|20 March 1998
CONTACT: Karen Rugg, 202-543-1900
(Washington, DC) -- March 20 -- The National Space Society (NSS), in cooperation with Scientific American, has endorsed a webchat with NASA astronaut Andy Thomas on Monday, March 23. The event, "From Mir to Mars," features Alan Alda, host of the PBS series "Scientific American Frontiers," conducting a live interview with Thomas from 9:45 a.m. - 10:35 a.m. ET. The webcast can be found at <www.pbs.org/saf/mirtomars/>, which contains the NSS endorsement.
"Web and space buffs alike should mark their Palm Pilots for this cast," said Robert Pearlman, NSS Director of Online Programs. "We're thrilled that the producers at 'Scientific American' are choosing to look at the subject of humans living in space. Right now, until we have other humans living on the Space Station or traveling to other planets, Andy is the best source to tell us what it's like to be so far from home, what it feels like to live in space, and even how he thinks astronauts on a mission to Mars might be affected by being too far away to look back at the Earth."
In recognition of this webcast and its accompanying outreach to classrooms, the NSS awarded Scientific American Frontiers' site "Space Site of the Week," a distinction given by the NSS to websites that advance public understanding of and interest in creating a spacefaring civilization.
According to Scientific American, web users can watch and listen to this event using RealPlayer 5.0 video and audio streaming technology provided by RealNetworks. Web users may sign up now to receive an e-mail reminder shortly before the Webcast at <www.pbs.org/saf/mirtomars/>.
According to a release from the series, footage from the webcast will be used in a "Frontiers" episode planned for the 1998-99 season that will examine the logistics of a potential human mission to Mars and the preparations that are underway.
The National Space Society, founded in 1974, is an independent, nonprofit space advocacy organization headquartered in Washington, DC. Its 23,000 members and 90 chapters around the world actively promote a spacefaring civilization. Information on NSS and space exploration is available at <http://www.nss.org/>.