Charles Redmond Headquarters, Washington, D.C.

October 29, 1993 (Phone: 202/358-1757) Michael Mewhinney Ames Research Center, Mountain View, Calif. (Phone: 415/604-9000) RELEASE: 93-196 U.S./RUSSIAN SPACE AGENCIES HOOKING SCIENCE NETWORKS U.S. and Russian scientists soon will be able to communicate with each other directly over an international computer network now being set up by NASA's Ames Research Center, Mountain View, Calif. Starting in January 1994, the NASA Science Internet (NSI) will connect research sites in the United States with Russia's Space Research Institute (IKI) in Moscow. Nine additional Russian space-related institutions, including the Astronomical Institute, the Institute of Biomedical Problems, the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center and NPO (Scientific Production Association) Energia, will be connected through what is called the Russian Space Science Internet (RSSI). The NSI link to Russia will support 15 collaborative science programs in the first phase of the project, such as research in life sciences, solar system exploration, astrophysics, space physics and Earth sciences. The NSI is the electronic backbone of NASA's scientific computing network and connects to 150 sites and more than 40,000 NASA researchers and scientists throughout the world. Members of Ames' NSI staff worked closely with IKI to design

the Russian Space Science Internet. "NSI's policy is to have a presence at one site within a country," said Sheli Jones-Meylor, NSI Requirements Manager for life and microgravity sciences at Ames. "That site provides internet connectivity to other NASA requirement sites." Jones-Meylor said NSI will provide a satellite link to IKI, which will serve as the hub of the new computer network. "IKI will provide links to the other sites using existing Russian telecommunications capabilities," she added. - more -2As part of the arrangement, NSI will loan computer networking equipment to Russia. It will loan 11 specialized communications routers to sites required by NASA programs. Routers are electronic gateways which direct computer traffic among various networks. NSI also will loan telephone modems and a computer terminal server which will connect user terminals to the network. "NSI will manage the new science computer network in cooperation with RSSI," said James Hart, Chief of the Wide Area Networking Services Branch at Ames. "RSSI will connect to the NSI Network Operations Center at Ames which will provide continuous monitoring and support." "Russian scientists will be able to use information search tools in addition to standard computer networking applications," said NSI Engineer Lee Wade, who has made several trips to Russia to develop the network. "We're not going in there and building their network," said Christine Falsetti, Ames' NSI Project Manager. "We're teaching them how to build their own network. Our scientists are very enthusiastic about the start of this service. Together with our Russian counterparts, we will install and service the networking equipment." Three Russian networking specialists will visit Ames later this year for a 3-week conference on computer networking and the Internet. When they return to Russia, they will operate and monitor RSSI in cooperation with NSI.

During the next few years, NSI and the U.S. Department of Energy hope to expand the computer network to other sites in Russia. - end -