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    Архив RU.SPACE.NEWS за 23 октября 1998


    Дата: 23 октября 1998 (1998-10-23) От: Alexander Bondugin Тема: SpaceViews Update - 15 October 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 October 15 http://www.spaceviews.com/1998/1015/ *** Top Stories *** Goldin Defends Russian Space Station Bailout Plan Air Force Announces EELV Contacts SOHO Instruments Come Back Online *** Technology *** AXAF Launch Delayed Again Three Successful Launches Sea Launch License Reinstated, First Launch in March *** Policy *** Congress Approves Commercial Space Bill Congress Approves NASA Budget On 40th Anniversary, NASA Looks Ahead *** Science ** RTG Heat May Account for Anomalous Spacecraft Acceleration Scientists Study Stormy Worlds Hubble Glimpses Distant Galaxies *** CyberSpace *** Brian's Space Hotlist NASA Watch Understanding the Leonid Meteor Storms Space Jobs *** Space Capsules *** SpaceViews Event Horizon Other News *** Top Stories *** Goldin Defends Russian Space Station Bailout Plan Caught in a growing rift between Congress and the Clinton Administration, NASA administrator Dan Goldin defended a plan to financially support the Russian Space Agency and hinted that a lack of such support could doom the station. "If we cannot fund this properly because of the budget deal, then maybe we ought to cancel the space station," Goldin told members of the House Science Committee during a hearing Wednesday, October 7. "I would say this project will have to be terminated unless there is a commitment by the government that we have to give it the resources we need." Florida Today reported that Goldin admitted that the major problems faced by the International Space Station (ISS) had "pushed him to the brink of resignation," but he decided against it. Goldin was called upon by the committee to defend a plan that would funnel up to $660 million to the Russian Space Agency over the next four years, in an effort to support the construction of the ISS. That figure includes a $60 million payment to Russia reported two days earlier that gives NASA Russia's share of the research time and space on ISS during its assembly. That report came a few days after an October 2 announcement by NASA that the first launches of the space station would take place is planned in November in December, but that the launch of the Service Module would be delayed to at least mid-1999. NASA, the Russian Space Agency (RSA), and the other partners agreed to launch the first two station elements on schedule. The Russian-built, U.S.-funded Zarya control module is scheduled for launch November 20 on a Proton booster from Baikonur, Kazakhstan. It will be followed December 3 with the launch of the shuttle Endeavour on mission STS-88. Endeavour will carry the Unity docking node into orbit. Astronauts will attach Unity to Zarya in a series of spacewalks during the mission. "I understand why members of this committee have great concern about the critical nature of Russia's contributions," Goldin said in an opening statement. "We share those concerns. Our reliance on Russian capabilities has to be reduced, not by eliminating their involvement but by adding layers of protection." That view was not shared by other panelists, such as James Oberg, a space program writer and consultant. "Russia's inability to fulfill its promises is not due to any temporary conditions which will easily go away," he said, citing allegations of corruption and a general unwillingness by the Russian government to give money to the Russian Space Agency. Calling the upcoming first element launches the "biggest Hail Mary passes in history," Oberg said that "the wobbly assembly strategy is a clear warning that something is fundamentally wrong." Judyth Twigg, a political science professor at Virginia Commonwealth University and an expert on the Russian economy, also warned that a simple infusion of funds is not enough to fix the Russian problems. Noting a gradual collapse of Russia's industrial and operational capacity, she said that "money is a necessary, but not a sufficient, short-term fix." Without Russian participation in the station, however, the overall cost of the station may still increase, claimed Jay Chabrow, who chaired a study earlier this year on space station costs. "Since May, not a single ruble has flowed from the Russian government to RSA," he said. "Even knowing that, I will still tell you that without near-term Russian participation the cost to assemble the ISS would easily exceed the CAV Task Force's projection." Committee chairman James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) vented his frustration with the station's problems not only at Goldin, but at the Clinton Administration. He noted that two key Administration members, Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott and Jacob Lew, Director of the Office of Management and Budget, who were invited to speak at the hearing but refused to attend. "An appearance at today's hearing by the White House and State Department would have at least sent a signal that they cared about the program and wanted to work with us towards a solution," Sensenbrenner said. "We could not begin to consider supporting this initial $60 million reallocation without their constructive participation in the process." "The plain truth is that the White House is addicted to the Russians," Sensenbrenner claimed. "I'm beginning to think it doesn't care whether the Space Station gets built, so long as the Russians are happy." Sensenbrenner warned that if the Administration doesn't show any willingness to work with Congress, he and his colleagues may end up developing their own solution that "will put an end to this problem, one way or the other." "My colleagues and I may find a way to do that and keep Russia in the program. We might not," Sensenbrenner said. "I would prefer to work with the Administration, but we cannot keep waiting for leadership that may never come." Hа сегодня все, пока! =SANA=
