University of Pittsburgh
May 25, 1999


Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH, May 26 -- A lot of non-profit institutions might think their donor cultivation programs are out of this world, but the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh probably comes closest—literally.

A half dozen Pitt supporters will visit Cape Canaveral May 27 to view the Space Shuttle Discovery launch and tour the facilities of Spacehab Inc., a company that leases laboratory space on Space Shuttle scientific missions. The Pitt contingent will be joined by representatives of the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance.

David Rossi, president of the Arlington, Virginia-based Spacehab, is a 1979 graduate of Pitt's chemistry department. Discovery has two Spacehab units on this mission: the Logistics Double Module and the Integrated Cargo Carrier. It was through Rossi's suggestion that the University made the trip possible.

"David came up with a generous recognition suggestion that illustrates the imagination and entrepreneurial skills of many of our graduates" said John Cooper, dean of Pitt's College of Arts and Sciences.

In addition to viewing the launch, the group will have the opportunity to attend a pre-launch briefing, and tour the Kennedy Space Center and the Spacehab Payload Processing Center, where the equipment and supplies for the mission are loaded prior to liftoff. The event is capped by a dinner and reception with veteran astronauts Bernard Harris and Mike Lounge.