Iowa State University


Stuart Hadley, ISU Governmental Relations, (515) 294-0523
Jeani Murray, Office of Congressman Boswell, (202) 225- 3806
William Byrd, Iowa Space Grant Consortium, (515) 294-6901
Skip Derra, News Service, (515) 294-4917



AMES, Iowa -- The head of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and a space shuttle astronaut will visit Iowa State University, Wednesday, April 2, 8:30 to 10 a.m.

NASA administrator Daniel S. Goldin and astronaut Mary Ellen Weber will visit ISU, the host university for NASA's Space Grant program in Iowa. The campus visit is being facilitated by U.S. Rep. Leonard Boswell (D-Iowa).

"I have asked NASA to come to Iowa State to examine the good work and important research ISU is conducting. Space-related research at Iowa State is top-notch and I am proud to be part of this tour," said Boswell, whose district includes Ames and nearly all of southern Iowa. "During this visit, I want Mr. Goldin and NASA to observe the benefits of the work here and how that work is advancing NASA's goals. I also want students to have the opportunity to learn about the important role science and engineering play in our nation's future."

"This is a marvelous opportunity to showcase Iowa State University's research capabilities," said ISU President Martin Jischke. "To have the head of the nation's space program visit our campus shows that we have research and technology programs that are of national importance."

While at ISU, Goldin and Weber will meet with students and faculty researchers. They also will tour several laboratories including C2, ISU's virtual reality room, and a related lab where researchers are working on how to incorporate the sense of touch into virtual environments. The group also will learn about ISU's internationally recognized research in noninvasive testing and evaluation of materials and structures.

William Byrd, Iowa Space Grant Consortium director, said that this is "an especially good opportunity for Iowa State to demonstrate that our students and faculty can contribute to the exciting work of America's space program."

Goldin, NASA's administrator since 1992, has more than 35 years of experience in aeronautics. He was a research scientist at NASA's Lewis Research Center, Cleveland, and is a former vice president and general manager at the TRW Space & Technology Group, Redondo Beach, Calif. Weber, who has a Ph.D. in physical chemistry, flew aboard the space shuttle Discovery in 1995. During the nine-day mission she deployed satellites and operated biotechnology experiments.

The Iowa Space Grant Consortium is part of NASA's National Space Grant program and supports fellowships, scholarships and other research-based activities. The consortium includes the three regents universities -- Iowa State, the University of Iowa and the University of Northern Iowa.


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