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NASA Glenn News in Brief

First Quarter of 1999

Media inquiries should be direct to the Media Relations Office at 216/433-2901.

Center name changed to honor legendary Astronaut

NASA's Lewis Research Center officially has a new name: the John H. Glenn Research Center at Lewis Field. NASA Administrator Daniel Goldin announced the name change on March 1 expressing his pride in the name that pays tribute to two of Ohio's famous sons-John Glenn, two-time astronaut and four-term U.S. Senator, and George Lewis, aeronautics pioneer and director of aeronautical research for the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NASA's predecessor) from 1924-1947. Ceremonial events to be held in May will celebrate the Center's new name.

A Unique approach to Mars Exploration

A prototype of a balloon that will soon float in the Martian atmosphere was recently tested at NASA Glenn's Plum Brook Station in Sandusky, OH-home to the world's largest space simulation chamber. There the balloon was successfully inflated in low-pressure conditions nearly identical to those on Mars. The mission, the first of its kind for the United States, is scheduled for launch in 2003. The balloon will carry a payload of tiny instrumentation designed to search for signs of life on the Martian surface and provide images of previously unexplored regions of the planet.

Director honored for Tech Transfer Excellence

The Federal Laboratory Consortium for Technology Transfer recently named Donald J. Campbell, director of NASA Glenn, as 1998 Laboratory Director of the Year. The annual award honors directors who have made exemplary contributions to broaden the commercialization of technology developed at their laboratories. In the last five years at least 20 new products, including a Cleveland Clinic heart pump, have been created as a result of Glenn-developed technologies.

Turning Technology into Competitive Advantage

NASA Glenn and the Great Lakes Industrial Technology Center have launched a new initiative that will help small businesses grow. The Garrett Morgan Initiative, named in honor of the great African-American inventor Garrett Morgan, aims to increase the competitiveness of small, minority-owned and women-owned businesses in Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin by providing access to NASA technology and expertise. Businesses can leverage these valuable resources into new products to enhance their success in the marketplace.

Is Engineering really this much fun?

Area students shattered objects dipped in liquid nitrogen and performed many other hands-on educational activities under the guidance of NASA Glenn employees during National Engineers Week February 21-27. In all, 85 employees visited local schools to encourage students to explore the world of engineering through captivating demonstrations that highlighted the fun of science and engineering.

We Freeze to please

Employees at NASA Glenn's Icing Research Tunnel (IRT) have proven that they really do "freeze to please." Employees operated the tunnel more than 1,500 hours in 1998, setting an all-time record. The tunnel staff conducted approximately 20 icing tests including National Transportation Safety Board tests, aircraft and helicopter tests and in-house research tests. The IRT, which has been in operation for 54 years, is the world's largest refrigerated wind tunnel dedicated to the testing of aircraft in-flight icing phenomenon. The tunnel's unique design enables the IRT staff to experimentally further the understanding of aircraft icing to ensure safe operation of the nation's civilian and military fleets in adverse weather conditions.

Harnessing Helios

Visitors to Cleveland's African American Museum this summer will get an up close look at an African hut transformed by 20th century technology. NASA Glenn engineers designed and constructed solar panels that will capture the sun's energy to power items inside the hut such as light bulbs, a radio and a television. The exhibit-made possible through funding from NASA's Consortium for the Advancement of Renewable Energy and Technology-is being created to stimulate interest in solar energy and highlight how NASA goes beyond space exploration to positively impact the quality of life on Earth.

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