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Michael Braukus
Headquarters, Washington D.C.
Office: 202 358-1979

Kathy Barnstorff
Langley Research Center, Hampton, Va.
Office: 757 864-9886/Cellular: 757 344-8511

RELEASE: 03-087
 


December 11, 2003

NASA TAKES FLIGHT WITH CENTENNIAL PARTNERS IN NORTH CAROLINA

Thanks to NASA, the thousands of people who visit Kill Devil Hills, N.C., to celebrate a century of flight will also have a chance to learn more about what may happen in aerospace exploration in the next hundred years.

NASA will offer visitors of a variety of experiences at the First Flight Centennial Celebration to be held Dec. 12-17 on the grounds of the Wright Brothers National Memorial, just yards from where Orville and Wilbur Wright made the first successful powered flight in 1903. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration and its founding organization, the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, have played a significant role in advancing the science of flight since 1915. 

The main NASA exhibit fills a 10,000-square-foot tent. "Powering Flight, Powering Dreams" will feature interactive displays, a Wright Flyer simulator, airplane and spacecraft models and a number of real-life NASA scientists and engineers, all intended to inspire the next generation of explorers. Visitors will be able to view a moon rock, operate a wind tunnel and take home a NASA souvenir. They will also have a chance to see a Space Shuttle main engine up close and pretend they're at a real launch in the Space Shuttle Launch Experience Theater.

Visitors can also catch a glimpse of what it's like to live and work on the International Space Station as they board "Space Station Imagination." Space Station Imagination is two linked 48-foot trailers forming two modules of the Space Station. The display portrays the Habitation Module, or living quarters, where the astronauts sleep, eat and tend to personal hygiene; and the Laboratory Module where microgravity experiments are performed.

A few lucky youngsters will be able to talk to the crew of the International Space Station. In the education tent at 10:10 a.m. EST Friday, Dec. 12, NASA has scheduled a satellite link-up to space so Dare County, N.C., students can talk to Expedition 8 astronauts Alexander Kaleri and Michael Foale for about 20 minutes. Plus Daniel Barry, an astronaut who has flown on board the Space Shuttle three times, will make a number of personal appearances during the First Flight Centennial Celebration.

For children who want to learn how to build their own flying machines, NASA educators will be on hand in the education tent to help them create helicopters, kites, rockets and airplanes. Educators will also show visitors how to plan a cross-country flight in NASA's Mobile Aeronautics Education Laboratory.

NASA will also have a presence in the First Flight Centennial Pavilion Exhibit Hall. Visitors will be able to see a model of an airplane that may some day fly on Mars, watch a hot air balloon demonstration and take a personal picture looking like a pilot.

Even the reproduction of the Wright Flyer that will attempt to lift off on the same day, same time as the Wrights did 100 years ago has a NASA tie. The Flyer reproduction, two Wright gliders and a number of Wright propellers were tested in a NASA wind tunnel.

For more information about NASA on the Internet, please visit:

http://www.nasa.gov

For information about the First Flight Centennial Celebration on the Internet, please visit:

http://www.firstflightcentennial.org

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