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INMARSAT Global Telephone

Use of INMARSAT Global Satellite Communications enables the Learning Technologies Project to broadcast educational events and information from remote locations and allows students to participate in live interaction with professionals. This is possible through the connection of a laptop at a remote

site to the NASA Glenn Research Center network. Internet access is established through the use of a NERA Saturn Bp IMARSAT B satellite terminal unit and through terrestrial ISDN lines and routers.

The NASA Glenn team constructed this hybrid data link. The configuration consists of the remote laptop, connected through an ISDN router, to the INMARSAT satellite terminal unit. Data signals transmitted from the INMARSAT unit are received by a ground station. At the ground station, the data is transmitted over ISDN lines to the NASA GRC ISDN network. The routing and internet service is established at NASA Glenn.

Graphic of INMARSAT Configuration

The INMARSAT demonstrates the NASA Learning Technologies Project's contributions to the goal of using leading edge technologies to deliver NASA mission content to classrooms across the nation. NASA Glenn Research Center is also able to demonstrate its expertise in wireless communications applications and the benefits of using this technology within the educational community.

STS - 96 Launch - May 27, 1999
The INMARSAT was used to broadcast the STS-96 launch. STS-96 was a logistics and resupply mission for the International Space Station. It was the first flight to dock to the International Space Station and an international crew of seven became the first visitors to the new International Space Station since its launch and start of orbital assembly last year. The Student Tracked Atmospheric Research Satellite for Heuristic International Networking Equipment (STARSHINE) satellite was also released during this mission. The STARSHINE satellite is a 19-inch hollow sphere covered by over 800 polished aluminum mirrors. International student volunteer observers will visually track this optically reflective spacecraft during morning and evening twilight intervals for several months, calculate its orbit from shared observations, and derive atmospheric density from drag-induced changes in its orbit over time.

Date May 27, 1999
5:30 am Eastern Daylight Time
RealMedia (audio and video) archive

Marsokhod Desert Field Test
February 5, 1999

The Marsokhod Desert Field test was a Marsokhod Mars rover mission simulation. This field test involved a rover (see image on right) at a remote site, and a team of NASA scientists who are operating the rover. Marsokhod is an analog of rovers that will be sent to Mars as part of several missions over the next decade. To learn how rovers will operate on Mars, scientists are studying how Marsokhod operates on Earth in a Mars-like location such as the desert. The INMARSAT was used to broadcast the rover testing live from the middle of the desert.
RealMedia (audio and video) archive

Arctic Exploration On-Line - July 27
and July 30, 1998

This project allowed the LTC to broadcast live from the Alaska coast onboard the Coast Guard cutter the Polar Star. The Polar Star is one of the world's most powerful non-nuclear icebreakers and operate from their homeport at Pier 36, Seattle, Washington. Polar Star's primary missions are scientific support in the Arctic and Antarctic and ice escort of shipping and logistics support for U.S. Government interests in both polar regions.In addition to providing support to scientific stations, Polar Star is equipped to function as a major scientific platform. It has laboratories, offices, and sleeping quarters which can support 20 scientists and technicians in a variety of programs. Polar Star, like all Coast Guard vessels, is also prepared to perform search and rescue, law enforcement, and environmental response missions.

The French Connection - May 13, 1998

The NASA Glenn Research Center Learning Technologies Projectand the Computer Services Division set up a mobile Internet connection for an Internet demonstration involving French and American schools. The NASA Learning Technologies Project Office at NASA ARC conducted an Internet demonstration on May 13th which consisted of video interaction over the Internet by a school in Washington DC and a school in France. NASA Administrator Dan Goldin and First Lady Hillary Clinton participated in the demonstration.

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Responsible NASA Official: Theresa.M.Scott (Acting)