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For Release: Immediately

Release No. 96-168

NASA Langley Story Opportunities - October

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: Catherine Watson (757) 864-6122
NASA Dryden Public Affairs: 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.
PUBLIC AFFAIRS CONTACT: Keith Henry (757) 864-6120

"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. 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 Langley Public Affairs: Michael Finneran (757) 864-612
York County Schools: Betsy Overkamp-Smith (757) 898-0391
Newport News Schools: Rosalynne Whitaker-Heck (757) 591-4507

Mir Is Valuable Testbed For NASA Langley Researchers. There are currently three NASA Langley-sponsored experiments 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-Mir) measures the forces imposed on the Mir space station by the movements of the crew. EDLS will be used by the astronauts to hold their position at the Priroda glove box 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 also is testing materials similar to those that will be used aboard the International Space Station, and will capture micrometeoroid particles for later study.
PUBLIC AFFAIRS CONTACT: Catherine E. Watson (757) 864-6122

NASA Rolls Out Award-Winning "Thunder." A NASA technology that could make everything from speakers to heart pumps smaller and more efficient has been recognized as one the 100 most significant technological advancements of the past year. THUNDER technology was honored by Research and Development Magazine at the annual R & D 100 Awards banquet Oct. 14. in Philadelphia. Memoranda of agreement have been signed with six companies to date to develop THUNDER technologies and related commercial products. Interviews, photos and video are available.
LICENSING INFORMATION: Barry Gibbens (757) 864-7141
PUBLIC AFFAIRS CONTACT: Keith Henry (757) 864-6120

NASA Langley Tests X-33 Cryogenic Fuel Tank Concepts. Researchers at NASA Langley are conducting thermal-mechanical tests toward the development of a durable, lightweight cryogenic insulation system for possible use on future reusable launch vehicles (RLV). The tests are being conducted for Lockheed Martin, winner of NASA's Phase II contract to develop the X-33 Flight Demonstrator Vehicle. Interviews, photos and video are available.
PUBLIC AFFAIRS CONTACT: Ann Gaudreaux (757) 864-8150.

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