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December 22, 1993 (Phone: 202/358-1600) RELEASE 93-226 HST SERVICING MISSION HIGHLIGHTS 1993 NASA ACCOMPLISHMENTS On five consecutive nights in December, astronauts aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour thrilled the world with spacewalks to replace faulty components of the Hubble Space Telescope. The telescope was placed back into space on Dec. 10 and orbital verification of the first servicing mission is expected to be completed in early March 1994. NASA's space science programs in 1993 delivered an enormous volume of data and discoveries about the planets, stars and cosmos. Unfortunately, a major disappointment occurred when the Mars Observer spacecraft, the first U.S. mission to Mars in 17 years, fell silent only days prior to entering orbit around the planet. In March, NASA Administrator Daniel S. Goldin, on orders from the President, directed the agency to redesign the space station in order to make it more efficient, effective and capable of producing greater returns on investment. In early December, the participating nations in the Space Station Program agreed to invite Russia to join in the program and on Dec. 16, Vice President Gore and Russian Prime Minister Chernomyrdin confirmed the historic joining of the U.S. and Russian human space programs. During 1993, NASA began to reinvigorate American investment in aeronautical research. The agency made progress in laying the foundation for a future supersonic airliner; continued to work to make tomorrow's aircraft and the nation's air traffic control system safer, more efficient and more economical; and started efforts to foster educational programs that will help create a cadre of young, highly skilled aeronautical engineers for the next century. -endEDITORS NOTE: These subjects and other 1993 NASA activities are covered in the following background release. The entire 1993 document may be obtained by contacting the NASA Headquarters or NASA centers newsrooms. SPACE SCIENCE NASA's space science programs in 1993 kept up a vigorous pace in delivering a huge volume of data, remarkable images and often
surprising discoveries about the planets, stars and cosmos. The year also was marked by a major disappointment when the Mars Observer spacecraft, the first U.S. mission to Mars in 17 years, fell silent only days prior to entering orbit around the Red Planet. The mission had hoped to provide a global map of Mars and voluminous surface and weather data over a full martian year. Listed below are highlights of the year's events and discoveries by NASA's earth orbiting observatories and research spacecraft, planetary exploration spacecraft and other scientific activities, categorized by their field of research. ASTROPHYSICS: EXPLORING THE UNIVERSE Hubble Space Telescope (HST) After a one-day weather postponement, the STS-61 Hubble Space Telescope (HST) First Servicing Mission lifted off Pad 39B in a spectacular nighttime launch at 4:27 AM EST on December 2, 1993. The Shuttle Endeavour pursued the observatory for several orbits, culminating in a precise and flawless rendezvous, grapple and berthing of the telescope in the cargo bay. The Endeavour flight crew, in concert with controllers at JSC and GSFC, completed all eleven servicing tasks during five EVAs, for full accomplishment of all STS-61 servicing objectives. This included installation of a new Wide Field & Planetary Camera and sets of corrective optics for all the other instruments, as well as replacement of faulty solar arrays, gyroscopes, magnetometers and electrical components to restore the reliability of the observatory subsystem. The Endeavour also provided HST with a reboost into a 321 nautical mile nearly circular orbit. Re-deployment of a healthy HST back into orbit was accomplished by the shuttle robotic arm at 5:26 AM EST on December 10th, and the telescope was once again a fully operational, free-flying spacecraft. Orbital verification of HSTs improved capabilities is progressing on schedule, toward a completion of the verification period by early March 1994. Prior to the servicing mission, the HST during the year: * Discovered a double nucleus resulting from the merging of two galaxies. * Discovered a remarkable pinwheel-shaped disk of gas in the heart of a galaxy surrounded by clusters of young stars born as a result of a collision of two galaxies. The HST finding provides strong data explaining the origin of galaxies. * Provided greatly refined measurements of the distance of a nearby galaxy, providing a more precise yardstick for measuring the size and age of the universe. * Discovered stars with "naked cores" representing an entire new population of very blue stars which apparently have been cannibalized of their outer gas layers by other passing stars. * Provided spectacular views of a shattered comet hurtling towards a July 1994 collision with Jupiter, refining previous ground-based observations.
* Found disks of dust around newly formed stars, confirming theories about the birth of planets. * Provided the earliest look at the rapidly ballooning bubble of gas blasted off an exploding star, known as a nova. Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE) * Provided the most precise temperature measurements yet obtained of the radiant energy remaining from the explosion which began the universe -- the toughest test of the so-called Big Bang theory. Compton Gamma-Ray Observatory (GRO) * Yielded two major breakthroughs which will enable scientists to find remnants of old supernovae -- the remnants of exploded stars -buried deep in the Milky Way galaxy. * Pinpointed an unusual star as the source of mysterious gamma rays which have puzzled researchers since they were first detected more than 80 years ago. * Discovered a new physical phenomenon - rare flashes of gamma rays produced in the Earth's upper atmosphere above regions of intense storms, possibly associated with huge electrical discharges. * Provided new and stronger evidence that gamma-ray bursts do not originate in the Milky Way galaxy, and therefore probably come from cosmological distances. Rosat * Discovered a huge concentration of so-called dark matter in space about 150 million light years from Earth (a light year is the distance light travels in a year, about 5.8 trillion miles). The discovery appears to confirm that most dark matter in the universe is concentrated in and around small groups of galaxies. Dark matter is believed to constitute up to 95 percent of the mass of the universe. Extreme Ultraviolet Explorer (EUVE) * Provided new information which will help astronomers understand the evolution of stars into the white-dwarf stage and the details of how stars like Earth's sun die.
