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November 12, 1997

Doug Peterson
Johnson Space Center
(281) 483-5914

Release: J97-38

Thousands of Business, Community, and Education Leaders Take Close Look at Space Program and Technologies

Johnson Space Center’s unique "Inspection 97" is off to a flying start with thousands of business executives, technology experts, and education leaders visiting the space center for a behind the scenes examination of the technologies and facilities required for human space flight.

About 5,000 visitors from 45 states across the nation and nine different countries are "inspecting" the space program through 185 exhibits, tours, and technology demonstrations featured in 22 different facilities. A high percentage of business executives and entrepreneurs in petroleum, chemical, energy, transportation, agriculture, manufacturing, medical, and engineering industries are meeting NASA engineers and scientists to discuss technical challenges.

Inspection 97 showcases the Shuttle program, International Space Station program, Space Station Mir activities, Mars studies and the advanced space age technologies and expertise that make human space flight possible.

A sample of the most popular exhibits includes: · Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory - 6.2 million gallon pool for space station assembly training · Field Deployable Trainer - computer system for training crews on-orbit, now being used on the Mir space station · Mockup and Integration Laboratory - full scale mockups of the Shuttle and International Space Station · X-38 Project (Crew Return Vehicle Prototype) - prototype of a simple, low cost crew return space vehicle for the International Space Station

· 90-Day Lunar Mars Life Support Test - closed environment regenerative life support for humans subjects · Biotechnology -- Tissue Engineering - cell culture bioreactor for potential preparation of tissues for transplantation · Detection of Buried Nonmetallic Objects - using microwave techniques to detect underground pipe and land mines · Tools for Extravehicular Activity - tools used for spacewalk activities including space station assembly · Mars Meteorites - Advanced study of martian meteorites and evidence of possible fossil life forms

Key figures in research and academia are opening each day’s events with short talks about JSC and valuable applications of its technologies and capabilities. Dr. William A. Staples, President of the University of Houston - Clear Lake speaks Wednesday, followed by Dr. Michael E. DeBakey, Baylor College of Medicine Chancellor Emeritus on Thursday and Dr. Bobby Alford, Executive Vice President and Dean of Medicine, at the Baylor College of Medicine on Friday.

Daily auditorium programs include presentations by astronauts and technical managers about new technologies, possible life on Mars, Apollo missions to the moon, future missions to the moon and Mars, and international aspects of space. Apollo veteran and moon walker, John Young will describe his experiences on Friday.

Nearly all NASA centers are exhibiting at Inspection 97, including the Ames Research Center, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Langley Research Center, Lewis Research Center, and Marshall Space Flight Center.

Chairman of the Inspection 97, Dr. Doug Blanchard, explains the Inspection’s popularity, "We’re amazed at the excitement the Inspection inspires. The technical breadth of our work combined with that of visiting corporate executives, business owners, entrepreneurs, and technical experts creates an incredibly fertile technical environment for new ideas, concepts, and business initiatives."

All exhibits, tours, and demonstrations will run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on November 12, 13, and 14. Onsite registration begins each day at 7:30 a.m.


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