Terri Hudkins Headquarters, Washington, DC (Phone: 202/358-1977

)

October 4, 1995

David Morse Ames Research Center, Mountain View, CA (Phone: 415/604-4724) RELEASE: 95-169

EDUCATIONAL BROADCASTS LET STUDENTS FLY HIGH This month, students all across America will have the opportunity to take a virtual journey aboard a NASA research aircraft flying over 40,000 feet above the Earth on a mission to study planets, stars and galaxies. From the comfort of their classrooms, students can interact with astronomers and scientists who are using sophisticated infrared detectors to probe the skies in an effort to unlock the secrets of the Universe. This unique educational project, called "Live from the Stratosphere" (LFS), is built around more than eight hours of live television coverage supported by two-way audio and computer network connections to schools, science museums, and planetariums throughout the U.S. The Kuiper Airborne Observatory (KAO), a converted C-141 military transport based at the Ames Research Center, Mountain View, CA, will be the setting for the astronomy research missions. The Kuiper, which carries a 36-inch reflecting telescope, is the world's only airborne astronomical research facility, and has been conducting missions for more than 20 years. Scientists use the Kuiper to study heat patterns from celestial sources by operating at an altitude above 99 percent of the Earth's radiation-absorbing atmospheric water vapor. This makes the vehicle an ideal platform from which to conduct infrared astronomy observations. LIVE FROM THE STRATOSPHERE PROGRAMS This educational effort will involve a series of programs in October. The following are the events and scheduled times. All times

are Eastern. * On Thursday, Oct. 5, (noon-1 p.m.) there will be a one-hour "Pre-Flight Briefing" live from the main hangar at Ames. This event is designed to introduce teachers to the KAO and provide a tour of the aircraft. NASA Television will replay this event at 4 and 7 p.m. * On Thursday, Oct. 12, the KAO will fly a 2-1/2 hour (2:30-5 p.m.) "Jupiter Mission" focused primarily on observing the gas giant. Students around the country will be gathered at a video downlink and at selected uplink sites to actually interact with the Kuiper via the Internet. This event will be replayed on NTV at 8 p.m. * On Friday, Oct. 13, Ames will feature a "live" five-hour "Night Flight to the Stars" mission (8 p.m. 1 a.m.) designed to observe stellar birth and death. The Kuiper will take off from Houston and land at Ames. Students at the Adler Planetarium in Chicago will have some control of the Kuiper's telescope via the Internet for a segment of the mission. Schools, planetariums and science museums across the nation will host night-long astronomical activities. * Tuesday, Oct. 31, there will be a one-hour (2-3 p.m.) tape compilation of the most important astronomical highlights of the series. In addition to the broadcasts, hundreds of sites around the country will downlink video and more than a dozen sites will uplink live two-way video and audio. Among the uplink sites are the National Air and Space Museum, Washington, DC; the Adler Planetarium, Chicago, IL; Fernbank Science Center, Atlanta, GA; and the Houston Museum of Natural Science. ON-AIR DISTRIBUTION All broadcasts, except the event on Oct. 13, will be carried on the Public Broadcasting System's (PBS), Ku-band Telstar 401 satellite, at 97 degrees West, transponder 8. For the Oct. 13 program, transponder 11 on Telstar 401 will be used. Local arrangements for PBS broadcasts will vary.

NASA Television intends to carry broadcasts live when they do not conflict with Shuttle mission programming and scheduled video news feeds. Replay times may also change due to the upcoming mission. NASA TV broadcasts on C-band, Spacenet 2, at transponder 5, 69 degrees West longitude. Information on NASA TV and PBS scheduling can be obtained on-line at: World Wide Web: http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/lfs/video^.html For Gopher: quest.arc.nasa.gov; choose HOT TOPIC: Live From the Stratosphere Alternatively, check NASA Spacelink Hot Topics directory at: For Gopher: spacelink.msfc.nasa.gov For World Wide Web: http://spacelink.msfc.nasa.gov Via modem: 205/895-0028 TEACHER'S GUIDES "Live from the Stratosphere" is a series of live and taped television broadcasts complemented by a complete educational package. This package incorporates on-line computer networks over the Internet, via Gopher and the World Wide Web, plus an array of printed materials including a 64-page Teacher's Guide, extensive archival information, and current data on the KAO, astronomy and aeronautics. Information concerning Teacher's Guides and other hardcopy materials can be obtained by calling 1-800-626-LIVE. On-line resources can be accessed via several routes. For those with connectivity to the World Wide Web, visit the LFS homepage at: http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/livefrom/stratosphere.html For those with access to Gopher, go to: quest.arc.nasa.gov To receive regular project announcements, send an e-mail message to:

listmanager@quest.arc.nasa.gov and write: subscribe updateslfs in the body of the message. - end NASA press releases and other information are available automatically by sending an Internet electronic mail message to domo@hq.nasa.gov. In the body of the message (not the subject line) users should type the words "subscribe pressrelease" (no quotes). The system will reply with a confirmation via E-mail of each subscription. A second automatic message will include additional information on the service. Questions should be directed to (202) 358-4043.