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For Release: Immediately

Release No. 97-024

NASA Langley Story Opportunities - April 1997

EARTH DAY-RELATED RESEARCH AT NASA LANGLEY. Researchers at NASA Langley are studying the Earth’s atmosphere to better understand how it works and the effects of human activities. These studies include global atmospheric pollution caused by jet aircraft and agricultural burning, the depletion of stratospheric ozone, and how clouds affect the Earth’s climate. Earth Day has been celebrated each spring since 1970. Interviews, photos, fact sheets and video B-roll are available.
Public Affairs Contact: Catherine Watson (757) 864-6122

STUDENTS KEEP THEIR HEADS IN THE CLOUDS. Elementary and middle school students across the U.S. are learning to observe clouds as part of a NASA global cloud measuring project. After the students’ perfect their technique, they will make cloud observations that NASA can compare to a new satellite instrument that will be launched in November. NASA Langley researchers hope to train students worldwide to observe clouds for comparison to the Clouds and the Earth’s Radiant Energy System (CERES) instrument. Schools in Arizona, Georgia, Montana, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, New Mexico, New York and Virginia are involved in the project. Interviews, photos, fact sheet and video B-roll are available.
Public Affairs Contact: Catherine Watson (757) 864-6122

80TH ANNIVERSARY OPEN HOUSE AND TOURS: NASA Langley is celebrating its 80th anniversary with an open house July 19 and bi-monthly tours through December. NASA Langley’s 80th anniversary coincides with the 50th anniversary of supersonic flight, an achievement in which Langley played a key role. Tour information, interviews, photos, fact sheets and video B-roll are available.
Public Affairs Contact: Keith Henry (757) 864-6120

X-34 TECHNOLOGY TESTBED BEGINS WIND TUNNEL TESTS. A model of the X-34, a technology testbed for NASA's Reusable Launch Vehicle (RLV) program, is being tested in Langley's Low Turbulence Pressure Tunnel. Other models at Langley will be tested at all speed ranges, from low to hypersonic speeds. Wind tunnel testing will continue through the summer. The X-34 will be a suborbital vehicle launched from an L-1011 airplane, reaching altitudes up to 250,000 feet and speeds up to Mach 8 or eight times the speed of sound. The X-34 will help demonstrate low-cost launch vehicle flight operations and provide a testbed for RLV technology component tests. Interviews, photos and video B-roll are available.
Public Affairs Contact: Ann Gaudreaux (757) 864-8150

X-33 WIND TUNNEL TESTING: The media is invited to view selected X-33 wind tunnel testing. A metal X-33 model will be tested in the Unitary Wind Tunnel from mid-April thru early May. Other tunnel testing for various X-33 models is scheduled through mid-July. Interviews, photos and video B-roll are available.
NASA HQ Public Affairs Contact: Jim Cast (202) 358-1779
NASA Langley Public Affairs Contact: Ann Gaudreaux (757) 864-8150
Lockheed Martin Public Affairs Contact: Jerry Rising (805) 572-3190

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Coming News:

June: The Measurement of Air Pollution from Satellites (MAPS) instrument is scheduled to be attached to the Russian space station Mir. MAPS will study global carbon monoxide pollution for one year. Contact: Catherine Watson (757) 864-6122

July: When the Mars Pathfinder probe enters the Martian atmosphere on July 4, it will do so using information provided by engineers at NASA Langley. NASA Langley engineers also helped develop the flight software and design Pathfinder’s heat shield. As a member of the Pathfinder team, a NASA Langley engineer will be in the control room at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory to oversee the entry phase of the mission. Contact: Catherine Watson (757) 864-6122

July: The Mesosphere-Thermosphere Emissions for Ozone Remote Sensing (METEORS) instrument will be launched into the Earth’s upper atmosphere from the White Sands Missile Range. The METEORS data will be used to better design a satellite instrument that is scheduled to fly early in 2000. Contact: Catherine Watson (757) 864-6122

September: During a space walk, STS-86 astronauts will retrieve the Mir Environmental Effects Payload (MEEP) from the Mir space station. MEEP was attached to Mir in March 1996 (during STS-76) to study the types and effects of space debris in low Earth orbit. Contact: Catherine Watson (757) 864-6122

November: The Clouds and the Earth's Radiant Energy System (CERES) instrument is scheduled for launch aboard the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission satellite via a Japanese rocket. CERES will provide global data on the Earth’s clouds and energy budget as part of NASA’s Mission to Planet Earth program. Contact: Catherine Watson (757) 864-6122

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