International Ultraviolet Explorer (IUE) * Provided the first direct evidence that red supergiant stars -the largest stars known -- end their existence in massive explosions known as supernovae. Mars Observer
* Just weeks after transmitting its first -- and only -- image of Mars from 3.6 million miles (5.8 million kilometers) away, the first U.S. mission to the Red Planet fell silent just as the spacecraft was preparing to enter orbit around Mars. An independent panel was formed soon after by Dan Goldin to investigate why the spacecraft failed to reestablish communications following a propellant tank pressurization operation just two days prior to orbit insertion. Another panel was formed to study a return mission to Mars to try to capture the science objectives of Mars Observer. Galileo * Encountered and provided high resolution images of the asteroid Ida in August. Ida is the second asteroid Galileo has flown by on its way to explore Jupiter in 1995. Magellan * The successful first attempt to "aerobrake" a spacecraft by dipping into the atmosphere of a planet was achieved by Magellan at Venus in August. Magellan's orbit was changed from highly elliptical to nearly circular by this maneuver of dragging through the thick Venusian atmosphere repeatedly over a period of 70 days. From the new lower circular orbit the spacecraft was able to begin to profile the planet's gravity, especially in the polar regions, giving a better understanding of the planet's interior. Gravity Wave Experiment * Three interplanetary spacecraft -- Mars Observer, Galileo and Ulysses -- were used in an experiment attempting to prove the existence of elusive waves in the universe's gravitational field, marking the first time three spacecraft have ever made observations simultaneously. Einstein predicted the existence of gravitational waves, but one has never been detected directly. Scientists are studying the data from the three spacecraft. UNDERSTANDING THE SPACE ENVIRONMENT Ulysses * Became the first spacecraft to reach further south than the most southerly dip of the sun's magnetic equator. In this previously unexplored region, Ulysses observed that the fast-moving stream of charged particles called the solar wind is twice as fast, but less dense, than near the sun's equator. Forty-one research papers resulting from the joint NASA/European Space Agency Ulysses mission were presented at the 1993 fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union on Dec. 6. * Detected interstellar gas and micron-sized grains of interstellar dust flowing into the solar system. The mission is on its way to explore the polar regions of the sun. Sampex * Pinpointed the location of a new radiation belt around the Earth composed of cosmic rays which result when the solar wind
interacts with the thin gas between the stars. Voyager * Detected radio waves believed to come from the long-sought-after heliopause -- the boundary that separates the solar system from interstellar space. Voyager 1, now about 5 billion miles from the sun, and Voyager 2, now about 4 billion miles from the sun, were launched over 15 years ago. UPPER ATMOSPHERE AIRBORNE RESEARCH * Unexpected huge flashes of upper atmosphere lightning which may affect atmospheric ozone were recorded for the first time and studied by NASA scientists using a special low-light-level all-sky camera aboard research aircraft. EXPENDABLE LAUNCH VEHICLES For the 6th consecutive year, NASA's expendable launch vehicles (ELVs) provided 100 percent successful launches. Six expendable vehicles were launched this year. The first, TDRS-F, was deployed from the Space Shuttle on Jan. 13 and placed into orbit with an Inertial Upper Stage. SEDS-1, the first successful demonstration of a deployable tether system, was launched on a Delta II ELV on March 29. On June 25 a Scout ELV launched the Radiation Calibration experiment, becoming the 22nd consecutive successful Scout launch. The Plasma Motor Generator was launched on a Delta II rocket on June 26, demonstrating the feasibility of an electrodynamic tether system. On Aug. 9, the NOAA-I Polar METSAT was launched into a polar orbit aboard an Atlas rocket. The Transfer Orbit Stage upper stage successfully placed the Advanced Communications Teechnology Satellite (ACTS) into orbit following deployment from the Space Shuttle on Sept. 12. LIFE AND MICROGRAVITY SCIENCES AND APPLICATIONS Life and Biomedical Sciences The Spacelab Life Sciences-2 mission, SLS-2, the longest Space Shuttle mission to date, carried 14 experiments concentrating on the cardiovascular/cardiopulmonary systems, neuroscience, regulatory physiology and musculoskeletal systems of the body. The experiments performed on Columbia's crew and laboratory animals, along with data collected on the SLS-1 mission in June 1991, provided the most detailed and interrelated physiological measurements acquired in the space environment since the Skylab program in 1973 and 1974. SLS-2 was flown in October. NASA established a U.S./Russian satellite telemedicine program known as "Spacebridge to Moscow." This cooperative program was demonstrated to members of Congress in November. The demonstration linked clinical consultants on Capitol Hill by satellite with physicians in Russia and West Virginia. In March, NASA selected the University of Texas Southwestern
Medical Center, Dallas, to become the NASA Specialized Center of Research and Training in integrated physiology. The center will be designed to contribute a better understanding of how different organ systems of various species react to space flight. Several months later, NASA and the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders jointly decided to place the Center for Vestibular Research at Northwestern University, Evanston, Ill. The major goal of this collaboration is to enhance basic knowledge and understanding of vestibular functioning by providing investigators with greater access to NASA's unique ground-based research facilities and to space flight. NASA scientists spent October and November in Antarctica to test telepresence technology which may be used in the future to explore Mars. Scientists used a modified mini-submarine called a Telepresence-Controlled Remotely Operated Vehicle, to explore 800 feet below the surface of McMurdo Sound near Ross Island. Telepresence technology allowed scientists on land to use head movements to point the cameras on the underwater vehicle. The vehicle was steered remotely from California. Microgravity Sciences and Applications NASA and American Bio-Technologies Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., teamed together in an attempt to contribute to a better understanding of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS). Under the April agreement, NASA would use advanced x-ray crystallography technology to advance fundamental knowledge of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and AIDS, to develop new and promising therapeutic approaches for HIV and AIDS, and to develop superior biological materials for vaccine development and HIV detection. April also was the launch of Spacelab D-2. This German Spacelab mission carried one NASA microgravity and two NASA life sciences experiments. In November, NASA announced that it will design and build the Space Station Furnace Facility, the first major element of Space Station scientific instrumentation and the focus of microgravity materials science. MISSION TO PLANET EARTH (MTPE) The Office of Mission to Planet Earth continued to collect and analyze data that ultimately will allow humans to make informed policy decisions about how their actions are affecting the global environment. Highlighting Mission to Planet Earth research were new findings about ozone depletion, tropical deforestation, oceanography, climate, and the solid Earth itself. OZONE STUDIES Using data from the Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer (TOMS), scientists from the Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md., in April determined that ozone levels over the mid-latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere had reached record low levels in the second half of 1992. These low ozone values persisted into early 1993.
Other ozone studies, conducted by the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (UARS), showed ozone levels over the Arctic were depleted 10 to 20 percent from 1992. UARS also observed high, persistent levels of chlorine monoxide, a key gas involved in ozone depletion, over the Arctic. Late in the year, scientists from NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration observed the lowest ozone values ever seen, recorded in the Antarctic "ozone hole" on October 6. TOMS aboard Nimbus-7 ceased operating in May. Launched in 1978, TOMS/Nimbus-7 provided more than 14 years of continuous data on global ozone levels. Data from TOMS and other U.S. and international research programs provided the scientific underpinning for international agreements in the 1980s to phase out the use of ozone-depleting chemicals in electronics and other industries. The global-ozone data set is being extended without interruption by the TOMS instrument aboard a Russian Meteor-3 satellite. Launched in 1991, TOMS/Meteor-3 will be complemented in 1994 with the launch of another TOMS on NASA's first Earth Probe satellite. DEFORESTATION In June, scientists from the Goddard Space Flight Center and the University of New Hampshire documented increasing threats to wildlife habitat in the Amazon Basin. Using data from the NASA-developed Landsat-4 and -5 satellites, the scientists showed that the physical extent of deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon Basin is less than had been estimated. However, the fragmentation of the rain forest and the "edge effects" on the perimeters of these forest fragments are greater than had been believed, potentially increasing the threat to biological diversity. VOLCANOLOGY Volcanos and their effects also received attention from Mission to Planet Earth. A study by scientists at the Langley Research Center, Hampton, Va., using data from the spaceborne Earth Radiation Budget Experiment, indicated that the 1991 eruption of Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines slightly cooled the Earth well into 1992. This study was the first unambiguous, direct measurement of volcanic "forcing" of changes in the Earth's climate.
