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Sarah Keegan

Headquarters, Washington, DC
(Phone: 202/358-1902) March 22, 1999

Nancy Neal
Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD
(Phone: 301/286-0039)

NOTE TO EDITORS: N99-15

NASA INSTITUTE WILL 'STRETCH' IMAGINATIONS MARCH 25 AND 26

The first annual meeting of the NASA Institute for Advanced


Concepts (NIAC) on March 25 will be followed by a Universities Space
Research Association/NIAC technical symposium, "Grand Visions of
Aerospace -- The Next 30 Years," on March 26. Both sessions, and the
press availability immediately following, will take place at NASA
Headquarters in Washington, DC.

The meetings will be held in NASA's James E. Webb Memorial


Auditorium, west lobby, 300 E Street SW. Registration will be held
from 8 to 8:30 a.m. both days; the proceedings will begin at 8:30
a.m.

The March 25 annual meeting is the first status report on the 16


Phase I grants awarded by the NIAC in November 1998. The topics
range from advanced transportation and propulsion systems to
revolutionary systems for exploring planets and the cosmos. Each
currently funded NIAC Phase I grant recipient will present a
technical status summary of his or her advanced concept.

At the March 26 technical symposium, six leaders in space and


aeronautics will examine the challenges and possibilities for
revolutionary advances to affect the direction of aeronautical and
space development for the next 30 years.

"These presentations are aimed at stretching our imagination


decades into the future," said Dr. Robert A. Cassanova, the
Institute's director. "We hope that this symposium will provide the
spark to ignite an explosion of revolutionary ideas to address the
grand challenges of aeronautics and space advancement."

Presenting at the symposium will be:

Dr. Mark R. Abbott, Professor, College of Oceanic and Atmospheric


Sciences, Oregon State University
Dr. Peter J. Denning, Professor of Computer Science, George Mason
University
Dr. George Donahue, FAA Visiting Professor for Air Transportation
Technology and Policy, George Mason University
Dr. Jerry Grey, Director of Aerospace and Science Policy, American
Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
Dr. Wesley T. Huntress, Director, Geophysical Laboratory, Carnegie
Institute of Washington
Dr. Laurence Young, Apollo Program Professor of Astronautics,
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Both meetings are open to the public, and members of the news
media are invited to attend. To ensure reserved seating, media
representatives should call Sarah Keegan, NASA Headquarters Public
Affairs, at 202/358-1902. General seating will be available for
walk-ins.

At 12:30 p.m. March 26, immediately following the symposium,


NASA's Chief Technologist Samuel L. Venneri; Dr. Michael Francis,
President of Athena Technologies; Mr. Gentry Lee, science fiction
author; and Dr. Cassanova will give additional remarks.
Dr. Cassanova and symposium speakers will take questions from media
representatives and be available for interviews.

The complete agendas for the annual meeting and technical


symposium and biographies of the symposium speakers can be found
under "What's New" on the NIAC web site at:

http://www.niac.usra.edu/

The NIAC is funded through NASA's Office of the Chief


Technologist. NASA awarded a $10.9 million contract to the
Universities Space Research Association in February 1998 to establish
and manage the NASA Institute for Advanced Concepts. Through a
series of open solicitations over the life of the contract, the NIAC
will seek proposals from the science and engineering community to
develop revolutionary, advanced concepts in aeronautics and space.
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, supplies NASA
oversight and coordination of NASA systems engineering analysis and
technical assistance, administrative support and conference facility
support.

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