NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA

Phone: 650/604-5026 or 650/604-9000


Tara Kurzawski

IBM Almaden Research Center, San Jose, CA

Phone: 408-927-1289, E-mail:

RELEASE: 00-15
NOTE TO EDITORS AND NEWS DIRECTORS: You are invited to attend talks by a
NASA astronaut from San Jose and three local NASA scientists to 200
students, Saturday, March 4, 2000, 8 :30 a.m. PST at the IBM Almaden
Research Center, San Jose, CA. IBM requests that media representatives
call Tara Kurzawski at 408-927-1289 before going to the IBM event.

NASA Astronaut to Appear at IBM During Scout/Jason Projects


More than 200 high school students will hear talks by a NASA astronaut
from San Jose, CA, and three local NASA scientists Saturday, March 4, 2000,
at the IBM Almaden Research Center, San Jose, CA.

Astronaut Steven L. Smith will speak to students at 8:30 a.m. PST about the
December 1999 Hubble Space Telescope repair mission that took place in
Earth orbit. The talks by NASA experts are part of educational Explorer
Scout activities at IBM that also include JASON Project XI: Going to
Extremes satellite broadcasts.

The NASA talks include a presentation by planetary scientist Chris McKay of
NASA’s Ames Research Center, located in California’s Silicon Valley. He
will discuss “Earth, Mars and Europa and life in cold places” at 10 a.m
during the IBM event. At 1 p.m., Yuri Gawdiak, a NASA Ames scientist, will
explain an autonomous, softball size robot, the Personal Satellite
Assistant, that engineers are developing for use aboard the International
Space Station. At 2 p.m., NASA Ames robotics researcher Hans Thomas will
discuss “Planetary Rover Research: Past Successes, Future Opportunities.”

NASA also expects 10,000 San Francisco Bay Area students from grades 3
through 9 to visit NASA Ames on weekdays through March 10. Some of the
students will talk with astronauts and scientists during 55 satellite
broadcasts that are part of the JASON Project. There will be no JASON
activities at Ames on Saturday, March 4 and Sunday, March 5. The satellite
telecasts will link students with International Space Station astronauts at
Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX, and Aquarius Underwater Laboratory
scientists in the Florida Keys. Also, a “NASA Expo” in historic Hangar 1 at
Ames will include many hands-on activities for students. Ames is one of 36
JASON “primary interactive network sites” located across the nation and in
Bermuda, Mexico and the United Kingdom. Worldwide, millions of other youths
will take part through the Internet at: