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Media Invited to See Solar Sail -- Developing Technology to Propel Spacecraft of Future -- at NASA Research Center July 19
Kim Newton
Marshall Space Flight Center
Huntsville, Alabama
(Phone: 256.544.0034)

Sallie Keith
Glenn Research Center
Cleveland, Ohio
(Phone: 216.433.5795)

Media Advisory: 05-112

What: The In-Space Propulsion Technology Project at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., in collaboration with NASA's Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio, will host a Media Opportunity to showcase testing of a 20-meter solar sail system design. Solar sails use sunlight to propel a spacecraft through space. This continuous sunlight, reflecting off the giant, reflective sails, provides sufficient thrust to perform such maneuvers as hovering at a fixed point in space and rotating the craft's position in orbit.

The 20-meter tests are a critical milestone in the development of the unique propulsion technology that could lead to more ambitious inner Solar System robotic exploration. L'Garde Inc., of Tustin, Calif., is conducting a series of tests in the Space Power Facility -- the world's largest space environment simulation chamber -- at Glenn's Plum Brook Station in Sandusky, Ohio. Media are invited to view the company's solar sail hardware and interview managers of the project.

Who: On hand for interviews will be:

- Rae Ann Meyer, deputy manager of the In-Space Propulsion Technology Office at NASA's Marshall Center
- Edward Montgomery, technology manager of Solar Sail Propulsion at Marshall
- Richard Kunath, chief of the Plum Brook Management Office
- Leo Lichodziejewski, principal investigator of solar sails at L'Garde.

When: Tuesday, July 19, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. EDT

Where: The Space Power Facility at NASA Glenn Research Center's Plum Brook Station in Sandusky, Ohio

To attend: News media interested in covering the event should contact Glenn Research Center's Community and Media Relations Office at (216) 433-2037 no later than Monday, July 18, for security clearance and directions to Plum Brook's main gate. Media must report to the gate by 11:15 a.m. EDT and may be escorted to the Space Power Facility. Vehicles are subject to security search at the gate.

For supporting materials for this news release -- such as photographs, fact sheets, video and audio files and more -- please visit the NASA Marshall Center Newsroom Web site at: