Press Release

Space Media Expands Stars Academy for New School Year

By SpaceRef Editor
August 14, 2001
Filed under , ,


SPACEHAB Subsidiary’s Education Program Adds Cultural Component for 2001-2002

SPACEHAB, Inc. (, a
leading provider of commercial space services, today announced that its Space
Media, Inc.(TM) (SMI) subsidiary is expanding the scope of its STARS
Academy(TM) global education program to include a cultural component along
with science, math, and technology studies for the new school year.

The STARS Academy (http://www.starsacademy.com ) is an online interactive
cultural and scientific exchange program for ages 8-18. The program is a
yearlong adventure that takes students across the Earth and oceans and into
space on a quest for learning.
Endangered species is this year’s theme for
the “Earth Defenders” component of the program.
STARS Academy students will
be tracking the movements of endangered leatherback turtles around the world,
using data collected and transmitted via satellite.
Hubbs-Sea World Research
Institute is collaborating with the STARS Academy on this research project.

The space segment of the program, “To Mars and Beyond,” will engage
students in real space research that will lead to exploration of the planets,
and more.
STARS Academy will fly nine experiments this school year, two
aboard the International Space Station (ISS) and seven aboard upcoming NASA
Space Shuttle mission STS-107.

The “Team PlanIt Earth” segment will bring together students from around
the world in joint research. Working in five teams, these students will focus
on leading issues related to endangered species.
The teams will produce
collaborative essays that will be presented to the United Nations at the end
of the school year.
The U.N. Office for Outer Space Affairs has endorsed the
STARS Academy and is working with Space Media to build participation in the
program throughout the developing world.
Currently more than 40 countries are
interested in participating in this year’s program.

A fourth component of the expanded STARS Academy program, “Sonic Earth,”
is intended to add the international language of music to the program.
Space
Media officials are in discussions with music producer Lou Pearlman’s Trans
Continental Records in Orlando, Florida, about a possible role for Pearlman’s
new pop band Natural and others in the STARS Academy.
Natural
(http://www.naturalofficialsite.com ) could contribute a music element to the
STARS Academy program.

In partnership with Pearlman, SMI arranged for Natural to sing the
national anthem at NASA Administrator Daniel S. Goldin’s VIP briefing
preceding the April 19 launch of Space Shuttle mission STS-100 at Kennedy
Space Center (KSC).
(Pearlman is widely known for discovering and developing
the popular groups *N SYNC, Backstreet Boys and O-Town.)
This connection
between Natural and NASA, enabled by Space Media, has recently drawn global
media attention, from the Wall Street Journal to The Times of London.

“We’re excited about linking the international language of music with our
STARS Academy program,” said Dr. Shelley A. Harrison, Chairman and Chief
Executive Officer of both SPACEHAB and Space Media.
“We share NASA’s
enthusiasm for using arts and entertainment as well as science and technology
to convey the excitement of space exploration — especially to young people,
all over the world.”

The first STARS experiments flew aboard Shuttle mission STS-93 in July
1999. The experiments included a study of the development of butterflies in
microgravity.
Artifacts of this experiment were donated to the National Air
and Space Museum in May 2000 and are now on permanent display there.
(The
June 2001 issue of Smithsonian Magazine features a story about these STARS
butterflies.)

Another Space Media activity that has drawn media attention of late is the
sale of space station foods.
Space Media’s online retail business, The Space
Store (http://www.thespacestore.com ), is now offering a selection of the very
same dishes that crewmembers are dining on aboard the International Space
Station.
This microgravity menu has garnered coverage ranging from the
Houston Chronicle to the Financial Times, Newsweek, and South Africa’s SA-FM
Radio.

Founded in 1984, with more than $100 million in annual revenue, SPACEHAB,
Inc., is a leading provider of commercial space services.
The company
develops, owns, and operates habitat and laboratory modules and cargo carriers
aboard NASA’s Space Shuttles.
It also supports astronaut training and
configuration management at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston.
SPACEHAB’s Astrotech subsidiary provides commercial satellite processing
services at facilities in California and Florida.
SPACEHAB’s newest strategic
growth initiative, Space Media, Inc.(TM), brings space into homes and
classrooms worldwide with television and Internet broadcasting from the
International Space Station, interactive education programs through STARS
Academy (http://www.starsacademy.com ), and space merchandise from The Space
Store (http://www.thespacestore.com ).

This release contains forward-looking statements that are subject to
certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ
materially from those projected in such statements. Such risks and
uncertainties include, but are not limited to, whether the company will fully
realize the economic benefits under its NASA and other customer contracts, the
timing and mix of Space Shuttle missions, the successful development and
commercialization of new space assets, technological difficulties, product
demand, timing of new contracts, launches and business, market acceptance
risks, the effect of economic conditions, uncertainty in government funding,
the impact of competition, and other risks detailed in the Company’s
Securities and Exchange Commission filings.

  • CONTACT:
  • Linda Billings, Director of Communications
  • SPACEHAB, Inc. – Washington Office
  • Phone +1-202-488-3500 ext. 201; Fax +1-202-488-8251
  • billings@hqspacehab.com

SpaceRef staff editor.