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For Release: June 14, 2001

Katherine K. Martin
Media Relations Office

Lori J. Rachul
Media Relations Office

Visitors Invited to "Drop In" for Facility Tour

As part of NASA Glenn Research Center's ongoing 60th Anniversary celebration, tours of its Zero Gravity Research Facility will be featured on Saturday, June 16.

During the tour visitors will be able to peer into a 477-foot deep vacuum chamber, where a near weightless or microgravity environment is created for 5.18 seconds. To create the microgravity environment, experiment vehicles free fall, in a vacuum, a distance of 433 feet.

Additionally, combustion experiments being conducted by the Microgravity Science Division will be on display. Also on hand to answer questions will be engineers who operate the facility. Since the theme for the tour is the 1970's, displays will include photos and test hardware from experiments conducted in the facility during that decade. A videotape presentation of the facility detailing facility operations will run continuously on a big screen.

The tours will start at 11 a.m. and continue at half hour intervals through 2 p.m. Additional monthly tours of selected Glenn facilities are planned for this summer.

The special anniversary tours are being coordinated through Glenn's Visitor Center and are part of public tours conducted every Wednesday and third Saturday of each month. Free tickets for the tours will be handed out Saturday at the Visitor Center, on a first come, first served basis. Children under the age of 13 must be accompanied by an adult. The Visitor Center is open on Saturday from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. Both the Visitor Center and tour facility are wheelchair accessible.

More than 3000 experiment drops have been performed at the Zero Gravity Research Facility since it began operations in 1966. The experiments have involved propellant management, fluid transfer, heat transfer, combustion and materials science. Work in the facility has supported the Apollo, Mars Lander, Skylab, Centaur Programs as well as lunar device testing, shuttle and space station microgravity experiments.

For more than 60 years, Glenn has focused on propulsion systems, or the turbomachinery that propels airplanes and rockets forward. Formally renamed in 1999 as Glenn Research Center at Lewis Field, Glenn provides Northeast Ohio with thousands of jobs in technical fields and develops technology for U.S. industry, resulting in major advances in commercial products used in the air, in space and on the ground.

For information about Glenn's Visitor Center, see:

For information about Glenn's history, see:

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A print quality image of the Zero Gravity Research Facility is available at:


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