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    Дата: 16 марта 1998 (1998-03-16) От: Alexander Bondugin Тема: Lunar Prospector Update - March 11, 1998 Привет всем! Вот, свалилось из Internet... Lunar Prospector Status Report #24 March 11, 1998 7:00 p.m. EST (4:00 p.m. PST) The Lunar Prospector spacecraft continues to perform very well, and all instruments continue to collect good data, according to Mission Control at NASA's Ames Research Center. On Sat., March 7 (PST), mission controllers sent commands to fire the spacecraft's thrusters to correct its orbit. In addition, on Tues., March 10 (PST), two commands were executed to tweak the gamma ray spectrometer's HV (high voltage) gain. The current state of the vehicle (as of 4:00 p.m. (PST) on Wed., March 11, 1998), according to Mission Operations Manager Marcie Smith, is as follows: Spacecraft Orbit Number: 711 Data Downlink Rate: 3600 bps Spin Rate: 12.18 rpm Spin Axis Altitude Longitude: 281 degrees Latitude: 87.6 degrees Trajectory Periselene: 94 km Aposelene: 106 km Period: 118 minutes Inclination: 90.7 degrees Occultations: 44 minutes in duration Eclipses: 45 minutes in duration Last Saturday, mission controllers executed the first orbit trim maneuver, in which two axial burns were fired: one to raise periselene (closest distance from the Moon) and the other to lower aposelene (furthest distance from the Moon). The target orbit (87 X 113 km) was designed to be biased to compensate for periodic perturbations in order to keep the actual orbit as close as possible to the desired 100 + 20 km orbit for as long as possible. The actual maneuver was very close to target, resulting in an orbit of 87.7 X 112.3 km. The precise command timeline was as follows: Sat., March 7, 7:26 p.m. (PST) Thruster heaters on Sat., March 7, 7:49 p.m. (PST) Thrusters A3 and A4 fired for 46.5 seconds Sat., March 7, 7:50 p.m. (PST) Thruster parameters reset Sat., March 7, 8:32 p.m. (PST) Thruster heaters on Sat., March 7, 8:53 p.m. (PST) Thrusters A3 and A4 fired for 45.9 seconds Sat., March 7, 8:54 p.m. (PST) Thruster parameters reset Tues., March 10, 7:00 a.m. (PST) Gamma Ray Spectrometer command sent On March 12 (PST), the Moon will see the Sun partially blocked by the Earth. Mission controllers will carefully monitor this event to ensure full battery recharging after normal once-per-orbit passages over the nightside of the Moon. Also on that day, controllers plan to execute small attitude and spin trim maneuvers. Alison Davis Lunar Prospector Mission Office NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field, Calif. 94035 Hа сегодня все, пока! =SANA=
    Дата: 16 марта 1998 (1998-03-16) От: Alexander Bondugin Тема: Mars Surveyor 98 Update - March 13, 1998 Привет всем! Вот, свалилось из Internet... Mars Surveyor 98 Project Status Report March 13, 1998 John McNamee Mars Surveyor 98 Project Manager Orbiter and lander integration and test activities are proceeding on schedule with no significant problems. Orbiter electromagnetic compatibility testing was completed successfully on March 9. The orbiter spacecraft is being prepared for thermal vacuum testing scheduled to begin on April 8. The lander vehicle was inserted into the backshell on March 12. The lander/backshell combination will be mated with the cruise stage on March 14 and the heat shield will be installed on March 19. The lander spacecraft in full cruise configuration will be transported to the acoustics lab at Lockheed Martin on March 20. For more information on the Mars Surveyor 98 mission, please visit this website: http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msp98/ Hа сегодня все, пока! =SANA=
    Дата: 16 марта 1998 (1998-03-16) От: Alexander Bondugin Тема: Earth-Viewing Satellite Would Focus On Educational, Scientific Benefit Subject: Earth-Viewing Satellite Would Focus On Educational, Scientific Benefit Привет всем! Вот, свалилось из Internet... Douglas Isbell March 13, 1998 Headquarters, Washington, DC (Phone: 202/358-1753) RELEASE: 98-46 EARTH-VIEWING SATELLITE WOULD FOCUS ON EDUCATIONAL, SCIENTIFIC BENEFITS Keying off a concept proposed by Vice President Al Gore, NASA is developing plans for a small satellite which could provide continuous views of the Earth by the year 2000. NASA plans to issue educational, scientific and possibly commercial announcements of opportunity within the next few weeks, following the Vice PresidentХs call today for NASA to design, build and launch