In FY 1999, NASA embraced safety as its number one core value, articulating an unwavering commitment to safety for the public, astronauts and pilots, the NASA workforce, and high-value equipment and property. Each NASA Center conducted a safety self-assessment and developed corrective action plans to improve its safety and health programs. NASA safety and mission assurance experts conducted several independent assessments of key NASA systems, including United Space Alliance's Ground Operations, the X-33 and X-34 programs, and the expendable launch vehicle Safety and Mission Assurance (SMA) process, to ensure safe and successful missions. NASA introduced new tools for assessing safety and risk, including the first human factors-based failure modes and effect analysis of critical launch preparation operations. NASA expanded its Probabilistic Risk Assessment (PRA) activity to include a PRA of the International Space Station (ISS) and upgraded the Incident Reporting Information System and the Lessons Learned Information System to better equip NASA's workforce for the prevention of future mishaps and failures.
NASA convinced the International Organization for Standardization's (ISO) SC14 program management standards development working group to incorporate NASA's risk management approach into its standard, achieving the emphasis on safety that is necessary in international partnerships. In FY 1999, NASA became the first government agency in the world with multiple sites to have every one of its sites under an ISO 9001 registration. NASA's Johnson Space Center became the second U.S. Government installation to achieve "Star" certification under the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's Voluntary Protection Program. (Last year, NASA's Langley Research Center was the first installation to achieve this recognition.)
A number of important human space flight missions marked FY 1999. Each mission was safe; each accomplished the mission objectives; and each was historically significant. The year began with the return to space of John Glenn, the first American to orbit Earth. Senator Glenn flew as a Payload Specialist on Space Shuttle mission STS-95. The primary objective of the flight was to conduct a wide array of research and technology development experiments in a microgravity environment. At age 77, Senator Glenn is the oldest human to fly into space. His participation in this mission provided observational information regarding the links between the effects of space flight and the aging process. Ten of the 83 experiments and payloads on the Shuttle investigated questions pertaining to geriatrics in space. STS-95 also carried a Spartan spacecraft, which gathered scientific data on the solar corona and solar winds.
FY 1999 also saw the first deployment by the Shuttle of an element of the ISS. The first U.S.-built element, Unity (Node 1), along with two pressurized mating adapters, was successfully mated with the Russian-built element, Zarya, which had been launched previously on an unpiloted vehicle. During the year, a second Shuttle mission was flown to the ISS carrying a large amount of supplies and equipment needed to outfit the Station. This marked the first docking of the Shuttle with the ISS.
Another major milestone for the Space Shuttle program was the launch of the Chandra X-ray Observatory. This is the world's most powerful x-ray telescope, and it is the third in NASA's family of "Great Observatories." Because the atmosphere absorbs x-rays, this orbiting spacecraft will enable scientists to study the origin, structure, and evolution of the universe in greater detail than ever before. The Chandra mission was also flown under NASA's first woman commander, Eileen Collins.
The first two ISS elements were successfully launched and mated during the first quarter of FY 1999. The Zarya control module, or Functional Cargo Block (FGB), was launched on November 20, 1998, by a Russian Proton rocket from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The FGB is essentially an unpiloted space "tugboat" that provides early propulsion, power, and control capability and communications for the Station's first months in orbit. During later assembly, it will provide rendezvous and docking capability to the Service Module. Russia built the FGB under contract to the United States, which owns this element. The Unity connecting module, or Node 1, was launched from the Kennedy Space Center on December 4, 1998, aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour. This was the first of 37 planned Space Shuttle flights to assemble the Station. Unity is a six-sided connector for future Station components. On December 6, 1998, Endeavour's crew rendezvoused with Zarya, and, using a Pressurized Mating Adapter (PMA)-1, attached Unity and Zarya together. PMA-2 provides a Shuttle docking location. Eventually, Unity's six ports will provide connecting points for the Z1 truss exterior framework, the U.S. Laboratory, the airlock, the cupola, Node 3, and the Multi-Purpose Logistics Modules (MPLM). The crew completed connecting the two elements during three subsequent spacewalks, and they also entered the interior of the fledgling ISS to install communications equipment and complete other assembly work. At the end of FY 1999, the two elements were operating nominally in an orbit approximately 250 miles above Earth, with some maintenance required. The Mission Control Center was ready with all the software and hardware needed to support flight 2A in the first quarter of FY 1999. At the fiscal year's end, the Station had completed more than 5,000 orbits.
