Barbara Selby Headquarters, Washington, D.C.

August 17, 1992 (Phone: 202/358-1983) Rick Mould University of Alabama at Huntsville, Ala. (Phone: 205/895-6414) Mike Bryant EER Systems, Vienna, Va. (Phone: 703/761-3704) Debbie Bingham White Sands Missile Range, N.M. (Phone: 505/678-1134) RELEASE: 92-133 LAUNCH SET FOR CONSORT 5 MICROGRAVITY EXPERIMENTS The launch of Consort 5, a commercial suborbital rocket carrying nine microgravity experiments, is set for 10:20 a.m. EDT, Sept. 10, by the University of Alabama in Huntsville's Consortium for Materials Development in Space (UAH CMDS). EER Systems, Va., will launch the Consort payload using its Starfire rocket. The Consort 5 flight will be conducted through the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division-White Sands Detachment at at White Sands Missile Range (WSMR), N.M. The two-stage solid fuel Starfire will carry the payload to an altitude of 200 miles and provide the experiments with 7 to 8 minutes of microgravity exposure or weightlessness. The rocket and launch services are funded by a grant from NASA's Office of Commercial Programs, Washington, D.C. The UAH

CMDS, which manages the Consort rocket program, is one of 17 NASA Centers for the Commercial Development of Space (CCDS). - more -2The Consort 5 experiments will focus on the effects of microgravity on various processes, materials and biomedical samples. Three NASA CCDSs will conduct experiments aboard Consort 5 -- the Center for Cell Research (CCR), Pennylvania State University; the Wisconsin Center for Space Automation and Robotics (WCSAR), University of Wisconsin-Madison; and UAH CMDS. The Penn State CCR will examine various biological samples using its BioModule. The experiment will study the effects of microgravity on mammalian cells, plant tissues, protein crystallization and amphibian tissue. The WCSAR will test a device that offers a promising and unique light source for plant growing facilities in space. The high output, light emitting diodes experiment will be used to further develop this technology for a future Space Shuttle experiment. The UAH CMDS and several industrial partners will conduct seven experiments studying effects of the low gravity environment on different materials. The UAH CMDS, with Thiokol Corp., Logan, Utah, will conduct two foam experiments. The foam will be formed into specific shapes to study its use as a building material and insulator in space. In another experiment, the UAH CMDS and Instrumentation Technology Associates, Inc. (ITA), Exton, Pa., will study microgravity's effect on different materials and biological samples using ITA's Materials Dispersion Apparatus. Kennametal, Inc., Greensburg, Pa., and UAH CMDS, will use a high temperature furnace in a liquid phase sintering experiment and will capture a ceramic mix in a special hydraulic compacting device in a powdered materials processing investigation. Space Hardware Optimization Technology, Floyd Knobs, Ind.,

and Interfacial Dynamics Corp., Portland, Ore., will team with the UAH CMDS on an organic separation experiment that focuses on improving purification techniques for biotechnology materials. An electro-deposition experiment using nickel and cobalt will be conducted by the UAH CMDS and McDonnell Douglas Space Systems Co., Huntsville. This research will assist in finding metals and alloys with enhanced corrosion resistance, surface hardening and catalytical properties. -end-

-3EDITORS NOTE: A photo opportunity is planned the day before launch at White Sands Missile Range. Participants will include representatives from NASA, UAH CMDS, EER Systems and WSMR. Requests for accreditation to attend the launch should be submitted directly to White Sands Missile Range by Sept. 3 to: Debbie Bingham, PAO Building 122 White Sands Missile Range (Phone: 505/678-1134) Radio and television reporters planning live coverage directly from WSMR must submit their transmission frequencies to Debbie Bingham by Sept. 3 to obtain clearance for their use.