the satellite by 2000. "Vice President Gore has given us an exciting challenge," said NASA Administrator Daniel S. Goldin. "In the coming weeks, we plan to solicit ideas from the academic, environmental, scientific and commercial communities. We will synthesize these ideas and communicate with the Congress as we go forward." Goldin said NASA envisions "down-to-Earth" applications: "This view of our planet can help us plan as fires ravage wilderness areas, it may be able to save lives as we watch hurricanes and typhoons form and threaten coastlines across the grand sweep of ocean basins. Moreover, we think it is important to inspire young minds, provide new perspectives on the planet for our scientific community, and perhaps provide commercial applications as well. We're going to pave the way for an Earth Channel." The satellite concept would place a high definition television camera--paired with an eight-inch telescope--into an orbit at a unique vantage point a million miles from Earth where it could provide 24-hour views of the home planet. It would orbit at a point in space where the gravitational attraction of the Sun and the Earth essentially cancel one another out, allowing the satellite to constantly view a fully sunlit hemisphere. "We want to directly involve university students, teamed with industry and government, in the design, development, operations and data analysis from this unique venture," said Dr. Ghassem Asrar, NASA Associate Administrator for Earth Science. "It would allow scientists to track natural events such as hurricanes, large fires and volcano plumes. We expect further innovative applications to blossom as we let this singular view inspire the imaginations of all the citizens of planet Earth." Early plans envision a 330-pound satellite linked to Earth through three simple, low cost ground stations equally spaced around the globe to provide continuous downlink capability. One new image would be downlinked every few minutes. The satellite would be developed and launched within two years of a competitive selection process. College students would participate in the design and development of the spacecraft, and student teams would operate the ground stations. The total mission cost, including launch and operations, would not exceed $50 million. - end - Hа сегодня все, пока! =SANA=
    Дата: 16 марта 1998 (1998-03-16) От: Alexander Bondugin Тема: New Mars Global Surveyor Data Reveals Deeply Layered Terrain Привет всем! Вот, свалилось из Internet... Douglas Isbell Headquarters, Washington, DC March 13, 1998 (Phone: 202/358-1547) Diane Ainsworth Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA (Phone: 818/354-5011) Cynthia M. O'Carroll Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD (Phone: 301/286-6943) RELEASE: 98-45 NEW GLOBAL SURVEYOR DATA REVEALS DEEPLY LAYERED TERRAIN, MAGNETIC FEATURES AND GENESIS OF A MARTIAN DUST STORM For the first time in Mars exploration, a spacecraft has captured the full evolution of a Martian dust storm. NASA's Mars Global Surveyor mission also has returned new insights into the deeply layered terrain and mineral composition of the Martian surface, and to highly magnetized crustal features that provide important clues about the planet's interior. These findings are among the early results from the Mars- orbiting mission being reported in today's issue of Science magazine. This first set of formal results comes from data obtained in October and November 1997, while the spacecraft was just beginning to use the drag of Mars' upper atmosphere to lower and circularize its highly elliptical orbit in a process called aerobraking. At the time, a dust storm was brewing on Mars and had grown to about the size of the South Atlantic Ocean. The Global Surveyor data suggest that the event began as a set of small dust storms along the edge of the planet's southern polar cap, according to Dr. Arden Albee of the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA, the Mars Global Surveyor mission scientist. By Thanksgiving, it had expanded into a large regional dust storm in Noachis Terra that covered almost 180 degrees longitude, while spanning 20 degrees south latitude to nearly the tip of the Martian equator. "As this storm obscured the Martian landscape, we followed it in detail using several instruments onboard Mars Global Surveyor," Albee said. "The Thermal Emission Spectrometer mapped the temperature and opacity of the atmosphere while the