Press Release

NASA Ames Research Center Welcomes Diverse Groups with Tour of Research Facilities

By SpaceRef Editor
October 27, 2011
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NASA  Ames Research Center Welcomes Diverse Groups with Tour of Research Facilities

MOFFETT FIELD, Calif. – NASA’s Ames Research Center and the Society for Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) are bringing together a national network of talented students to give them a one-time opportunity to tour one of our country’s leading, world-class research centers and meet its scientists and research professionals.

NASA Ames will actively participate in the 2011 SACNAS National Conference, “Empowering Innovation and Synergy through Diversity,” in San Jose, Calif., by hosting a “NASA Day” from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. PDT on Thursday Oct. 27, 2011. For those graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and faculty who are interested in learning about NASA’s current and future space missions and career opportunities, an exclusive field trip will be available to pre-registered attendees.

“We are thrilled to have such a diverse group join us at our research center. This is a great opportunity for them to see how science is applied to real NASA missions,” said Pete Worden, center director at NASA Ames. “Ames is where research development stretches the imagination in science and improves the quality of life for everyone.”

Students will be transported by bus from the San Jose McEnery Convention Center to NASA Ames, where they will be given security clearance badges and escorted to research facilities for tours. Research facility tours include Future Flight Center, Crew-Vehicle Systems Research Facility and the NASA Advanced Supercomputing (NAS) facility, where NAS research images are projected onto a display, called the Hyperwall.

After the facilities’ tours, conference attendees will be taken to the Conference Center (N-152) in the NASA Research Park, where they will view NASA research exhibits and hear Ames scientists discuss their projects and science institutes.

NASA speakers include:

9:05 a.m. — Carl Pilcher, director of the NASA Astrobiology Institute, will talk about the origin, evolution, distribution, and future of life in the universe.

9:35 a.m. — William Borucki, project scientist for the NASA Kepler Mission, will discuss the quest for other worlds like our Earth and the importance of planet detection.

10:05 a.m. — Greg Schmidt, deputy director of the NASA Lunar Science Institute, will explain why the moon is important to space research and its scientific discovery.

10:35 a.m. — Tony Colaprete, project scientist for NASA’s Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE), will talk about the LADEE mission to study the moon, its atmosphere and dust.

11:05 a.m. — Pamela Marcum, project scientist for the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA), will explain how this world-class airborne observatory will complement the research of Hubble, Spitzer, Herschel and James Webb space telescopes.

11:35 a.m. — Bart Depontieu, project scientist of the Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph (IRIS), will discuss the primary goal of the IRIS explorer is to understand how the solar atmosphere is energized.

12-1 p.m. — Lunch will be available to purchase ($10) across the street at Chase Park.

“SACNAS is excited to partner with NASA to offer a truly inspirational experience that will give its graduate students and post docs greater insight into career possibilities and deepen their connections to the scientific community,” said Judit Camacho, executive director of SACNAS. “We very much appreciate NASA’s active participation in this year’s conference.”

For more information about SACNAS, visit:

For more information about NASA Ames, visit:

For more information about the NASA Ames field trip, visit:

SpaceRef staff editor.