    Дата: 23 октября 1998 (1998-10-23) От: Alexander Bondugin Тема: SpaceViews Update - 15 October 1998 [2/7] Привет всем! Вот, свалилось из Internet... Air Force Announces EELV Contacts The U.S. Air Force awarded over $3 billion in contracts Friday, October 16, to aerospace industry giants Boeing and Lockheed Martin as part of the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) program. The Air Force will give $1.15 billion to Lockheed Martin for nine launches on its Atlas-derived EELV booster and $1.38 billion to Boeing for 19 launches on its Delta IV series of boosters. Boeing will get an additional $500 million to supplement development of the Delta IV. Boeing's 19 launches will be spread out between 2002 and 2006. Lockheed Martin's launches will run from 2003 to 2005. The Air Force plans to use the EELV launches to replace its current use of Atlas, Delta, and Titan vehicles. The EELV program is an Air Force project to reduce the cost of space access for military payloads by at least 25 percent. The EELV boosters selected are derivitives of commercial boosters in service or in development. The selection of Boeing and Lockheed Martin for the EELV contracts is no surprise. Both were awarded development contracts in late 1996, and last year the Air Force said it planned a "dual-source procurement strategy" to reduce reliance on a single vehicle. Boeing's Delta IV is a family of vehicles based around a common core booster, powered by a Rocketdyne RS-68 engine, powered by liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen. Various combinations of the core booster and upper stages are used for different Delta IV vehicles. The Delta IV Medium uses a single core booster and a Delta III cryogenic upper stage. It can loft 4,140 kg (9,200 lbs.) into geosynchronous transfer orbit (GTO). The Delta IV Heavy uses three core boosters attached side-by-side with a modified Delta III upper stage and expanded payload fairing on the middle core booster. It can carry 13,050 kg (29,000 lbs.) into GTO. Lockheed Martin's EELV proposal, based on its Atlas III booster, also uses a core booster, based on the Russian-designed RD-180 engine. A Medium Launch Vehicle will use a single core booster and Centaur upper stage to place 5,260 kg (11,600 lbs.) in GTO, while a Heavy Lift Vehicle uses three core boosters and a Centaur to loft 6,580 kg (14,500 lbs.) into GTO. SOHO Instruments Come Back Online The Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) spacecraft is approaching a complete recovery from problems encountered earlier this year as a number of its instruments have been turned back on, NASA reported Wednesday, October 14. NASA and European Space Agency (ESA) officials showed off new images returned by two of SOHO's instruments, the Michaelson Doppler Interferometer (MDI) and Extreme Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope (EIT), to show that the spacecraft is approaching normal operations for the first time in nearly four months. "Scientists on both sides of the Atlantic have waited anxiously for the recover of SOHO," said Roger Bonnet, ESA director of science. Because of the "extraordinary effort" of NASA and ESA personnel and industry contractors, Bonnet said, "the world has recovered its chief watchdog on the Sun." Nine of SOHO's 12 instruments have been turned on, said ESA project scientist Bernhard Fleck. Four of the instruments, including MDI and EIT, are fully functional, while the other five are being carefully checked out. "So far no signs of damage due to thermal stress during the deep freeze have been detected," Fleck said. The remaining instruments will be tested during the next few weeks. "We hope that all SOHO scientific instruments can be returned to the same level of health, so we can resume scientific operations in the near future," said U.S. SOHO project scientist Joe Gurman. Controllers lost contact with SOHO June 24 when a combination of several problems on the ground, including poor decisions by ground controllers, sent the spacecraft into a spin. The spacecraft was out of contact with the Earth until early August, and its spin was corrected September 16 after its hydrazine fuel thawed. SOHO was launched in December 1995 and completed its primary mission to the study the Sun in April. NASA and ESA then decided to extend SOHO's mission through 2003, so the spacecraft can monitor the Sun as it passes through the peak of its 11-year activity cycle around the year 2000. *** Technology *** AXAF Launch