In September, scientists and aircraft teams from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), Pasadena, Calif., and the Stennis Space Center, Miss., took part in an historic mission. Using infrared instruments, the teams conducted unprecedented aerial surveys of volcanoes in the Kamchatkan peninsula of eastern Russia, yielding extensive data that will be used in joint U.S.-Russian studies. As part of the mission, a new direct air corridor was defined between Shemya Air Force Base, Alaska, and Elisovo, Russia. For the first time since 1943, a Russian citizen flew as a crew member aboard a U.S. research aircraft. OCEANOGRAPHY
The U.S.-French TOPEX/POSEIDON spacecraft continued its precision measurements of changes in global sea levels. In February, scientists used this data to correctly predict that the ongoing El Ni�o event would be strengthened, leading to wetter and colder than normal winters in the eastern United States. In November, this data indicated conditions were primed for development of another El Ni�o event in the winter of 1993-94. Using new, improved satellite-tracking technologies, along with more accurate measurements of the Earth's gravity field, TOPEX/POSEIDON is measuring global sea-level changes with unprecedented accuracy: approximately 2 inches for short-term changes and 0.4 inches for long-term changes. A cooperative program between NASA and the Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales (CNES), the French space agency, TOPEX/POSEIDON is providing data that will be used to better understand the oceans' role in climate change. SPACE FLIGHTS MTPE also launched three space missions this year. April saw the flight of the second Atmospheric Laboratory for Applications and Science (ATLAS-2), aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery. ATLAS-2 consists of seven instruments to study atmospheric chemistry and solar energy, focusing on the processes of ozone depletion. ATLAS-2 continued the spaceborne segment of Mission to Planet Earth, which began in 1991 with the launch of UARS. MTPE scientists continue to acquire and analyze data from UARS, TOPEX/POSEIDON, TOMS/Meteor-3 and the Earth Radiation Budget Satellite. MTPE scientists also are analyzing data from out-of-service U.S. weather satellites and international spacecraft. The first phase of Mission to Planet Earth will continue in 1994 with nine satellite and Space Shuttle launches. These missions, including two NOAA weather satellites, will provide data on the Earth's land surfaces, ocean circulation and biological productivity, ice cover, ozone, solar energy and atmospheric chemistry. In August, NASA launched the NOAA-I satellite, an operational spacecraft used by NOAA in its weather observations. Contact with the spacecraft was lost on Aug. 21, with a failure review report due in early 1994. MTPE also completed development of the Advanced Communications Technology Satellite (ACTS). Carried into space by the Space Shuttle Discovery in September, ACTS will be turned over to NASA's Office of Advanced Concepts and Technology when checkout is completed for an ambitious program of communications experiments. OTHER RESEARCH PROGRAMS Ongoing aircraft and ground-based studies complemented MTPE's space-based research. An international research program called TOGA-COARE studied how parts of the Pacific Ocean exchange energy and moisture with the atmosphere. These measurements, the most comprehensive ever gathered on this phenomenon, will provide new insights into the El Ni�o weather pattern and its worldwide effects.
An aircraft survey, using a NASA-developed remote-sensing platform, showed that areas of the Greenland ice sheet thickened by as much as 6 to 7 feet between 1980 and 1993. Scientists want to make repeated measurements of ice sheets and sea ice to see how they respond to changes in climate. APPLICATIONS AND TECHNOLOGY Mission to Planet Earth programs also found immediate applications to natural hazards of 1993. MTPE aircraft surveyed the summer floods in the American midwest and brush fires in California, helping federal and local officials estimate damage. Satellite data on African vegetation was turned over to the U.S. Agency for International Development to predict the likelihood of famine and locust plagues in some areas. Technologically, MTPE continued to improve techniques used to gather environmental data, especially geological data. MTPE technology applied to European satellite data was used to map the 1992 Landers earthquake with an accuracy of approximately 0.4 inches, showing variations in seismic stress near the epicenter. NASA-developed precision receivers for the Defense Department's Global Positioning System were used in field studies in earthquake-prone areas to better understand these natural hazards. MTPE also continued to lay the groundwork for future programs. In March the agency awarded a contract to Hughes Applied Information Systems, Inc., Seabrook, Md., for the Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS) Core System (ECS). The EOSDIS Core System is a primary component of EOSDIS, a geographically distributed computer system to support the operation of EOS satellites and the distribution, processing and archiving of EOS and other environmental data. EOS, which will begin launching in 1998, and EOSDIS form the centerpiece of NASA's Mission to Planet Earth, which studies how the global environment is changing. Using the unique perspective available from space, NASA and its partners are observing, monitoring and assessing large-scale environmental processes that affect climate change.
MTPE satellite data, complemented by aircraft and ground data, will allow humans to better understand natural environmental changes and to distinguish natural changes from human-induced changes worldwide. This will be essential to humans making informed decisions about protecting their environment. SPACE STATION 1993 represented an unprecedented year of change in the Space Station's nine-year history. The year began with continued and intensified efforts to march Space Station Freedom through a series of critical design reviews leading to construction, flight assembly and human occupation of the Freedom configuration shortly after the turn of the Century.
The reviews were successfully completed by mid-year. Freedom's legacy, in terms of its technical systems, was guaranteed to live on. But also by mid-year, Space Station Freedom, per se, no longer existed. An entirely new Station design, nicknamed "Alpha," was being put in place; management and staffing of the Program was being completely overhauled, restructured and relocated; Civil Service support was reduced by more than half. By year's end, the Program was about to receive a new name. And after unanimous invitation by all Space Station principals, Russia had agreed to become a full-fledged international partner. The year's dramatic, course-changing sequence of events began shortly after the new Administration assumed office: March 9. Administrator Goldin notified all cognizant Agency participants that the President, while stating his support for development of a space station, had directed the Agency to redesign the Station in order to make it more efficient, effective and capable of producing greater returns on our investment. The President also directed NASA to create an independent senior-level review team to report and submit its findings to the Vice-President, Office of Science and Technology Policy and other Administration officials by early June. This senior-level panel (a.k.a. "the Vest Committee") would be called the Advisory Committee on the Redesign of the Space Station, and would be chaired by Dr. Charles Vest, President of MIT, who was appointed on March 25. To assist the panel, NASA established a Redesign Team which would be led, initially, by Dr. Joseph Shea and subsequently by Deputy Associate Administrator for Space Flight, Bryan O'Connor. The 45-member team, comprised of NASA employees and representatives from Freedom's international partners, began work on March 10. June 7. O'Connor's Redesign Team submitted its final report to the Vest Committee. The report proposed three technically-viable options for the new Space Station: "Option A," utilizing a modular build-up approach that would use existing flight-proven hardware as well as cost-effective Freedom systems; "Option B," to be derived from mature Space Station Freedom designs and make maximum use of Freedom systems; and "Option C," which would use a Shuttle-derived launch vehicle to place a station into orbit with a single launch. The redesign team also addressed key management and organizational issues associated with making the program more efficient as well as cost-effective. Among these recommendations, which ultimately would be approved by the Administration, was establishment of a 300-person core Program Office at a Host NASA Center, and naming of a single Space Station prime contractor rather than utilizing Freedom's multi-prime contractor approach. June 10. Dr. Vest's Committee submitted its final report and recommendations to the Administration. June 17. The White House announced the President's selection of "Option A" as the new Space Station design. Administrator Goldin subsequently formed a team to handle transition activities between
Freedom and the new design. Bryan O'Connor led the transition effort. Daily activities by the 35-member team were led by William Shepherd who would subsequently be named as the new Space Station Program Manager. A Program Implementation Plan was to be submitted to the Administration by September 7. August 17. NASA announced the selection of the Johnson Space Center, Houston, as the Host Center for the new Space Station Program Office. The Boeing Defense and Space Group was named as the new Space Station Prime Contractor. September 7. The Transition Team's "Alpha Station" Program Implementation Plan was delivered to the Administration. The Plan did not include possible Russian participation in the Program. The team was asked to provide detailed cost and schedule estimates for Alpha Station to the Administration by September 20, and to present, by November 1, details of possible Russian involvement/participation in the Space Station Program. September 20. Cost and schedule information for "Alpha Station" was submitted to the Administration. November 1. An Addendum to the September 7 Program Implementation Plan was delivered to the Administration detailing potential Russian involvement in the Program. SPACE FLIGHT The Space Shuttle once again showed its versatility in1993. During the year, the Shuttle deployed and retrieved various payloads, served as laboratory for scientists and researchers and at the end of the year became an orbiting service station as NASA astronauts removed and replaced various elements of the Hubble Space Telescope.
