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Апрель 1998


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    Архив RU.SPACE.NEWS за 22 апреля 1998

    Дата: 22 апреля 1998 (1998-04-22) От: Alexander Bondugin Тема: Announcement Of 3rd Cydonia Observation By MGS Привет всем! Вот, свалилось из Internet... From the Mars Global Surveyor home page: http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/mgs/target/update4-20.html Announcement of Third Cydonia Observation 20-APR-98 11:00 AM PDT The Mars Surveyor Operations Project is proceeding with the implementation of its third and final cluster of targeted imaging at Mars. This cluster will again target the two Viking Lander sites, a refined Mars Pathfinder landing site, and a new area in Cydonia. On Tuesday, April 21st, at 1:43 PM PDT and on Wednesday morning, April 22, at 1:22 AM PDT, MGS will again attempt to image the sites of the Viking Landers on two consecutive orbits. Recall that on the first attempt, Viking 1 was slightly outside the camera's field of view. However, on the second attempt the site was in the image, but it was not possible to see the lander. The Viking 2 site has been covered with clouds on both previous attempts. Then on Wednesday afternoon, April 22 at 1:00 PM PDT, MGS will again attempt to image the site of the Mars Pathfinder landing. This site was missed on the two previous attempts. On Thursday afternoon at 12:17 PM PDT, MGS will again image a portion of the Cydonia region. Global Surveyor will again target to capture an image of the features known as "The City". This area contains features identified as "mounds", "city square", "pyramid" and the "fortress". The image will be targeted to capture portions of the "pyramid" and the "fortress", as well as "mounds". As with the two previous images of the Cydonia region, the camera will be set to produce an image 1024 pixels wide so that the length of the image can be maximized to include as many features as possible. With a range from Cydonia to the spacecraft of 392 kilometers (244 miles), this will enable a resolution of 3.46 m/pixel (11.4 feet/pixel) and an image 3.5 km (2.2 miles) in width by 33 km (20.5 miles) in length. The same probabilities of success of 30% to 50% will apply to each of these attempts based on navigation uncertainties and spacecraft attitude control performance. Experience with the first and second clusters of targeted images has shown that winter weather in the northern hemisphere of Mars at this time causes haze, dust storms, surface frost and heavy cloud cover to be significant factors in the success of seeing the targets clearly. The weather effects are not included in the probability of success estimates. Results of the Cydonia imaging will be posted on the Internet, in the same manner as following the first and second observation attempts, at approximately mid-morning Pacific Time on Friday, April 24th. (When the playback of data from the spacecraft occurs overnight, as it does in this case, the image will be released shortly after the opening of business the following day.) If the landers are within the resulting images and can be identified, the image(s) containing it (them) will be released. Hа сегодня все, пока! =SANA=
    Дата: 22 апреля 1998 (1998-04-22) От: Alexander Bondugin Тема: NASA Astronomers Find Planet Construction Zone Around Nearby Star Привет всем! Вот, свалилось из Internet... MEDIA RELATIONS OFFICE JET PROPULSION LABORATORY CALIFORNIA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION PASADENA, CALIF. 91109. TELEPHONE (818) 354-5011 http://www.jpl.nasa.gov Contact: Jane Platt FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE April 21, 1998 NASA ASTRONOMERS FIND PLANET CONSTRUCTION ZONE AROUND NEARBY STAR NASA astronomers using the new Keck II telescope in Hawaii have discovered what appears to be the clearest evidence yet of a budding solar system around a nearby star. Scientists released an image of the probable site of planet formation around a star known as HR 4796, about 220 light-years from Earth in the constellation Centaurus. The image, taken with a sensitive infrared camera developed at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, shows a swirling disc of dust around the star. Within the disc is a telltale empty region that may have been swept clean when material was pulled into newly formed planetary bodies, the scientists said. "This may be what our solar system looked like at the end of its main planetary formation phase," said Dr. Michael Werner of JPL, who co-discovered the region, along with Drs. David Koerner and Michael Ressler, also of JPL, and Dana Backman of Franklin and Marshall College, Lancaster, PA. "Comets may be forming right now in the disc's outer portion from remaining debris." The discovery was made on March 16 from the giant 10-meter (33-foot) Keck II telescope atop Mauna Kea, Hawaii. Keck II and its twin, Keck I, are the world's largest optical and infrared telescopes. Attached to the Keck II for this observation was the mid-infrared camera, developed by Ressler at JPL and designed to measure heat radiation. The four scientists reported their discovery in a submission to Astrophysical Journal Letters. The disc was discovered independently and contemporaneously at the Cerro Tololo Observatory in Chile by another team of scientists, led by Ray Jayawardhana of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Cambridge, MA, and Dr. Charles Telesco of the University of Florida, Gainesville. Koerner of JPL said the finding represents a "missing link" in the study of how planetary systems are born and evolve. "In a sense, we've already peeked into the stellar family album and seen baby pictures and middle-aged photos," Koerner said. "With HR 4796, we're seeing a picture of a young adult star starting its own family of planets. This is the link between discs around very young stars and discs around mature stars, many with planets already orbiting them." "This is the first infrared image where an entire inner planetary disc is clearly visible," Werner said. "The planet- forming disc around the star Beta Pictoris was discovered in 1983 by the Infrared Astronomical Satellite (IRAS), and also later imaged with the Hubble Space Telescope, but glaring light from the star partially obscured its disc." The apparent diameter of the dust disc around HR 4796 is about 200 astronomical units (one astronomical unit is the distance from Earth to the Sun). The diameter of the cleared inner region is about 100 astronomical units, slightly larger than our own solar system. HR 4796 was originally identified as an interesting object for further study by Dr. Michael Jura, an astronomy professor at the University of California, Los Angeles. The star, HR 4796, is about 10 million years old and is difficult to see in the continental United States, but is visible to telescopes in Hawaii and the southern hemisphere. The discovery of the HR 4796 disc was made in just one hour of observing time at Keck, but the JPL team plans to return to Hawaii in June for further studies. They hope to learn more about the structure, composition and size of this disc, and to determine how discs around stars in our galaxy produce planets. They plan to study several other stars as well, including Vega, which was featured prominently in the movie, "Contact." The Harvard/Florida research team that also found the HR 4796 disc included Drs. Lee Hartmann and Giovanni Fazio of Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, and Scott Fisher and Dr. Robert Pina of the University of Florida. JPL's use of the Keck telescope is supported by NASA's Origins program, a series of missions to study the formation of galaxies, stars, planets and life, and to search for Earth-like planets around other