Delayed Again NASA announced Tuesday, October 13, that the shipment of the Advanced X-ray Astrophysics Facility (AXAF) to Cape Canaveral in preparation for an upcoming shuttle launch had been delayed while a review of the project is performed. AXAF was to be shipped by its builder, aerospace company TRW, to Cape Canaveral this month. There the spacecraft was to be prepared for a launch on the space shuttle Columbia January 21, 1999. However, AXAF will remain at TRW's Redondo Beach, California, facility to continue tests and to replace an electrical switching box on the satellite. In addition, a review of AXAF, performed by NASA Chief Engineer Daniel Mulville, will be performed between now and mid-January. "We think it's prudent to wait to see what the review will tell us before we set shipment and launch dates, so we don't expect to ship AXAF before that," said Kenneth Ledbetter, director of the Mission and Payload Division of the Office of Space Science at NASA. That would likely delay the launch of AXAF until mid-1999. "It was a difficult decision, but we evaluated a number of options for handling the remaining work, and selected the one that will give us the most assurance of successfully completing the work," Ledbetter said. AXAF had earlier been planned for an August 1998 launch, but problems with the spacecraft pushed back the launch to December, then to January 1999 to avoid conflicts with the first shuttle mission dedicated to the assembly of the International Space Station. Once in space, AXAF will fly in an elliptical orbit far above the orbit of the Hubble Space Telescope and the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory, other spacecraft that, like AXAF and the under-development Space Infrared Telescope Facility (SIRTF), are part of NASA's "Great Observatories" project. AXAF will spend at least five years studying X=ray sources in the universe, including supernova remnants, black holes, neutron stars, and quasars. Hа сегодня все, пока! =SANA=
    Дата: 23 октября 1998 (1998-10-23) От: Alexander Bondugin Тема: SpaceViews Update - 15 October 1998 [3/7] Привет всем! Вот, свалилось из Internet... Three Successful Launches Ariane, Atlas, and Taurus boosters successfully launched an assortment of commercial and military satellites from launch sites in North and South America in early October. An Orbital Sciences Corporation (OSC) Taurus booster launched a National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) satellite from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, at 6:04 am EDT (1004 UT) Saturday, October 3. The Taurus carried the 700-kg (1,540-lb.) Space Technology Experiment (STEX) satellite for the NRO. STEX, built by Lockheed Martin, is designed to demonstrate 29 new technologies that may be applied to future spacecraft. The tests include a tether, an electrical propulsion system, and a low-shock device to gently separate the satellite from the booster. An Ariane 44L lifted off at 6:51 pm EDT (2251 UT) Monday, October 5, from Kourou, French Guiana, carrying the Eutelsat W2 and Sirius 3 communications satellites into orbit, the prelude for an Ariane 5 launch later in the month. The W2 satellite, built by the French company Alcatel, will be used by Eutelsat, the European Telecommunications Satellite Organization, to provide direct TV coverage for Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East. The Sirius 3 satellite, built by Hughes, will provide direct TV for Scandinavia. The launch is the last before the October 20 launch of an Ariane 5 booster, the third launch of the heavy-lift rocket. Ariane 503 will carry an atmospheric reentry demonstrator and a dummy satellite. An Atlas 2A lifted off at 6:50 pm EDT (2250 UT) Friday, October 9,from Pad 36B at Cape Canaveral, Florida, carrying the Eutelsat Hot Bird 5 satellite into orbit. There were a number of problems that delayed the launch, originally scheduled for 5:55 pm EDT (2155 UT). The launch time was pushed back 5 minutes to avoid the threat of a possible collision with an orbiting spacecraft, then further delayed by clouds and lightning in the area. The weather did clear and the launch was rescheduled for 6:30 pm EDT (2230 UT). The countdown proceeded but was stopped at the 1-minute 18-second mark when a sensor reported that the liquid oxygen tank on the Centaur upper stage was overfilled. That and other minor problems were corrected, clearing the way for a launch at 6:50 pm, with just 15 minutes left in the launch window. The Hot Bird 5 will be used by the European company Eutelsat to television, radio, and other services for Europe. It will replace the older Eutelsat 2F-1 satellite. Sea Launch License Reinstated, First Launch in March The U.S. State Department reinstated the export license for Boeing's Sea Launch program Wednesday, September 30, more than two months after it was suspended on allegations of the improper transfer of information to Russian and Ukrainian partners. Less than two weeks later, Boeing announced that the first Sea Launch mission would take place in March 1999, with the launch of a dummy payload. The license was reinstated after Boeing paid a $10 million fine. The company said that part of the fine was suspended so the money would be used internally