Terri Sindelar Headquarters, Washington, D.C. 1992 Phone: 202/453-8400) p.m. ET Debra Rahn Headquarters, Washington, D.C.

(Phone: 202/453-8455) Paula Cleggett-Haleim Headquarters, Washington, D.C. (Phone: 202/453-1547) RELEASE: 92-12

January 24, Embargoed until 3

PRESIDENT BUSH LAUNCHES INTERNATIONAL SPACE YEAR President Bush today kicked-off International Space Year (ISY) - a year-long, worldwide celebration of space cooperation and discovery. Participating in the White House event were NASA Administrator Richard H. Truly, the crews of four of NASA's most recent Space Shuttle missions, ISY dignitaries, and students and teachers from the Young Astronaut Program. During the year, 29 space agencies and ministries from around the world, 10 international organizations and the United Nations will celebrate the spirit of discovery and will work together to promote a new era of global cooperation and to increase knowledge of planet Earth. NASA has been designated by Congress as the lead U.S. agency responsible for developing and monitoring ISY events domestically and internationally. Dr. Lennard Fisk, NASA's Associate Administrator for Space Science and Applications, is the lead representative for the U.S. ISY initiative.

In 1985, the late Senator Spark Matsunaga from Hawaii proposed a 1992 International Space Year to commemorate the 500th anniversary of Columbus' discovering the New World and the 35th anniversary of the International Geophysical Year that ushered in the space age. Congress adopted ISY in 1986 and the United Nations General Assembly endorsed it in 1989. Today it has developed into a worldwide space activity. - more -2 The dominant themes of ISY are global cooperation, discovery, exploration and education. International activities for ISY are coordinated by the Space Agency Forum of ISY (SAFISY), whose membership is comprised of 29 space agencies and ministries from around the world. SAFISY has identified Mission to Planet Earth as the primary theme for ISY. Scientists around the world are observing and studying the planet to better understand the complex interactions between land, water, air and ice and assess such threats as global warming, deforestation and ozone depletion. NASA's Mission to Planet Earth began in 1991 with the launch of the Upper Atmospheric Research Satellite and will continue in 1992 with the Atlas-1 Spacelab mission, an international mission that will study Earth's atmosphere and the sun. Later in 1992, Topex Poseidon, a joint mission with France, will study ocean topography and its role in climate. In addition, hundreds of education programs and public events are planned throughout the world to highlight discovery, exploration and humanity's future in space. The projects include curricula, contests, exhibits, films, television series and interactive teacher workshops. NASA's Education Division chairs a subgroup on education, comprised of representatives from government, private organizations and the aerospace industry. NASA has prepared an Educational Activities Catalogue which will be updated quarterly. The catalog lists activities and provides names and phone numbers of contacts. To request a copy, write to Education Division, NASA Headquarters, Code FE, Washington,

D.C., 20546. The U.S. International Space Year Association (US-ISY) was established with support from NASA to provide information on ISY events. US-ISY publishes a list of activities that can be obtained by writing US-ISY, 600 Maryland Ave., S.W., Suite 600, Washington, D.C., 20024, or by phoning 202/863-1734. - end Editor's Note: A 21-minute videotape about ISY is available on 3/4-inch U-Matic cassette from NASA's Broadcast and Audio Visual Branch, 202/453-8594.