stars that might have the right conditions for life. The W. M. Keck Observatory is owned and operated by the California Association for Research in Astronomy, a joint venture between the University of California, the California Institute of Technology and NASA. Use of the Keck Observatory for Origins research is managed by JPL for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, DC. JPL is a division of Caltech. The research of both teams was supported in large part by the NASA Origins Program, with additional support to the Harvard/Florida team from the National Science Foundation, the National Optical Astronomy Observatories, and the Smithsonian Institution; and with additional NASA support for the Caltech/JPL-Franklin & Marshall team, including use of the Keck Observatory. The Keck II image of HR 4796 is available on the web at http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/releases/98/hr4796.html . The image and information on the MIRLIN camera is available at http://cougar.jpl.nasa.gov/mirlin.html A false-color image of the HR 4796 disc is available at http://www.astro.ufl.edu/news/ . Information on the Keck Observatory is available at http://www2/keck.hawaii.edu:3636 . Information on the Origins program is available at: http://origins.jpl.nasa.gov . ##### Hа сегодня все, пока! =SANA=
    Дата: 22 апреля 1998 (1998-04-22) От: Alexander Bondugin Тема: NASA Hosts Web Chats For "Take Our Daughters To Work Day" Привет всем! Вот, свалилось из Internet... Brian Dunbar Headquarters, Washington, DC April 20, 1998 (Phone: 202/358-0873) John Bluck Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA (Phone: 650/604-5026) RELEASE: 98-66 NASA HOSTS WEB CHATS FOR "TAKE OUR DAUGHTERS TO WORK DAY" Hundreds of thousands of young people from around the globe are expected to use the Internet to "chat" with prominent women on April 23, "Take Our Daughters to Work Day." Ten women will be interviewed via World Wide Web chats enabled by NASA. During the chats, young people will use computers to converse with the women by typing questions and reading responses and dialogue via the World Wide Web. "We have designed this event to give young people who cannot otherwise speak with women in the work force the opportunity to meet on-line and discuss opportunities in a variety of careers," said executive producer Tish Krieg of NASA's Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA, where the event will originate. "The women also will provide insight into the professional and personal aspects of their lives." The one-hour web chats will take place on Thursday, April 23, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., EDT. The Internet URL is: http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/women/intro.html The women include: Judy Woodruff, Cable News Network anchor; Jessica Stern, expert on terrorism and weapons of mass destruction, who was the model for the film "The Peacemaker"; Chitra Divakiruni, novelist and author of the best sellers "Arranged Marriage" and "Mistress of Spices"; Leslie Ann Jones, multiple Academy Award winner for film scoring at Skywalker Sound; Donna Shirley, manager of the Mars Exploration Directorate at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA; Kim Polese, Chief Executive Officer of Marimba, Inc.; Lynda Plettner, professional dog musher and six-time finisher of the Iditarod race; Loretha Jones, executive producer of "The Parenthood" weekly television show; Stephanie Herman, Principal Ballerina and founder of Esprit de Danse; and Susan Kovalik, author and pioneer in the brain- compatible learning movement. Participation is easy. "If you have a personal computer with Internet access and web browser software, you can log onto the NASA site to see a schedule, background information about the women, chat instructions and pre-registration materials. Then, on April 23, go to the chat room, and follow directions," Krieg said. "Because the capacity for interactive questions is limited, a first-come, first-served pre-registration via the Internet is necessary for youngsters to be able to chat," she said. "All others can observe the conversations, which will be very informative and exciting experiences in themselves," she said. The Daughters' Day virtual event is sponsored by the "Women of NASA" project, one of many interactive projects provided by NASA's K-12 Internet Initiative at Ames. The "Women of NASA" project includes weekly chats with NASA women, said Ames' Learning Technologies Project manager Karen Traicoff. The Learning Technologies Project supports Women of NASA and the other projects. "The overall mission of our projects is to bring NASA into the classroom," Krieg added. "We sponsor on-line, interactive Internet activities that connect students with NASA people and their work. If we can give children opportunities to personally interact with professionals, then learning becomes an exciting experience," she said. The Learning Technologies Project is managed by NASA's High Performance Computing and Communications Program at NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC. -end- Hа сегодня все, пока! =SANA=
    Дата: 22 апреля 1998 (1998-04-22) От: Alexander Bondugin Тема: SJI's Sky and Space Update - April 15, 1998 Привет всем! Вот, свалилось из Internet... SAN JUAN INSTITUTE'S SKY AND SPACE UPDATE Summary information about the night sky and recent findings and events in solar system exploration and science. Updated every 2 weeks. LAST UPDATED: WED. APR. 15, 1998 Prepared by: Dr. Bruce Betts and Andre Bormanis OBJECTS TO LOOK FOR IN THE NIGHT SKY (MID-NORTHERN LATITUDES) MERCURY is visible low in the east just before dawn during the last week of April. VENUS lies low in the east-southeast before dawn, looking like an extremely bright star. JUPITER lies to the lower left of Venus shortly before dawn. On the morning of Apr. 23, Jupiter lies only half a degree (the diameter of a Full Moon) from Venus. The crescent Moon lies just two degrees to the lower left of the planetary pair. SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE OBSERVERS: Planets located in the southern part of the sky for northern hemisphere observers will appear higher in southern hemisphere skies; those in the north will appear lower. Mercury will be well above the horizon for observers in the Southern hemisphere in the pre-dawn hours through mid-May. THE MOON Last Quarter Moon occurs Apr. 19 at 12:53 p.m. PDT (UT - 7 hours). New Moon occurs Apr. 26 at 4:41 a.m. PDT. HUMAN SPACEFLIGHT UPDATE NEXT SPACE SHUTTLE MISSION The U.S. space shuttle Columbia is scheduled to lift-off from the Kennedy Space Center at 11:19 PST on Thursday, Apr. 16. The seven member crew will conduct experiments that will help scientists better understand fundamental neurological processes. The Spacelab / Neurolab payload includes pregnant mice, as well as 1,514 crickets, 135 snails, 152 rats, and 223 fish. The overarching goal of the biological research mission is to determine how the nervous system of humans and various other animals is affected by weightlessness. Understanding how weightlessness changes the nervous system will be crucial to future plans for lunar colonies and human missions to Mars. The Neurolab researchers will specifically study how a brain grows in space, and whether the absence of gravity slows down cell reproduction. For more information on the space shuttle program, see http://shuttle.nasa.gov. MIR SPACEWALK Mission Commander Talgat Musabayev, 47, and flight engineer Nikolai Budarin, 44, ventured outside the Russian space station Mir for a spacewalk on Saturday, Apr. 11, the third of five scheduled for the month of April. Australian-born NASA scientist Andrew Thomas, 47, manned the controls inside the station during the cosmonaut's EVA. Musabayev