NASA, National Space Society and Northrop Grumman Corporation To Unveil Extrasolar Planet Exhibition at Goddard Visitor Center


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Student Educational Exhibition debuts June 5, 2007, 7:00 - 9:00 PM

WASHINGTON, DC June 4, 2007 -- The wonder and science of the search for extrasolar planets will come 'down to Earth' in a unique way on Tuesday evening, June 5, when a new artistic installation is unveiled at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD. The exhibit is part of a new educational initiative to educate and stimulate student interest in planetary science.

'Worlds Beyond' is a hands-on educational project that merges the search for planets outside our solar system with the creativity of an interactive art installation. Middle-school students from around the Washington, DC area have participated in this pilot education program and will be presenting their finished projects at the special opening event.

The opening will take place at the NASA Goddard Visitor Center, on Tuesday, June 5th, from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm. The Visitor Center is located off of Rt. 193, Greenbelt Rd., in Greenbelt, Maryland. In addition to the art exhibition, NASA scientists and engineers will be present to interact with the students and the public to share the wonders of the discovery of extrasolar planets, those that orbit stars other than our sun.

The event will continue into the early evening when the Worlds Beyond exhibition will come alive with an LED light display, representing the Earth's local Galactic region.

George Whitesides, Executive Director of the National Space Society, remarked, "Worlds Beyond will give students and the public a remarkable personal connection to our celestial neighborhood, and to these special extra-solar systems."

As part of the opening, a new model of the James Webb Space Telescope will be unveiled at the Visitor Center. The Webb Telescope, managed by the Goddard Space Flight Center and designed and built by prime contractor Northrop Grumman Corp., will play a key role in the discovery and study of extrasolar planets.

In addition, the event will premier a new composition by noted musician and sonification researcher Marty Quinn of Design Rhythmics Sonification Research Lab based solely on the scientific data characterizing the newly-discovered extrasolar planets.

Worlds Beyond was organized by the National Space Society in partnership with the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, and was sponsored by the Northrop Grumman Corporation.

For information on Worlds Beyond, visit http://www.jwst.nasa.gov/worldsbeyond.html. To learn how students and local schools can participate in the project, contact Adam Esposito, National Space Society, at (202) 429-1600, or via email at adam.esposito@nss.org.

For more information on NASA's science programs, visit: http://www.nasa.gov

About the National Space Society

The National Space Society (NSS) is an independent, grassroots organization dedicated to the creation of a spacefaring civilization. Founded in 1974, NSS is widely acknowledged as the preeminent citizen's voice on space. NSS counts thousands of members and over 50 chapters in the United States and around the world. The society also publishes Ad Astra magazine, an award-winning periodical chronicling the most important developments in space.

Editors: For images, please contact Adam Esposito at the National Space Society, at (202) 429-1600, or via email at adam.esposito@nss.org.

Website: http://www.nss.org

About Northrop Grumman

Northrop Grumman Corporation is a $30 billion global defense and technology company whose 122,000 employees provide innovative systems, products, and solutions in information and services, electronics, aerospace and shipbuilding to government and commercial customers worldwide. Website: http://www.northropgrumman.com/

National Space Society
Adam Esposito
Email: adam.esposito@nss.org
Email: members@nss.org
Phone: (202) 429-1600

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