"Signatures In Space" Connects Kids To Space Day Celebrations

Washington, DC, 04/14/2009 -- NASA and Lockheed Martin's Student Signatures in Space (S3) program will be one of the highlighted projects during this year's Space Day, celebrated annually on the first Friday in May. The mission of Space Day is to use space-related activities to inspire and prepare young people for careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Student Signatures in Space began in 1997 as a way to draw kids into space studies by giving them a personal connection to space. Participating schools are sent large posters for students to sign on Space Day. NASA and Lockheed Martin, of Bethesda, Md., are currently accepting school names for participation. The program is open to elementary, middle, and high schools, as well as science museums and regional Boy Scout and Girl Scout councils.

After schools return the posters to Lockheed Martin, the signatures are scanned onto a disk and flown aboard a space shuttle mission. Schools also receive lesson plans and information about the mission their signed posters are flying on.

Upon completion of the shuttle flight, the posters are returned to the schools along with a photo of the astronaut crew that took the signatures to space and a NASA flight certification verifying that the signatures flew in space. Schools are allowed to participate in the signatures program once every six years.

The project is free to participants. Program partners cover all program costs, including shipping expenses for return of the signed posters. Schools and other organizations may request a sign-up form by e-mailing S3 Program Manager April Tensen at signatures@mindspring.com.

Student Signatures in Space is limited to 500 schools per year, and schools are registered on a first-come, first-served basis. Schools that sign up after the maximum capacity is reached will be put on a list to participate in the following year's program.

Media Contacts:

For information on Space Day or Student Signatures in Space, visit: http://.spaceday.org

For information about NASA education programs, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/education