and Budarin removed and jettisoned a propulsion unit used to maintain Mir's orientation in space. The station's solar cell arrays must be correctly aligned with the Sun in order to generate power. The propulsion unit, which weighs some 1,800 pounds, had been running low on fuel and then failed completely last Monday. A substitute propulsion unit was soon brought on-line. A new replacement unit will be installed during two spacewalks scheduled for later this month. The cosmonauts were also scheduled to fit an airtight cap over the exhaust vent of one of Mir's oxygen generating systems, in preparation for a later repair effort. But an unidentified foam-like substance was discovered covering the cap. Russian Mission Control told the cosmonauts to postpone this task until the substance could be identified. The twelve-year-old Mir space station is expected to remain in orbit at least another one or two years. NASA has been utilizing Mir as a test bed for constructing and operating the International Space Station (ISS). The first element of ISS is scheduled for launch later this year. For more information on Mir and NASA's involvement in the Mir program, see http://shuttle-mir.nasa.gov/. PLANETARY SPACECRAFT UPDATE STUDENT SPACECRAFT The Student Nitric Oxide Experiment (SNOE) spacecraft was successfully launched by a Pegasus XL rocket on Feb. 26. This is the first mission launched under the auspices of NASA's University Explorer-Class (UnEx) program, managed by the Universities Space Research Association (USRA), a private, non-profit space research organization. The UnEx program funds spacecraft designed and built by university students under the direction of their professors. The University of Colorado at Boulder built and operates the spacecraft, with assistance from Ball Aerospace and the National Center for Atmospheric Research. SNOE is designed to investigate how variations in solar radiation and X-ray emission affect the density of nitric oxide in Earth's atmosphere. For more information on SNOE and other USRA missions, see http://www.usra.edu/. MARS LOSES FACE The U.S. Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) spacecraft recently obtained high resolution images of the region of Mars called Cydonia, home to the notorious "face" on Mars imaged by the U.S. Viking orbiter spacecraft in the mid 1970's. The MGS Cydonia image shows a rough-hewn field of boulders on a low plateau that bears little if any resemblance to a human face. The lighting angle and relatively low resolution of the Viking cameras returned an image of this feature that bore some similarity to a face staring up at the sky. It's now clear that the feature is a purely natural assemblage of rocks, and not the artifact of an ancient Martian civilization, as a small number of people outside the planetary science community had proposed. To view an MGS image of Cydonia and the defunct "face," see http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/mgs/. THESE WEEKS IN SPACE HISTORY APR. 23, 1992: The U.S. Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE) spacecraft detects the first evidence of structure in the residual radiation left over from the Big Bang that created the Universe. APR. 24, 1967: Soviet cosmonaut Vladimir M. Komarov dies as his Soyuz spacecraft returns to Earth from orbit, the first and so far the only space explorer to perish during re-entry. APR. 25, 1990: The Hubble Space Telescope is released into Earth orbit by the space shuttle Discovery. RANDOM SPACE FACT The average distance between stars in the spiral arms of the Milky Way galaxy is currently estimated to be seven light years, or sixty-six trillion kilometers. This distance is equal to roughly 443,000 times the distance between the Earth and Sun. ********************************************************************** The San Juan Institute (SJI) is a non-profit corporation headquartered in San Juan Capistrano, CA with divisions there and in Tucson, AZ. SJI carries out research and education in planetary and Earth sciences and astronomy, with funding provided by government grants and private donations, which are always needed. Partial funding for the SSU has been provided by NASA's Office of Space Science. San Juan Capistrano Research Institute Ph: 714-240-2010, Fax: 714-240-0482 31882 Camino Capistrano, Suite 107 Email: educate@sji.org San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675 Web site: http://www.sji.org Hа сегодня все, пока! =SANA=
    Дата: 22 апреля 1998 (1998-04-22) От: Alexander Bondugin Тема: NASA To Support El Nino Prediction Studies With Supercomputers Привет всем! Вот, свалилось из Internet... Cynthia O'Carroll Cynthia.M.OCarroll.1@gsfc.nasa.gov April 20, 1998 Goddard Space Flight Center Office of Public Affairs (Phone: 301-286-6943) RELEASE NO: 98-46 NASA TO SUPPORT EL NINO PREDICTION STUDIES WITH ONE OF WORLD'S MOST POWERFUL SUPERCOMPUTERS NASA's Seasonal to Interannual Prediction Project (NSIPP) will use an upgraded CRAY T3E-600 supercomputer at Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md., to support scientific and computational efforts to predict seasonal to interannual climate variations. The augmented CRAY T3E will enable NSIPP to run models capable of predicting phenomena such as El Nino and its associated atmospheric effects felt in many regions around the globe. The NSIPP and a science team of investigators from universities and other institutions will have access to 512 new processors in the upgraded CRAY supercomputer at Goddard. The total system of 1,024 processors, 131 billion bytes of memory and 1.2 trillion bytes of online disk space will perform nearly 400 billion floating-point operations per second (400 gigaflops) on a standard benchmark, ranking it among the world's five most powerful supercomputers. Goddard's CRAY T3E can do in one second what would take every person in the United States using hand-held calculators over 40 years to perform. "We plan to enhance these computational capabilities in support of our Earth Science objectives and establish Goddard as the lead center for Earth science supercomputing internationally," said Dr. Ghassem Asrar, NASA Associate Administrator for Earth Science. "The challenge is to implement large-scale Earth system models, run them in a timely fashion and then transfer the technology to the operational agencies such as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration." NSIPP scientists will combine comprehensive satellite observations with global climate models. Since the ocean, with its large heat capacity, contains the memory of short-term climate variability, the project will build a new ocean data assimilation system to ingest the satellite data and provide the initial conditions for predictive model runs. Experimental predictions using past El Nino events for verification will assess the ability to forecast future events. "The new technology will enable us to develop the best system_coupled climate models and data assimilation system_for taking full advantage of NASA's satellite observations for this problem," said Dr. Michele Rienecker, NSIPP's principal investigator. "We will be able to conduct ensembles of runs to give a realistic statistical characterization of uncertainty in the forecasts." NSIPP has developed a global general circulation model that couples models of the oceans, atmosphere, land surface and sea ice. The parallel model, capable of running on many computer processors, is a product of research funded by the Earth and Space Sciences Project of NASA's High Performance Computing and Communications Program. "This system upgrade can be seen as an Agency commitment to scaleable parallel computing for operational supercomputing," said Lee Holcomb, NASA Chief Information Officer. "It culminates more than 20 years of NASA investment in parallel computing technology development." Climate models divide the globe into a grid of layered columns, solving the relevant equations in each column layer and then assembling the full results. With 512 processors, NSIPP will be able to use a finer grid resolution than possible so far, with a column 1/2-degree wide (or 30 miles over the continental United States) in the atmosphere model, for example. "We know that model resolution impacts the ability to simulate the ocean as well as the atmosphere and land surface in a realistic manner," Rienecker said. The CRAY T3E upgrade is occurring in two stages, with 384 processors installed in March and 128 processors scheduled for availability in May. A next-generation parallel supercomputer is planned for the year 2000. Additional NSIPP information may be obtained on the World Wide Web at the URL: http://nsipp.gsfc.nasa.gov/ Earth and Space Sciences Project details are at the following URL: http://esdcd.gsfc.nasa.gov/ESS/ Hа сегодня все, пока! =SANA=
