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NASA, Dreamtime Partnership Propels Space Information Age to New Heights

Press Release From: NASA HQ
Posted: Friday, June 2, 2000

Peggy Wilhide/Brian Welch
Headquarters, Washington, DC
(Phone: 202/358-1600)

RELEASE: 00-87

Internet portal, interactive space experiences, digital images planned by new venture

NASA and Dreamtime Holdings, Inc., have formed a partnership that will deliver the adventures of the space frontier through the new technologies of the digital frontier.

The unprecedented agreement was announced today at NASA's Ames Research Center, in the heart of California's Silicon Valley. It includes provisions to provide, for the first time, high- definition television coverage of astronaut activities aboard the International Space Station and on Space Shuttle missions. It will also create an easily accessible, Web-searchable, digital archive of the best of NASA's space imagery.

"Not only does this bring the space program into partnership with Silicon Valley," said NASA Administrator Daniel S. Goldin, "but the partnership also puts NASA at the forefront of the information age. This is innovative government at its best."

The NASA-Dreamtime partnership will provide unprecedented public access to space exploration by creating a state-of-the-art multimedia portal, www.Dreamtime.com, that will, with the click of a mouse, open the door to thousands of images, sounds, documents, blueprints and plans from NASA's currently underused archives. Roll out of the in-depth portal site will begin within the next several months.

The unparalleled space content will be accessible via Web, wireless, TV and interactive TV devices. Shuttle launches will light up handheld computers, and school children will be able to watch compelling interactive space programming on TV and the Web.

"Our goal of engaging more Americans in the exploration of space will be made possible through this partnership," Goldin said.

"We're proud to be partnered with NASA in this historic undertaking," said Bill Foster, Dreamtime's Chairman and CEO. "To us, space is the great adventure, and this is the perfect marriage of high tech and high emotion. The opportunity to educate and excite is at the heart of this venture."

The NASA-Dreamtime partnership will also provide the agency with high-definition television capability that will give NASA engineers and scientists the most detailed look ever at Shuttle flight operations and at scientific experiments conducted on the Shuttle and on the International Space Station.

Education plays a prominent roll throughout the agreement. Educational content planned in the documentaries and TV broadcasts will be linked to educational modules in the portal.

"We plan to vividly convey the space experience into classrooms and living rooms across America," Foster said. "This partnership intends to explain the complexities of space in an interesting, entertaining and educational way."

The partnership's first priority will be to create the Dreamtime.com portal, which will offer the latest in interactive technology. The portal will be designed to provide more complete and in-depth access to information about space by combining video, audio, still photographs, high-resolution images, historical documents and three-dimensional views of spacecraft such as the Mars Sojourner and the Hubble Space Telescope. The portal's invigorating content will also include space topic-related bulletin boards, educational activities and games, chat rooms and e-cards.

Dreamtime's commercial partners in this venture include the Endeavor Agency, Excite@Home, Lockheed-Martin, Sumitomo Bank and Omnicom. Carleton Ruthling will serve as Dreamtime's president and COO. Nancy Conrad, widow of former Apollo astronaut Pete Conrad, is the first person to join Dreamtime's Board of Directors. Dreamtime headquarters will be in leased space located at NASA's Ames Research Center.

The U.S. Congress declared commercial utilization to be one of the primary goals of the U.S. Space Program when it passed the 1998 Commercial Space Act and directed NASA to actively seek commercial users for the International Space Station. Congress asked NASA to conduct an independent market study to help identify potential commercial uses. One of the most promising commercial markets identified by the study was to utilize space imagery in the areas of education and entertainment.

NASA publicly solicited offers for commercial collaboration from the public in December 1999, stating its intent to partner with the private sector to create new market opportunities in the multimedia arena. Dreamtime was selected from 12 offers based on criteria published in the announcement. The term of the agreement between NASA and Dreamtime is for seven years with a five-year option.

The Dreamtime partnership maintains NASA's ability to offer the public its current level of services and does not preclude the agency from participating in other private sector partnerships.

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