The STS-54 mission in January saw the deployment of the sixth in the series of NASA's Tracking and Data Relay Satellites. During Shuttle Mission STS-51 in September, a new Advanced Communications Technology Satellite was delivered to geostationary orbit. During Shuttle Mission STS-57 in June, NASA astronauts retrieved the EURECA satellite which had spent almost a year in orbit. After being stowed in the cargo bay, it was brought back to Earth and the experiments aboard were delivered to the European Space Agency (ESA). Two Shuttle missions in 1993 carried the ESA-developed pressurized spacelab module allowing the Shuttle to become an orbiting laboratory. The STS-55/Spacelab-D2 mission, which was launched April 26, saw the second flight of a mission devoted primarily to Germany for conducting a wide range of experiments in the microgravity environment of space. The STS-58/Spacelab Life Sciences-2 mission, launched October 18, involved NASA astronauts continuing the agency's efforts to gain more knowledge on how the human body adapts in a weightless condition and provide insight into medical problems experienced by people on Earth.
A new era in the commercial development of space began in June during Shuttle Mission STS-57 when the privately-developed mid-deck augmentation module known as SPACEHAB was carried in the Shuttle's cargo bay. The module provides additional access to crew-tended, mid-deck lockers and experiments. The Shuttle became an orbiting astronomical observatory on several missions during 1993. The Diffuse X-ray Spectrometer (DXS) payload carried on STS-54 in January, the Atmospheric Laboratory for Applications and Science-2 (ATLAS-2) payload carried on STS-56 in April, and the Orbiting and Retrievable Far and Extreme Ultraviolet Spectrometer-Shuttle Pallet Satellite (ORFEUS-SPAS) payload deployed and retrieved on STS-51 in September, investigated such issues as the origin and nature of the matter that fills the space between stars, the relationship between the sun's energy output and Earth's atmosphere, and the life-cycle of stars. During three Shuttle missions in 1993, NASA astronauts conducted a series of extravehicular activities (EVAs) or spacewalks. The EVAs, conducted during STS-54 in January, STS-57 in June and STS-51 in September, were designed to refine training methods for spacewalkers by understanding the differences between true microgravity and the ground simulations used during training; prepare for the extensive series of EVAs associated with the STS-61 Hubble Space Telescope Servicing Mission, and expand the EVA experience levels of the astronauts' flight controllers and instructors in preparation for construction of the space station. NASA's final Shuttle mission of 1993, STS-61, was the much anticipated first servicing mission to the orbiting Hubble Space Telescope (HST). On five consecutive nights, audiences around the world watched as astronauts aboard Shuttle Endeavour removed and replaced various components on HST. The five EVAs performed on the STS-61 mission set a new record for most spacewalks on a single Shuttle flight and STS-61 astronaut Tom Akers became the American with the most EVA time in space with a total time to date of 29 hours, 40 minutes. In the Astronaut office, the biennial process for accepting applications for mission specialist and pilot astronauts was conducted. After review of the applications, interviews and medical evaluations, selections will be announced in the spring of 1994. During the year astronauts Mae C. Jemison, Guion S. Bluford and Mark Brown left the agency. This year was also marked by the passing of Donald "Deke" Slayton, one of the original Mercury 7 astronauts. In March, Associate Administrator for Space Flight Jeremiah Pearson announced that Leonard Nicholson would leave his position as Space Shuttle Manager to become the Director of Engineering at the Johnson Space Center. Brewster Shaw took over the duties performed by Nicholson in the position of Director of Space Shuttle Operations at JSC. NASA Administrator Daniel Goldin announced in October that the Office of Space Flight will assume responsibility for management of the Space Station Program. Goldin also named astronaut William Shepard as the Space Station Program Manager at the Johnson Space Center in Houston.
