Sarah Keegan Headquarters, Washington, DC (Phone: 202/358-1600) RELEASE: 97-104

May 20, 1997

IMAX TO DOCUMENT SPACE STATION ASSEMBLY IN 3-D The historic, on-orbit construction of the International Space Station will be documented in 3-D by the Imax Corporation in a large-format (70-mm) feature film to be seen around the world. This will be the first 70-mm space film to be captured in 3D, a breakthrough made possible by Imax's current development of a 3-D movie camera that will meet the exacting requirements and strict limitations of flying on spacecraft. The film also will be distributed in Imax's 2-D format. "Our astronauts have said that previous Imax films are the closest thing to actually being in space," NASA Administrator Daniel S. Goldin said. "Capturing the assembly of the International Space Station in this realistic and compelling format will help NASA share this experience with the public. After all, the station belongs to the public, and they have a right to watch it become reality." The feature film will be made under a Space Act Agreement between NASA and Imax. NASA will own the copyright on all film footage shot in space under the agreement. The agency, in turn, has granted Imax a limited license to create a large-format feature film using the footage. All of the footage eventually will be made available publicly. Meanwhile, NASA retains the right to disseminate, at any time, still photos and videotape segments made from the 70-mm footage. Under previous Space Act Agreements, Imax has produced three documentaries about the space program: "The Dream is Alive," "Blue Planet" and "Destiny in Space." Collectively, these films have been viewed by more than 60 million people and still are being shown across the United States and internationally. The announcement of the International Space Station film was made in conjunction with today's premiere in Washington, DC, of a fourth Imax space film, "Mission to Mir."

"Mission to Mir" tells the story of the Space Age relationship between the United States and Russia, beginning with fierce Cold War competition and leading to today's cooperative space program with Russia, including the docking missions between the Space Shuttle and Space Station Mir. The footage from those docking missions--part of the ongoing "Phase One" program that will pave the way for U.S.-Russian cooperation on the International Space Station -- was obtained by Imax under contract to NASA and is the centerpiece of the newly released feature film. The International Space Station is a partnership of 15 countries, including the United States, Russia, Canada, Japan and eleven member nations of the European Space Agency. On-orbit assembly is scheduled to begin with the launch of the first element by October 1998, and will be completed by 2002. NASA will acquire images of the assembly process in other, non-Imax formats--including television, videotape and still photos--and disseminate them publicly as soon as they are available. There are now 153 Imax theaters in 22 countries, including 74 in the United States. Twenty-nine of the theaters are capable of showing 3-D films. -end-