The Shuttle Discovery was launched on May 27, 1999, and performed the first docking with the ISS on May 29, 1999. This was a logistics flight utilizing a SPACEHAB Double Cargo Module. The crew unloaded almost 2 tons of supplies and equipment for the Station and performed one spacewalk to install a U.S.-developed spacewalkers' crane, the base of a Russian-developed crane, and other spacewalking tools on the Station's exterior for use by future assembly crews. Discovery fired its thrusters to reboost the Station's orbit and then undocked on June 3, 1999.
At the end of the fiscal year, U.S. elements for five of the next six assembly flights had been delivered to Kennedy Space Center (KSC) for launch preparation, including truss segments, the attitude control system, the communications system, the first solar array, thermal radiators, integrated electronics, and the U.S. Laboratory ("Destiny"). As hardware continued to flow into KSC, activities focused on acceptance testing, integrated element checkout, and flight software verification. Hardware development activities are declining, as the program enters into the assembly and operations phase. Over 83 percent of the U.S. ISS development contract was completed, with the majority of the U.S. flight hardware scheduled to be delivered to the launch site in 2000.
Relative to international participation, two of the three Italian MPLM's and the Canadian Space Station Remote Manipulator System (SSRMS) were also at KSC in preparation for launch. The Service Module, Zvezda, the first wholly owned Russian ISS element, is currently at the Baikonur launch site undergoing final testing and checkout for an FY 2000 launch.
Also at fiscal year's end, the Japanese Experimental Module (JEM), consisting of a Pressurized Module, Exposed Facility, Remote Manipulator System, and Experiment Logistics Module, was on schedule for launch in the 2003 timeframe. The European Columbus Orbital Facility was in production and on schedule for delivery in early 2004.
Space Station Control Center (SSCC) activities included the completion of the Moscow support room in preparation for the launch of the FGB in early FY 1999. Interface testing between the Mission Control Center-Houston (MCC-H) and the Mission Control Center-Moscow (MCC-M) was complete in late FY 1999, and flight 2A end-to-end testing with KSC was completed successfully in early FY 1999. MCC-H and the flight control team supported flight 2A (December 1998) and flight 2A.1 (May 1999). MCC-H/MCC-M interface testing was completed in September 1999. The Space Station Training Facility (SSTF) was ready for Expedition 1 training also in September 1999. Other major accomplishments for the SSTF included the delivery of training software for upcoming flights. Assembly-critical spares for flights through 12A.1 were defined and were being manifested on appropriate Shuttle flights.
The development of ISS facility-class payloads made significant progress during FY 1999. Three of five research racks were delivered in preparation for launch on 5A.1, 6A, and 7A.1. The payload planning process was simplified to reduce documentation and risk. The development integration template was revised to reduce product delivery milestones and shorten integration timeframes. Detailed payload manifests were approved for 2000 and 2001.
Contingency planning included near-term plans to augment Russian propulsion and logistics capabilities with the U.S. Shuttle and the preparation of the Interim Control Module (ICM) for launch, needed for reboost and attitude control. Long-term plans included orbiter modifications for additional reboost capability, the development of a permanent U.S. propulsion module, and the provision of six crew return capability with Soyuz until the U.S. Crew Return Vehicle is delivered. In FY 1999, ISS contingency planning activities included the completion of integrated flight configuration tests for an ICM propulsion system, the continuation of work on orbiter fuel transfer modifications, and the initiation of Propulsion Module development. The Propulsion Module System Requirements Review was completed in April 1999, followed by the completion of the Propulsion Module/Shuttle Orbiter Propellant Transfer System Requirements Review in June 1999.
NASA's space, deep space, and ground networks successfully supported all NASA flight missions and numerous commercial, foreign, and other Government agency missions. Included were the first U.S. launch of ISS hardware (the Unity Node), NASA's third Great Observatory (the Chandra X-ray Observatory), Mars Polar Lander, Stardust, Cassini Venus and Earth encounters, and Galilean Moon encounters. The networks provided data delivery for all customers in excess of 98 percent.
Other significant activities included the transition to a Consolidated Space Operations Contract (CSOC), the initiation of Deep Space Network (DSN) service upgrade to Ka-band capability, the completion of DSN 26-meter automation, the initiation of a Mars communications infrastructure phase A study, the completion of an upgrade to the Space Network Control Center, the negotiated coprimary status for a unified S-band spectrum, and the initial acquisition of commercial ground network services.
