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Sallie A. Keith
Media Relations Office

December 19, 2006
RELEASE : 06-069
NASA's Visitor Center Offers Destination Travel During Winter Break
Cleveland -- The Visitor Center at NASA's Glenn Research Center offers an exciting destination for families looking for fun in Northeastern Ohio this holiday season.

On Friday, Dec. 22, visitors can watch the Space Shuttle Discovery return from a 13-day mission to the International Space Station. Discovery is scheduled to land at the Kennedy Space Center at 3:56 p.m. Alternate landing opportunities are available at the back-up landing locations at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. and White Sands Test Facility, N.M.

During the mission astronauts successfully rewired the International Space Station's electric power system. The new permanent configuration will support more labs and additional crew in the next few years.

On Wednesday, Dec. 27, the Visitor Center will host a special holiday event, "An Eye on Propulsion." Aerospace engineers at Glenn will be on hand to examine exciting propulsion techniques that are revolutionizing air and space travel.

At 11 a.m., Michael Patterson will discuss the history of ion propulsion, developed at NASA Glenn, and its role in deep space planetary missions. At 1 p.m., Tom Benson will explore hypersonic propulsion, which could allow passenger aircraft to travel more than five times faster than the speed of sound. Benson will also discuss the phenomena of "reindeer propulsion" during this special holiday event. Visitors interested in one of the special programs should register in advance by calling 216-433-5795.

Throughout the day visitors can get their photo taken in the digital photo booth "Picture Yourself in Space." Kids can make crafts to take home and collect handouts.

The Visitor Center offers over 6,000 square feet of interactive exhibits and historic artifacts. Exhibits include a moon rock and an original Apollo Command Module. You can also visit the "Aero Adventure: Innovating Tomorrow's Engines" gallery, where a flight simulator allows you to sit in the cockpit of various aircraft to experience the thrill of flying. Daily highlights at the Visitor Center include hourly video presentations featuring space missions, launches and astronaut experiences.

Admission to the Visitor Center is free, and the building is wheelchair accessible. Access to the Center is restricted to U.S. citizens. All vehicles are subject to inspection.

Normal hours of operation are Monday-Friday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.; and Sunday 1 to 5 p.m. The Visitor Center will be closed on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, Sunday and Monday, Dec. 24 and 25, as well as New Year's Eve and New Year's Day, Sunday and Monday, Dec. 31 and Jan. 1.

For the latest news and information on the STS-116 mission to the International Space Station, visit:

For more information about NASA's Visitor Center, visit:


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