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RELEASE NO. 03-001
 


January 7, 2003

NASA LANGLEY FORECAST

SCIENTISTS MOUNT CAMPAIGN FOR ARCTIC OZONE STUDY. NASA Langley Research Center scientists will join more than 350 researchers from around the globe this winter to measure ozone and other atmospheric gases in the Arctic using aircraft, large and small balloons, ground-based instruments and satellites. This study follows the first such campaign two winters ago in which record ozone losses of 70 percent were observed at higher altitudes in the Arctic Circle. Ozone studies are important because the ozone layer prevents the sun's harmful ultraviolet radiation from reaching the Earth's surface. A primary goal of the international effort is to verify the accuracy of observations by NASA Langley's Stratospheric Aerosol and Gas Experiment (SAGE III) instrument, on board a Russian Meteor-3M satellite launched since the last campaign. The campaign, called SOLVE II – for SAGE III Ozone Loss and Validation Experiment – will run from Jan. 8 through Feb. 6. The SOLVE campaign will hold a media week beginning Monday, Jan. 27. Interested media may contact Chris Rink at 757-864-6786 or c.p.rink@larc.nasa.gov.

JAN. 9: REPORTERS INVITED TO PREVIEW OF 'KITTY HAWK' DOCUMENTARY. Critically-acclaimed producer, writer and director David Garrigus will present a preview segment of his upcoming two-hour PBS documentary, "Kitty Hawk: The Wright Brothers, Journey of Invention," to NASA Langley employees at 1 p.m., Jan. 9. The never-before-seen preview explores the five-year journey of invention that preceded the Wrights’ famous flight of 1903. In addition to the film and lecture presentation, Garrigus will share footage of a replica Wright Brothers glider during flight trials on the dunes of North Carolina. For more information, call Kimberly W. Land at 757/864-9885 or email k.w.land@larc.nasa.gov.

IS AN AFFORDABLE "PERSONAL AIR VEHICLE" IN YOUR FUTURE? If general aviation is ever to expand substantially, it must be made affordable to many more people than it is today, according to NASA researchers studying what it will take to make small airplanes attractive for personal transportation. What it will take, they think, is the equivalent of a "Ford Model A of the air." Sacrificing some performance for practicality, they see the possibility of a $60,000 four-seat "personal air vehicle" powered by a slightly modified automotive engine produced in great quantities. It would also take a totally new aircraft designed around the engine, the adoption of a new certification standard based on modern manufacturing processes, and comfortable vehicles that are also environmental good neighbors. In spite of the challenges, the researchers believe it is possible to build a small airplane for the same cost as a limited-edition luxury automobile. Image available upon request. For information, call Keith Henry at 757-864-6120 or email h.k.henry@larc.nasa.gov.

AFTER LONG-TERM SPACE EXPOSURE, 1000+ SAMPLES TO RETURN. The first experiment to be mounted on the outside of the International Space Station (ISS) will be returned to Earth soon and distributed for examination to scientists around the world. The Materials International Space Station Experiment (MISSE) is designed to evaluate the performance of materials and components planned for use on future space vehicles by NASA, commercial companies and the Department of Defense. By mid-March, when Shuttle mission STS-114 astronauts retrieve it, the space-exposure experiment will have experienced nearly 18 months in the harse extremes of space. The suitcase-sized experiment will be returned to NASA Langley for opening and preliminary examination before samples are distributed to researchers. Meanwhile, the second experiment in the MISSE series will be delivered to ISS by the same Shuttle mission, set to launch March 1. Image available. For information, call Bill Uher at 757-864-3189 or email w.c.uher@larc.nasa.gov.

NEW INSTITUTE OPERATIONAL. The National Institute of Aerospace (NIA) is now up and running near NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va. Last fall, NASA Langley teamed with a non-profit organization to "create a world-class institute for cutting edge aerospace and atmospheric research, develop new technologies for the nation and help inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers." Locating the Institute near NASA Langley facilitates its involvement in agency-sponsored research programs and fosters collaboration with NASA, including access to its world-class research facilities. The non-profit organization is comprised of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Foundation, Reston, Va, and universities in Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina and Georgia. The Institute is in its initial headquarters at 144 Research Drive, Hampton. For information, call Kathy Barnstorff at 757-864-9886, or email k.a.barnstorff@larc.nasa.gov.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT. Last month, a NASA Langley proposal to fly an unpiloted airplane in the atmosphere of Mars was selected as one of four candidates for the 2007 "Scout" mission in NASA’s Mars Exploration Program. Langley’s "Aerial Regional-scale Environmental Survey (ARES)" candidate is centered on an aircraft that may one day soar over the red planet returning unique science knowledge about the Mars atmosphere, surface, interior and early climate. Image available upon request. Interested media may contact Chris Rink at 757-864-6786 or c.p.rink@larc.nasa.gov.

SPEAKER SERIES:
Reporters are invited to preview talks at afternoon presentations to employees at NASA Langley. The public is invited to evening talks at the Virginia Air & Space Center, Hampton. For more information, call Kimberly W. Land at 757/864-9885 or email k.w.land@larc.nasa.gov.

January 14 – Space Exploration: Sputnik to the International Space Station. Presented by Andrew Chaikin, well-known writer and highly acclaimed author on space exploration and astronomy. Chaikin authored "A Man on the Moon: The Triumphant Story of the Apollo Space Program," the main basis for Tom Hanks’ HBO miniseries, "From the Earth to the Moon," which won the Emmy for best miniseries in 1998.

February 4 – The History of Hypersonics. Presented by Richard Hallion.

March 4 – Panel Discussion on the History of 100 Years of Flight. Panelists to include Tom Crouch, James R. Hansen and James Schultz.

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