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Kathy Barnstorff
Langley Research Center, Hampton, Va.
757-864-9886/344-8511 (mobile)

RELEASE : 07-052
NASA Langley to Help Visitors Experience the Moon, Mars and Beyond
HAMPTON, Va. - When astronauts last went to the moon they stayed in an angular metal structure that had living quarters a little larger than the interior of a minivan. The two men remained on the lunar surface about three days.

Fast forward 35 years as NASA is working to return to the moon, this time to establish an outpost on the moon from which to work and live. NASA is now studying what kinds of habitats can be built from lightweight, easily transportable, but durable materials. One of the proposed designs is an inflatable structure that is being tested at NASA's Langley Research Center.

Visitors to NASA Langley's Open House, Oct. 27, will be able to check out that dome-like lunar habitat and see what else Hampton researchers are doing to send humans back to the moon, onto Mars and beyond. On that Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., NASA Langley will open its gates for the first time in six years.

Since then the research center has embarked on some exciting new projects. In celebration of NASA Langley's 90th anniversary … NASA wants to share some of its local research with the Hampton Roads community.

"As the country's first civil aeronautics laboratory, Langley was charged by Congress with 'solving the problems of flight'," said NASA Langley Research Center Director Lesa Roe. "Now we're helping develop the next generation of air and space vehicles, while helping make today's airplanes and air transportation system safer and more efficient and doing ground-breaking science research in important subjects like climate change."

NASA Langley will open 17 facilities to the public. Among them is the gantry where Neil Armstrong and other astronauts learned to land on the moon and the world's fastest water powered sled. Visitors can also see half a dozen research aircraft in the NASA Langley hangar, navigate a flight simulator, check out a noise laboratory or walk through a wind tunnel.

If science is of more interest, NASA Langley researchers will share their thoughts about global warming, life on Mars or how to become an astral photographer. And if visitors are curious to see how astronauts will be rocketing back to the moon they can see space capsule mock-ups under construction.

Some NASA Langley Open House displays will be geared just for kids. Hands-on activities will allow youngsters to help construct NASA's next rocket, experience life on Mars and the moon or build and fly airplanes and spacecraft. And for the very young NASA Langley will offer inflatable rides, pony rides, children's art and other fun, for a small fee.

To round out the event there will even be entertainment. The U.S. Air Force Heritage of America Band's Blue Aces will appear at the NASA Langley 90th Anniversary Open House and so will some of NASA Langley's own talented employees. Plus food and souvenirs will be for sale.

It's NASA Langley's "On the Leading Edge since 1917," a public open house Saturday, Oct. 27, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Langley Research Center is located near the corner of Commander Shepard Boulevard and Armistead Avenue in Hampton.

For more information and directions, please check the Internet at:


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