    Дата: 22 апреля 1998 (1998-04-22) От: Alexander Bondugin Тема: STARDUST Update - April 17, 1998 Привет всем! Вот, свалилось из Internet... STARDUST Status Report April 17, 1998 Ken Atkins STARDUST Project Manager Assembly, Test, and Launch Operations (ATLO) activities: The pre-ATLO testing of the Cometary & Interstellar Dust Analyzer (CIDA) was completed and the flight electronics box has been installed on the spacecraft. The navigation camera was delivered, bench-tested including full camera functional and end-to-end data flow testing and installation is planned for today. The ATLO Test Unit (ATU) aerogel collector, partially loaded with examples of flight quality aerogel, was delivered to Lockheed Martin. The ATU is a pathfinder for handling and contamination control procedures to be used on the flight unit later this year. These deliveries signal that all flight instrument electronics are delivered to ATLO with significant interface testing behind them. Good progress was also achieved this week on spacecraft avionics, holding schedules for deliveries next week. Outreach: Live video hook up between JPL and the National Science Teachers Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada allowed a full schedule of Question & Answer interactions with Teachers visiting the Challenger Center's booth in the exhibit hall on Friday. Project personnel at JPL took half-hour segments in the Stardust JPL Mission Support Area (MSA). For more information on the STARDUST mission - the first ever comet sample return mission - please visit the STARDUST home page: http://stardust.jpl.nasa.gov Hа сегодня все, пока! =SANA=
    Дата: 22 апреля 1998 (1998-04-22) От: Alexander Bondugin Тема: SpaceView Update - 15 April 1998 [1/7] Привет всем! Вот, свалилось из Internet... S P A C E V I E W S U P D A T E 1998 April 15 http://www.spaceviews.com/1998/0415/ *** Top Stories *** Countdown Begins for Shuttle Mission Cosmonauts Perform Mir Repair Spacewalks NASA Releases New "Face on Mars" Images *** Technology *** Pegasus and Proton Launch Spacecraft Cause of Ariane 502 Problem Pinpointed Software Problems Delay Earth Observing Satellite Space Station Node Named "Unity" *** Policy *** Congressmen Say Station Delays Likely NASA Considering Government Loan Guarantees for RLV Makers New Plans for NEO Funding and Announcement Protocols *** Science *** Galileo Finds New Jovian Ring ISO Finds Water on Titan White Dwarf Discovery Sets New Limits on Supernovae *** CyberSpace *** The Astrobiology Web Russian Space Web Dragon in Space Asteroid 1997 XF11 *** Space Capsules *** SpaceViews Event Horizon Other News Editor's Note: Thanks to everyone who has turned in the annual survey: we've received over 250 responses to date, filled with a lot of great ideas and suggestions. If you haven't submitted yours yet, you're welcome to do so, or you can fill out the Web version of the survey at http://www.spaceviews.com/survey98.html . Thanks! Jeff Foust -- jeff@spaceviews.com Editor, SpaceViews *** Top Stories *** Countdown Begins for Shuttle Mission NASA started the countdown for shuttle mission STS-90 early Monday, April 13, as crews began last-minute preparations for Thursday's launch of Columbia on a two-week life sciences mission.</P> Columbia is scheduled to launch from Kennedy Space Center's Pad 39-B at 2:19pm EDT (1819 UT) Thursday, April 16. The countdown for the mission started at 2am EDT (0600 UT) Monday. The mission is slated to last 16 days, with the option of an additional day if conditions on board the shuttle permit. Forecasts for April 16 show excellent weather conditions, with no change of rain. Meteorologists predict a 0% chance that weather would delay an April 16 launch, a chance that increases to 40% for a Friday, April 17 or Saturday, April 18 launch. The STS-90 mission, also known as Neurolab, will explore the effects of weightlessness on the human nervous system. The seven-person crew will conduct experiments in the Spacelab module in the shuttle's cargo bay will investigate space adaptation syndrome (spacesickness), the adaptation of the central nervous system to microgravity, and the development of nervous systems in weightlessness. Nine countries have contributed 31 experiments for the mission, which will be the last for the Spacelab module. The module, developed by the European Space Agency, is being phased out as the International Space Station comes on line. NASA officials are also reportedly considering reflying the shuttle on the same Neurolab mission this summer, to fill in gaps in the schedule caused by delays with the International Space Station and the shuttle launch of the AXAF satellite. The mission is commanded by Richard Searfross, with Scott Altman serving as pilot. Three mission specialists are on the crew, including payload commander Richard Linnehan, Kathryn Hire, and Canadian Space Agency astronaut Dafydd Rhys Williams. Two payload specialists, Jay Clark Buckey, Jr. and James Pawelczyk, round out the crew. The crew also got a chance to speak with President Bill Clinton before the launch. Clinton visited the Johnson Space Center in Houston on April 14 and called the shuttle crew, who arrived in Florida Monday afternoon. In a speech at JSC, Clinton praised NASA for keeping "its feet grounded in fiscal discipline." He also lauded Senator John Glenn, who will be flying on a shuttle mission in late October. The mission will be the 90th shuttle mission since April 1981, and the 25th for Columbia, the fleet's oldest orbiter. Hа сегодня все, пока! =SANA=
    Дата: 22 апреля 1998 (1998-04-22) От: Alexander Bondugin Тема: SpaceView Update - 15 April 1998 [2/7] Привет всем! Вот, свалилось из Internet... Cosmonauts Perform Mir Repair Spacewalks Two Russian cosmonauts on the Russian space station Mir performed three spacewalks in early April to shore up a damaged solar panel and begin the replacement of an attitude control thruster. Cosmonauts Talgat Musabayev and Nikolai Budarin were slated to fix a damaged solar panel on the Spektr module on an April 1 spacewalk, but ran into difficulties. The cosmonauts took much longer than expected to set up support equipment, including handrails and foot holds, on the exterior of the station, that had been left behind by previous spacewalkers. Musabayev and Budarin ran out of time on the April 1 spacewalk and could not begin the repairs to the solar panel. Those repairs took place successfully on an April 6 spacewalk. However, the cosmonauts were called in early when mission control erroneously reported a failure with an attitude control thruster which controllers believed had run out of fuel. That thruster module, the VDU, was the subject of the next spacewalk April 11. Musabayev and Budarin walked out to the module, mounted