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ATO #121 - October 30, 2000

PART 1: Upcoming Chats
PART 2: Worth Waiting For
PART 3: Future Flight Central Simulates Airports


QuestChats require registration. You can register at

-Wednesday, November 1, 2000, 10 AM Pacific
Virtual Skies QuestChat with Jim McClenahen

Jim McClenahen is an air traffic control analyst in the Future Flight Central Facility. He is very familiar with air traffic management.
You can read his profile at http://quest.nasa.gov/aero/team/mcclenahen.html

-Wednesday, November 8, 2000, 11 AM Pacific
Planetary Flight Chat with Andy Hahn

Andy Hahn is a conceptual airplane designer. He has worked on some conceptual designs for planetary planes.
Read his profile at http://quest.nasa.gov/aero/team/hahn.html

-Wednesday, November 29, 2000, 10 AM Pacific
Planetary Flight Chat with Peter Gage

Peter Gage is a design engineer. He has worked on the design of some Mars entry vehicles.
Read his profile at http://quest.nasa.gov/aero/team/gage.html

NASA Quest's Web site redesign is Online! We hope you'll find our new look easy to navigate and attractive. We have discovered that our site has 10,000 files and although we've done our best; we expect to find some errors. Please send me a note at slee@mail.arc.nasa.gov with your comments, especially about Aerospace Team Online.


Virtual Skies is an air traffic management project for students and teachers in Grades 9-12. It will be a "project based learning activity" with hands on multimedia to enhance student decision making and problem solving skills. Topics to be covered include Aviation Navigation, Aviation Weather, Communication Air Traffic Management, Airport Design, and Air Traffic Research. Materials will be tied to the National Standards in Mathematics, Science, Technology, Geography and Language Arts.

Planetary Flight is an aerospace project for Grades 4-8. We know how to fly on Earth but what will it take to fly on Mars. This will be an inquiry based learning project to design an airplane to fly on Mars. The stuff dreams are made of!!

[Editor's Note: Jim McClenahen is a air traffic analyst for Future Flight Central. Read his profile at http://quest.nasa.gov/aero/team/mcclenahen.html ]


Future Flight Central is a facility, which simulates airport control towers. Housed in a two-story building at NASA Ames Research Center, it is the world's only walk-in, full-scale, 360-degree simulator.

The simulator can be used to simulate the air traffic control tower of an airport. By using it to simulate design changes before they are built. Air traffic controllers can test the new design simulation and give feedback to the designers saving costly design mistakes. The simulator will also measure the efficiency of air traffic management to improve the delays caused by the increased number of users.

The simulator can hold up to twelve air traffic controllers. Instead of looking out the windows you look at window-sized video projections of computer animations. The simulator can give both day and night views and even simulate fog and snow. Each controller position has a console showing radar, weather maps, runway lights, and touch control screens.

The simulation can show either the control tower's point of view or the pilot's point of view and allows for voice and data communications from ground to tower and from the tower to the air. For more information go to http://ffc.arc.nasa.gov


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