Ole Miss Civil Engineering Alum Assists with Improvements to International Space Station

The International Space Station will become a better place to take pictures of Earth with the addition of a new Earth observatory manufactured and tested at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. The Window Observational Research Facility (WORF) will help Space Station crews take some of the best photographs ever snapped from an orbiting spacecraft. The new system eliminates glare and allows researchers to control cameras and other equipment from the ground.

WORF project manager Rick Turner graduated from Ole Miss in 1980 with a civil engineering degree.

The WORF is scheduled for launch aboard the STS-114 Space Shuttle mission in January 2003. Once installed, the WORF will host a variety of experiments. The first will be the Earth Knowledge Acquired by Middle School Students (EarthKAM), an experiment with student participants in schools across America. EarthKAM allows students to control the camera from their classrooms on Earth and take pictures from the Space Station. Within hours, students receive - via the Internet - the pictures they snapped in space.

The WORF/Lab Window Team earlier this year won one of five Stellar Team Awards presented by the Rotary National Award for Space Achievement Foundation. The awards were established to recognize outstanding individuals and teams from industry and government who have made significant contributions to the future of the nation's space program.