on the Sofora boom that extends from the Kvant module, and detached the module, whose fuel supplies were running low. The module was allowed to float free of the station, and will eventually burn up in the Earth's atmosphere. Two additional spacewalks, scheduled for April 17 and 22, are planned to attach a new VDU control module to replace the old one. The new module was brought up to Mir on a Progress spacecraft last month. While the cosmonauts ran into problems in their early spacewalks, it appeared to Russian mission controllers that the two spacewalkers were working much better by the April 11 spacewalk. "Since this is their third spacewalk, they've started to feel comfortable," Viktor Blagov, deputy chief of mission control, said. During all three spacewalks American astronaut Andy Thomas remained within Mir, watching over the station's systems and filming the spacewalks. There are no plans for Thomas to participate in upcoming spacewalks. NASA Releases New "Face on Mars" Images Preliminary analysis of an image of the Cydonia region of Mars, returned on Monday, April 6, by the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) spacecraft, shows that a feature dubbed the "Face on Mars" little resembles a human face. A raw image of the Cydonia region was placed on the Mars Global Surveyor Web site at 1:30pm EDT (1730 UT). The raw image showed very little detail, but a contrast-enhanced image released at 4:45pm EDT (2045 UT) showed additional surface features. One prominent feature in the MGS image superficially resembles one seen in Viking images in the 1970s that many considered to be similar to a human face. However, the high-resolution MGS image showed few details in the feature that resembled a face, unlike the lower-resolution Viking data. A small but vocal group of people had claimed the face, as seen in Viking images under specific image processing routines, was evidence that an alien civilization had once inhabited Mars and constructed the face. Some claimed that NASA and other government agencies had acted to cover up the data. Some of those who believed the face was real claimed the data returned by MGS was inconclusive. "It's like looking at a TV with a bunch of snow on it," Richard Hoagland, author the book "The Monuments of Mars", told the Associated Press. "There's all kinds of random speckles. The damn thing is as noisy as hell." However, Hoagland's Web site, the "Enterprise Mission", had links to enhanced and rectified versions of the MGS images at JPL which he claimed showed similarities to the original Viking images. NASA officials had no comment about the new images. Given the possibility of targeting errors, some thought it possible that the region featured in the new MGS image is not the same as that seen in the Viking data. However, the correlation of craters and other features seen in both the MGS and Viking data makes that unlikely. MGS is also expected to return high resolution images of the Viking 2 and Mars Pathfinder landing sites. An attempt to image the Viking 1 landing site missed the site by just 150 meters (500 feet). A second attempt to image that landing site will be made April 12. *** Technology *** Pegasus and Proton Launch Spacecraft A Pegasus booster launched a solar science satellite in early April while the Russian Proton booster returned to duty by launching seven more Iridium satellites. The Transition Region and Coronal Explorer (TRACE) spacecraft was launched by a Pegasus XL off the coast from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, at 9:42pm EST April 1 (0242 UT April 2). The spacecraft successfully entered a 650-km (400-mi.) polar orbit. TRACE will spend the next year studying the Sun's corona, its outer atmosphere. The $39 million satellite will join several other spacecraft that monitor the Sun, including the U.S.-European Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) and the Advanced Coronal Explorer (ACE). One question scientists hope TRACE will be able to answer is the temperature structure of the Sun's corona. Temperatures in the corona reach several million degrees, compared to the 6,000 degree Celsius (10,800 degree Fahrenheit) temperature of the surface. A Proton booster lifted off from Baikonur, Kazakhstan, at 10:13pm EDT April 6 (0213 UT April 7). The seven Iridium satellites it carried were successfully placed into orbit about 90 minutes later. The Proton launch was the first since a late December launch of an Asian communications satellite. That launch met with failure when the Proton's Blok-DM upper stage shut down after only 1 second into a planned two-minute firing, stranding the satellite into an unusable orbit. The success of the Proton launch means that 63 functioning Iridium satellite are now in orbit. Two more launches, a Chinese Long March 2 booster with 2 satellites and a Delta 2 with 5 satellites, are scheduled to complete the constellation later this month. Another Delta 2 is being held in reserve for a May launch should one of the earlier launches fail. Hа сегодня все, пока! =SANA=
    Дата: 22 апреля 1998 (1998-04-22) От: Alexander Bondugin Тема: SpaceView Update - 15 April 1998 [3/7] Привет всем! Вот, свалилось из Internet... Cause of Ariane 502 Problem Pinpointed European engineers have pinpointed the cause of a problem with last October's launch of the heavy-lift Ariane 5 booster that placed a test satellite into an orbit lower than planned, the European Space Agency reported April 8. Ariane 502, launched October 30 of last year, suffered from excessive roll torque near the end of its launch sequence. The additional torque shut down the main Vulcain engine prematurely, stranding its payload of two test satellites in an orbit slightly lower than planned. Engineers believe roughness in the interior surface of the Vulcain engine caused the main exhaust jet to spiral, creating the torque. They reached this conclusion after a series of test firings of a Vulcain engine on a test stand. Investigators had previously narrowed the cause of the roll torque to engine surface roughness or a break in one of the rods that attached the exhaust lines of the engine to the nozzle. The test firings showed evidence for the roll torque even when all the rods were in place, ruling out rod breakage as a cause. ESA officials said they plan to solve the problem by repositioning the turbine exhausts in the Vulcain engine. Engineers had already developed a separate attitude control unit to counter any roll torques; ESA officials said the new unit will remain in place despite the fix to the main engine. The repairs are not expected to change the launch date of the next Ariane 5 launch. Ariane 503, the final qualification flight, is scheduled for launch in July. After that launch the heavy-lift booster will be placed into commercial service by Arianespace, which currently operates the highly-successful series of Ariane 4 boosters. In January, Arianespace officials announced plans to order up to 50 Ariane 5 boosters to serve its commercial launch business early next decade, as it phases out its Ariane 4 boosters. The Ariane 5 was developed by ESA during the 1990s at an estimated cost of $8 billion. The first Ariane 5 launch, Ariane 501, failed less than 40 seconds after launch in June 1996 when a attitude control computer on the system failed because of a software bug. Software Problems Delay Earth Observing Satellite The launch of the first satellite of NASA's Earth Observing System will likely be delayed by several months because of problems with ground control software, NASA officials announced Friday, April 10. NASA officials reported significant performance problems with ground control software designed to command and control EOS spacecraft and enable them to perform their scientific functions. The