to support export compliance measures. The State Department suspended Boeing's export license July 27 after the company admitted it had not followed proper procedures regarding the exchange of technical information with Russians and Ukrainians. The project's first launch was to be of a Hughes HS 702 communications satellite for PanAmSat, but Boing announced OCtober 12 that the first launch will be of a dummy payload that will resemble an HS 702. "We are proceeding with preparations to being Sea Launch online and this will be accomplished through the demonstration launch," Sea Launch president Allen B. Ashby said. "While Sea Launch has revised its payload for the first launch, the company is committed to meeting the requirements of its customers." Boeing is the lead partner on Sea Launch, a project to launch rockets from a floating platform in the Pacific Ocean. The project uses a Zenit 2 booster provided by KB Yuzhnoye/PO Yuzhmash of the Ukraine, an upper stage developed by RSC Energia of Russia, and a launch platform and command ship built by Norway's Kvaerner Maritime. Boeing serves as the project integrator and operates Sea Launch's home port in Long Beach, California. Project participants believe the system will be a way to economically launch large communications satellites. By launching in equatorial waters in the Pacific, the Zenit booster can get the maxmimum kick from the Earth's rotation, allowing it to loft larger payloads. *** Policy *** Congress Approves Commercial Space Bill The U.S. House of Representatives approved on Monday, October 5, a conference report on previously-approved legislation that should make it much easier for private companies to launch spacecraft and do space-related business, with the Senate following suit three dyas later. H. Res. 572 was approved by a voice vote in the House October 5. The resolution called for the approval of H.R. 1702, the Commercial Space Act, and minor Senate amendments to the bill. On Thursday. October 8, the Senate approved the legislation on unanimous consent, leaving only the President's signature standing between it and enactment. President Clinton is expected to sign the legislation. H.R. 1702 passed in the House last fall and was approved by the Senate in late July. The bill covers a number of aspects of commercial space efforts, from the licensing of reusable launch vehicles to the purchase by the government of commercial launch services and scientific data. The bill gives the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) the authority to license the reentry of reusable launch vehicles. The FAA currently has the authority to license launches, but not reentries. The ability to issue launch and reentry licenses was seen by many analysts as the key section of the bill. With new reusable launch vehicles being developed by private industry, such regulation is critical to permit them to be launched from the United States. In one case, Kistler Aerospace, developer of the K-1 reusable launch vehicle, has planned to launch from Australia instead of the United States, thanks to a regulatory environment more conducive to commercial space ventures. Other launch firms have also considered offshore launch sites. One aspect missing from the final version of the bill is legislation regarding licensing of remote sensing. This subject had become sensitive as some members of Congress feared loosening licenses on remote sensing satellites could endanger the security of the United States and its allies, particularly Israel. "The State Department kept pushing for even more authority than they have now," said Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), chair of the space subcommittee of the House Science Committee, "so rather than give them that authority and make life harder for our remote sensing industry, we decided simply to strike title II [remote sensing] from the bill, and say, we will come back and talk about that issue on another day." Hа сегодня все, пока! =SANA=
    Дата: 23 октября 1998 (1998-10-23) От: Alexander Bondugin Тема: SpaceViews Update - 15 October 1998 [4/7] Привет всем! Вот, свалилось из Internet... Congress Approves NASA Budget The U.S. Congress approved earlier this month NASA's 1999 budget, increasing its budget by $200 million from the Clinton Administration's first request and making a number of administrative changes, including a new name for a NASA field center. H.R. 4194, the appropriations bill for the Departments of Housing and Urban Development and Veterans Affairs, as well as independent agencies like NASA, was approved by the House October 5 and the Senate October 8, after a conference committee ironed out differences between the two versions of the bill. The bill has been sent on to President Clinton for his signature, but that has been delayed while efforts by the Democratic administration and the Republican-controlled Congress to iron out an overall budget accord are underway. H.R. 4194 includes $13.665 billion for NASA in 1999, $200 million more than first requested. The space agency received $13.638 billion in 1998 and $13.7 billion in 1997. Human space flight, which includes the space shuttle and International Space Station, will receive $5.48 billion in 1999, $200 million less