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May 15, 1997

Linda Copley
Johnson Space Center, Houston
Phone: 281/483-5111

Release: J97-18

Sonny Carter Training Facility/Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory Dedication Set For Monday, May 19th

The official opening for NASA-Johnson Space Center’s new Sonny Carter Training Facility/Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory will take place this coming Monday, May 19 at 10 a.m. CDT.

The Sonny Carter Training Facility provides controlled neutral buoyancy operations in the facility water tank to simulate the zero-g or weightless condition which is experienced by the spacecraft and crew during space flight. It is an essential tool for the design, testing and development of the space station and future NASA programs. For the astronaut, the facility provides important pre-flight training in becoming familiar with planned crew activities and with the dynamics of body motion under weightless conditions.

The dedication ceremony will include remarks by U.S. Representative Tom DeLay, NASA Associate Administrator Mike Mott, JSC Center Director George Abbey and Space and Life Sciences Director David Short. A tour of the laboratory will be offered following the ceremony.

JSC named the facility near Ellington Field in 1995 in honor of the late astronaut M. L. "Sonny" Carter, who was instrumental in developing many of the current space-walking techniques used by the astronauts. Carter died April 5, 1991, in a commercial plane crash. Carter flew on a Department of Defense Shuttle mission in November 1989 and was training for his second flight at the time of his death.

News media who wish to attend the event are asked to call Linda Copley in the JSC public affairs office at 281/483-5111 or fax their request to the JSC newsroom at 281/483-2000.


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