AERONAUTICS In 1993, NASA began to reinvigorate American investment in aeronautical research. The agency made steady progress in laying the foundation for a future U.S. supersonic airliner, making air travel "better, faster, cheaper" for millions of pilots and passengers, and creating technology that industry can use to make its products even more competitive in the world marketplace. High-Speed Research In March, NASA's Langley Research Center, Hampton, Va., was tapped to lead the agency's multi-year High-Speed Research Program, which is developing technology for an economically practical, environmentally safe U.S. supersonic airliner. Langley now manages research in aerodynamics, airframe materials and several other disciplines. The center also coordinates the efforts of other NASA facilities working on engine technology, high-altitude atmospheric research and technology flight tests. The start of fiscal year 1994 kicked off Phase II of the High-Speed Research Program. Phase II will move promising concepts out of the laboratory and closer to practical application. During the next year, for example, NASA and industry expect to agree on early designs for the engine combustion chamber and exhaust nozzle components. Phase II will include evaluations of how well representative engine components perform, verification tests of materials and flight tests of new wing and cockpit technology. In November, NASA selected the nation's two leading aircraft engine manufacturers for negotiations leading to the first large Phase II contract award. The team of General Electric and Pratt & Whitney will develop critical propulsion component technologies under a contract estimated at just under $300 million. Better Planes, Safer Skies Many NASA Aeronautics highlights in 1993 were part of the agency's work to make tomorrow's aircraft and the nation's air traffic control system safer, more efficient and more economical. In April, a NASA F-15 research plane based at Ames-Dryden Flight Research Facility, Edwards, Calif., made the first controlled landing using engine power only instead of normal flight controls. The successful touchdown was part of a NASA project to develop a computer-assisted engine system that lets a plane fly and land safely with its engines if normal plane control surfaces such as elevators, rudder and ailerons are disabled. The system makes the aircraft turn, climb, descend and eventually land by varying the speed of the engines one at a time or together. New systems technology for civil and military airplanes was the focus of two projects flown on NASA's Systems Research Aircraft, a specially-modified F-18 fighter at Dryden. In May, the plane made the first flight tests of an electric control actuator that needs less
wiring and performs better than the mechanical actuators now in general use. In October, the F/18 started flight tests of a new control system using fiber optics -- small bundles of light transmitting cables -that weigh less and take up less space than the copper wiring in today's aircraft. Fiber optics also have better immunity to signal interference, are free from short circuit arcing and can carry more electronic signals. At Ames Research Center, Mountain View, Calif., NASA did wind tunnel tests on a full-scale Advanced Ducted Propulsor that could lead to a new generation of quieter, more fuel-efficient passenger plane engines. The joint NASA/Pratt & Whitney project tested the large ducted fan engine under simulated landing conditions, with an emphasis on its ability to reverse thrust for slowing down during the post-landing rollout. In July, NASA and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) unveiled the Center/TRACON Automation System (CTAS), a new computerized tool that helps air traffic controllers schedule aircraft arrivals more efficiently. CTAS monitors incoming planes during their last 20 minutes of flight and develops a plan to handle the traffic according to the airport's spacing requirements. The FAA announced that it will put CTAS into operation at 12 selected U.S. airports and forecasts that the system will save airlines nearly $600 million by the year 2000. Weather or Not to Fly NASA's Office of Aeronautics reached several milestones in its research to make flying safer under adverse weather conditions. A special highlight came at the end of September, when NASA and the FAA reported the results of their 7-year effort to study windshear -sudden, violent changes in wind speed and direction -- and develop airborne sensors that detect it. During a 3-day conference, the two agencies recapped how they had worked together to take the technology for three different types of sensors from the drawing board through flight tests to the commercial aviation marketplace in just 5 years. They also revealed that the FAA is considering formal training programs to help pilots interact with the new instruments effectively. Finally, NASA and the FAA described several innovative new programs that will let airports around the world handle more planes with fewer weather and traffic delays while maintaining today's high safety standards. During the year, NASA finished tests of a new inflight weather data device for pilots. The Cockpit Weather Information Needs system, developed by Langley Research Center, draws on commercial data sources to generate in-cockpit maps of storms and lightning discharges. In simulations at Langley, pilots from 14 flight crews burned 5 percent less fuel and flew 5 percent fewer miles to avoid bad weather when using the system -- numbers that translate into savings of about $6 million per year for a typical airline.
In August, NASA's Lewis Research Center, Cleveland, wrapped up 10 weeks of icing tests on a one-sixth scale model of a Sikorsky Black Hawk helicopter, a design in wide use today. The tests, which covered a range of icing and forward flight conditions, will be used to develop reliable methods to reduce icing certification costs and time. Partnership with Industry In March, NASA and Learjet, Inc. announced an agreement to study aircraft size and aerodynamics, research that could let the company produce a new, economical business jet. NASA planned to contribute 480 hours of wind tunnel time at Ames Research Center; Learjet is building a tunnel model for the tests and will pay to develop and flight test a prototype if the program results show the design is commercially viable. NASA and the nation's large aerospace companies began working together in April 1993 to see how NASA computer programs can help industry design and produce airplanes more efficiently. The goal of the research being done by the Multidisciplinary Analysis and Design Industrial Consortium is to integrate all the factors involved in aircraft design: aerodynamics, propulsion, flight controls and cockpit displays. Instead of providing a technology "spinoff", NASA Aeronautics took advantage of a unique "spin-in" by adapting an existing high-tech x-ray system to improve inspections of aging aircraft. Langley Research Center began working with the system's developer, Digiray Corp., to modify it for inspections of wings, turbines and propeller blades possibly affected by corrosion, cracks and disbonding. "Better, Faster, Cheaper" Aeronautics Research In January, NASA announced that an engineer at Ames-Dryden Flight Research Facility had come up with an idea that improves the way engineers measure stresses and strains on products. The method uses a "constant current loop" that prevents errors caused by temperature changes in the wires normally found in strain gauge instrumentation. Engineers at Dryden also came up with a design for a new engine inlet rake that is saving American taxpayers more than $1 million on an aeronautics research project. The device, which will provide air flow data in a NASA F/A-18 that flies at high angles of attack, is more compact and requires many fewer changes to the aircraft than previous instruments. In November, NASA revealed that Lewis researchers had invented a new silicon carbide crystal growth process called "site competition epitaxy." The process can be used to produce superior semiconductors found in the electronics aboard aircraft, spacecraft and ground vehicles. Silicon carbide semiconductors can withstand temperatures up to 1200 degrees F, much higher than conventional semiconductors. NASA's quest for better ways to do research even extended to whole aircraft. In April, an SR-71 "Blackbird" based at Dryden did high-altitude astronomy studies with an ultraviolet camera from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. The Blackbird has the unique flexibility to carry science experiments on much shorter notice
than satellites and sounding rockets. NASA also is using the plane for aeronautics studies in the High-Speed Research Program. Engineers for Tomorrow The Office of Aeronautics started three programs in 1993 intended to foster educational programs that will help create a cadre of young, highly skilled aeronautical engineers for the 21st century. Syracuse University, the University of Maryland and the University of Texas at Arlington received NASA funding for centers that will concentrate on hypersonic aeronautics -- flight at more than five times the speed of sound. Each school will get $200,000 annually for 3 years to create undergraduate and graduate curricula, course work and text materials. The effort is important because hypersonic research is expected to increase, but the field is dominated by older engineers who may soon retire. NASA also announced an initiative that will create a formal concentration of aerospace engineering courses at the historically black Southern University and A&M College in Baton Rouge, La. Under the program, students will take courses and do hands-on aeronautics and space research projects under the mentorships of professors. Part of the 5-year, $2.5 million NASA grant will let students perform research or other scholarly activities at NASA and aerospace industry facilities. In November, the Office of Aeronautics picked 20 universities to receive grants for the first phase of a new multidisciplinary design and analysis training program. Each school will get about $50,000 to define an aeronautics multidisciplinary curriculum and graduate research program. They also will prepare proposals for Phase II of the effort, which will give five of the universities $200,000 to begin their programs in the 1994-95 academic year.
ADVANCED CONCEPTS AND TECHNOLOGY In October 1992, NASA Administrator Daniel S. Goldin announced a series of organizational changes in several of NASA's programs. One of these changes was the creation of the Office of Advanced Concepts & Technology. This new office was created from the merger of the former Office of Commercial Programs and the former Space Technology Directorate in the Office of Aeronautics and Space Technology. The new organization was charged with establishing: a highly professional systems engineering team, acting as a focal point within NASA to perform detailed feasibility and cost analysis of advanced concepts; an open door to businesses and universities that want help and expertise in developing new ideas and technologies; and to be a place to transfer technology to the commercial sector through whatever mechanisms the technology user community deems most effective. In January 1993, the robot Dante partially descended into the volcanic crater of Mount Erebus in Antarctica until its mission was aborted due to a severed fiber optics cable, which resulted in the loss of communications between the robot and its control station.