than in 1998 and $30 million less than what the Clinton Administration requested. The space station will be fully funded in 1999 at $2.27 billion, while the space shuttle program gets $3.059 billion, slightly less than requested but about $100 million more than in 1998. Space, Aeronautics, and Technology, the section of NASA that does research and development and funds space science missions, will get $5.654 billion in 1999, nearly $200 million more than requested and $100 million more than in 1998. A number of specific projects got funding increases beyond what was oringally requested. The Mars Surveyor 2001 program got a $20 million boost, which may be enough to include a Sojourner-like rover on the lander component of that spacecraft. The Next Generation Space Telescope, space solar power research, and near-Earth asteroid tracking programs also got funding boosts. Technology projects also got funding boosts. Congress directed $20 million to be spent on NASA's contribution to the Military Space Plane program, while liquid flyback boosters and hybrid propulsion also got funding incerases. The spending bill also included a number of administrative measures. Notably, the bill calls on NASA to rename the Lewis Research Center in Cleveland to the "John Glenn Research Center at Lewis Field", after the retiring senator and former astronaut who will be flying on STS-95 at the end of October. H.R. 4194 also restricts NASA from spending funds from other projects on the space station, as members of Congress signal their disapproval with how the project is being managed. The bill also calls on Congress to separate space station funding from other programs anmd present it in a separate account starting in fiscal year 2000. However, the final version of the bill removed a provision inserted into the House version that would have prevented NASA from spending money researching the Triana spacecraft, a controversial Earth-observing mission conceived and promoted by Vice President Al Gore. On 40th Anniversary, NASA Looks Ahead On the 40th anniversary of the creation of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the administrator of the space agency and outside experts predicted -- to varying degrees -- a future where NASA and private industry worked together far more closely. During Congressional hearings Thursday, October 1, 40 years to the day after NASA was founded by an act of Congress, NASA Administrator Dan Goldin and other witnesses looked ahead to what NASA can and should do in the next 40 years. Those testifying noted that NASA, an agency born of Cold War rivalries and tensions, must reinvent itself as a research and development organization and a catalyst for commercial space development. In his testimony, Goldin described a future scenario where NASA efforts have revolutionized high-speed air travel, established human outposts in space near Mars, and launched robotic problems into interstellar space. NASA would be able to achieve this vision, Goldin said, by transferring as much operational work as possible to the private sector, allowing NASA to focus its efforts and resources on more risky, but higher-payoff, projects and research. "It is my hope that within ten years, NASA will have transferred all low Earth orbit operations and infrastructure to the private sector," Goldin said. "We will then be able to focus our human and financial resources on pushing the frontiers of science and advancing technology." NASA also needs the "sustained, bi-partisan advocacy that has characterized Congressional support for NASA for the past four decades," Goldin added. "To earn this support, we intend to continue to do what we say were going to do and honor our commitments to the Administration and Congress." Pete Conrad, a former astronaut and current chairman and CEO of Universal Space Lines, outlined four roles for NASA and the federal government in the future of space. Conrad believed that governement should encourage and support science, foster long-term high-risk technology development, defend the nation's interests in space, and encourage the growth of commercial space efforts. For the final goal, Conrad said government should purchase both launch services and science data from private companies and do technology development in the form of X-vehicles. Congress also needs to pass incentives to support the commercial space industry. "NASA should be the leading advocate of change and the transition to a primarily commercial space industry," Conrad said. "Nonetheless, the real change is up to Congress." "We have only scratched the surface on the possibilities for space commerce," Pat Dasch, executive director of the National Space Society, noted in written testimony. "NASA needs be more aggressive in laying the groundwork for commercial space enterprises." Not everyone agrees on the degree of action needed to develop commercial space. Rick Tumlinson, president of the Space Frontier Foundation, told Congress that far more radical change is needed since, despite all the success of NASA to date, "you and I and our children [have] little more chance of being able to go into space and participate in creating this dream than we had at its beginning." Tumlinson agreed with Goldin that NASA needs to get out of near-Earth operations. However, Tumlinson offered far more radical suggestions, including turning the shuttle over to private operators and commercializing the International Space Station "as soon as possible." Whatever course NASA chooses to pursue, it will require a well-defined guiding vision, wrote Keith Cowing, editor of NASA Watch, in written testimony. "I am not certain just what America's guiding vision for the exploration of space should be," Cowing said. "All I know is that we are in desperate need of one." Hа сегодня все, пока! =SANA=
