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Michael Braukus
Headquarters, Washington
(Phone: 202/358-1979)

Kathy Barnstorff
Langley Research Center, Hampton, Va.
(Phone: 757/864-9886)

December 9, 2003
 
RELEASE : 03-401
 
 
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 a variety of experiences at the First Flight Centennial Celebration Dec. 12-17 on the grounds of the Wright Brothers' National Memorial. The site is near where the Wrights made the first successful powered flight on December 17, 1903. NASA and its founding organization, the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, 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. Visitors can 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 Station's Habitation Module 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 with the crew of the International Space Station. At 10:10 a.m. EST Friday, Dec. 12, by satellite link-up, Dare County, N.C., students will talk with Expedition 8 astronauts Alexander Kaleri and Michael Foale for about 20 minutes. In addition, NASA astronaut Daniel Barry, a three-mission Space Shuttle veteran, will make a number of personal appearances during the First Centennial of Flight 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 NASA wind tunnels.

For more information about NASA on the Internet, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov

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

http://www.firstflightcentennial.org

 

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