WASHINGTON - Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh will visit NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., on Tuesday, May 8. The tour of Goddard is occurring near the end of the queen's visit to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the Jamestown settlement in Virginia.
Goddard is home to the largest organization of scientists and engineers in the United States dedicated to learning and sharing knowledge of the Earth, sun, solar system and universe. The visit gives the royal couple the opportunity to meet 21st century explorers of new worlds. The visit is indicative of the long history of collaboration with the United Kingdom, including the Hubble Space Telescope and Solar Dynamics Observatory.
"NASA is honored to be one of the U.S. organizations hosting a visit by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth," said NASA Administrator Michael Griffin. "The United States and the United Kingdom have a strong partnership in space, from British-born mission astronauts who serve in NASA's astronaut corps to the numerous joint scientific and research efforts under way."
This visit follows a signing on April 19 of a statement of intent between NASA and the British National Space Centre, London, that confirmed a mutual desire for discussions on specific areas of potential collaboration involving lunar science and exploration.
The visit to Goddard will include a presentation and reception with employees, a demonstration of the new Science on a Sphere visualization system, and a tree planting ceremony at the Goddard visitor center. The queen will have an opportunity to speak with the current crew aboard the International Space Station. The duke will tour facilities used to build and evaluate satellites and equipment being prepared for space flight.
Parts of the visit will be carried live on NASA TV or included in NASA video file feeds that day. All media access to the event is being coordinated through the British Embassy in Washington. News representatives interested in covering the queen's visit to Goddard should contact embassy Deputy Press Secretary Steve Atkins by calling 202-588-6593, or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.