Sue Mathis Richard Headquarters, Washington, D.C.

(Phone: 202/453-8364) RELEASE: 92-75

May 27, 1992

"OSCAR" RETURNS FROM SPACE TO THE ACADEMY After travelling nearly 4 million miles in space aboard the Space Shuttle Atlantis, "Oscar" returned home to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science (AMPAS). Today, NASA Administrator Daniel S. Goldin and Col. Charles Bolden, Commander of the Atlantis mission, along with crew members Brian Duffy and David Leestma presented the space-faring statuette to Karl Malden, President of AMPAS. The ceremony took place in the Bob Hope Lobby of the Academy's Center for Motion Picture Study in Beverly Hills. Also participating in today's "return of Oscar from space" ceremony was Gil Cates, producer of the past three Oscar telecasts. "Perhaps no other contemporary filmmaker's name is so synonymous with movies about space than George Lucas' -with the possible exception of Steven Speilberg, who presented the award to George," Cates said. "And because of that association with space exploration, it was natural to tie in our nation's space program with the presentation. Taking the Oscar into space was the perfect way to do it." "We don't go around letting Oscar take trips with just anyone, you know," Malden commented wryly, "but when Gil came to me with this idea, I felt confident that our Academy's symbol would be in good hands." On March 30, the Space Shuttle crew aboard Atlantis, along with a free-floating passenger named Oscar, participated in the 64th Annual Academy Awards festivities. After Steven Speilberg presented the Irving G. Thalberg Award to George Lucas, the world watched a videotaped salute to Lucas by the orbiting crew who hailed him as "an explorer in his own right." Commander Bolden praised Lucas by saying, "The imagination and ingenuity that have turned dreams into the reality of space flight are no different than those which turn

ideas and inspiration into motion pictures." Lucas received the Thalberg Award from the Academy for his high standards of film production. - more -2 Enhancing the space theme of today's event were enlargements of photos from the Center's Photographic Stills Archive depicting scenes of landmark motion pictures dealing with space, including shots from one of the earliest of all films, Melies' "Journey to the Moon;" "Destination Moon;" "2001: A Space Odyssey;" and Lucas' own landmark film, "Star Wars." Also displayed was a photo of the Space Shuttle Atlantis launch on mission STS-45. During Lucas' March 30 acceptance speech at the Academy Awards he thanked his parents and teachers for their inspiration and credited them with teaching him everything he knows. He went on to say that filmmakers are teachers too, only they have louder voices and reach larger audiences. To show the motion picture industry one way in which NASA reaches students and teachers across America, NASA's first tractor-trailer-mounted, mobile teacher resource center was parked outside the Academy offering tours and educational demonstrations. LASER (Learning About Science, Engineering and Research) is outfitted with six teacher work stations where teachers can access NASA information and education materials from computers, view and copy NASA-produced videos, duplicate slides, and reproduce lesson plans and activities. The 22-ton mobile center is staffed by a full-time specially selected mathematics and science teacher and two technicians. - end -