Developed by NASA and Carnegie Mellon University, Dante was designed to test prototype robotic technologies for unmanned planetary exploration and to advance scientific knowledge of Mount Erebus. Despite the optics cable problem, the project successfully tested new telerobotic technologies and remote operation of the robot via satellite communications. OACT began a 3-year technology commercialization experiment in February 1993, by funding two Technology Commercialization Centers, one at the Ames Research Center in Mountain View, Calif., and the other at the Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas. The goals of this project are to shorten the learning curve associated with successfully commercializing the agency's technology and to reduce the time required for this transfer to take place. The program is being managed and operated by the IC2 Institute at the University of Texas (UT), Austin, through a cooperative agreement with Ames and JSC. NASA selected the IC2 Institute because of its already proven laboratory-to-market model, which specializes in technology incubation--taking the technological output of a laboratory and pairing that technology with appropriate partners in the business and financial community to create and foster new industries and new jobs. In June 1993 the maiden flight of the SPACEHAB module occurred on Space Shuttle mission STS-57. The module, which was privately funded and developed by SPACEHAB, Inc. of Arlington, Va., provides an additional 1,100 cubic feet of pressurized experiment space on the Shuttle, quadrupling the available working and storage volume. On SPACEHAB's first flight, 15 commercial experiments were conducted. Four of NASA's CCDSs and the Johnson Space Center collaborated with 24 industry affiliates to perform biotechnology experiments. Four other CCDSs and the Langley Research Center collaborated with 11 industry partners to perform materials science experiments. Many SPACEHAB-1 investigators will continue their research on subsequent SPACEHAB flights, the next presently scheduled for February 1994. Substantial progress was made in preparation for the first flight of the Wake Shield Facility on Space Shuttle mission STS-60. It will become the first commercial production facility to manufacture extremely pure materials in low Earth orbit. The Wake Shield Facility is a 12 foot stainless steel disk with four attachment points for small payloads. It will trail 40 miles behind the Shuttle for two days of free flight and then be retrieved and returned to Earth. The Wake Shield Facility was conceived and built by the Space Vacuum Epitaxy CCDS at the University of Houston and by Space Industries, Inc. of League City, Texas. Together, the CCDS and Space Industries designed, built and integrated the Wake Shield Facility for approximately one sixth of the cost that would have been incurred under traditional aerospace hardware development programs. In another robotic development, a satellite link was successfully used in summer 1993 by scientists at NASA's Ames Research Center in Mountain View, Calif., to maneuver a Russian-built robotic rover in a Moscow laboratory. The operator wore a video headset that displayed a teleoperator interface developed at Ames and used a computer to steer the rover's six cone-shaped titanium wheels. The test was a
collaboration between NASA, McDonnell Douglas Space Systems and scientists from the Russian Academy of Sciences, the Institute for Space Research and the Russian Space Agency. The rover was a prototype of a design which Russian scientists hope to land on Mars in 1996. The objective was to prove the feasibility of the teleoperator interface. OACT selected 52 proposals to develop small technology flight experiments in the INSpace Technology Experiments Program (INSTEP). The objective of INSTEP is to validate technology concepts developed by NASA, industry and universities which require space flight testing and evaluation. The awards covered eight distinct technology areas identified as high priority by NASA's customers. Five of the 52 were student proposals, solicited proposals specifically from U.S. university students to provide them with an opportunity to participate in space technology research. NASA successfully launched the Advanced Communications Technology Satellite (ACTS) from Space Shuttle Discovery on STS-51 in September 1993. During its development phase, OACT and NASA's Mission to Planet Earth collaborated. Following on-orbit checkout, OACT will operate a two-year experiment phase with university and industry collaborators. The fundamental goal of the ACTS program is to test and prove the satellite's advanced technologies and to evaluate the potential applications of the technologies that will promote the creation of new telecommunications services, thus improving the nation's economy and enhancing U.S. competitiveness in the global telecommunications market. During the two year ACTS Experiments program, participants from industry, academia and government will conduct investigations in medical imagery, distance education, business and supercomputer networking, high definition television, and many more areas. NASA joined forces with four other federal agencies to manage the Technology Reinvestment Project (TRP). The TRP, announced by President Clinton in March 1993, is a $472 million effort to help U.S. industry respond to the twin challenges posed by decreased defense spending and increased global economic competition. Other agencies involved in the TRP are the National Science Foundation; the Department of Defense's Advanced Research Projects Agency; the Department of Energy; and the Department of Commerce's National Institute of Standards and Technology. OACT is representing NASA's technological and technology transfer expertise in support of this important national project. Approximately 2,800 proposals were received by the TRP during a two month solicitation period that ended in late July. The proposals were submitted by companies, universities, and state and local governments. In general, proposer's for TRP grants were required to contribute at least 50 percent of the cost of the project to ensure commercial relevance. The nation's top technology managers gathered in Anaheim, Calif., in December 1993 at TECHNOLOGY 2003, the fourth national technology transfer conference and exposition. Sponsored by NASA, NASA Tech Briefs magazine and the Technology Utilization Foundation, the event spotlighted leading edge technologies from NASA and other federal agencies which U.S. industry can use to develop new or improved products and processes. More than 8,000 attendees toured the more
than 300 exhibits during the two-day conference. SPACE COMMUNICATIONS Space Network The Tracking and Data Relay Satellite TDRS-6 was successfully launched in January aboard the Shuttle Endeavor. NASA's Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System (TDRSS). TDRSS is a space-based satellite network developed to meet telecommunications needs essential to the success of Space Shuttle, space station and other low Earth-orbiting spacecraft missions. The TDRS-6 fulfilled the essential requirement of having two fully operational satellites and a fully operational "ready reserve" capability in Earth orbit. This assures that NASA communications, telemetry and data acquisition capabilities required by space missions would not be jeopardized by a single satellite failure. April 1993 marked the 10th anniversary of NASA's TDRSS. The system replaced a nearly 25-year-old, world-wide, ground-based tracking and communications network. The TDRSS began with the launch of the first satellite on April 4, 1983, on board the Space Shuttle Challenger. The TDRSS has transmitted data and pictures roughly equivalent to the total contents of the Library of Congress -- the nation's largest library with 100 million volumes of information and has enabled NASA to cut telecommunications costs by as much as 60 percent, while increasing data acquisition and communications time for Earth-orbiting spacecraft. NASA's two TDRSS ground stations, located in White Sands, New Mexico, received Native American names as a result of a "Name the Ground Terminals"contest held for New Mexico students. The names selected were Cacique (kah-see- keh) and Danzante (dahn-zahn-teh). These names are derived from the Tortugas Indians' ceremonial dance that is part of their culture. The winning entry was submitted by four female students from Zia Middle School, Las Cruces, NM. Entries had to relate to local culture and be appropriate for space communications and America's involvement in space. The contest was sponsored by NASA and the New Mexico Space Grant Consortium. A remote terminal was established in Australia to augment the science return from the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory (GRO) after failure of the on-board tape recorders. This facility will allow scientists to collect approximately 30 percent more science data, depending on GRO's attitude. In addition, the facility will allow engineers to better monitor the health of the spacecraft. Communications And Data Systems An Interfacility Fiber Optic Link was completed that connects the White Sands Ground Terminal, N.M., and the Second Tracking and Data Relay Satellite Ground Terminal, also in New Mexico. This link
communicates operational data between these sites, increasing reliability for the expanded TDRSS to meet requirements for future NASA missions. NASA's Communications network implemented the German Space Operations Center communications requirements used for the German Spacelab D-2 mission. The network provided circuits that enabled the ground control operators in Germany to communicate with the astronauts on board the U.S. Space Shuttle to assure D-2 science mission success. A new control center called the Transportable Payload Operations Control Center was successfully demonstrated with the launch of the first SAMPEX mission. The center will provide significant cost savings through reuse of over 75 percent of the existing software for future missions. The data processing program received and processed over 10 trillion bits of data from free-flyer Earth-orbiting spacecraft and Shuttle payloads. The data was converted to forms the science community could interpret, then distributed to world-wide scientific facilities and communities. Ground Network NASA's Ground Network Facilities provided communications to a variety of spacecraft engaged in exploration of other planets and the outer reaches of the solar system. This included imaging of the Asteroid Ida by the Galileo spacecraft, the aerobraking experiment performed by Magellan in the Venusian atmosphere and the radar imaging of another asteroid, Toutatis.
