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NASA Glenn to Showcase its Extreme Environment Technologies as Prelude to June 5 Venus Transit

Press Release From: Glenn Research Center
Posted: Wednesday, May 23, 2012

CLEVELAND - Media are invited to tour the latest extreme environment rig, see hardware demonstrations and speak with engineers at NASA's Glenn Research Center who are developing technologies to survive and operate in the toxic, high temperature and high pressure environment of Venus. The May 30 event will begin at 2 p.m.

NASA researchers will give a briefing of future Venus mission concepts and the importance of the June 5 Venus Transit. This is a unique opportunity since the Venus Transit will not occur again until 2117. The briefing will take place in a design laboratory where teams of engineers create various space exploration concepts, some of which involve flying in the Venus sky.

The first tour will feature a new test rig that will simulate the most extreme environments in the solar system, including harsh chemicals, temperatures and pressures, sulfuric clouds and the oven-like surface of Venus. The rig, called the Glenn Extreme Environment Rig (GEER), is being developed to be the largest and most capable simulator of its kind. It will be used to simulate Venus conditions to better understand the surface, atmosphere and interactions of these conditions. This will tell us much about our own planet Earth. GEER will also be used to develop technology that enables long-lived surface missions on Venus to answer unsolved mysteries about that planet.

The second tour allows reporters to learn about the development of new extreme environment instruments, including a seismometer that can measure movements within Venus. This instrument has demonstrated operation up to 500 degrees Celsius.

News media interested in attending this event should contact Katherine Martin or the Media Relations Office at 216-433-2901 by 4:30 p.m. on May 29 for security clearance purposes.

For information about Glenn's work in extreme environments, visit: http://spaceflightsystems.grc.nasa.gov/SSPO/SS

For more information about the Venus Transit, visit: http://venustransit.nasa.gov

For more information about Glenn, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/centers/glenn

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