas Experiment III (SAGE III) instrument will return valuable data about ozone in the Earth's upper atmosphere.

During the week of April 1, U.S. and Russian engineers and scientists will meet at the Chamberlin Hotel, Hampton, to discuss details of the SAGE III instrument/spacecraft interface. The U.S./Russian instrument interface team will discuss how the SAGE III instrument will communicate with the Russian meteorological spacecraft while in Earth orbit. The SAGE III instrument is scheduled to be launched aboard the Russian Meteor-3M spacecraft in August 1998.

SAGE III will be the successor to the SAGE II instrument, which has been giving researchers invaluable information about the Earth's upper atmosphere since October 1984. The SAGE III project is part of NASA's Mission to Planet Earth, a global effort to better understand our environment by using instruments in Earth orbit to study the land, sea and air.

During their week-long visit, the Russians will also take time to sample the culture of Hampton Roads, including a trip to Busch Gardens on Sunday, March 31 and a NASCAR race at Langley Speedway on Saturday, April 6.

For more information on SAGE III interface team meeting times and locations, or the itinerary of the Russian visitors, please contact Catherine Watson at (757) 864-6122.

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