WASHINGTON, Jan. 21, 2004 (PRIMEZONE) -- The Columbia Shuttle Memorial Trust today announced that Northrop Grumman Corporation has donated $500,000 to further the Trust's efforts to raise funds to support the families of the crew of the Space Shuttle Columbia's final mission, STS-107. The gift comes as the world remembers the anniversary of the launch of the Columbia Shuttle on January 16, 2003, and the tragic loss of STS-107 on February 1, 2003.

The Columbia Shuttle Memorial Trust, a non-profit organization, is directed by leaders in the space and entertainment industries, including IMAX Corporation, Warner Bros. Entertainment and Imagine Entertainment, as well as former astronauts and high-ranking government leaders. Since its launch in September 2003, the Trust has endeavored to raise funds to distribute to each of the seven crew members' families to help compensate for the current and future economic impact of the loss of their loved ones. In addition, the Columbia Shuttle Memorial Trust will raise funds to support other members of the NASA family who give their lives in pursuit of the agency's mandate to pioneer our future.

"The Columbia crew risked their lives exploring space for the benefit of all humankind," said Wes Bush, president of Northrop Grumman Space Technology. "Northrop Grumman is proud to help remember the astronauts and support their families. The men and women of Northrop Grumman will always remember their heroic contributions to space exploration."

Rich Gelfond, Chairman of the Trust, commented, "We are very grateful for Northrop Grumman's support, which will enable the Trust to help ease the financial burden of the families of the Columbia crew, even if we cannot ease the sadness of their loss."

Donations of all amounts are greatly appreciated. Donations may be made by visiting www.columbia7trust.org or calling 1-877-99-SPACE.

About the Columbia Shuttle Memorial Trust

The Columbia Shuttle Memorial Trust is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization incorporated in the District of Columbia. The Trust's mission is to assist the families of the Columbia crew, to support other members of the NASA family who give their lives in pursuit of the agency's mandate to pioneer our future, to help erect memorials for the Columbia Shuttle and to pursue activities that build awareness about space programs.

About Northrop Grumman Corporation

Northrop Grumman Corporation is a $25 billion global defense company, headquartered in Los Angeles, Calif. Northrop Grumman provides technologically advanced, innovative products, services and solutions in systems integration, defense electronics, information technology, advanced aircraft, shipbuilding and space technology. With approximately 120,000 employees and operations in all 50 states and 25 countries, Northrop Grumman serves U.S. and international military, government and commercial customers.

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