Barbara Selby Headquarters, Washington, D.C.

(Phone: 202/453-2927) Rick Mould University of Alabama-Huntsville (Phone: 205/895-6414) Walter Pennino Space Services, Inc., Houston (Phone: 703/281-2495) RELEASE: 90-58 LAUNCH DATE SET FOR CONSORT 3

April 23, 1990

The launch of Consort 3, a commercial suborbital rocket carrying 12 microgravity experiments, has been set for May 17 at 10:40 a.m. EDT, by the University of Alabama-Huntsville's (UAH) Consortium for Materials Development in Space (CMDS), a NASA Center for the Commercial Development of Space (CCDS). Consort 3 will be launched from the Naval Ordnance Missile Test Station facilities at the U.S. Army's White Sands Missile Range (WSMR), N.M., by Space Services, Inc., Houston, using its Starfire rocket. The rocket willcarry the payload to an altitude of 200 miles and will provide the experiments with 7 to 8 minutes of microgravity time. The rocket and launch services are funded by a grant from NASA's Officeof Commercial Programs, Wash., D.C. Commercial participants provided most of the fundingfor the payload. The Consort 3 mission will carry experiments from three other NASA commercial development centers. They include the Center for Advanced Materials, Battelle Columbus Laboratories,

Columbus, Ohio; the Center for Cell Research, Penn State University, State College; and the Center for Bioserve SpaceTechnologies, University of Colorado, Boulder.

- more -2The UAH CMDS and the Center for Advanced Materials will perform materials science experiments, while the Penn State and Colorado centers will conduct biotechnical experiments, each using the effects of microgravity intheir investigations. This is the third commercial launch for the UAH CMDS and Space Services. Consort 1, carrying six microgravity experiments, was successfully launched on March 29, 1989. Consort 2, launched Nov. 15, 1989, was terminated 30 seconds into the flight by the WSMR range flight safety personnel. However, the undamaged payload was recovered by parachute. The Consort 3 experiment package is essentially the same payload as the aborted Consort 2 mission. An incident investigation board, chaired by Space Services, Inc.,determined that the Consort 2 flight anomaly was caused by a mechanical failure in the MIDAS gyro platform that provides attitude reference input into the S19 boost guidance system. The loss of the platform caused the vehicle to cone, which lead to high structural loads and premature separation of the payload from the booster. "Management and independent experts have carefully analyzed the known and other potential failure modes," said Donald (Deke) Slayton, President of Space Services. "All possible corrective actions have been taken."

- end NOTE TO EDITORS: While this event is not open to the general public, news

media representatives may attend. Requests for accreditation to attend the launch of Consort 3 should be submitted directly by May 10, 1990, to: Debbie Bingham, PAO Building 122 White Sands Missile Range, N.M. 88002-5057 Phone: 505/678-1134 Radio and television reporters planning live coverage directly from the range are required to submit their transmission frequencies to the WSMR Department of Defense Area Frequency Coordinator (505/678-5417) for approval to transmit. Requests must be received no later than May 7, 1990.

TO: MDS/PRA Group 1615 L Street, N.W. - Suite 100 Washington, D.C. 20036 DATE & TIME: April 23, 1990 12:30pm ORDERED BY: Edward Campion NASA Headquarters/LMD 400 Maryland Avenue, SW Washington, DC 20546 PHONE: 202/453-8400 PROJECT TITLE: Release No: 90-58 PRINT ORDER: 2245 PRINTING: Camera Ready, lst pg on NASA logo, other pages plain ENCLOSE & MAIL: Release of 2 pages MAIL DATE: April 24, 1990 EXTRA COPIES: Deliver specified quanities to locations below:

50 copies 275 copies 75 copies -------------------- ------------------- ----------------National Press Club NASA Mailroom NASA Newsroom 13th floor newsrack NASA Headquarters NASA Headquarters

National Press Building 600 Independ. Ave, SW 400 Maryland Ave, SW 529 14th Street, NW Room A16 Room 6043 Washington, DC 20045 Washington, DC 20546 Washington, DC 20546 MEDIA SUMMARY OPTION: Name-by-name media summary - 1 copy CLIENT COMPUTER LISTS: Run the following: LS-CA, LS-FA, LS-GA*27E, LS-KA, TYPE OF RELEASE & PIX: General news X 21:T-23:T PUT ADDRESSING ON: Self-mailer MEDIA SELECTION: END OF ORDER FORM END OF TRANSMISSION