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Release No. 96-174

NASA Langley Story Opportunities - November

NASA Teams Finds Urban-Like Pollution Over Tropical South Atlantic. A NASA research team has found high concentrations of ozone, comparable to urban pollution levels, in a region of traditionally clean air. This pollution in the tropical South Atlantic has been linked to intense, seasonal biomass burning in South America and Africa, providing convincing evidence that human activities are extending their impact further, and in more diverse ways. The new research findings were reported in a special issue of the Journal of Geophysical Research Oct. 30. Interviews and photos are available, and on the Internet at Lidar.
Public Affairs Contact: Catherine E. Watson (757) 864-6122

"Kidsat" Program Puts Shuttle Camera In Students' Hands. Two Hampton Roads middle schools will take part in a NASA mission in which students using the Internet can call down photos shot by the Space Shuttle Atlantis as it orbits Earth in a flight planned for January 1997 (STS-81). The students will choose a subject they want to study, such as rain forest burning or river pollution, and analyze shuttle photos of that region as part of their research. KidSat's primary objective is to give middle school students a chance to observe Earth from space while conducting scientific inquiries based on their classroom studies. The KidSat program involves 15 schools around the country that are near NASA field centers. Interviews, photos and a fact sheet are available.
NASA Public Affairs Contact: Michael Finneran (757) 864-6121
York County Schools Contact: Betsy Overkamp-Smith (757) 898-0391
Newport News Schools Contact: Rosalynne Whitaker-Heck (757) 591-4507

Flight Experiment Smoothes Flow Over Supersonic Wings. Supersonic laminar flow control has been called the "holy grail" of aerodynamics, because it's the last frontier that can offer significant drag reductions and save airlines and, eventually, the flying public, a great amount of money. In a series of flight tests, NASA engineers have achieved laminar, or smooth, flow over the surface of an F-16XL wing flying at supersonic speeds (faster than sound), bringing to a successful conclusion a historic achievement in high-speed aerodynamics. Interviews, photos, illustration and video are available.
NASA Langley Public Affairs Contact: Catherine Watson (757) 864-6122

NASA Dryden Public Affairs Contact: Fred Brown (805) 258-2663

"Hyper-X" Program Gaining Speed. NASA is poised to begin a multi-year hypersonic flight-test program by requesting proposals from industry for the fabrication of four unpiloted research aircraft that will fly up to ten times the speed of sound. Hyper-X program managers hope to demonstrate technology that could ultimately be applied in vehicle types from hypersonic aircraft to reusable space launchers. Hypersonic speed is defined as above Mach 5, which is equivalent to about one mile-per-second, or approximately 3,600 miles per hour at sea level. The Hyper-X Phase I program is a NASA Aeronautics Enterprise Program conducted jointly by the Langley Research Center, Hampton, Va. and the Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, Calif. Interviews and photos are available.
NASA Langley Public Affairs Contact: Keith Henry (757) 864-6120
NASA Dryden Public Affairs Contact: Fred Brown (805) 258-2663

Mir Is Valuable Testbed For NASA Langley Researchers. Three NASA Langley-sponsored experiments are aboard the Russian space station Mir. Interviews, photos, illustrations and video are available.

-> The Materials In Devices As Superconductors (MIDAS) experiment is measuring the electrical properties of high temperature superconductor materials during a six-month spaceflight aboard Mir.

-> The Enhanced Dynamic Load Sensors (EDLS) measures the forces imposed on the Mir space station by the movements of the crew. EDLS-Mir is being used by U.S. astronauts to hold their positions while they do experiments at a Mir science station.

-> The Mir Environmental Effects Payload (MEEP), made up of four separate experiments attached to the outside of Mir, will be used to study the occurrence and effects of both human-made and natural debris impacts on the Russian space station. MEEP will capture micrometeoroid particles for later study, and also is testing materials similar to those that will be used aboard the International Space Station.
Public Affairs Contact: Catherine E. Watson (757) 864-6122

LoFlyte Named "Best Of What's New." An experimental aircraft flight control system that learns as it flies has been honored as one of the best technology developments of 1996. Developed for NASA and the U.S. Air Force, the computerized flight control system is installed on an 8-foot-4-inch unpiloted aircraft called "LoFlyte" being prepared for flight demonstrations this month. The "LoFlyte hypersonic waverider aircraft" was named one of the 100 "Best of What's New" in the annual Popular Science magazine competition announced Nov. 12. The jet-powered aircraft was developed by Accurate Automation Corp., Chattanooga, Tenn., under the NASA Small Business Innovation Research program.
NASA Public Affairs Contact: Keith Henry (757) 864-6120
Accurate Automation Contact: Bob Pap (423) 894-4646

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