software is part of the Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS), the overall ground system responsible for the spacecraft. The problems with the software, which are still being studied, will probably delay the launch of the first EOS spacecraft, AM-1, previously scheduled for launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, this July. NASA said that the launch would likely be delayed until the end of the year. The report came after testing of the final version of the software, delivered to NASA by contractor Lockheed Martin March 31. Engineers found that problems noted in previous versions of the software had not been corrected, and new problems introduced, mostly in the form of sluggish, poor performance and improper implementation of decision rules. Project managers are continuing to examine the problem while studying alternatives. "We're concurrently looking at commercial off-the-shelf technology that was not available when this software system initially was designed," said Arthur "Rick" Obenschain, project manager for EOSDIS. "If for some reason the current software problems can't be fixed, we have a backup plan." The software is being developed by Lockheed Martin under subcontract to Raytheon Information Systems Company. As of last February the software had cost $27.5 million. Space Station Node Named "Unity" The first docking node of the International Space Station will be named "Unity", NASA officials reported late Wednesday, April 8. The news came a day after a space station schedule circulated on the Internet, with the name "Unity" listed for Node 1. The NASA Watch Web site, which posted the schedule, originally speculated that Unity might be the new name for the entire station. The node, previously known as Node 1, is scheduled for launch this July, although it's now likely that the launch will be delayed until September to accommodate delays with other aspects of the station, such as the Service Module, and to balance NASA's shuttle launch schedule. The node will be used to connect key station modules, including the Russian-built Functional Cargo Block and American-built habitation and laboratory modules. "Unity makes sense in the actual function of the node as well as in its symbolism," NASA spokesman James Hartsfield told Florida Today. "As a building block, it will unite station modules from Russia and the United States, joining former Cold War adversaries as allies striving to expand the reach of humanity and improve the lives of all people." Hartsfield said NASA plans to name other modules of the station as they approach launch, much as each module on the Russian space station Mir has its own individual name. Future names may be selected in contests involving students. The International Space Station itself has no other name. NASA officials indicated no plans to provide the station with a new name any time in the foreseeable future. Hа сегодня все, пока! =SANA=
    Дата: 22 апреля 1998 (1998-04-22) От: Alexander Bondugin Тема: SpaceView Update - 15 April 1998 [4/7] Привет всем! Вот, свалилось из Internet... *** Policy *** Congressmen Say Station Delays Likely Two Congressmen returning from a trip to Russia last week said the Service Module, a key Russian-built component of the International Space Station, will likely be delayed three months to early 1999, Florida Today reported April 11. Congressmen James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) and Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) said Russian officials told them during a trip to Moscow that the launch of the Service Module would be pushed back from December 1998 to March 1999. If true, the delay would solidify plans to delay the launches of the first two components of the station, the Russian-built but U.S.-funded FGB module, and the U.S.-built Unity module, formerly known as Node 1. Those two modules were slated for launches in June and July, respectively, but are likely to be pushed back to August and September. The Service Module was planned for an April 1998 launch, several months after the launch of the FGB and Node 1 elements of the station. However, the launch date slipped last year from April to December as Service Module construction fell behind schedule, in part because of funding problems. No formal announcement of the delay has been reported, and none is expected before next month. NASA plans to report on the status to Congress by May 15. A meeting between NASA and Russian Space Agency officials is scheduled for later this month to discuss the status of the module. "We've been talking with the Russians for some time, and we are well aware that they are behind schedule, but until we have this meeting we can't say exactly what the status is," NASA spokesperson Debra Rahn told Florida Today. NASA Considering Government Loan Guarantees for RLV Makers NASA officials are considering proposing a set of incentives, ranging from promises to purchase launch services to loan guarantees, to support the private development of reusable launch vehicles (RLVs), Space News reported last week. William Claybaugh, business advisor to the deputy associate administrator for space transportation technology at NASA, told Space News that the agency is considering a number of incentives to support RLVs that would require government backing but "may not necessarily cost the government anything," he said. Among Claybaugh's proposals include promises by NASA to purchase a specific number of RLV flights, tax credits, and underwriting commercial loans or subsidizing the interest rates on those loans. Those proposals would reduce the perceived risk in the project and lower the interest rates, making more capital available, according to Gary Payton, NASA's deputy associate administrator for space transportation technology. A study last year by the Aerospace Corporation showed that commercial RLV builders could expect to invest no more than about $1 billion in a new project, requiring either outside investment or government funding. The finding raised concerns about the future of VentureStar, the full-scale follow-on to the X-33, which has an expected development cost of about $5-6 billion. While NASA's proposals of loan guarantees and other incentives appear targeted specifically at Lockheed Martin, developer of the VentureStar, Claybaugh said any incentives would be available to other companies developing RLVs. Claybaugh was skeptical that any company could develop an RLV that provided low-cost access to space solely on commercial funding. "If a company has to pay back all the development costs on a commercial basis, [it is] not going to be able to hit the $1,000 per pound cost target," he told Space News. New Plans for NEO Funding and Announcement Protocols NASA plans to establish a new office for near-Earth asteroid detection studies and more than double funding for searches, while encouraging astronomers to find better ways to communicate the discovery of any potentially hazardous objects among themselves before announcing it publicly. Space News reported last week that NASA plans to establish a new office within the next few weeks dedicated to coordinating efforts to search for more near-Earth objects (NEOs), as well as study the objects from the Earth and from spacecraft. NASA is earmarking $3 million for NEO research, more than double the $1.3 million spent last year. The money will support expanded efforts to search for new NEOs and follow up on existing discoveries. At the same time, NASA is trying to get the astronomical community to work together to better communicate any discoveries of potentially hazardous NEOs among themselves first, before making any announcements publicly. A new set of guidelines finalized by the space agency last week and reported in the