Press Release

NASA Marshall Center science Web site becomes bilingual – A leading NASA Web site is speaking a new language — Spanish

By SpaceRef Editor
November 21, 2000
Filed under ,

The site, located at http://science.nasa.gov is adding the second
language to give more people access to its science, math and space news. It
is one of the Science@nasa family of NASA Web sites operated be NASA’s
Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., and covers a variety of
space-related subjects in simple terms everyone can understand. It answers
such questions as why penguins rejoice, what’s in the heart of a hurricane,
what is space weather, and what’s that bright star in the evening sky.

“If you look at the demographics in our country, Spanish is far and
away the number-two language,” said Ron Koczor, the NASA manager responsible
for the site. According to the 1990 census, more than 17 million Americans
— approximately 7.5% percent of the population — speak Spanish.

In reaching out to Hispanic readers, Koczor also hopes to help
students and educators. “Some U.S. schools, especially in the inner cities,
have large populations of Spanish-speaking students,” he said. “We want to
give these students access to high-quality science information by
communicating in their primary language.”

In the process, Spanish- and English-speaking students alike can
build their skills with both languages while learning more about science and
NASA. For example, students can compare the same story in both languages as
part of a translation exercise.

The addition of Spanish content is part of a site redesign unveiled
this month and follows the addition of audio versions of the science stories
added during October. Along with a new look, the new format now offers
articles organized by subject matter, such as astronomy, living in space,
earth science or biology. The Spanish version of this site will be found at
http://ciencia.msfc.nasa.gov.

The family of Web sites that includes http://science.nasa.gov,
averages more than 30 million hits a month.

SpaceRef staff editor.