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SPACE CENTER HOUSTON PREVIEWED, DU PONT CONTRIBUTES $1.8 MILLION

 SPACE CENTER HOUSTON PREVIEWED, DU PONT CONTRIBUTES $1.8 MILLION
 HOUSTON, Sept. 24 /PRNewswire/ -- Space Center Houston, the dynamic new $70 million facility that allows visitors to experience the excitement of space travel, was previewed for news media today.
 Located adjacent to NASA's Johnson Space Center, and operated in part with donations from corporate sponsors including Du Pont (NYSE: DD), the visitors center is scheduled to open to the public Oct. 16.
 "We are proud to have helped make possible this unique experience center which has been described as 'the closest thing to space on earth,'" said Du Pont Chairman E. S. Woolard. "While we provide several enabling technologies such as high-performance composite materials that make aerospace travel possible, the excitement about Space Center Houston focuses on both the technologies and the mission of fostering science and math education."
 To advance the educational value of Space Center Houston, Du Pont will reward the top six winners of its seventh annual Du Pont Challenge Science Essay Awards Program with an all-expenses-paid VIP trip to the center next year.
 Space Center Houston is a project of the non-profit Manned Space Flight Education Foundation, Inc., that will provide a "hands on" experience of the past, present and future of manned space flight as well as behind-the-scenes tours of the Johnson Space Center for as many as two million visitors a year.
 The 183,000-square-foot building is located on 123 acres provided by NASA-Johnson Space Center.
 The $1.8 million in Du Pont contributions will help maintain the crown jewel of the center: the Starship Gallery, housing one of the world's most important collections of space artifacts from the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo programs; the largest collection of moon rocks; and the Destiny Theater, showing the 70mm-format film "On Human Destiny" which was culled from 6.5 million feet of historic footage in NASA's archives. Visitors to the Gallery will be able to walk through the Skylab training module, which is so large that it was installed on its foundation nearly a year ago and the entire visitors center was then constructed around it.
 Upon entering Starship Gallery, a visitor's eyes adjust to a darkened gallery, fiber optic lighting creates a surrounding starfield and, as one looks into the distance, the twinkling lights of a North American city are seen as they appear from space orbit.
 "Du Pont's support of Space Center Houston is consistent with our ongoing commitment to science literacy and to projects that enhance learning as well as our commitment to the aerospace industry," said J. Michael Bowman, vice president of Du Pont Advanced Material Systems.
 Du Pont sells about $1 billion in products and services to the aerospace industry annually, including advanced electronic and imaging systems, chemicals and fuels, polymers and advanced materials systems including fibers and composites.
 "Our technology and products have been an integral part of the space program from the beginning, and they have been used in hundreds of aerospace and deep space applications," added William O. McCabe, director of the Du Pont Aerospace Enterprise.
 Du Pont construction materials that went into the building of Space Center Houston include "Hypalon" synthetic rubber for roofing, "Corian" solid surface materials for ticketbooth, information, food service and restroom counters, "ThermaBlock" fire-block fabric, "Cordura" nylon fiber and "Teflon" soil and stain repellent for theater upholstery, and "Butacite" sheeting for architectural glazing.
 A series of trams that will carry visitors from the center on a tour of Johnson Space Center are powered by clean-burning propane supplied by Conoco, Du Pont's petroleum subsidiary.
 /delval/
 -0- 9/24/92
 /CONTACT: John L. Stowell of Du Pont, 302-774-8142/
 (DD) CO: Space Center Houston; Du Pont ST: Texas, Delaware IN: ARO SU:


MK -- PH008 -- 2973 09/24/92 09:52 EDT
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Date:Sep 24, 1992
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