April 12 issue of the Washington Post, require that "no hazard or threat prediction statements will be released with verification and consensus," the Post reported. The new guidelines, which affect only NASA-funded researchers (which make up most of the NEO search community) also require that NASA be informed of the discovery of any NEO discovery that could pose a threat to the Earth at least 24 hours before that announcement is made public. The new protocols come a month after the announcement that asteroid 1997 XF11 would pass within 30,000 mi (50,000 km) of the Earth in 2028, and had a small chance of hitting the planet. Within a day new data, recovered from 8-year-old images of the asteroid, showed that the asteroid would in fact pass no more than 600,000 mi. (950,000 km) of the Earth. NASA officials and scientists alike regard the media frenzy which surrounded the announcements as a fiasco. Criticism and ridicule, from everyone from late-night talk-show hosts to New York Times columnist William Safire, rained down on the astronomical community as a result. Carl Pilcher, acting director of solar system exploration at NASA, told the Post that eventually everyone got the right answer. "Unfortunately," he said, "the announcement occurred at the beginning rather than the end of this procedure. That is not acceptable." Hа сегодня все, пока! =SANA=
    Дата: 22 апреля 1998 (1998-04-22) От: Alexander Bondugin Тема: SpaceView Update - 15 April 1998 [5/7] Привет всем! Вот, свалилось из Internet... *** Science *** Galileo Finds New Jovian Ring Scientists analyzing data from the Galileo spacecraft have discovered a new ring of interplanetary and interstellar dust orbiting the planet Jupiter. Data from a dust collector on Galileo, correlated with computer simulations, provided evidence for the extremely tenuous ring of dust particles orbiting 1.1 million km (700,000 mi.) from Jupiter, University of Colorado at Boulder scientists reported in the April 3 issue of the journal Science. The ring consists of tiny dust particles, between the size of 0.6 and 1.4 microns, that have been captured by Jupiter's powerful magnetic field. "If these particles are just the right size, they lose energy to the magnetosphere and are captured in the ring," CU research associate Joshua Colwell said. The dust comes from sources both within the solar system and outside it. The ring is so tenuous, Colwell said, than only one photon in a billion passing through the ring would collide with a dust grain, making it virtually impossible to detect the ring visually. Instead, scientists used a special dust collector, a bowl-shaped detector with a charged grid over the top, to sense the dust. As dust hits the bowl it vaporizes, creating a small cloud detected by the grid. Scientists found the ring was orbiting Jupiter in a retrograde motion, the direction opposite of Jupiter's other rings and moons. The reason for this retrograde motion was unclear. Jupiter may not be the only planet with a tenuous dust ring. "I suspect we may wind up seeing something similar at Saturn" when the Cassini spacecraft arrives there in 2004, Colwell said. ISO Finds Water on Titan A European orbiting infrared observatory, at the end of its mission, has found evidence for water on Saturn's largest moon, Titan, among other discoveries announced Tuesday, April 7. A team of European scientists, using data collected by the Infrared Space Observatory (ISO), has detected traces of water vapor in the atmosphere of Titan. Emissions of infrared radiation were seen in ISO observations at wavelengths of 39 and 44 microns, a signature of water molecules. "Water vapor makes Titan much richer," said Athena Coustenis of Paris Observatory, co-leader of the team that conducted the observations last December. "Now that we believe we've found it, we can expect to better understand the organic chemistry taking place on Titan and also the sources of oxygen in the Saturnian system." The finding suggests that Titan has all the ingredients necessary for the formation of life, like the early Earth. Some scientists suggest Titan has been preserved in this early condition, before the formation of life, by its cold temperatures more than nine times farther from the Sun than the Earth. The discovery was among several released by European Space Agency officials on Tuesday. Other ISO observations announced include the formation of stars in the Orion Nebula, collisions of galaxies, and the discovery of distant galaxies seen through holes in dust clouds in our own galaxy. The announcements come near the end of ISO's mission. The spacecraft's instruments are cooled by liquid helium to temperatures near absolute zero, to make them more sensitive to faint infrared signals. ISO's supply of liquid helium ran out on April 8. ISO was launched on an Ariane 4 booster in November 1995. Expected to last through May of 1997, the mission was extended by careful use of the spacecraft, conserving its limited supply of liquid helium and propellant. ISO operations on the ground are expected to continue for about three years after the spacecraft mission ends, as data collected by the spacecraft is reprocessed and archived for use by the international astronomical community. ESA will now turn its attention to two future infrared spacecraft missions. The FIRST spacecraft will observe the sky at long infrared wavelengths, while the Planck mission will study the cosmic microwave background at a much higher resolution than NASA's Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE) mission did in the early 1990s. White Dwarf Discovery Sets New Limits on Supernovae The discovery a bright new white dwarf in a nearby star cluster, seen in a Hubble Space Telescope image, has planed new limits on how large stars can become without ending their lives in a massive supernova explosion. Rebecca Elson and Steinn Sigurdsson of Cambridge University found the white dwarf during an archival search of Hubble images of the star cluster NGC 1818, located in the nearby Large Magellanic Cloud, 164,000 light years away. The white dwarf they found was exceptional because it was still very hot and bright, indicating it had formed recently after the burnout of a massive giant star. By linking the white dwarf to existing massive stars in the cluster, they estimated the white dwarf had originally been a star about 7.6 times as massive as the Sun. The discovery sets new limits on how large a star can be before exploding in a supernova. Astrophysicists had believed stars with masses as low as 6 to 10 times that of the Sun would explode as a supernova, leaving hind only a small but massive neutron star, pulsar (a rotating neutron star), or black hole. White dwarves, on the other hand, are the end state for less massive stars, who blow off most of their mass in a series of red giant expansion phases, as the stars use up the nuclear fuel in their cores. *** CyberSpace *** The Astrobiology Web A few years ago, the concept of "astrobiology" -- the study and search for extraterrestrial life -- was almost laughable. Today, with evidence suggesting primitive life once existed on Mars, increasing evidence for conditions within Jupiter's moon Europa that could support life, and the discovery of planets around other stars, including some like our Sun, the field is gaining considerable respect. Explore the various facets of astrobiology at The Astrobiology Web ("Your Online Guide to the Living Universe"), a site devoted to the subject recently endorsed by the National Space Society. This site has a wealth of information on the subject and links to related resources elsewhere on the Web on this fascinating subject. http://www.astrobiology.com/ Hа сегодня все, пока! =SANA=