The longest baseline communication link operated by humankind took place between NASA's Pioneer 10 spacecraft and the Deep Space Network at a distance from Earth to Pioneer 10 just under 5. 3 billion miles (8.6 billion kilometers). Radio signals traveling at the speed of light require 15 hours and 55 minutes to make the round trip from Earth to Pioneer 10 and back. A major milestone in space communications was achieved when NASA scientists successfully transmitted laser signals to the Galileo spacecraft at a distance of 1.3 million miles (2.2 million kilometers). The Galileo Optical Experiment is part of a program to show that future deep space missions can use laser beams to send back to Earth larger volumes of space-acquired data thaN is currently possible with radio signals. Laser beams were transmitted simultaneously from the Table Mountain Observatory near Wrightwood, Calif., and the U.S. Air Force Phillips Laboratory's Starfire Optical Range near Albuquerque, N.M. Two sites were used to provide signal diversity if weather blocked a laser beam at one site. Laser beams from both sites were detected by Galileo's on-board camera. Future space missions may require laser beams to communicate larger quantities of scientific data. SAFETY AND MISSION ASSURANCE
The Office of Safety and Mission Assurance (OSMA) provided independent safety oversight, technical assessments, safety assurance engineering, policy development, risk assessment and mishap investigations. In addition, significant contributions were made involving Space Station planning and redesign, panels, design reviews and special studies. A new research facility in Fairmont, W. Va., was established to support NASA's work in advanced research, stimulate commercialization efforts and provide training in a variety of engineering and technology areas. Called the Independent Verification and Validation facility and leased from West Virginia University, it will be managed and operated by OSMA. The facility will work on a variety of tools, techniques and applications for systems software essential to the successful operation of NASA ground systems, spacecraft and aeronautical computers. The facility and the university will work closely to develop and conduct a graduate-level program in the safety, reliability and quality assurance discipline, evolving into a certified 2-year curriculum with students earning A masters degree in assurance technology -- the field of testing, analysis and risk management that increases the successful operation of flight systems. The overall facility goal is to become a Center of Excellence and to become world leaders in specific areas of science, technology and research and development. A NASA-wide, lessons-learned program was implemented to support the development of new aerospace hardware and procedures to lessen and possibly eliminate repetition of past problems. The NASA program will be part of an inter-governmental system presently containing more than 5,800 lessons incorporated from the Air Force, Navy and Federal Aviation Administration. A cooperative agreement was signed with Honeywell, Clearwater, Fla., for the first-ever space flight of an all-solid-state gyro. Called the Interferometric Fiber Optic Gyro, the technology of this cooperative venture will be transitioned to industrial and other spacecraft systems following flight demonstration aboard the X-Ray Timing Explorer spacecraft in 1995-96. The first cooperative agreement with a profit-making organization, the Ensign Bickford Co., Simsbury, Conn., will allow the first validation and demonstration of an advanced, laser-diode initiated ordnance to be connducted. The laser diode approach will allow more efficient spacecraft ground system operations and improve system safety. The agreement will culminate in a flight demonstration on an unmanned launch vehicle. This new technology is critical to the next generation of spacecraft and launch vehicles. A NASA Alert Reporting System was developed to provide a direct, electronic closed-loop for NASA centers to more rapidly identify and respond to spacecraft hardware and software problems. The system will provide a more efficient method to search the Government-Industry
Defense Exchange Program database and NASA Preliminary Alerts system for cross-referencing a part or process. These systems act as "watch dogs" to respond to potential problems prior to launches or other activities. OSMA chaired a Shuttle Processing Review Team to review Shuttle processing, launch operations and previous mishaps, incidents and close calls at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC). The team reported that launch rates have improved and processing times and in-flight anomalies decreased. In addition, they concluded that safety continues to be the number one priority in all Shuttle operations. INTERNATIONAL On Dec. 6, 1993, the participating nations in the Space Station Program -- the United States, Canada, Japan and nine members of the European Space Agency -- agreed to invite Russia to join the International Space Station. Vice President Gore and Russian Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin confirmed the historic joining of the U.S. and the Russian human space programs during a joint commission meeting in Moscow on Dec. 16. It was agreed that the United States and Russia will embark on a three-phase program of human space flight, beginning with use of the U.S. Space Shuttle and Russian Mir space station and followed by Russian involvement as a partner in the international cooperative Space Station program. Protocol Signed On Oct. 5, 1992, NASA and the Russian Space Agency (RSA) concluded the Implementing Agreement on Human Space Flight Cooperation, a program which begins with the training of Russian cosmonauts for a flight on the Space Shuttle in January 1994. A protocol was signed by NASA Administrator Daniel S. Goldin and RSA Director General Yuri Koptev on Dec. 16 at the U.S./Russian Joint Commission meeting in Moscow, expanding the terms of this agreement to include up to 10 Shuttle flights to Mir, a total of 24 months time onboard Mir for U.S. astronauts, a program of scientific and technological research and the upgrade and extension of the Mir lifetime during the period 1995-1997. Phase One will provide valuable experience and test data to greatly reduce technical risks associated with the construction and operation of the international space station, as well as early opportunities for extended scientific and research activities. The first step to implement this multi phase approach will begin shortly. Sergei K. Krikalev will become the first Russian cosmonaut to fly on the Space Shuttle during the STS-60 mission scheduled for launch in early February 1994. Col. Vladimir G.Titov, the backup cosmonaut for STS-60, will fly on the STS-63 mission currently scheduled for launch in January 1995. Phase Two will combine U.S. and Russian components to create a human-tended orbital research facility. This facility will significantly expand and enlarge the scientific and research
activities initiated in Phase One and will form the core around which the international space station will be constructed. Russian involvement will permit earlier station operations than otherwise possible. Construction Completion Phase Three completes the construction of the international space station, which will have a permanent human presence and full operational and research capability. The station will have an operational lifetime of approximately 10 years. Phase Three will incorporate the technologies and capabilities tested and developed in Phases One and Two and will significantly expand the science and research activities of these phases. The Space Station partners have charged NASA to enter into an interim agreement with Russia to enable immediate Russian involvement in the technical activities of the program, while negotiations proceed at both the government and agency-levels for Russia to become a full partner on Space Station. On Dec. 16 NASA and RSA also signed a contract for up to $100 million per year during the period 1994-1997 for NASA procurement from the RSA of supplies and services associated with Phase One and selected elements of Phase Two of the human space flight program. These include preparations for the Shuttle missions to Mir and use of the Spektr and Priroda scientific modules onboard Mir.
