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August 14, 1996

Steve Nesbitt

Release: 96-025

JSC Open House to Provide Behind the Scenes Look at NASAh3>

Johnson Space Center employees will open the doors of NASA's laboratories, training facilities and Mission Control Center and welcome the Houston community behind the scenes of the nation's space program during the second annual JSC Open House on Saturday, August 24.

The JSC Open House is a once-a-year opportunity for the public to get a close-up look at the space program's activities and operations. This year, 18 on-site buildings plus JSC's aircraft operations at Ellington Field and the new Sonny Carter Training Facility on Space Center Blvd. will be open for inspection. Favorite activities from last year have returned and more interactive demonstrations have been added.

The Open House, which begins at 9 a.m. and ends at 4 p.m., is free to the public. Visitors may enter the center through three gates not normally open to the public ­ on NASA Road One just east of Saturn Blvd., on Space Center Blvd near Bay Area Blvd. and on Space Center Blvd. near NASA Road One. Parking in JSC lots is available at no charge.

Open House guests will be able to see the simulators where astronauts train to fly the Space Shuttle and work aboard the International Space Station; tour the new Mission Control Center; inspect aircraft at Ellington Field; see the new Neutral Buoyancy Lab in the Sonny Carter Training Facility where astronauts will practice spacewalks for future missions; watch a demonstration of the suits used in spacewalks by both the U.S. and Russian space programs; and view a Martian meteorite.

Also during the day, JSC astronauts, engineers and scientists will give presentations highlighting JSC's achievements since the 1995 Open House. All presentations will be in the Teague Auditorium. The schedule is as follows:

9:30 a.m. -- ³Go for Orbit Ops: Shuttle Highlights from the Past Year² Astronaut crew members from six different Shuttle missions discuss their missions.

10:30 a.m. -- Close Encounters in Space: Shuttle/Mir Rendezvous Highlights Astronauts and flight directors discuss the most recent Shuttle missions to rendezvous with the Russian space station.

11:30 a.m. ­ Living and Working on Mir: Space Station Phase I Program managers and crew members discuss the first step toward the International Space Station -- the flight of US Astronauts on the Russian Space Station Mir.

1 p.m. ­ Life Out There: Findings from a Martian Meteorite The scientists who recently discovered evidence of primitive life in a Martian meteorite will discuss their work.

2 p.m. -- Space Technology in Your World: Real-Life Applications of NASA Technology Dr. Michael DeBakey from the Texas Medical Center joins other scientists and engineers in discussing the impact of space technology on the field of medicine and in other areas of daily life.

3 p.m. -- The Road Ahead: Exploration and Development of Space Veteran Astronaut John Young and others discuss returning to the moon and future space exploration. Other events include educational activities for children, autographing sessions by JSC's astronauts, the construction of a full-size model of a new generation moon lander and tours around the closed chambers where volunteers lived during a recently completed 30-day study to test methods of supporting human life on long space expeditions.

The astronaut band, Max Q, also will perform amidst the Shuttle mockups in Bldg. 9 at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.

The JSC Open House coincides with the annual Ballunar Liftoff at nearby Space Center Houston. Ballunar Liftoff features dozens of hot air balloons, parachute demonstrations and other attractions near JSC's Rocket Park. It runs over three days beginning Friday, August 23. Last year some 70,000 people attended both events.


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