COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., Oct. 5, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Space Foundation and Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) today celebrated the grand opening of the Northrop Grumman Science Center, featuring Science on a Sphere (SOS), the first major step in the development of the Space Foundation Visitors Center at its world headquarters in Colorado Springs.
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Northrop Grumman donated $375,000 to create the science center and teaching lab that the Space Foundation is using for science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education programs for teachers and students, as well as community outreach efforts.
"The future of space exploration begins at facilities such as the Northrop Grumman Science Center. The activities here will inspire and educate people of all ages and set some of them out on careers that will make their dreams of future space missions a reality," said Gary Ervin, corporate vice president and president of Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems. "This center will be a place where the community can come together to engage and educate young people and inspire America's future generations of engineers and scientists."
"The Space Foundation has long dreamed of creating a space where we can offer students and visitors an extraordinary educational experience. Northrop Grumman made it possible for us to do this very quickly and in a spectacular way," said Elliot Pulham, Space Foundation chief executive officer. "We are thrilled that, through this collaboration, we are offering teachers and students a compelling platform for STEM education, and we are launching a new visitor destination in northwest Colorado Springs at a time when the community needs it."
As the centerpiece of the new Northrop Grumman Science Center, Science on a Sphere is a dynamic spherical projection system that uses special software and satellite imagery to render dramatic, full-motion views of the Earth, sun, moons and planets.
Developed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, SOS graphically illustrates complex science principles in a compelling and easy-to-understand format. The Space Foundation's SOS, which is one of only 85 in the world, has more than 350 unique datasets covering topics as diverse as satellite images of planets and moons, the paths of hurricanes and tsunamis, daily air traffic patterns, ocean currents and temperatures, plate tectonics and weather patterns.
In addition to the Northrop Grumman Science Center, the Space Foundation Visitors Center features the El Polar Space Gallery, which houses a sampling of the foundation's extensive artifacts collection. The initial exhibit, "Launch to the Moon," primarily displays artifacts related to the U.S./Soviet race to the moon in the 1960s and early 1970s. For more information, visit www.spacefoundation.org/visit.
The Space Foundation is a global, nonprofit leader in space awareness activities, educational programs that bring space into the classroom and major industry events, including the National Space Symposium, all in support of its mission "to advance space-related endeavors to inspire, enable and propel humanity."
Northrop Grumman is a leading global security company providing innovative systems, products and solutions in aerospace, electronics, information systems, and technical services to government and commercial customers worldwide. Please visit www.northropgrumman.com for more information.
Source:Northrop Grumman Corp.