Sarah Keegan Headquarters, Washington (Phone: 202/358-1902) RELEASE: 02-127

July 17, 2002

U.S. CENTENNIAL OF FLIGHT COMMISSION WELCOMES NASM AND NASA AS PARTNERS IN CELEBRATING 100 YEARS OF POWERED FLIGHT The U.S. Centennial of Flight Commission recently named the Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum (NASM) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) as partners in the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Wright brothers' first powered flight. The two organizations will join forces with the Commission and eight other partner organizations to create awareness and plan celebratory activities for 2003. "NASM and NASA are an integral part of our nation's aviation heritage," General J.R. "Jack" Dailey, chairman of the Commission and director of the NASM, said. "Both organizations have done a phenomenal job of educating the public about aviation and space, and will continue to expand their efforts throughout the celebration year." NASM maintains the largest collection of historic air and spacecraft in the world and is also a vital center for research into the history, science and technology of aviation and space flight. Located on the National Mall in Washington, the museum has hundreds of artifacts on display including the original Wright 1903 Flyer, the "Spirit of St. Louis," the Apollo 11 command module and a lunar rock sample that visitors can touch. Since its inception in 1958, NASA has provided critical science and technology for exploring the farthest reaches of air and space, and understanding and improving life on Earth. Today, NASA remains a leading force in scientific research and in stimulating public interest in aerospace exploration, as well as science and technology in general. "The Wright brothers' discovery continues to change the world we live in," NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe said. "NASA is proud to be a part of the celebration that will pay tribute

to their accomplishment, their courage and the innovation that followed. Honoring this anniversary is a sterling opportunity for us to inspire the next generation of explorers and pioneers, as the Wright brothers were themselves inspired so many years ago." Other partners in the "Centennial of Flight: Born of Dreams - Inspired by Freedom" celebration include: American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA); Aviation Week's "The Next Century of Flight"; Aviation World's Fair 2003; EAA; First Flight Centennial Commission and First Flight Centennial Foundation of North Carolina; Inventing Flight: Dayton 2003; and the U.S. Air Force. The U.S. Centennial of Flight Commission was created by Congress to expand national and international interest in the commemoration of the centennial of powered flight. The Commission is coordinating a national outreach campaign and advising the President, Congress and federal agencies on the most effective ways to encourage and promote national and international participation in 2003. More information is available from Christian Markow of the Commission on 804/6758167. More information about the Commission can be found on the U.S. Centennial of Flight Commission Web site at -end-