NASA, Congressman to discuss future of space exploration, unveil
ANN ARBOR, Mich.A NASA official and a U.S.
Congressman will visit the University of Michigan College of Engineering
on Friday (Feb.14) to discuss the future of NASA's space exploration
efforts in a post-Columbia environment and help unveil a new scientific
instrument designed by the College of Engineering for NASA's
planned mission to Mercury in 2004.
Richard Fisher is director of NASA's Sun-Earth
Connection Division. He has overall responsibility for developing
policy and providing guidance for NASA's program to understand the
physics of the variable Sun and its influence on the heliosphere,
solar system plasmas, the upper atmospheres and magnetospheres of
planets, especially the Earth, and the origin of cosmic rays.
U.S. Congressman Joe Knollenberg represents Michigan's
9th Congressional District and serves on the U.S. House Appropriations
Subcommittee for Independent Agencies, which includes responsibility
for appropriations supporting NASA.
The College of Engineering will unveil the Fast
Imaging Plasma Spectrometer (FIPS), a revolutionary instrument designed
for NASA's MESSENGER Mission to Mercury and engineered by
Michigan Engineering's Atmospheric, Oceanic and Space Sciences
(AOSS) department. The FIPS project, led by U-M research scientist
Thomas Zurbuchen, demonstrates how the creation of high-performance,
low-weight instruments can be used to explore the solar system without
risk to human life.
This event is free and open to the University
community, invited guests and the media. Activities will begin at
10:30 a.m. with an outreach tour of research-related facilities.
Formal presentations begin at 12:30 p.m. at Boeing Auditorium in
the Francois-Xavier Bagnoud Building. Questions and interviews by
media will be addressed 2-2:30 p.m.
The University of Michigan College of Engineering
is consistently ranked among the top engineering schools in the
world. The College is composed of 11 academic departments: aerospace
engineering; atmospheric, oceanic and space sciences; biomedical
engineering; chemical engineering; civil and environmental engineering;
electrical engineering and computer science; industrial and operations
engineering; materials science and engineering; mechanical engineering;
naval architecture and marine engineering; and nuclear engineering
and radiological sciences. Each year the College enrolls over 7,000
undergraduate and graduate students and grants about 1,200 undergraduate
degrees and 800 masters and doctoral degrees. For more information,
please visit our web site at www.engin.umich.edu.
Contact: Neal Lao
Phone: (734) 647-7087