Infrared technology can spot all sorts of things, including possible
weaknesses in the skin of an aircraft that could lead to accidents. But what
does it show about the human body?

Find out for yourself when NASA’s Langley Research Center open its doors to
the public for the first time in four years on Saturday, April 28. The
original home of the Mercury 7 astronauts is inviting the community to see
what researchers have been up to lately and how technologies developed in
Hampton Roads will revolutionize air travel and advance space exploration.

NASA Langley has played a pivotal role in aviation and space since 1917. Its
scientists, engineers and technicians continue to invent the future of
aerospace in 220 buildings on 800 acres in Hampton.

Twenty of those buildings will be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on April 28
during Langley’s open house, “Technology Leadership for the New Millennium.”
Researchers will be on hand to explain their discoveries. Plus, visitors
will get a chance to try some NASA innovations.

For instance, NASA scientists can determine if spacecraft and aircraft are
structurally sound . without having to take them apart. Langley researchers
have adapted those nondestructive evaluation technologies for open house so
they can be used by kids of all ages! Among the things that visitors will be
able to do: use flying inspection robots to spot mechanical flaws, see what’
s inside their toys thanks to x-ray tomography and test their marksmanship
with a paintball meteoroid impact simulator, gauging the results with
advanced sensors.

NASA Langley will also open its main hangar so the community can check out
aircraft used to test technologies to make flying safer and more efficient.
Ten aircraft from small general aviation planes to a passenger jet will be
on display. Also scheduled to make an appearance in the hangar will be
89-year-old female aviation pioneer, Elinor Smith. Smith took her first
plane ride in 1917 and received her pilot’s license, signed by Orville
Wright, at age 15.

A NASA astronaut will also be on hand for the Langley Open House, Mission
Specialist candidate Garrett Reisman is a certified flight instructor, who
loves to fly, ski, snowboard, rock climb and SCUBA dive. The 33-year-old New
Jersey native designed the thruster-based attitude control system for NASA’s
Earth Observing System (EOS) PM-1 spacecraft, before being selected as an
astronaut in June 1998. Reisman reported to NASA for astronaut training in
August 1998, and has spent the years since then learning space shuttle and
International Space Station systems as well as water and wilderness survival
techniques. He is scheduled to speak to groups in the Pearl Young Theater at
10 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Reisman will also be available for media
interviews from 9 to 10 a.m. and 12:30 to 1 p.m. in the Pearl Young Theater.

Reisman will be speaking not far from where astronauts before him learned to
walk on the moon and where engineers designed and tested space shuttle
tires. Both those facilities, Impact Dynamics Research and Aircraft Landing
Dynamics, will also be open for visitors. Plus food and souvenirs will be
for sale.

It’s NASA Langley’s “Technology Leadership for the New Millennium,” a public
open house Saturday, April 28, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Langley Research
Center is located near the corner of Commander Shepard Boulevard and
Armistead Avenue in Hampton.

For more information, please check the Internet at