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Coins Flown In Space To Be Presented To National Federation Of The Blind

July 24, 2009

During a ceremony July 31, senior NASA officials will present the National Federation of the Blind with two Louis Braille Bicentennial Silver Dollars that flew on space shuttle Atlantis’s mission to the Hubble Space Telescope in May 2009. Marc Maurer, president of the National Federation of the Blind, will accept the coins on behalf of the organization. The ceremony will take place at 6 p.m. EDT at the Capitol Visitor Center in Washington.

In celebration of the 200th anniversary of Louis Braille’s birthday, Congress authorized the minting of the 2009 Louis Braille Bicentennial Silver Dollar. NASA flew one proof and one uncirculated commemorative coin on the recent Hubble servicing mission. The coins are the first to feature tactile, readable Braille, which enables the blind to read and learn, just as Hubble allows people to learn about the universe.

NASA astronaut Gregory H. Johnson will speak at the celebratory closing of the National Federation of the Blind’s 2009 Youth Slam. At the Youth Slam, 200 blind high school students from across the nation will participate in five days of activities to help encourage the blind youth of America to consider careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Reporters planning on attending the event must contact Chris Danielsen at 410-659-9314, ext. 2330, or cdanielsen@nfb.org by 5 p.m. on July 30.

NASA and the National Federation of the Blind have been collaborating for more than five years to inspire and engage blind students to lend their unique talents to disciplines critical to the nation’s engineering, scientific and technical missions.

NASA Television will broadcast a Video File of the event. For NASA TV streaming video, schedules and downlink information, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/ntv

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

For more information about the Hubble Space Telescope, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/hubble

For more information about the National Federation of the Blind, visit: http://www.nfb.org




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