NASA Daily News Summary For Release: Dec.

8, 1998 Media Advisory 98-91 TODAY'S SUMMARY: * Solar Wind Squeezes Some Of Earth's Atmosphere Into Space * NASA Video File for Dec. 8, 1998 * Contract Award: NASA Selects Future-X Flight Demonstrator and Experiments ********** SOLAR WIND SQUEEZES SOME OF EARTH'S ATMOSPHERE INTO SPACE Researchers using NASA's Polar spacecraft have found the first direct evidence that bursts of energy from the Sun can cause oxygen and other gases to gush from Earth's upper atmosphere into space. Scientists first saw this effect Sept. 24-25, 1998, when a storm from the Sun smacked into the Earth. Using particle detectors on Polar, they found that the flow of "polar wind" out of Earth¹s upper atmosphere increased substantially when the storm hit. In effect, pressure from the solar ejection squeezed gas out of the ionosphere. Scientists have known since the early 1980s that Earth's upper atmosphere leaks oxygen, helium, and hydrogen ions (atoms that have gained or lost an electron) into space from regions near the poles. But it was not until the Polar spacecraft flew through this fountain of ionized gas in September 1998 that scientists confirmed that the flow of ions was caused by solar activity. Contact at NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC: Don Savage 202/3581547. Contact at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD: Bill Steigerwald 301/286-5017. Full text available at: ftp://ftp.hq.nasa.gov/pub/pao/pressrel/1998/98-221.txt ^^^^^ If additional news releases are issued later today, summaries and Internet URLs will be e-mailed to this list. Index of NASA News Releases: http://www.nasa.gov/releases/1998/index.html

********** VIDEO FILE FOR DEC. 8, 1998 ITEM 1: MARS CLIMATE ORBITER (replay) Footage includes mission animation and hardware b-roll. The Climate Orbiter is scheduled for launch from Kennedy Space Center on Dec. 10 at 1:56 p.m. EST. Contact at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA: Diane Ainsworth 818-354-5011. Contact at NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC: Doug Isbell 202/3581753. ITEM 2: GIANT FAULT ON EUROPA Contact at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA: Jane Platt 818-354-0880. Contact at NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC: Don Savage 202/3581727. ITEM 3: CORONAL MASS EJECTIONS CRUSH EARTH'S ATMOSPHERE Contact at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD: Wade Sisler 301/286-6256. Contact at NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC: Dave Steitz 202/358-1730. ITEM 4: SPRING IS LONGER Contact at NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA: John Bluck 650-604-5026. Contact at NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC: Dave Steitz 202/358-1730. ITEM 5: EL NINO: TOPEX/POSEIDON IMAGES (JPL) Contact at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA: Mary Hardin 818-354-0344. Contact at NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC: Dave Steitz 202/358-1730. ITEM 6: THE YEAR OF EL NINO/LA NINA (replay) Contact at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD: Wade Sisler 301/286-6256. Contact at NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC: Dave Steitz 202/358-1730.

ITEM 7: MOLA/MGS PHOTOGRAPHS MARS' NORTH POLE (replay) Contact at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD: Wade Sisler 301/286-6256. Contact at NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC: Doug Isbell 202/358-4555. ITEM 8: IMPACTS OF LARGE FIRES (replay) Contact at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD: Wade Sisler 301/286-6256. Contact at NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC: Dave Steitz 202/358-1730. ITEM 9: EARTH'S RADIATION BELT (replay) Contact at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD: Wade Sisler 301/286-6256. Contact at NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC: Dave Steitz 202/358-1730. ^^^^^ The NASA Video File normally airs at noon, 3:00, 6:00, 9:00 p.m. and midnight Eastern time. NASA Television is available on GE-2, transponder 9C at 85 degrees West longitude, with vertical polarization. Frequency is on 3880.0 megahertz, with audio on 6.8 megahertz. Ray Castillo NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC: 202/358-4555. The most recent NASA Video File Advisory can be found at: ftp://ftp.hq.nasa.gov/pub/pao/tv-advisory/nasa-tv.txt ********** CONTRACT AWARDS NASA SELECTS FUTURE-X FLIGHT DEMONSTRATOR AND EXPERIMENTS NASA has selected The Boeing Company, Downey, CA, for negotiations leading to possible award of a four-year cooperative agreement to develop the first in a continuous series of advanced technology flight demonstrators called "Future-X." Total value of the cooperative agreement, including NASA and Boeing contributions, is estimated at $150 million, with an approximate 50/50 sharing arrangement. Work under the cooperative agreement will begin

immediately depending on successful negotiations. Pending results of these negotiations, alternative designs are available for NASA selection. In addition, three companies and three NASA Centers were selected for seven Future-X flight experiments with a total estimated value of $24 million. The Future-X effort will be managed by the Space Transportation Programs Office at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, AL Contact at NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC: Jim Cast 202/358-1779. Contact at NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, AL: June Malone 256/544-0034. Full text available at: ftp://ftp.hq.nasa.gov/pub/pao/contract/1998/c98-w.txt ^^^^^ NASA contract awards are posted to: http://procurement.nasa.gov/EPS/award.html ********** The NASA Daily News Summary is issued at approximately 2:00 p.m. Eastern time on business days when news releases, new Video File material or live events are scheduled. Members of the news media who wish to subscribe to or unsubscribe from this list should send an e-mail message to: brian.dunbar@hq.nasa.gov ********** END OF DAILY NEWS SUMMARY