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Marny Skora
757-864-6121
marny.skora@nasa.gov
 
09.26.07
 
RELEASE : 07-047
 
 
NASA Langley Forecast
 
 

NASA LANGLEY CELEBRATES 90 YEARS WITH OPEN HOUSE
Ever wonder where space capsule and airplane designs come from or how Neil Armstrong learned to land on the moon? See for yourself when Hampton's NASA Langley Research Center opens its gates to the public for the first time in six years. NASA Langley has been on the leading edge of aerospace and atmospheric research since it was established in 1917. Check out simulator, laboratory and wind tunnel tours, exhibits, cool science presentations and hands-on activities for kids Saturday, Oct. 27, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
For more information, contact Kathy Barnstorff at 757-864-9886 or kathy.barnstorff@nasa.gov

SPACECRAFT TAKING SHAPE FOR GROUND TEST
Hardware is being built now for one of the first tests of the spacecraft destined to replace the Space Shuttle fleet. The test -- scheduled for fall of 2008 at the U.S. Army's White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico -- will demonstrate NASA's design for a launch abort system in case of a malfunction in the launch vehicle while on the pad. In a fraction of a second, an unmanned Orion crew exploration vehicle will be jettisoned off the pad to begin a 90-second lofting flight that will carry it to safety nearly one mile away. The full-scale, 5-meter-diameter test capsule is being fabricated at NASA Langley. The test is one of a series to ensure safety for astronauts who will be rocketing to the moon in new spacecraft in the 2020 timeframe.
For more information, contact Keith Henry at 757-864-6120 or h.k.henry@nasa.gov

FORMER NASA LANGLEY EMPLOYEE JOINS CREW FOR DECEMBER SHUTTLE MISSION
Lynchburg, Va., native, 1986 University of Richmond graduate, Detroit Lions NFL draftee, and former NASA Langley Research Center chemist -- Leland Melvin is a mission specialist on the crew of Shuttle Mission STS-122 scheduled for launch in December 2007. Melvin began working in the Fiber Optic Sensors group of the Nondestructive Evaluation Sciences Branch at NASA Langley in 1989. His projects and responsibilities focused on developing techniques to determine damage in aerospace structures and materials. Selected by NASA's astronaut program in June 1998, Melvin reported for training in August 1998. As a co-manager of NASA's Educator Astronaut Program, Leland Melvin traveled across the U.S., speaking with thousands of students and teachers about space exploration, hoping to inspire them to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The STS-122 mission will deliver the European Space Agency's Columbus Laboratory to the International Space Station. This will be Melvin's first spaceflight.
For more information, contact Chris Rink at 757-864-6786 or christopher.p.rink@nasa.gov

ORION CREW EXPLORATION VEHICLE DROP TESTS TO RESUME IN NOVEMBER
Testing for the Orion spacecraft will begin once the reconstruction to NASA’s Landing and Impact Research Facility is completed. Commonly referred to as the “gantry,” this facility, located at Langley Research Center, Hampton, Va., has supported research and exploration since 1965. Originally used to prepare the Apollo astronauts for their lunar landing mission, the gantry’s space mission has been revitalized with NASA’s Constellation Program. To support the program, engineers conduct air bag drop tests, where they suspend an Orion test article from the gantry between 40 and 60 feet high and release it back to Earth. These tests -- scheduled to begin again in November -- serve a vital role in NASA’s mission to venture back to the moon and beyond.
For more information, contact Emily Sturgill at 757-864-7022 or emily.r.sturgill@nasa.gov

SPEAKER SERIES
Media are invited to attend talks at afternoon presentations to employees at NASA Langley. Speakers will be available for interviews before each talk. The general public is invited to similar evening presentations at 7:30 at the Virginia Air and Space Center in Hampton.
For more information, contact Emily Sturgill at 757-864-7022 or at emily.r.sturgill@nasa.gov

  • October 2: The Search for the Cause of the Mysterious Tiny Crystals in the Charters of Freedom, by Dr. Joel S. Levine
     
  • November 6: Finding our Origins with the James Webb Space Telescope, by John C. Mather
     
  • December 4: The Monitor Restoration, speaker TBD
 

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