camera followed the visual effects. The effects of the storm extended to great heights of about 80 miles (130 kilometers) and resulted in great increases in both atmospheric density and variability from orbit to orbit. These atmospheric measurements have great significance to future Mars missions that will be using aerobraking techniques too." Before the storm, atmospheric dust was generally distributed very uniformly, Albee said. Observations of the limb of the planet in the northern hemisphere revealed both low-lying dust hazes and detached water-ice clouds at altitudes of up to 34 miles (55 kilometers). Movement of these clouds was tracked by the spectrometer as the planet rotated. Atmospheric turbulence disrupted these cloud patterns as the small storms began to rise and kick more dust into the air. As the storm began to abate, small local storms began to crop up again along the edges of the south polar cap, and ice clouds formed in depressions as the carbon dioxide cap continued to retreat. In addition to these unprecedented observations of a full- blown Martian dust storm, measurements from the spacecraft's Magnetometer and Electron Reflectometer have yielded new findings about Mars' strong, localized magnetic fields. These patches of the crust, which register high levels of magnetism, are beginning to unlock some of the mysteries surrounding Mars' internal dynamo and when it died, said Dr. Mario Acuna of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD. "These locally magnetized areas on Mars could not form without the presence of an overall global magnetic field that was perhaps as strong as Earth's is today," says Acuna. "Since the internal dynamo that powered the global field is extinct, these local magnetic fields act as fossils, preserving a record of the geologic history and thermal evolution of Mars." Magnetic fields are created by the movement of electrically conducting fluids, and a planet can generate a global magnetic field if its interior consists of molten metal hot enough to undergo convective motion, similar to the churning motion seen in boiling water. "The small size and highly magnetic nature of these crustal features, which measure on the order of 30 miles (50 kilometers), are found within the ancient cratered terrain rather than within the younger volcanic terrain," Acuna said. "By correlating crustal age with magnetization, we have a perfect window on Mars' past, which will help us to determine when Mars' internal dynamo ceased operating." High-resolution images of dunes, sandsheets and drifts also are helping reveal earlier chapters of Martian history. Landforms shaped by erosion are almost everywhere, according to Albee, and many bear a striking resemblance to Colorado's Rocky Mountains. Rocky ridges poke through the Martian dust just as the jagged edges of cliffs pierce through a blanket of snow in the Rockies. Martian dust appears to have spilled down the sides of ridges just as fresh snow slides down a ski slope. "One almost expects to see ski tracks crisscrossing the area," Albee added. "These images present a sharp contrast to the images of boulder-strewn deserts found at the Viking and Pathfinder landing sites." Newly released images from the Mars Global Surveyor camera, developed by principal investigator Dr. Michael Malin of Malin Space Science Systems, Inc., San Diego, can be viewed on the Internet at: http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/marsnews or www.msss.com/ The Martian crust also exhibits much more layering at great depth than was expected. The steep walls of canyons, valleys and craters show the Martian crust to be stratified at scales of a few tens of yards, which is an exciting discovery, Albee noted. "At this point we simply do not know whether these layers represent piles of volcanic flows or sedimentary rocks that might have formed in a standing body of water," he said. The Thermal Emission Spectrometer, led by principal investigator Dr. Philip Christensen of Arizona State University, is beginning to obtain a few infrared emission spectra of the surface, although it is still too cold on the surface for the best results. The best spectra clearly indicate the presence of pyroxene and plagioclase, minerals which are common in volcanic rocks, with a variable amount of dust component. No evidence was found for carbonate minerals, clay minerals or quartz. If present in these rocks, their abundance must be less than about ten