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March 1, 2004
For Immediate Release

Media Contact
Kristi Marren
JHU Applied Physics Laboratory
Phone: 240-228-6268 or 443-778-6268

Space Weather Forecasts Favorable March 5 Student Space Academy

More than 100 Maryland middle school students will discover how weather in space affects life on Earth and what creates brilliant light shows in the sky (auroras) when they meet with scientists at The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) during Space Academy: Space Weather on Friday, March 5, starting at 9:30 a.m.

The "Space Academy" series takes students behind the scenes of actual space missions and introduces them to engineers and scientists who carry out some of NASA's coolest projects. Space Weather focuses on two NASA missions: TIMED and Polar. TIMED (Thermosphere, Ionosphere, Mesosphere, Energetics and Dynamics) is studying the influences of the sun and humans on the least explored and understood region of Earth's atmosphere — the mesosphere and lower thermosphere/ionosphere — considered the gateway between Earth's environment and space. Polar is gathering images of the aurora and studying Earth's interaction with the solar wind, as well as the physical processes that transfer particles and energy into and through Earth's magnetosphere.

Media are invited to attend the event, which includes a student press conference with space scientists and a tour of the Applied Physics Lab's spacecraft design and testing facilities. APL, a division of the Johns Hopkins University, manages several NASA missions and has built and launched 61 spacecraft over the past four decades. The Space Academy series is sponsored by APL, Comcast Cable and the Discovery Networks.

What: Space Academy: Space Weather
Who: Space scientists and engineers from the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory and NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center
#151;100 students from three Maryland schools:
• Annapolis Middle School, Annapolis (Anne Arundel County)
• Catonsville Middle School, Catonsville (Baltimore County)
• St. John the Evangelist School, Silver Spring (Montgomery County)
When: Friday, March 5, 9:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Where: The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory
11100 Johns Hopkins Road, Laurel, Maryland

For directions, visit

For more information or to attend the event, please contact:
Kristi Marren
240-228-6268 or 443-778-6268

Media can also register online at:

Click for information on TIMED and Polar.

The Applied Physics Laboratory, a division of The Johns Hopkins University, meets critical national challenges through the innovative application of science and technology. For information, visit