Ray Castillo Headquarters, Washington, DC (Phone: 202/358-4555) RELEASE: 98-174 NASA TURNS 40 ON THURSDAY

September 30, 1998

"An Act to provide for research into the problems of flight within and outside the Earth's atmosphere, and for other purposes" -- with this simple preamble, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) was created on October 1, 1958. On Thursday, October 1, at 2 pm EDT, Administrator Daniel Goldin will kick off NASA's celebration with an address to all employees from the NASA Headquarters auditorium. He will be joined by Susan Eisenhower, President of Eisenhower Inc. and a visiting fellow at Harvard University, who will provide NASA employees with an historical context within which to consider their many accomplishments. The Headquarters 40th anniversary program will be carried live on NASA Television. (NASA Television is available on GE-2, transponder 9C.) NASA will continue to celebrate its 40th anniversary throughout the year by looking toward the future with its various missions. On October 25, the Deep Space 1 mission will be launched to demonstrate the first ion propulsion engine to operate in deep space. On October 29, NASA will nod to the past when Senator John Glenn joins the rest of the STS-95 crew aboard Space Shuttle Discovery. In November and December, the first components of the International Space Station will be launched from Baikonur, Kazahkstan, and Kennedy Space Center, Florida, beginning a new era in long-term human space exploration. NASA will return to Mars with the launches of the Mars Climate Orbiter in December 1998 and the Mars Polar Lander in January 1999. Also, early in 1999, NASA will continue its commitment to cutting-edge astronomy by launching the Advanced Xray Astrophysics Facility. Not content with looking only outward, NASA will turn its vision to our own planet with the launch of the QuikScat satellite

on November 24, a "faster, better, cheaper" mission that will study ocean winds and add to our knowledge of El Nino. The EOSAM-1 satellite, scheduled for launch in the summer of 1999, will be the first of a new constellation of Earth Observing Satellites. NASA will also continue its ground-breaking aeronautics research by testing new propulsion technology with the Hyper-X program. Looking toward the next 40 years, the X-33 and X-34 programs will begin flight demonstration tests in mid-1999 that will lead to the next generation space launch vehicle. Since its inception in 1958, NASA has accomplished many great scientific and technological feats. At its 40th anniversary, NASA remains a leading force in scientific research and continues to stimulate public interest in aeronautics and aerospace exploration, science, and technology. Perhaps more importantly, NASA's exploration of space has taught humankind to view the Earth and the universe in a new way. More information on NASA's future programs can be found on the NASA Homepage: http://www.nasa.gov/ For further information on NASA's origins and accomplishments, browse through the 40th anniversary page: http://www.hq.nasa.gov/office/pao/History/40thann/40home.htm - end -