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Sally Harrington
Media Relations Office

October 19, 2004
RELEASE : 04-078
NASA Glenn's Plum Brook Station's History and Research Featured at the Glenn Visitor Center
On Saturday, October 23, and Sunday, October 24, the Visitor Center at NASA's Glenn Research Center will feature Plum Brook Station, Glenn's satellite facility located in Perkins Township in Erie County. Young and old alike will learn about its history as well as the world-class research facilities and fascinating research that takes place at Plum Brook. The Visitor Center will be open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday and from 1 to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is free, and it is wheelchair accessible.

A documentary "Of Ashes and Atoms" will be shown in the Visitor Center Auditorium at 11 a.m. on Saturday and again on Sunday at 2 p.m. Due to limited seating in the auditorium, seating will be on a first come, first served basis. This video tells the history of the Plum Brook Reactor Facility, one of the first nuclear research reactors built in the United States and the only one built by NASA. It also tells the history of the land on which Plum Brook Station is located in the Firelands region of Northwest Ohio. In addition, historical artifacts from the facility will be available for viewing.

The Reactor Facility operated from 1962 to 1973 when it was shut down and placed in a safe, dry storage mode. It is presently being decommissioned. The process of safely decommissioning the closed reactor facility and the ongoing monitoring being done for the safety of the workers, the community and the environment are just two of the things featured in the displays and fact sheets about the decommissioning of the closed Reactor Facility.

Richard Kunath, chief of the Plum Brook Management Office, will bring visitors into the present as he talks about the four active research facilities. He will be speaking at 1:30 on Saturday and 4 p.m. on Sunday. Some of the work that has been done at Plum Brook includes testing of the landing system for the rovers that are presently up on Mars and the radiators that are in use on the International Space Station, both done in the Space Power Facility. He also will be talking about the exciting research that will be happening in the near future in connection with the Vision for Space Exploration.

Visitors are welcome to walk through the several galleries of the Visitor Center and are encouraged to come back again in the future. In addition to the Saturday and Sunday hours mentioned above, the Visitor Center is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m..

For more information about the Visitor Center, call 216-433-2000 or visit


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