Queen of England to Visit NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

WASHINGTON -- Queen Elizabeth II plans to stopby NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center when she visits the United States in May to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the English settlement at Jamestown, Va.

U.S. Sen.Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.)--arguably the Queen of Goddard--intends to be on handMay 8 when the Queen of England and her husband, Prince Philip, visit theGreenbelt, Md.-based NASA field center May 8 to tour the facility and make aphone call to the astronauts aboard the international space station.

"I am soproud to welcome the Queen of England and the Duke of Edinburgh to Maryland's world-class space facility, and to show Her Majesty and His Royal Highness thetruly extraordinary contributions that Goddard makes to science, explorationand discovery," Mikulski said in an April 24 statement announcing the visit.

The announcementof Queen Elizabeth II's visit comes on the heels of an agreement between NASAand the British National Space Center to study how the two agencies will worktogether on space exploration. The memorandum of understanding was signed hereApril 19 by NASA Administrator Mike Griffin and his British counterpart.

SteveAtkins, an official at the British Embassy, said April 24 that the Queen'svisit to Goddard is coincidental to the agreement signed last week and wasadded to itinerary primarily as a way to honor the spirit of exploration thatmarked the settlement at Jamestown. "The NASA visit is about modernity andlooking forward to the next generation of explorers," he said.

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