The CSOC phase-in was completed from October to December 1998, with the transition of nine legacy contracts at Goddard Space Flight Center, Johnson Space Center, Marshall Space Flight Center, Kennedy Space Center, and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory on schedule with no significant problems. At fiscal year's end, cost performance was on track, customer operations were meeting proficiency targets, and workforce reductions were being effected, consistent with the plan. This contract was expected to save taxpayers approximately $1.4 billion over 10 years.
In terms of robotic space flights, there were 32 successful U.S. expendable launch vehicle launches in FY 1999. Of those, 10 were NASA-managed missions; 1 of these was a NASA-funded/Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)-licensed mission, 6 were Department of Defense (DoD)-managed missions (1 of these was a DoD-funded/FAA-licensed mission), and 16 were FAA-licensed commercial successful launches. In addition, NASA flew one payload as a secondary payload on one of the DoD-managed launches. There were four launch vehicle failurestwo U.S. Air Force-managed Titan IV's, a commercially licensed Athena II, and a commercially licensed Delta III. NASA participated in the DoD's National Reconnaissance Office (NRO)-led Broad Area Review that included the review of these failures. NASA also participated in the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP)/National Security Council (NSC)-led Interagency Study on Future Management and Use of the U.S. Launch Bases and Ranges.
The Aero-Space Technology Enterprise produced many exciting accomplishments in support of its goals and objectives in FY 1999. These accomplishments will directly benefit the American people through safer, more affordable, and more environmentally friendly air travel and more efficient and affordable access to space. The Enterprise continued to organize its work according to three "pillars," with associated goals.
Within the first pillar of global civil aviation, the Office of Aero-Space Technology undertook a number of initiatives to increase aviation safety and reduce its environmental impact. As part of the Airframe Systems Program, researchers identified several underlying causes of controlled flight into terrain. NASA also awarded 13 2- to 3-year contracts to develop and demonstrate approaches for fully operational and certifiable synthetic vision and health management systems. Researchers also continued their work on crew-centered synthetic vision display systems.
Under the Aviation Operations Systems Program, Glenn Research Center completed flight tests for the 1998-99 winter icing season with high-fidelity icing cloud instrumentation mounted underside its wing. In combination with instrumentation comparison testing from Glenn's Icing Research Tunnel, conducted in November 1998, this data base provided new knowledge of ice formation processes. NASA cooperated with Atmospheric Environmental Services of Canada and the FAA to analyze such icing data and thus improve safety.
As part of the Advanced Subsonic Technology (AST) Program, researchers demonstrated a low-emission combustor on a Pratt & Whitney 4000 development engine. Results included reductions in oxides of nitrogen (NOx) levels during the landing and takeoff cycle, reductions in carbon monoxide and unburned hydrocarbon levels, and comparable reductions in cruise NOx emissions.
In terms of aircraft noise reduction, the AST Program's Aircraft Noise Impact Model combined airport noise prediction, census data, and satellite imagery into a Geographic Information System. The model optimized ground tracks and trajectories for minimized impact and validated the need for improvement at long range.
In the area of weather prediction and adaptation, NASA researchers continued their work on the Advanced Vortex Sensing System (AVOSS). New features included improved wake prediction (decay and ground effect), improved wake sensor-tracking algorithms and sensor-derived wake residence time in corridor, improvements to the observational weather system, and Weather Nowcast for several hours' forecast of runway throughput. During the fiscal year, an experimental version of AVOSS became operational at Langley Research Center, with live data feeds from the Dallas-Fort Worth airport.
Under pillar two, revolutionary technology leaps, NASA scientists and engineers continued their efforts on the High Speed Research program. They developed a new complete vehicle system design concept that reflected the impacts of the program technology validation efforts and updated technology projections. The technology configuration met or exceeded all of the original program goalsmost notably, the takeoff noise goal, which was met, despite a significant increase in stringency over the duration of the program.
Although slowed by technical problems, progress continued during FY 1999 in NASA's cooperative efforts with industry to develop advanced engine technology for general aviation aircraft. Researchers completed assembly as well as initial performance and operability testing on both the advanced internal combustion engine and the small gas turbine engine. They also completed design modifications to correct problems uncovered during the ground-based tests. Researchers remained confident that they could demonstrate both the internal combustion and the turbine engines on experimental aircraft at the Summer 2000 Oshkosh Fly-In in Wisconsin.
