Drucella Andersen Headquarters, Washington, D.C.

August 20, 1991 (Phone: 202/453-8613) Sue Baker USAF Aeronautical Systems Division Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio (Phone: 513/255-2725) RELEASE: 91-134 NASP PROGRAM SPONSORS MOCKUP COMPETITION The nation's undergraduate engineering schools will compete this fall for the opportunity to design and build a mockup of the X-30 National Aero-Space Plane (NASP). The NASP Joint Program Office, composed of NASA and Department of Defense officials, is sponsoring the competition to stimulate student interest in aerospace science and to provide an engineering education project tied to a "cutting-edge" technology program. In a message to engineering faculties at colleges and universities around the country, Program Director Dr. Robert Barthelemy said that "NASP is a particularly exciting undertaking because of the technology challenges involved in developing a hypersonic space plane with airbreathing propulsion. We're pleased to provide an educational opportunity for today's engineers-in-training who may well find themselves

using the new technologies developed for NASP during their professional careers." U.S. colleges with 4-year accredited engineering programs may compete for the $125,000 award. The competition will be coordinated by the Virginia Space Grant Consortium, Hampton, Va. Undergraduate engineering students at the winning school will design and build a scale mockup of the X-30 approximately 50 feet long. The student-managed project will provide a practical engineering exercise involving a broad range of design parameters and firm deadlines. Students will have access to NASP advisors during mockup development and will gain experience in the teamwork necessary to complete a large engineering design project. The effort will also raise student awareness of the technological challenges inherent in designing and building an aerospace plane. -more-2The mockup will be exhibited at major aerospace shows and exhibitions throughout the United States. The X-30 will be a sleek flight research vehicle that takes off like an airplane, accelerates into orbit around Earth then returns through the atmosphere for a runway landing. The X-30 could unlock the possibilities for future aerospace vehicles that would provide routine access to Earth orbit or fly from point to point on the globe in 3 hours or less. The Virginia Space Grant Consortium is a coalition of five Virginia colleges and universities, NASA , state educational agencies, museums,

private industry associations and other institutions with diverse educational and aerospace interests. The Consortium will mail application packages to engineering deans throughout the United States. The application deadline is October 15. Final selection of the winning school will be made by a panel of experts working in conjunction with the NASP Joint Program Office. For more information on participating in the competition, contact the consortium at 804/865-0726. -end-