TENANTS HARBOR – Artist Barbara Ernst Prey recently completed her third NASA-commissioned painting and is preparing to present the painting – of the X-43, the fastest aircraft in the world – to NASA this month for inclusion in its permanent collection.

In November 2004, Prey was on hand to witness the record-shattering flight of the X-43a Hyper-X aircraft from Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base in California.

“The X43a was out of sight within seconds after takeoff,” Prey said, “as it soared off to reach an air-speed of almost 10 times the speed of sound.”

Prey was recently asked by the NASA Arts Program to document another event in the space program, the July launch of the space shuttle Discovery from Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Previously, she created paintings for NASA of the International Space Station in April 2003, and in honor of the crew of the Columbia in February 2004.

Both paintings are now part of the NASA Arts Program permanent collection.

Prey has paintings hanging in the White House and in private, corporate and museum collections worldwide.

In addition, Prey is an artistic ambassador for the United States through the Art in Embassies Program administered by the State Department.

In 2003, Prey was invited by President and Mrs. Bush to create a painting of the White House to be used for the official 2003 presidential Christmas card, which was mailed to some 1.5 million people.

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