    Дата: 23 октября 1998 (1998-10-23) От: Alexander Bondugin Тема: SpaceViews Update - 15 October 1998 [5/7] Привет всем! Вот, свалилось из Internet... *** Science *** RTG Heat May Account for Anomalous Spacecraft Acceleration An unusual acceleration towards the Sun observed in the trajectories of several spacecraft may be explained not by exotic new physics but by the radiation of waste heat from the spacecraft's power systems, according to one physicist. In a paper submitted to the journal Physical Review Letters, Jonathan Katz, a physics professor at Washington University in St. Louis, explained how the emission of thermal radiation from the radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RTGs) on Pioneers 10 and 11 and the Ulysses spacecraft could explain why the spacecraft appeared to be slowing down. RTGs work by converting the heat from the decay of radioactive materials into electricity. This process is not 100 percent efficient, so much of the heat from the decay is radiated into space at infrared wavelengths. This energy is radiated into space evenly in all directions, so it imparts no net force on the spacecraft. However, some of the infrared radiation is reflected off the back of the high-gain antenna of each spacecraft, imparting a small net force in the opposite direction. Since the spacecraft are usually oriented such that the antenna is pointed towards the Earth (and essentially towards the Sun when the spacecraft are at great distances from the Earth), the force is oriented towards the Sun, creating a small acceleration of the spacecraft towards the Sun. According to Katz the engineering data on the spacecraft would create a force in qualitative agreement with that needed to explain the acceleration of the spacecraft, but detailed modeling of the spacecraft is needed to verify it. If correct, Katz's explanation would solve a problem first raised last month by a team of scientists from JPL and Los Alamos, who found that the Pioneer 10 and 11 and Ulysses spacecraft all appeared to be slowing down, for no known reason. The acceleration on the spacecraft was minuscule -- about 10 billionths of the acceleration created by the Earth's gravity -- but its existence opened the possibility that some new physical effect was at work. Katz, who read about the anomalous accelerations in a preprint of a paper submitted to Physical Review Letters, said he became intrigued by the "provocative" implications of the work and decided to investigate further. "It was obvious they had not appreciated that the waste heat was many times the electrical power, and that a small asymmetry in its radiation could explain their effect," Katz said. Katz's normal line of research focuses on gamma-ray bursts and soft-gamma repeaters, but he said he likes to venture into different fields, from seismology to hydrodynamics, to explore interesting problems. "I am interested in unsolved problems in science," he said. "They are a lot more fun than problems which are mostly understood!" Scientists Study Stormy Worlds The weather on a number of worlds in the solar system is decidedly stormy, from Jupiter's giant storms to cloud systems on smaller moons, scientists reported this week. Planetary scientists gathering at the annual meeting of the Division for Planetary Sciences of the American Astronomical Society in Madison, Wisconsin, reported on a number of storms and weather systems in the planets and moons of the outer solar system, from the merger of two storms on Jupiter to cloud formations on Saturn's moon Titan. Astronomers witnessed a rare event earlier this year when two long-lived storms unexpectedly merged into a larger one. Two of the three "white ovals" observed in a band of Jupiter's southern hemisphere for over fifty years merged into a single storm as large as the Earth itself. "The newly-merged white oval is the strongest storm in our solar system, with the exception of Jupiter's 200-year-old 'Great Red Spot' storm," said Glenn Orton, a planetary scientist at JPL. "This may be the first time humans have ever observed such a large interaction between two storm systems." The two ovals, dubbed "BC" and "DE", likely merged early this year, although the exact date is uncertain since the planet is not monitored continuously. Amy Simon, a planetary scientist at New Mexico State University, explained that the sudden stop of the BC storm put into motion a series of events that led to the merger. With BC stopped, other smaller storms in that band stopped behind it. Another large white oval, "FA", merged with the smaller storms, while BC and DE eventually moved together. The merged storm, named "BE", appears to be undergoing a