Bob Jacobs Headquarters, Washington (Phone: 202/358-1600) Cheryl Henry/Rhonda Murphy Universal Studios Florida

, Orlando (Phone: 407/423-8006, 224-5419) RELEASE: 02-54

March 18, 2002

SPACE STATION ASTRONAUTS ACCEPT LONG DISTANCE CALL FROM E.T. -LIVE FROM UNIVERSAL STUDIOS Two decades after making his first long-distance call to phone home, the adorable alien E.T. uses his odd-looking intergalactic telephone tomorrow to contact the Expedition Four crew orbiting Earth on board the International Space Station. It's the first alien-to-astronaut call for the creation of Academy Award-winning director Steven Spielberg, who celebrates the 20th anniversary of his blockbuster film "E.T., The Extra-Terrestrial" Tuesday, March 19, at Universal Studios Florida in Orlando. Children from surrounding schools get to participate in this unique communique and learn about life in space from American astronauts Carl Walz and Daniel Bursch. Russian Commander Yury Onufrienko will supervise the transmission from inside the orbiting research platform. "Almost every child dreams of someday becoming an astronaut and exploring the stars to see if life exists elsewhere," said NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe. "E.T. took the concept of extraterrestrial life and made it a possibility for kids around the world. With Universal Studios Florida's cooperation, we have an opportunity to reach students, show them the wonder of real space travel and hopefully inspire a new generation of explorers." On the ground, NASA astronaut Janice Voss and Human Space Flight Chief Scientist Dr. Kathryn Clark will help answers questions that are more down-to-Earth about the importance of a science and mathematics education and how research in space impacts everyday life at home. The initial call can be seen live on NASA Television between 10:15 a.m. and 10:20 a.m. EST. The entire celestial event will be broadcast on NASA TV at 3 p.m. EST. "Universal Studios Florida is honored to partner with NASA to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the heart-warming classic film 'E.T., The Extra-Terrestrial,'" said Bob Gault, President and Chief Operating Officer of Universal Studios Florida. "More than 40 million

visitors have ridden our E.T. Adventure attraction since it opened in 1990 as the sequel to the feature film, making it a consistent park favorite. To celebrate E.T.'s anniversary, we have enhanced this popular ride and made it even more spectacular for a new generation of guests." "E.T., The Extra-Terrestrial," is being re-released and will premiere at theaters nationwide on Friday, March 22. First released June 11, 1982, this updated sci-fi classic now features updated visual effects, an enhanced digital soundtrack and never-before-seen footage. The movie about a homesick alien and his connection with his human friend Elliott still holds the record for Universal Pictures' highestgrossing domestic film ever. Worldwide, the movie has earned more than $702 million. The film received nine Academy Award nominations, winning four Oscars. The International Space Station is the most complicated and most sophisticated project ever undertaken, orbiting our planet 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with a three-member crew permanently housed. The product of an unprecedented 16-nation cooperative effort, the space platform provides an orbital laboratory for long-term research, where one of the fundamental forces of nature -- gravity -- is greatly reduced. In addition, world-class research in biology, chemistry, physics, ecology and medicine can be conducted using the most modern tools available. NASA TV is available on satellite GE-2, transponder 9C, C-Band. The satellite is located at 85 degrees West longitude, frequency is 3880.0 MHz, polarization is vertical and audio is monaural at 6.8 MHz. Additional information about the film, Universal Studios Florida's theme park, Expedition Four and the International Space Station is available on the Internet at: -end-