Reporters Invited to Media Teleconference to Learn How New Technology Is Taking the 'Search' out of 'Search and Rescue'
GREENBELT, Md. -- As Memorial Day weekend approaches and the boating, hiking and outdoor season begins, the number of folks requiring rescue increases.

NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., has developed new technology that will more quickly identify the locations of people in distress and reduce the risk to rescuers. Goddard engineers pioneered the technology used for the Search and Rescue Satellite-Aided Tracking System, or COSPAS-SARSAT. The system, with the aid of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) satellites, is credited with saving 27,000 lives worldwide, including more than 6,330 in the U.S. and its surrounding waters since its inception nearly three decades ago.

Journalists are invited to participate in a teleconference to learn how NASA, NOAA, the Coast Guard, Air Force and other international partners are working together to develop a new system that reduces search times from hours to seconds. Reporters will learn how the public can take important life-saving steps that may help the Air Force and Coast Guard execute efficient and safe rescues.

Panelists are:

  • Mickey Fitzmaurice, NOAA SARSAT Systems Engineer
  • Dave Affens, NASA Search & Rescue Program Manager
  • Lt. Col Chuck Tomko, Commander of the Air Force Coordination Center
  • Captain David McBride, Chief of the Office of Search and Rescue, U.S. Coast Guard
To participate in the teleconference, reporters should e-mail a request to Edward Campion at by noon EDT, May 24. Requests must include media affiliation and a contact telephone number. Supporting information for the briefing will be posted at:

Audio of the teleconference will be streamed live at:

Goddard Release No. 10-045b

Edward Campion / Rani Gran
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.
301-286-0697/ 301-286-2483 /