Under the AST Program, NASA officials selected final systems for future integration into an Advanced General Aviation Technology Experiment (AGATE) aircraft. The prototype systems included an AGATE Intuitive Pilot Interface and improved structural materials. Researchers continued to develop the Intuitive Pilot Interface (the "Highway in the Sky"), in concert with a multifunctional display, to provide pilots with a graphic depiction of a desired flight path, taking into account weather, traffic, terrain, and any airspace issues without the use of voice communications.
In July 1999, the Environmental Research Aircraft and Sensor Technology (ERAST) project within the Flight Research Program conducted a Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) flight demonstration of an Altus vehicle at Edwards Air Force Base. The purpose of the demonstration was to validate RPA technology for use in science missions of greater than 4 hours in areas such as the polar regions above 55,000 feet. The flight demonstration was a success and further increased design confidence in the application of RPA's as science measurement platforms.
The Flight Research Program also completed the first low-altitude flight of a Helios prototype in September 1999. The flight demonstration included a battery-powered, remotely piloted vehicle aircraft with a wingspan greater than 245 feet suitable for flight to 100,000 feet in altitude or a duration of 100 hours once outfitted with high-performance solar cells.
Under pillar three, access to space, testing of the first development aerospike engine for the X-33 began during FY 1999 at Stennis Space Center. Although slowed by hardware delivery problems and the resolution of environmental concerns at the White Sands Test Facility, progress toward the first flight of the X-34 continued during FY 1999. Stennis Space Center employees conducted hot-fire testing of the Fastrac engine, while other researchers continued building the first powered flight vehicle (A-2).
As a major step in the development of next-generation space transportation propulsion systems, researchers ground-tested a pair of hydrogen-fueled rocket-based combined cycle flowpath models. The flowpath models were tested in all expected operating modes, and the transition from air-augmented rocket to ramjet operating mode has been demonstrated in a new, unique facility that allows for the continuous variation of the simulated Mach number.
The Advanced Space Transportation Program held a Critical Design Review of the Propulsive Small Expendable Deployer System experiment in early September 1999 to review the maturity of the system design. The experiment was scheduled for launch in August 2000, and it is intended to demonstrate the use of electrodynamic tethers as a means of propulsion in space without the use of propellants.
While there were both ups and downs for NASA's Space Science Enterprise this year, overall, there was a wealth of dramatic science delivered in all four of its science theme areas. In addition to the thousands of breathtaking images that the Hubble Space Telescope continued to deliver, one result was a long-awaited, scientific coup: after 8 years of painstaking measurements, Hubble scientists calculated a value for how fast the universe is expanding. The rate of expansion, called the Hubble constant, is essential to determining the age and size of the universe, which scientists have now determined to be approximately 12 billion years old. Measuring the Hubble constant was one of the three major goals for the telescope when it was launched in 1990.
In planetary news, the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft has given us the first global, three-dimensional map of the Martian surface. This incredible data base means that we now know the topography of Mars better than many continental regions of Earth. This mapping mission has revealed many new insights about the varying topography of Mars, including an impact basin deep enough to swallow Mount Everest, mysterious magnetic lines on the ancient surface reminiscent of plate tectonics on Earth, and weather patterns raging across the Martian north pole. This new global map of Mars is changing our fundamental understanding of the Red Planet and will likely influence scientific research of Mars for years to come. The increasingly detailed high-resolution map represents 250 million elevation measurements gathered in 1998 and 1999.
The Cassini spacecraft, currently on a journey to Saturn, completed a highly accurate swingby of Earth in August. This flyby was necessary to give Cassini a boost in speed, sending it toward a rendezvous with Saturn and its moon Titan in 2004.
Astronomers, racing the clock, managed to take the first-ever optical images of one of the most powerful explosions in the universea gamma-ray burstjust as it was occurring on January 23, 1999. Such bursts occur with no warning and typically last for just a few seconds. Later in the year, other astronomers, funded by NASA, witnessed a distant planet passing in front of its star, providing direct and independent confirmation of the existence of extrasolar planets that to date has been inferred only from the wobble of their star.
In July 1999, the Space Shuttle Columbia successfully carried to orbit the Chandra X-ray Observatory, the third of NASA's four Great Observatories, joining the Hubble Space Telescope and the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory. The results to date from Chandra have been dramatic. After barely 2 months in space, Chandra took a stunning image of the Crab Nebula, the most intensively studied object beyond our solar system, and revealed something never seen before: a brilliant ring around the nebula's heart. Its performance and images continue to delight astronomers.