Also covered are joint technology developments in such areas as solar dynamics, environmentally-controlled life support systems and space suits. The contract also calls for work on Phase Two activities such as modifications to the Russian Energy Block and the Mir service module, which will be part of the International Space Station. The contract also funds continued design work on the Soyuz-TM to support its planned use as an Assured Crew Return Vehicle onboard the International Space Station. NASA and the Russian State Committee for the Defense Branches of Industry (GOSKOMOBORONPROM) signed a memorandum of understanding on Dec. 16 in Moscow to cooperate in eight areas in fundamental aeronautical sciences. The agreement was signed by NASA Administrator Daniel S. Goldin and GOSKOMOBORONPROM Chairman Viktor K. Glukhikh. This agreement initiates a new era of cooperation with Russia in Aeronautics and implements decisions reached during the first Gore/Chernomyrdin joint commission meeting held in Washington, D.C., in September 1993. It established a NASA/GOSKOMOBORONPROM Joint Working Group to manage the overall relationship. The eight program areas are transition and turbulence, composite structures and materials, chemically reacting flows, thermal protection system materials, environmental concerns in aviation, hypersonic technologies, experimental test facilities and advanced aerospace materials. German D-2
During April 26-May 6, the German D-2 reimbursable Spacelab mission (STS-55) was successfully completed. Approximately 90 experiments were carried and two German Payload Specialists, Ulrich Walter and Hans Schlegel. Payload control and operations were handled by the German Aerospace Research Establishment's Space Operations Control Center at Oberpfaffenhofen near Munich, Germany. Most of the D-2 experiments were provided by the German Space Agency and the European Space Agency (ESA). Japan provided a number of experiments and NASA furnished three experiments. ESA's European Retrievable Carrier (EURECA) was retrieved successfully on June 24 during the STS-57 mission. EURECA was deployed from Atlantis on STS-46 on Aug. 1, 1992. During its approximately 10-month stay in orbit, EURECA supported investigations in processing metallurgical samples, growing crystals and conducting biological and biochemical studies. During September, the German Orbiting and Retrieval Far and Extreme Ultraviolet Spectrograph (ORFEUS), a free-flying scientific instrument mounted on the German Shuttle Pallet Satellite (ASTRO-SPAS) was successfully deployed and retrieved on the STS-51 mission. ORFEUS-SPAS was the first in a series of cooperative missions using the German-built ASTRO-SPAS science satellite, which will have combined NASA and German-provided payloads. ESA provided replacement Solar Arrays for the Hubble Space Telescope which were successfully installed during the STS-61 HST Servicing Mission on Dec. 2-13. In August and September, the U.S. and Russia concluded a scientific expedition to study the geology of the Kamchatka Peninsula of Eastern Russia. Under the auspices of the U.S.-Russia Earth Sciences Joint Working Group, U.S. and Russian scientists, with the support of numerous U.S. and Russian agencies, undertook a joint expedition to provide remote-sensing imagery and field data to study the geologic evolution of the Kamchatka volcanoes. Using a NASA Learjet, the joint U.S. and Russian crew flew the first civilian research mission by a U.S. agency over Russian territory. Overall, the data will help scientists understand volcanic eruptions, frequency and magnitude and the effects of these eruptions on Earth's atmosphere. This campaign marks an important step forward in enhancing U.S.-Russian cooperation in environmental monitoring. NASA, ESA, the Russian Space Research Institute, the Italian Space Agency, DARA, the French Space Agency and the Canadian Space Agency in May formed an International Mars Exploration Working Group to study international strategies for the exploration of Mars after the year 2000. Japan, Austria and the United Kingdom also are involved in this working group. NASA/Central America NASA and seven Central American nations began a program to study, preserve and protect the region's rain forest by expanding the use of satellite data by Central American scientists. Under an agreement with the Central American Commission for Environment and Development,
NASA will train and provide equipment to scientists from Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama. Using data from the Advanced Very High-Resolution Radiometers flying aboard several U.S. weather satellites, these scientists will be able to estimate the amount and type of vegetation and forest cover in the region and to conduct coastal studies. EDUCATION NASA selected 100 minority high school students to participate in a new 8-week, research-based, mentor program held at five predominantly minority enrolled universities located near NASA Field Centers. The goal of SHARP PLUS Research Apprenticeship Program is to help increase the number of minorities in the science and engineering professions by providing students with hands-on opportunities to enhance their college and career choices. The Education Division is currently reviewing proposals for a new initiative called the Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR). The program is designed to improve a state's competitive aerospace research capacity by fostering a statewide infrastructure that will include university faculty and students, state government and industries. The primary goal is to create a stronger national science and technology base and to increase high-tech business opportunities by broadening geographical participation of businesses and educational institutions in technologically sophisticated research. The National Space Grant College and Fellowship Program and its more than 400 affiliates held their 3rd national conference and implemented a new electronic reporting and information management tool at NASA Headquarters, 3 field centers and all 52 consortia. The first NASA Space Academy was held at Goddard Space Flight Center for select Space Grant fellowship and scholarship recipients nationwide. The Tri-State Education Initiative (TSEI), now in its 3rd year, has established partnerships with over 20 Federal agencies, 35 private companies and numerous state and local governments. Through these new partnerships, several activities have taken place this past year. A weeklong national demonstration using distance learning for telemedicine, Total Quality Management and telecommunication took place hooking together professionals and students in New York, Japan and London. Also, NASA and the TSEI participated in a Geography Extravaganza with the National Geographic Society. TSEI involves 30 school districts, 5,600 teachers and 102,000 students in a 50-mile radius bordering the states of Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee. NASA's 18-wheel, 65-foot-long tractor-trailer mounted mobile teacher resource center, Project LASER, has been completely refurbished and given a new, more comprehensive mission. The van's equipment has been replaced with new state-of-the-art electronics and classroom technology to demonstrate a computerized learning environment of the future. The multimedia work stations include a video duplication center, a CD-ROM reader, and cellular modem for direct connection with NASA's on-line computerized educational bulletin board known as "Spacelink." LASER will accommodate 12 teachers, an instructor and 4-6 observers. Over the past four years,
the roving van has visited schools in 38 states, presented over 1,070 workshops and reached over 12,000 teachers. - end -
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