percent. Their absence indicates that carbonates are not widespread over the surface of the planet, but they may still be found in specific locations that either favored their initial deposition or their subsequent preservation. This finding could have important implications for identifying areas that may preserve signs of ancient life on Mars, since carbonate minerals are commonly formed in biological processes, Albee said. Striking results also have been obtained from Global Surveyor's laser altimeter over Mars' northern hemisphere, which is exceptionally flat with slopes and surface roughness increasing toward the equator, according to principal investigator Dr. David Smith of Goddard. The initial data for this region helps scientists interpret a variety of landforms, including the northern polar cap, gigantic canyons, ridges, craters of all sizes and shield volcanoes. Most surprising are views of extraordinarily mundane regions -- as flat as the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah - that extend over vast northern regions of the planet. Mars Global Surveyor will complete the first phase of its two-part aerobraking strategy at the end of March, at which time the science instruments will be turned on again for most of the next six months. Over this period, the spacecraft will stay in an 11 1/2-hour orbit and collect an additional bounty of data at a closest approach of about 106 miles (170 kilometers) above the surface, much closer than the spacecraft will pass over the planet once it has reached its formal mapping orbit in March 1999. This closer orbit will allow the science teams to take more detailed measurements of the Martian atmosphere and surface without magnetic interference from the solar wind. "When we decided to slow the pace of aerobraking to reduce the force on the solar panel that was damaged after launch, we knew we would get a bonus -- the ability to collect much more science data closer to the planet than will be possible during the prime mapping mission," said Glenn E. Cunningham, Mars Global Surveyor project manager at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA. "Additionally, the six-month period between the end of March and early September will yield an extraordinary opportunity as the lowest point of the orbit migrates over the northern polar cap. All of this information that is coming back now is really icing on the cake, a spectacular precursor to the global mapping data expected to start flowing next year." Mars Global Surveyor is part of a sustained program of Mars explorationknown as the Mars Surveyor Program. The mission is managed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, DC. JPL's industrial partner is Lockheed Martin Astronautics, Denver, CO, which developed and operates the spacecraft. JPL is a division of the California Institute of Technology. -end- Hа сегодня все, пока! =SANA=
    Дата: 16 марта 1998 (1998-03-16) От: Alexander Bondugin Тема: Sky & Telscope News Bulletin - March 13, 1998 Привет всем! Вот, свалилось из Internet... SKY & TELESCOPE'S NEWS BULLETIN MARCH 13, 1998 NEAR-EARTH ASTEROID CAUSES COMMOTION Although currently no known asteroids are on a collision course with the Earth, there are nevertheless more than 100 bodies worrisome enough for the Minor Planet Center to catalog them as "potentially hazardous objects." The purpose of this list is to identify asteroids and comets that astronomers should routinely check to refine their orbits. On March 11th, Brian Marsden of the Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams announced a new contender. The asteroid, designated 1997 XF11, was discovered by University of Arizona asteroid hunter James Scotti on December 6, 1997, as part of the Spacewatch project. Using additional observations made over the next three months, Marsden calculated a preliminary orbit for the 1.4- to 2.7-km-wide rock that showed it would pass only 40,000 kilometers above Earth's surface on October 26, 2028. However, the margin of error was still relatively large -- the only near- certainty was that 1997 XF11 would pass by us at a distance closer than the Moon. The circumstances of the flyby seemed to continually change during the following day as other astronomers made their own analyses. Orbital calculations by Donald Yeomans and Paul Chodas (Jet Propulsion Laboratory) showed that closest approach would be some 80,000 km, with errors only half as great. Furthermore, the "target