transition, Orton said, as the storm appears to be slightly colder than its surroundings and is opaque at some wavelengths of infrared light. "The oval may have generated a thick cloud system which obscured the downwelling" of material normally seen in such storms, Orton said. Other scientists have noticed that Jupiter's low-pressure regions, associated with some storms, are also associated with clusters of lightning seen by the Galileo spacecraft. The storms spawn bright clouds that appear similar to large thunderstorms on Earth, explained Andrew Ingersoll, a planetary science professor at Caltech. "We even caught one of these bright clouds on the day side and saw it flashing away on the night side less than two hours later," he said. The process that generates the lightning on Jupiter is not well-understood, though. "Models of terrestrial lightning suggest that to build up electrical charge, both liquid water and ice have to be present," Ingersoll said. "Rain requires a relatively wet Jupiter, and that's a controversial subject." The Galileo probe dropped into Jupiter's atmosphere in December 1995 detected far less water than expected. Ingersoll and other scientists believe that the probe may have hit a dry spot in the planet's atmosphere. Jupiter is not the only outer solar system planet with a dynamic atmosphere. University of Wisconsin scientists, using images from the Hubble Space Telescope and the ground-based NASA Infrared Telescope Facility, have found more clouds in Neptune's atmosphere than seen in other observations in the recent past. Cloud patterns have been seen on Neptune since the Voyager 2 encounter in 1989, but the clud patters have been remarkably dynamic, chaning from year to year. "The character of Neptune is different from what it was at the time of Voyager," said Wisconsin's Larry Sromovsky. "The planet seems stable, yet different." The cloud patters on Neptune are unusual since energy from the Sun drives the weather on planets like the Earth. Neptune, being 30 times farther from the Sun that the Earth, receives 1/900th the solar energy as the Earth. The energy that powers Neptune's cloud patters likely comes from internal heat, although the exact process is not fully understood. "It's an efficient weather machine compared to Earth," Sromovsky said. "It seems to run on almost no energy." Similar clouds have also been seen in infrared images of Uranus taken by the Hubble Space Telescope. Erich Karkoschka of the University of Arizona took the images, which he and colleagues are analyszing to understand the wind patterns and clear spots in the atmosphere. The giant planets are not the only bodies in the outer solar system with dynamic weather. A team of astronomers led by Caitlin Griffith of Northern Arizona University reported at the conference on obsrevations of Titan, Saturn's largest moon, which has an atmosphere denser than the Earth's. Griffith and colleagues, who observed Saturn for over 10 nights at a telescope atop Mauna Kea, Hawaii, found unusual readings on two of the nights. They explained those observations by clouds that covered about 10 percent of the planet from an altitude of 15 kilometers (9 miles) above the surface. By comparison, about 30-70 percent of the Earth is cloud-covered at any time. These clouds are different from the global haze that obscures the surface. What the clouds are made of and how they are created and destroyed has yet to be understood. Hа сегодня все, пока! =SANA=
    Дата: 23 октября 1998 (1998-10-23) От: Alexander Bondugin Тема: SpaceViews Update - 15 October 1998 [6/7] Привет всем! Вот, свалилось из Internet... Hubble Glimpses Distant Galaxies Astronomers using an infrared camera on the Hubble Space Telescope have discovered new galaxies thought to be the among the most distant objects yet known. A team of astronomers combined a set of long-exposure images taken with Hubble's Near Infrared Camera and Multi-Object Spectrograph (NICMOS) instrument and compared them to visible-light images of the same region taken by Hubble. The astronomers believe that these new objects are more distant than those seen in the visible images, as the redshift caused by the expansion of the universe makes more distant objects invisible in normal light but visible at longer infrared wavelengths. A number of the objects discovered had colors consistent with galaxies too distant to be observable in the visible-light images. The most distant objects are thought to be up to 12 billion light years away, making them some of the most distant objects observed. The exact distance depends on the cosmological model used to describe the nature of the universe. "NICMOS has parted the dark curtain that previously blocked our view of very distant objects and revealed a whole new cast of characters," said Rodger I. Thompson of the University of Arizona. "We now have to study them to find out who, what and where they are." Such studies will have to wait until a new generation of powerful, advanced telescopes, are built, because the objects are so dim as to make detailed studies of them impractical even with Hubble. "This is just our first tentative glimpse into the very remote universe," says Alan Dressler of the Carnegie Observatories. "What we see may be the