    Дата: 22 апреля 1998 (1998-04-22) От: Alexander Bondugin Тема: SpaceView Update - 15 April 1998 [6/7] Привет всем! Вот, свалилось из Internet... Russian Space Web The Russian Space Web features detailed information about the rockets and launch facilities used by the Soviet Union and Russia since shortly after World War II. At this site you can read in detail the development of Russian rocket, from the V-2-derivative R-1 rocket through the historic R-7 rocket and on to the N-1 moon rocket, Energia, and others. The Baikonur and Kapustin Yar launch sites are among the facilities discussed on this Web site. The site requires the use of the Shockwave Freehand plug-in (not the usual Shockwave plug-in, but still available for free from the Macromedia Web site) to display some detailed, interactive diagrams of rockets and maps of launch sites. A unique and useful Web resource on the Soviet and Russian rocket programs! http://www.concentric.net/~agzak/homepage.html Dragon in Space While there are countless Web sites dedicated to information about NASA, and a fair number of sites focused on Soviet and Russian space efforts, there's little online about the Chinese space program, even as they become a major player in commercial launches, and perhaps soon human spaceflight. "Dragon in Space" is a detailed unofficial Web site about Chinese space efforts, including Chinese space news, a gallery of rocket and satellite photos, and links to other Chinese space resources online. This site is a valuable tool for anyone looking for more information about Chinese space efforts. http://www.geocities.com/CapeCanaveral/Launchpad/1921/ Asteroid 1997 XF11 Asteroid 1997 XF11 was regarded by some as a "Doomsday Asteroid"... for about a day, until new data revised its closest approach distance from 50,000 km to nearly 1,000,000 km. However, if you check out this Web site, you'll find that the asteroid never had much chance of hitting Earth in the first place, due to the orientation and shape of its error ellipse. There's a good deal of other information about this asteroid, including ephemerides, tables of close approaches the asteroid will make to Earth in the coming decades, and more. http://ssd.jpl.nasa.gov/ca_97xf11.html *** Space Capsules *** SpaceViews Event Horizon April 16 Launch of the shuttle Columbia on STS-90, Neurolab mission, at 2:19pm EDT (1819 UT). April 17 Mir spacewalk April 17-19 Space Access '98 conference, Scottsdale, AZ April 22 Mir spacewalk April 23 Delta II launch of 4 Globalstar satellites from Cape Canaveral, Florida, at 6:54pm EDT (2254 UT) April 26-30 Space 98 conference, Albuquerque, NM April 26 Delta II launch of 5 Iridium satellites from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, at 7:14pm EDT (2314 UT) April 28 Ariane 4 launch of two satellites from Kourou, French Guiana May 21-25 1998 International Space Development Conference, Milwaukee, WI Hа сегодня все, пока! =SANA=
    Дата: 22 апреля 1998 (1998-04-22) От: Alexander Bondugin Тема: SpaceView Update - 15 April 1998 [7/7] Привет всем! Вот, свалилось из Internet... Other News What's in a Name? Lockheed Martin announced April 8 that two new versions of the Atlas 2 booster, the Atlas 2AR and Atlas 2ARC, would be getting new names. The 2AR will become the Atlas 3A and the 2ARC the Atlas 3B. Both rockets use the Russian-developed RL-180 engine for its lower stage; the Atlas 3A uses a single RL-10 engine in its Centaur upper stage while the 3B uses 2 RL-10s in a stretched version of the Centaur. The Atlas 3A will be ready for launches starting in 1999, and the 3B version in 2000. Different Directions in Launch Vehicles: Two companies are taking very different directions in commercial launch vehicle development, based on recent announcements. Beal Aerospace, a new Texas company founded by banker Andrew Beal, plans to spend $250 million to develop a series of inexpensive expendable booster that will be built in Texas and launched from an island in the Caribbean. Beal, who announced the project last month, said the plan to develop uncomplicated, inexpensive boosters made obvious sense to him. "I for the life of me can't understand why this hasn't been done before," he said. Meanwhile, an article in Aviation Week earlier this month pieced the veil of secrecy surrounding the efforts of Space Access LLC, a company developing a reusable launch vehicle. Space Access's design involves a two-stage design, utilizing an "ejector ramjet" in a first-stage aircraft that flies to Mach 6 before delivering a reusable second-stage spacecraft that flies into orbit and delivers its payload. Beal plans its first launch for early 2000 while Space Access is planning test flights in 2001. EarthWatch Retrenches: EarthWatch, the commercial remote sensing company whose initial satellite was lost a few days after launch last December, is canceling its follow-up mission to focus on a more advanced satellite, company official report. Work on Early Bird 2, a replacement for the Early Bird 1 satellite that failed, has been canceled in favor of pushing ahead on Quick Bird 1, an advanced satellite capable of providing one-meter resolution imaging. The company plans to use a $29 million insurance claim on Early Bird 1 to start development. Early Bird 1 failed when a faulty GPS unit drained the spacecraft's battery. EarthWatch will face stiff competition from Aerial Images, an American company which obtained high-resolution images from a Russian satellite that returned to Earth after completing its imaging mission April 3. The Russian-American joint venture, which includes Microsoft as a partner, will distribute the images via the Internet. Mir Crew Awards: Russian President Boris Yeltsin gave awards April 10 to the cosmonauts on the last two crews to the Mir space station. Vasily Tsibliev, who commanded Mir last year when it suffered from various problems, including the collision of a Progress supply craft with Spektr, received an Order for Services to the Fatherland, Third Class. His crewmate, Alexander Lazutkin, won the Hero of the Russian Federation gold star, Russia's highest military honor. Pavel Vinogradov, flight engineer on the next Mir crew, won the same award as Lazutkin, while Anatoly Solovyov, Vinogradov's commander, won an Order for Services to the Fatherland, Second Class. Yeltsin also awarded Orders of Friendship to NASA Mir astronauts Michael Foale and David Wolf. In Brief: The Global Positioning System (GPS) was inducted into the U.S. Space Foundation's Space Technology Hall of Fame April 9, during the organization's National Space Symposium in Colorado Springs. Started in 1978 to aid military navigation, civilian uses of GPS have grown dramatically in recent years... The American Geophysical Union and NASA are teaming up for a contest to name the first Earth Observation System satellite, now planned for launch late this year. The contest is open to students in grades 8 through 12 and runs through May 29; the winner gets a free trip to see the launch of the spacecraft. Full information is available on the AGU Web site, http://earth.agu.org/eos_am/. This has been the April 15, 1998, issue of SpaceViews Update. SpaceViews Update is also availble on the World Wide web from the SpaceViews home page: http://www.spaceviews.com/ or via anonymous FTP from ftp.seds.org: /pub/info/newsletters/spaceviews/update/980415.txt For editorial questions and article submissions for SpaceViews or Spaceviews Update, contact the editor, Jeff Foust, at jeff@spaceviews.com. For questions about the SpaceViews mailing list, please contact spaceviews-approval@ari.net. ____ | "SpaceViews" (tm) -by Boston Chapter // \ // | of the National Space Society (NSS) // (O) // | Dedicated to the establishment // \___// | of a spacefaring civilization. Hа сегодня все, пока! =SANA=

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