plane" of the asteroid did not intersect the Earth, and thus the probability of impact was zero. Eleanor Helin (JPL) reports finding a prediscovery image of the object. Incorporating positions from this 1990 observation moved the nominal flyby distance out to a comforting 950,000 km. Additional observations over the next weeks and years will continue to firm up these figures. ANCIENT CRATER CHAIN ON EARTH The Earth already has many visible scars of cosmic collisions. Now researchers have linked five impact features and suggest that they all formed at the same time as a shattered comet or asteroid struck the Earth -- much as the pieces of Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 hit Jupiter in 1994. In the March 12th NATURE, David Rowley (University of Chicago), John Spray (University of New Brunswick), and Simon Kelley (The Open University) explain how after moving the drifting continents back to their arrangement 214 million years ago, impact scars in France, Canada, Ukraine, and Minnesota lined up. The largest of the craters is 100 km across. These impacts are a likely influence on the mass extinction of life at the end of the Triassic period, where 80 percent of the species then living on the Earth disappeared. NEW FARTHEST OBJECT While some astronomers were worrying about very nearby cosmic objects, others announced the most distant. Observations Arjun Dey (Johns Hopkins University) and his colleagues using the 10-meter Keck II telescope atop Hawaii's Mauna Kea picked up the faint light from a galaxy called 0140+326RD1 (RD1 for short). With a redshift of 5.34 -- the first object to break the 5.0 "barrier" -- this young galaxy is seen as it was when the universe was only 6 percent of its present age (about 820 million years after the Big Bang). This is nearly 90 million light-years farther than any previously discovered object. Details of the study will appear in Astrophysical Journal Letters. PATHFINDER R.I.P. NASA scientists made a final try to contact Mars Pathfinder on March 10th. The last full transmission from the lander came in on September 27th, but signals were regularly sent to the lander in the faint hope that contact would be restored. Those transmissions ended Tuesday, marking the official end of the mission. THIS WEEK'S "SKY AT A GLANCE" Some daily events in the changing sky, from the editors of SKY & TELESCOPE. MARCH 15 -- SUNDAY * Spica is to the right of the bright waning gibbous Moon after they rise in midevening. MARCH 16 -- MONDAY * Telescope users in the Far East with good sky conditions can look for Mercury passing barely north of the 6th-magnitude star 60 Piscium around 13:00 Universal Time -- so closely as to just miss occulting it. MARCH 17 -- TUESDAY * Look southwest in the evening this week for Orion. As winter gives way to spring Orion moves lower toward the west, and its three-star Belt, diagonal for most of the winter, becomes nearly horizontal. MARCH 18 -- WEDNESDAY * The eclipsing variable star Algol is at minimum light, magnitude 3.4 instead of its usual 2.1, for a couple hours centered on 8:53 p.m. EST. It takes several additional hours before and after to fade and rebrighten. For a complete schedule of Algol's eclipses, see http://www.skypub.com/whatsup/algol.html. MARCH 19 -- THURSDAY * Mercury is at its greatest elongation in the west at dusk (19 degrees east of the Sun). MARCH 20 -- FRIDAY * The March equinox occurs at 2:55 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. This is when the Sun crosses the equator moving north, marking the start of spring in the Northern Hemisphere and autumn in the Southern Hemisphere. MARCH 21 -- SATURDAY * Last-quarter Moon (exact at 2:38 a.m. EST). For tips on viewing our nearest celestial neighbor, see "Touring the Moon with Binoculars" at http://www.skypub.com/whatsup/moontour.html ============================ THIS WEEK'S PLANET ROUNDUP ============================ MERCURY and SATURN are low in the west as twilight fades. Mercury is the brighter of the two. Early in the week Mercury is to Saturn's lower right. By Thursday or Friday it's more directly to Saturn's right (about 5 degrees from it) and fading. VENUS shines brightly in the southeast during dawn. MARS, quite faint, is disappearing into the sunset below Mercury. JUPITER is hidden in the glare of sunrise. URANUS and NEPTUNE are emerging from the glow of sunrise. They're far in the background of brilliant Venus. PLUTO, magnitude 13.8, is near