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. -end-