Using the Japanese Yohkoh spacecraft, NASA-sponsored scientists have discovered that an S-shaped structure often appears on our own Sun in advance of a violent eruption, called a coronal mass ejection, which is as powerful as billions of nuclear explosions. Early warnings of approaching solar storms could prove useful to power companies, the satellite communications industry, and organizations that operate spacecraft, including NASA.
The Office of Life and Microgravity Sciences and Applications (OLMSA) released five NASA Research Announcements (NRA) in FY 1999 and built its investigator community to 877 investigations (a 9-percent increase over 1998) as part of continuing preparations for ISS utilization. In addition to regular releases of NRA's, OLMSA also began selecting research in biologically inspired technology through a dedicated NRA. FY 1999 included the flight of STS-95, a Space Shuttle mission to conduct research in the life and microgravity sciences, including some exploratory research on aging and space flight.
Industry investment in commercial space and microgravity research is at an all-time high. NASA flew 10 commercial payloads, consisting of more than 25 commercial investigations, during FY 1999. Industry has reported considerableand, in some cases, remarkablesuccess from these cooperative missions. In addition, industry affiliates in the OLMSA Commercial Space Centers (CSC) have again increased, this time to 163 affiliates at fiscal year's end. The leveraging of industry support to the NASA CSC's has risen to five industrial dollars for every NASA dollar spent.
Life and microgravity researchers convened in FY 1999 to conduct a 1-year postflight review of results from the Neurolab Space Shuttle mission. Data from Neurolab flight experiments confirmed and expanded upon previous space flight data that the vestibular systemthe system that senses gravity, maintains balance, and helps regulate control of movementundergoes significant remodeling in response to microgravity. Additional results from Neurolab include the observations that the cells in the cerebral cortex of fetal mice divided more rapidly in space than on Earth, and there was a reduction in size and development of antigravity muscles in young rats exposed to space as compared to those on Earth.
As part of a continuing effort in the application of NASA technologies to telemedicine, a Virtual Collaborative Clinic was held at NASA's Ames Research Center on May 4, 1999. Physicians and technical staff at multiple remote sites interacted in real time with three-dimensional visualizations of patient-specific data using next-generation high-bandwidth networks. The participants were from Cleveland Clinic, NASA's Glenn Research Center, Northern Navajo Medical Service Center in Shiprock, New Mexico; Stanford University, Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital, the University of California at Santa Cruz, and Ames Research Center. Medical visualizations were a stereo reconstruction from a computerized tomography (CT) scan of a heart with a graft, stereo dynamic reconstructions (beating heart) of echocardiograms with Doppler effects, and three-dimensional virtual jaw surgery using NASA's CyberScalpel for irregular-shaped or round bones and organs.
Dr. William Ballhaus, Vice President of Lockheed Martin Corporation, convened an Industrial Liaison Board, formed through an initiative of NASA's National Center for Microgravity Research on Fluids and Combustion. The board made an initial set of recommendations on ways NASA could enhance the value of its research in microgravity fluids and combustion research to the industrial sector.
A special optical detector developed by the Space Vacuum Epitaxy Center, a NASA CSC, may offer the gift of sight to people with a variety of eye problems. The detector is designed to be implanted on the back wall of the eye, replacing natural sensors damaged by disease or accident. The detector converts light into electrical signals in much the same way as rods and cones operate in a healthy eye, and the optical nerve then picks up those signals. Preliminary testing has been successful, and efforts at commercial development began during FY 1999.
The Ford Motor Company has used materials data supplied by the Solidification Design Center, a NASA CSC, to design new, high-quality sand-molding processes for creating precision automotive parts. This type of work is also being done by the Solidification Design Center for Alcoa and Howmet Corporation to cast parts that are more reliable and yet lower in cost.
Two new types of cameras that were developed by the Center for Commercial Applications of Combustion in Space and Roper Scientific for combustion research have been applied to the field of medicine. A double-image camera and a gated integrator camera are being marketed in the multibillion-dollar medical imaging field. This new technology will allow weak images to be pulled from strong backgrounds, such as when tumors have the same general color and lighting as the surrounding tissue.
FY 1999 was a year of substantial scientific accomplishment in our understanding of the major elements that comprise the Earth's system. Over the oceans, the Earth Science Enterprise (ESE) reduced the uncertainty in global rainfall over the tropics (helping improve short-term weather prediction and the availability of fresh water globally), produced near-daily ocean color maps that help us understand the role of oceans in removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, documented the waxing and waning of El Niño (enabling seasonal climate prediction), and resumed global measurement of winds at the ocean surface to improve short-term weather prediction and the tracking of major hurricanes and tropical storms globally.