the Ophiuchus-Scorpius border, well up in the southeast by about 2 a.m. (All descriptions that relate to the horizon or zenith are written for the world's midnorthern latitudes. Descriptions that also depend on longitude are for North America. Eastern Standard Time, EST, equals Universal Time minus 5 hours.) Full details, sky maps, and news of other celestial events appear each month in SKY & TELESCOPE magazine. Clear skies! Copyright 1998 Sky Publishing Corporation. S&T's Weekly News Bulletin and Sky at a Glance stargazing calendar are provided as a service to the astronomical community by the editors of SKY & TELESCOPE magazine. Widespread electronic distribution is encouraged as long as these paragraphs are included. But the text of the bulletin and calendar may not be published in any other form without permission from Sky Publishing (contact permissions@skypub.com or phone 617-864-7360). Illustrated versions, including active links to related Internet resources, are available via SKY Online on the World Wide Web at http://www.skypub.com/. In response to numerous requests, and in cooperation with the Astronomical League (http://www.mcs.net/~bstevens/al/) and the American Association of Amateur Astronomers (http://www.corvus.com/), S&T's Weekly News Bulletin and Sky at a Glance are available via electronic mailing list too. For a free subscription, send e-mail to skyline@gs1.revnet.com and put the word "join" on the first line of the body of the message. To unsubscribe, send e-mail to skyline@gs1.revnet.com and put the word "unjoin" on the first line of the body of the message. SKY & TELESCOPE, the Essential Magazine of Astronomy, is read by more than 200,000 enthusiasts each month. It is available on newsstands worldwide. For subscription information, or for a free copy of our catalog of fine astronomy books and products, please contact Sky Publishing Corp., P.O. Box 9111, Belmont, MA 02178-9111, U.S.A. Phone: 800-253-0245 (U.S. and Canada); 617-864-7360 (International). Fax: 617-864-6117. E-mail: custserv@skypub.com. SKY Online: http://www.skypub.com/. Clear skies! Hа сегодня все, пока! =SANA=
    Дата: 16 марта 1998 (1998-03-16) От: Alexander Bondugin Тема: Cassini Update - March 13, 1998 Привет всем! Вот, свалилось из Internet... CASSINI SIGNIFICANT EVENTS REPORT FOR WEEK ENDING 03/13/98 Spacecraft Status: The Cassini spacecraft is presently traveling at a speed of approximately 141,000 kilometers/hour (~88,000 mph) relative to the sun and has traveled approximately 392 million kilometers (~244 million miles) since launch on October 15, 1997. The most recent Spacecraft status is from the DSN tracking pass on Thursday, 03/12, over Canberra. The Cassini spacecraft is in an excellent state of health and is operating nominally, with the C6 sequence executing onboard. Inertial attitude control is being maintained using the spacecraft's hydrazine thrusters (RCS system). The spacecraft continues to fly in a High Gain Antenna-to-Sun attitude. It will maintain the HGA-to-Sun attitude, except for planned trajectory correction maneuvers, for the first 14 months of flight. Communication with Earth during early cruise is via one of the spacecraft's two low-gain antennas; the antenna selected depends on the relative geometry of the Sun, Earth and the spacecraft. The downlink telemetry rate is presently 40 bps. Spacecraft Activity Summary: On Friday, 03/06, CDS String Reset Counters were re-initialized as part of preparations for a future CDS procedure. Also on Friday, an SSR Partition Repair activity was performed to clear three non-software region double bit errors (DBEs). Friday's activity cleared two of the three. Results indicated that the spacecraft has experienced its first "stuck" SSR memory bit, as evidenced by the inability to successfully clear the DBE by writing over it. The stuck bit is located in an unused section of memory and, as such, does not pose a problem. New DBEs which occur in the affected SSR submodule can still be cleared with already existing procedures. If the bit had been located in a portion of memory which contains flight software, the unusable spot would be marked as such and "skipped over" in the future - a capability designed into both ground and flight software during the design phase of the Program. (It should be noted that such "stuck" bits were predicted to occur in the Solid State Recorder, based on pre-Launch radiation effect studies. This expectation is what led to