EL SEGUNDO, Calif., Dec. 11, 2006 (PRIME NEWSWIRE) -- Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) has been recognized by the California Space Authority (CSA) for developing and providing teachers with a unique, "hands free" educational tool designed to motivate the nation's students to seek careers in scientific and technical fields.

The company received CSA's 2006 Buzz Aldrin Space Education and Workforce Award for its Weightless Flights of Discovery program, a one-of-a-kind teacher development program that uses science workshops and parabolic "zero-gravity" aircraft flights to help educators teach students how math, science and engineering principles apply in microgravity space environments.

The award was presented to Northrop Grumman at an awards dinner held Nov. 30 in Los Angeles as part of the CSA's annual Transforming Space Conference. The award is one of more than a dozen SpotBeam awards that CSA presents annually to citizens and California space companies that make extraordinary contributions to U.S. leadership in the international space community.

Tom Vice, a Northrop Grumman vice president who inspired the development of the Weightless Flights of Discovery program, accepted the award on behalf of the company.

"This program is really about a passion Northrop Grumman has for making sure our nation remains a global, competitive leader in science and technology," explained Vice. "We wanted to do something that was proactive, that would allow us to partner directly with teachers, because teachers are truly the heart and soul of our future. We're excited that we've been able to add value to their classrooms and perhaps help inspire today's students to become tomorrow's explorers and technical innovators."

Northrop Grumman defined and developed the Weightless Flights of Discovery in cooperation with Zero Gravity (ZERO-G(r)) Corporation, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. Between June and September, the companies conducted workshops and zero-gravity flights in five regions of the country, providing "once-in-a-lifetime" teaching experiences to approximately 250 teachers representing 49 states, five U.S. territories and 24 countries. Over the next year, those teachers will reach an estimated 10,000 elementary, middle school and high school children with the lessons of this unique "high school."

In addition to managing and driving the Weightless Flights program, Northrop Grumman provided approximately $60,000 in grants to U.S. teachers involved in the program. Those grants were made by the Northrop Grumman Foundation.

Northrop Grumman Corporation is a $30 billion global defense and technology company whose 120,000 employees provide innovative systems, products, and solutions in information and services, electronics, aerospace and shipbuilding to government and commercial customers worldwide.

  CONTACT:  Brooks McKinney, APR
          Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems
          (310) 331-6610 office
          (310) 864-3785 cell