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Douglas Isbell

Headquarters, Washington, DC June 21, 1995
(Phone: 202/358-1753)

Diane Ainsworth
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA
(Phone: 818/354-5011)

RELEASE: 95-100

NASA SELECTS NEW MILLENNIUM PROGRAM PARTNERS

Twenty-three industry and university partners across
the country, representing all sectors of the U.S.
technological community, have been selected to team with
NASA in the New Millennium Program. This bold new
technology effort aims to develop and demonstrate
breakthrough technologies for low-cost space science
missions of the 21st century.

The 23 organizations will participate in four of the
five Integrated Product Development Teams in the New
Millennium Program, following a two-month process that
reviewed more than 230 proposals originally submitted to
NASA.

"These teams will lead in the development and
delivery of selected advanced technologies in four primary
spaceflight development areas: autonomy, communications,
microelectronics and modular architectures and
multifunctional systems," said Kane Casani, manager of the
program at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA.

"With this dynamic, synergistic partnership, we are
striving to introduce revolutionary technologies, spacecraft
designs and operations concepts," Casani said, "to bring
about a transformation in the way we explore the solar
system and study Earth from space in the next century."

Selection of industry, academic and nonprofit
research organization members for the fifth Integrated
Product Development Team -- focusing on science instruments
and micro, electro and mechanical systems -- will be
announced in late July.
The New Millennium Program is focused on development
and validation in space of advanced technologies needed for
a fleet of small spacecraft that will explore the solar
system, monitor Earth and observe the cosmos.
Constellations or networks of spacecraft, carrying
instruments sometimes as small as a dime, will be designed
to study phenomena occurring in Earth's atmosphere, oceans
and land masses, as well as astronomical events in the solar
system and beyond.

The Integrated Product Development Teams will play a
multi-faceted role in the New Millennium Program. They will
be involved in all aspects of the program, from technology
development through science data processing. In identifying
advanced technologies appropriate for demonstration on New
Millennium flights, the teams will recommend technologies
that should also sharpen the country's competitive edge in
the commercial marketplace.

The proposals under review for inclusion in the New
Millennium Program cover a wide range of imaginative
technologies that will enable NASA to launch focused space
and Earth science missions as often as once a month by early
in the next century, Casani said. All were aimed at
reducing total mission costs and improving the scientific
benefits of Earth and space science missions now on the
drawing boards at NASA.

The program is designed to validate these advanced
technologies and operations techniques through a series of
actual spaceflight missions. Among the most popular mission
concepts now under consideration is a flight that includes a
flyby of either a comet or asteroid. This flight would
provide an opportunity to demonstrate a solar electric
propulsion system, which is much smaller in mass compared to
traditional chemical propulsion systems. Other mission
concepts include Earth-observing networks and
constellations, and a microlander that would be destined for
Mars or other planets.

These missions would demonstrate prototypes of
highly sophisticated instruments designed to achieve
specific scientific goals. Another concept in review, for
instance, is a free-flying interferometer, an optical
science instrument that combines light from several
telescopes flying in formation with each other into one
unified image. The mission would demonstrate the
technologies and operating techniques for subsequent
missions that should be able to detect and characterize
planets around other stars.

NASA plans to select three demonstration missions
developed by the New Millennium Program teams and announce
those mission selections by the end of the summer. The
first experimental mission will fly in late 1997 or early
1998, with the remaining missions to follow at approximately
one-year intervals through 2000.

The New Millennium Program is managed by the Jet
Propulsion Laboratory for NASA's Offices of Space Science,
Space Access and Technology and Office of Mission to Planet
Earth, Washington, DC.

Note to Editors: A list of industry partners and
academic institutions teaming with NASA in the New
Millennium Program follows.

-end-

INTEGRATED PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT TEAM MEMBERS

COMMUNICATIONS:

Lockheed Martin Corporation, Valley Forge, Pa.
Boeing Co., Seattle, Wash.
Loral, Palo Alto, Calif.
University of Michigan at Ann Arbor
TRW, Redondo Beach, Calif.

AUTONOMY:

Lockheed Martin Corporation, Palo Alto, Calif.
TRW, Redondo Beach, Calif.
Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pa.
Hughes Danbury Optical Systems, Danbury, Conn.
OCA Applied Optics, Garden Grove, Calif.
Stanford University, Palo Alto, Calif.
Microcosm, Inc., Torrance, Calif.
MICROELECTRONICS:

Lockheed Martin Corporation, East Windsor, N.J.
Loral, Palo Alto, Calif.
TRW, Redondo Beach, Calif.
Honeywell, Clearwater, Fla.
Space Computer Co., Santa Monica, Calif.
University of California at San Diego
Optivision, Palo Alto, Calif.
University of Southern California, Los Angeles

MODULAR ARCHITECTURES AND MULTIFUNCTIONAL SYSTEMS:

Lockheed Martin Corporation, Denver, Colo.
L'Garde, Inc., Tustin, Calif.
Olin Aerospace Co., Redmond, Wash.