writing the appropriate ground and flight software pre-Launch to deal with the phenomenon.) From Saturday, 03/07, through Monday, 03/09, there were no changes in spacecraft configuration. On Tuesday, 03/10, the Solid State Recorder (SSR) record and playback pointers were reset, according to plan. This housekeeping activity, done approximately weekly, maximizes the amount of time that recorded engineering data is available for playback to the ground should an anomaly occur on the spacecraft. On Wednesday, 03/11, the Cruise 6 sequence auto-deregistered, on schedule, when its final command executed on the spacecraft. On Thursday, 03/12, AACS Fault Protection Log Maintenance was performed, as scheduled. Also on Thursday, the C7 sequence was uplinked to the spacecraft. Upcoming events: Events for the week of 03/13 through 03/19 include: turning off of the VIMS Infrared Optics decontamination heaters (03/15), uplink and execution of the SRU-B Decontamination Mini sequence (03/17 - 03/18), and SSR FSW Partition Maintenance (03/18). The C7 sequence will begin executing on Sunday, 3/15/98, at 4pm local Pacific time. DSN Coverage: Over the past week Cassini had 8 DSN tracks occurring daily from Friday (03/06) through Thursday (03/12). In the coming week there will be 9 DSN passes. Hа сегодня все, пока! =SANA=
    Дата: 16 марта 1998 (1998-03-16) От: Alexander Bondugin Тема: NEAP Eligible for Funding Under NASA Discovery Program Привет всем! Вот, свалилось из Internet... NEAP Eligible for Funding Under NASA Discovery Program http://www.SpaceDev.Com/SpaceDev/NEAP.html Scientists and researchers will be able to submit proposals for flying instruments and experiments on NEAP (our Near Earth Asteroid Prospector mission), and for purchasing data from SpaceDev's NEAP instruments under the next NASA Discovery Announcement of Opportunity, due out on March 20. Below is the content of a recent letter from the NASA Office of Space Science (emphasis added): National Aeronautics and Space Administration Headquarters Washington, DC 20546-0001 January 22, 1998 Mr. James Benson P. O. Box 2121 31557 Aspen Ridge Road Steamboat Springs, CO 80477 Dear Mr. Benson: The Near Earth Asteroid Prospector (NEAP) mission represents an innovative and interesting approach to acquiring scientific data through a private sector initiative. You have asked us to assess the possible place of NEAP in the Discovery program. The Discovery Program addresses the scientific goals of the Solar System Exploration Theme and the Extra-Solar Planetary Systems goals of the Astronomical Search for Origins Theme. NEAP clearly falls within this scientific scope. In short, proposals to participate in the NEAP mission are within the scope of the Discovery Program. In addition, the Discovery Program objectives (section 2.2 of the draft AO) include: as a practical goal "Perform frequent, high-quality scientific investigations that assure the highest science value for the cost"; and as a supporting objective "Pursue innovative ways of doing business." The basic approach envisioned by the developers of the NEAP initiative is clearly an innovative new way of doing business. Because this approach is new and untried, we cannot, a priori, determine that the particular opportunity afforded will be the most cost-efficient. Such a determination must come from the detailed review process. Finally, we note that proposing user provided instruments for the available pods [canisters] would appear to be potential "Mission of Opportunity" (section 2.3) investigations. As the present draft is intended for comment, you should examine the draft, and may offer suggested changes. We should note that actual success or failure of any new concept proposed in response to the Discovery AO will depend on the quality of the science, the reasonableness of cost, and other factors, and will be judged in the likely context of a number of excellent competing proposals to the program. Sincerely, Carl B. Pilcher Science Program Director (Acting) Solar System Exploration Office of Space Science The Discovery program is open to all kinds of organizations including universities, for-profit companies, individuals, non-profits, etc. It is also open to both domestic and international participation. This means that prospects for NEAP are very wide and diverse. NEAP is an example of adding more missions to those of traditional national space agencies, and results in more opportunities for more scientists