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NASA ‘ ambassadors’ target the future of flight with space day

About 35 volunteers in NASA’s Solar System Ambassadors Program are planning an assortment of public activities across the country for Space Day, being observed this year on May 1. The events run through May 17. Established in 1997, Space Day celebrates the advancement of science, technology, engineering and math by inspiring young people to realize the vision of our space pioneers. The 2003 Space Day theme, “Celebrating the Future of Flight,” commemorates advancements in aviation and aerospace spanning 100 years.
The Jet Propulsion Laboratory coordinates the Solar System Ambassadors Program, consisting of more than 270 volunteer ambassadors who have committed to organizing and carrying out at least four public outreach activities a year. JPL provides them with educational materials and training sessions, including contacts with mission scientists.
Ambassador Jim Zebrowski will present a slideshow about the solar system, focused on the Sun and planets, to students at Joseph L. Mulready Elementary School in Hudson, Mass. With help from the Aldrich Astronomical Society of Worcester, Mass., Zebrowski will also show students meteorites, small telescopes and binoculars, and offer free handouts on beginning astronomy provided by Sky and Telescope magazine. Ambassadors Susan Batson and Ginny Mauldin-Kinney will showcase presentations on the Mars Exploration Rovers May 2 at North Hills High School Planetarium, Pittsburgh, Pa., and May 5 at Brockett Elementary School, Tucker, Ga., respectively. JPL ambassadors are based throughout the United States and Puerto Rico, serving widespread public interest about robotic missions throughout the solar system. Each year, the program is among more than 75 Space Day partner organizations sponsoring local events across North America.