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For Release: Jan. 13, 1999 Steve Roy
Media Relations Office
/centers/msfc/NEWSROOM/ NEWS RELEASE: 99-006
New Laboratory Building to be Dedicated at Marshall For Support of Space Station Experiments
A new building, dedicated to develop and support science experiments to be flown on the Space Shuttle and International Space Station, will be formally opened at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., Jan. 15.
The new Microgravity Development Laboratory will be dedicated in a ceremony at 10 a.m. that will include NASA, community and university leaders. Microgravity research, by using the near-weightless environment of space as a tool, seeks to unlock scientific mysteries and develop new technologies such as super-alloys, better computers and new disease-fighting drugs.
Joel Kearns, manager of NASA's Microgravity Research Program at the Marshall Center, will preside at the ceremony. Speakers will include Dr. Bradley M. Carpenter, acting director of Microgravity Research Division in the Office of Life and Microgravity Sciences and Applications at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C., Robert Rhome, former director of the Microgravity Research Division at NASA Headquarters and Carolyn Griner, deputy director of NASA's Marshall Center.
The facilities at the new Microgravity Development Laboratory will allow researchers to take their experiments from the design board, into orbit and back again from one location. This one-stop science building includes a clean room, chemical laboratory, fabrication shop and telescience support center.
Scientists will develop experiments to the conceptual stage in their laboratories and then use the Microgravity Development Laboratory to build, test, integrate and develop procedures for their experiment hardware.
During flight, researchers will use the Microgravity Development Laboratory's telescience support center, in concert with their home remote site, to control experiment operations and collect experiment data.
Currently being assembled in orbit by Space Shuttle crews, the International Space Station will be an orbiting laboratory built, worked and lived on by 15 cooperating nations. Microgravity experiments aboard the Space Station are currently scheduled to begin in 2000.
Note to Editors: Interviews are available with NASA and industry researchers. To attend the dedication, please call Steve Roy of the Marshall Center Media Relations Office at (256) 544-6535.
More information about NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center and Microgravity Research Program experiments can be found at: /centers/msfc/NEWSROOM/ and http://microgravity.msfc.nasa.gov/