Over the ice caps, researchers determined the thinning and thickening rates for the Greenland ice sheet, provided the first detailed radar mosaic of Antarctica, and provided daily observations of the polar regions from space. Over the land, ESE produced the first satellite-derived assessments of global forest cover, began refreshing the global archive of 30-meter land-cover data, and conducted an international field experiment in the Amazonia to help understand the role of vegetation on Earth in removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. In terms of the solid Earth, ESE and the U.S. Geological Survey measured surface displacement, a precursor to earthquakes, in the Los Angeles basin. With respect to the atmosphere, ESE continued to measure concentrations of both ozone and ozone-depleting substances and to assess the recovery of upper ozone correlation. ESE also implemented a 17-year data record of aerosols and cloud properties toward predicting annual-to-decadal climate variations.
ESE continued to fulfill its commitment to make its Earth observation data widely available for research and education. Almost 1,300,000 distinct users obtained 5.2 million data products during the year. ESE sponsored 350 workshops to train more than 11,000 educators in the use of Earth science concepts and teaching tools, and it awarded 50 new fellowships to maintain support annually for 150 graduate students at U.S. universities to train the next generation of Earth scientists.
ESE continued to ensure that its data and associated information and knowledge lead to practical solutions for business and local governments. ESE established 29 partnerships to develop applications of Earth remote-sensing data for agriculture, natural resources management, urban and regional planning, and disaster mitigation. More than 100 commercial partnerships helped a variety of firms use remote-sensing data to develop or improve their products and services. ESE researchers contributed to four national and international scientific assessments of the environment to provide policymakers with an objective basis for decisionmaking.
During FY 1999, ESE successfully launched the Landsat 7 and Quick Scatterometer (QuikSCAT) spacecraft. Landsat 7 builds on the heritage of the Landsat program by contributing to a three-decade-long record of terrestrial ecosystems and their change. The QuikSCAT instruments were designed to map wind speed and direction across 90 percent of Earth's ice-free oceans. Scientists planned to use data from QuikSCAT and the Ocean Topography Experiment (TOPEX/Poseidon) to look at the effects of ocean height and wind patterns on the ocean waves and currents. The Terra launch was rescheduled to early FY 2000 because of launch vehicle recertification. NASA also continued its international outreach, expanding cooperation with its partners through new agreements, discussions in multilateral forums, and support for ongoing missions.
NASA concluded more than 50 cooperative and reimbursable international agreements for projects in each of NASA's Strategic Enterprises. These agreements include aeronautics research; the use of aircraft, balloons, and sounding rockets for scientific research campaigns; and the flight of instruments on satellites and the Space Shuttle. The ground-based Aerosol Robotic Network expanded to include 13 additional countries in Africa, the Americas, and Europe. The NASA Administrator and his counterparts signed several significant agreements for cooperation in Latin America in December 1999. An agreement between NASA and the Central American Commission on Environment and Development established cooperation on the development of a Mesoamerican biological corridor. Two agreements with Brazil established cooperation on the project for the Large-Scale Atmosphere-Biosphere Experiment in Amazonia: one for the ecological research component and another for the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) component.
NASA played a key role in the UNISPACE III conference held July 19-30, 1999, in Vienna, Austria. This third United Nations world conference on space activities produced a report with information on the status of space activities around the world, issues that need to be addressed, and recommended actions for the future. NASA participated in the preparations for the conference, including the Regional Preparatory Conference for Latin America, held October 12-16, 1998, in Chile, and all of the meetings leading up to and during the conference that reviewed and approved the report and its "Vienna Declaration." NASA provided support to all aspects of the conference, including governmental meetings, the technical forum, and the exhibit. NASA also continued to support the ongoing activities of the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS) and its subcommittees, particularly on the subject of orbital debris. The Scientific and Technical Subcommittee concluded its multiyear work plan and published a "Technical Report on Space Debris." Through cooperation with NASA, Ørsted and Sunsat, the first satellites for Denmark and South Africa, respectively, were launched as secondary payloads on a Delta vehicle in February 1999.
NASA Administrator served as the President's Representative to the Paris
Air Show, held in June 1999. In addition, the Administrator visited Russia,
Spain, Italy, Germany, Norway, and Romania to meet with senior foreign
officials concerning ongoing and potential cooperation.