and researchers. Because Discovery, and therefore NEAP, is open to both science and new technology experiments, we expect a variety of proposals to be sent to NASA for possible funding of those instruments and technologies. If you are a scientist or technology researcher, now is the time to be preparing a proposal for NEAP under the Discovery program. I believe it is possible for NASA to fund one or more complete missions, and because of the low cost of rides on NEAP, funding several experiments for such rides would provide NASA with the equivalent of an additional complete mission, but at a fraction of the cost. Finally, because the NEAP launch will be insured, NEAP offers a very low risk approach to space and planetary exploration. Unlike government missions, if there is a disaster, insurance will pay for replacement instruments and a new launch, and the only loss will be time. Only a short amount of time is available for sending a proposal to NASA. The official opening of the Announcement of Opportunity is scheduled for March 20, and all proposals must be submitted within 60 days. Please let SpaceDev know if you or an associate is thinking about or planning to submitting a NEAP-based proposal to NASA under the Discovery program. We will assist you in any way possible. Cheers, Jim Benson Chairman, CEO Hа сегодня все, пока! =SANA=
    Дата: 16 марта 1998 (1998-03-16) От: Alexander Bondugin Тема: This Week on Galileo - March 16-22, 1998 Привет всем! Вот, свалилось из Internet... THIS WEEK ON GALILEO March 16-22, 1998 Galileo continues processing and transmitting to Earth pictures and science information obtained during the spacecraft's last complete science encounter with Jupiter's moon Europa in December 1997. The spacecraft flew past Europa in early February 1998, but the flyby was followed by a 2-1/2 week period of limited communications when the sun passed between Earth and Galileo. Therefore, during the flyby, the spacecraft only collected radio science information which does not require on board storage and subsequent processing and transmission. Galileo's next encounter with Europa is scheduled to occur on Sunday, March 29, and will include more typical gathering and storage of information by most of Galileo's instruments. This week's processing schedule contains observations from Galileo's period of reprocessing and retransmission of data stored on the spacecraft's onboard tape recorder. This retransmission allows scientists to fill gaps caused by transmission problems, add additional data to existing data sets, or replay particularly interesting observations under different processing parameters. This week's transmissions include a picture obtained by the imaging camera of a region of mottled or blotchy terrain on Europa. The resolution of this picture has allowed identification of objects as small as a house in size. Also returned this week is more information from a region of Europa containing wedge shaped surface features. These wedges show that Europa's surface has cracked and pulled apart, and provides evidence of the possible existence of soft ice or maybe even a liquid ocean under Europa's surface. Two observations of this region are transmitted to Earth this week, one obtained by the imaging camera and the other by the near infrared spectrometer. Finally, throughout the week, information is returned from the fields and particles instruments observations of the interaction of Europa with the magnetic and electric fields surrounding Jupiter. Preliminary results from the test of the spacecraft's attitude control system that was performed last week are in. Unfortunately, these results indicate that the system's gyroscope performance has continued to degrade. The test was designed to determine if the performance was affected by the intense radiation exposure suffered during the spacecraft's flythrough of the Jupiter system in early February. Further analysis is being performed to characterize the extent of the degradation. Once understood, flight team members are confident that the anomalous behavior of the gyroscope can be anticipated and protective measures can be put in place to protect the spacecraft and scientific plans. For more information on the Galileo spacecraft and its mission to Jupiter, please visit the Galileo home page: http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/galileo/ Hа сегодня все, пока! =SANA=

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