Donald Savage Headquarters, Washington, DC (Phone: 202/358-1547) RELEASE: 00-178

November 28, 2000

SCIENCE TEAM CHOSEN FOR SPACE INTERFEROMETRY MISSION NASA has selected a science team for the Space Interferometry Mission (SIM), an innovative space system that will hunt for Earthsized planets around other stars and provide new insights into the origin and evolution of our Galaxy. The mission, scheduled for launch in 2009, will also precisely measure the locations and distances of stars throughout our Milky Way Galaxy, and study other celestial objects. SIM is part of NASA's Origins Program, a series of missions that will help us answer two fundamental questions: How did we get here? Are we alone? The newly selected team consists of 10 Principal Investigators, leading key science teams, and five mission specialists. * Discovery of Planetary Systems Geoffrey W. Marcy, University of California, Berkeley A search for new planets around nearby stars, which also will study the stars where we currently think planets have been found. * Extrasolar Planets Interferometric Survey Michael Shao, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), Pasadena, CA A search for planets using a large sample of stars. This study addresses one of SIM's primary science goals of taking a census of planetary systems around nearby stars. * The Search for Young Planetary Systems and the Evolution of Young Stars Charles A. Beichman, JPL A study of the early stages of the formation of planetary systems around young stars which will provide new insight into how planets like the Earth might have formed. * Stellar, Remnant, Planetary, and Dark-Object Masses from Astrometric Microlensing Andrew P. Gould, Ohio State University A novel technique of micro-lensing will be used to make

exceptionally precise measurements of the masses of stars and a variety of other sources. * Space Interferometry Mission: Dynamical Observations of Galaxies Key Project Edward J. Shaya, Raytheon ITSS Corporation By determining the precise distances and motion of nearby galaxies, this scientific program will study the formation of the local group of galaxies. * Astrophysics of Reference Frame Tie Objects Kenneth J. Johnston, U.S. Naval Observatory This program will obtain the data required to determine the motion of the Galaxy relative to extremely distant extra-galactic sources. * Anchoring the Population II Distances and Ages of Globular Clusters Brian C. Chaboyer, Dartmouth College This program will make observations to determine the ages and distances of globular cluster which are needed to determine the age of the Universe. * A MASSIF effort to determine the Mass-Luminosity relation for Star of Various Ages, Metallicities and Evolutionary States Todd J. Henry, Georgia State University Determine to an accuracy of 1per cent the mass of 100 main sequence stars and a special sample of 100 additional field stars. The improved mass-luminosity relation derived from this work would impact many fields of astrophysics and could be one of the major accomplishments of the SIM mission. * Taking the Measure of the Milky Way Steven R. Majewski, University of Virginia A study of the motion of stars in our Galaxy in order to determine the forces that cause the motion and hence to understand better the distribution of matter in the Milky Way. * Binary Black Holes, Accretion Disks and Relativistic Jets: Photocenters of Nearby AGN and Quasars Ann E. Wehrle, JPL A study of possible motions and changes in active galactic nucleii and quasars. The data will provide new and unique insight into the physical processes in these sources. The Mission Scientists selected for the SIM Science Team are:

* Education and Public Outreach Scientist: Guy P. Worthey, St Ambrose College. * Data Scientist: Andreas Quirrenbach, University of California, San Diego * Instrument Scientist: Stuart Shaklan, JPL * Interdisciplinary Scientist: Shrinivas R. Kulkarni, California Institute of Technology * Imaging and Nulling Scientist: Ronald J. Allen, Space Telescope Science Institute SIM will be placed into an Earth-trailing orbit around the Sun. Light gathered by its multiple telescopes will be combined and processed to yield information that could normally be obtained only with a much larger telescope. SIM will also search for planets beyond our solar system. A critical part of the SIM mission will be to identify potential observing targets for the Terrestrial Planet Finder, which will image planetary systems around other stars and look for chemical signatures that indicate a planet could sustain life. JPL, a division of Caltech, Pasadena, CA, manages SIM for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, DC. Additional information on the Space Interferometry Mission is available at: Additional information on the Origins program is available at: - end -