first stages of galaxy formation. But the objects are so faint that their true nature can only be explored with the advanced telescopes of the future." Such telescopes would include the Next Generation Space Telescope (NGST), a successor to the Hubble Space Telescope. Proposed for launch in 2007, the NGST would feature a mirror 4-8 meters (13.1-26.2 feet) in diameter and optimized for observations at infrared wavelengths. Studies of distant galaxies is one of the key missions of the telescope. *** CyberSpace *** Brian's Space Hotlist Brian's Space Hotlist is a collection of hundreds of links to quality space information. The site is intelligently organized into a number of topics, and annotations make it clear what each site listed is about. This is certainly one of the better lists of space links on the Web. http://www.ssl.umd.edu/space/ NASA Watch NASA Watch is the leading source on the Web for unofficial news about NASA. From the latest in rumors about the International Space Station to "Worm Watch" -- a search for NASA's old "worm" logo on agency Web sites and elsewhere -- NASA Watch keeps people both within and outside the space agency up to date on the latest "real" news about NASA affairs. The recognition for the NASA Watch site here is long overdue. http://www.reston.com/nasa/watch.html Understanding the Leonid Meteor Storms In November the Leonid meteor shower will put on another light show in the night skies, and the intensity of the 1998 and/or 1999 storms will be the highest since the dramatic 1966 Leonid shower. While it will make a nice display from here on the ground, the possibility of a serious storm is a concern for satellites in orbit, who could be "sandblasted" or even fatally damaged by the shower. This site, created by The Aerospace Corporation, explores the dangers of the Leonids and what can be done to protect satellites. http://www.aero.org/leonid/index.html Space Jobs If you like space a lot, why not try and find a space-related job? The Space Jobs Web site is an excellent way to do this, with its listing of positions in aerospace engineering, science, computer programming, and other fields at a wide range of companies. You can also subscribe to get the latest job postings e-mailed to you as soon as they're added. This is a great resource if you're looking to move into, or change jobs within, the space field. http://www.spacejobs.com/ *** Space Capsules *** SpaceViews Event Horizon October 19 Atlas 2A launch of the Navy UFO-F9 comsat from Cape Canaveral, Florida October 21 Ariane 5 launch od the MaqSat-3 dummy satellite and Atmospheric Reentry Demonstrator from Kourou, French Guiana October 22 Pegasus XL launch of SCD-1 Brazilian environmental satellite and NASA Wing Glove experiment off the coast from Cape Canaveral, Florida October 25 Delta 2 launch of Deep Space 1 and SEDSAT-1 from Cape Canaveral, Florida October 28 Soyuz launch of the Progress M-40 cargo spacraft from Baikonur, Kazakhstan October 29 Launch of space shuttle Discovery on mission STS-95 from Kennedy Space Center, Florida October 30 Long March launch of the Feng Yun 1C satellite from Taiyuan, China October 31 Delta 2 launch of five Iridium spacecraft from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California December 2-3 NSS's "Property Rights and Commercial Space Development" meeting, Washington, DC Hа сегодня все, пока! =SANA=
    Дата: 23 октября 1998 (1998-10-23) От: Alexander Bondugin Тема: SpaceViews Update - 15 October 1998 [7/7] Привет всем! Вот, свалилось из Internet... Other News University Astrobiology Program: The University of Washington will become the first university to create a graduate program in astrobiology, bringing together students and professors from a wide range of disciplines, the university announced this month. The program, scheduled to begin in the fall of 1999, will provide a broad interdisciplinary look at the various fields involved in the study of possible life on Mars, Europa, and other worlds. Graduate students participating in the program will earn degrees in one of 11 fields, from aeronautics to history. Students will earn an endorsement noting an emphasis in astrobiology along with their traditional degree. "Astrobiology students will have to learn rigorously as well as more broadly than most other science graduate students," said Conway Leovy, an atmospheric sciences professor at the university and part of the astrobiology program. Sensenbrenner Introduces Space Station Act: House Science Committee chairman James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) introduced legislation last week designed to remove Russia from the "critical path" of space station development. H.R. 4820, the "Save the International Space Station Act", would cap space station costs and prevent NASA from sending additional payments to Russia without Congressional approval, as well as require NASA to develop a contingency plan if Russia cannot meet its space station obligations. The bill is unlikely to receive serious consideration before Congress adjourns, but may serve as the basis for similar legislation when the new Congress convenes in 1999. Lunar Giveaway Planned: New York-based Applied Space Resources (ASR), the company planning the first commercial lunar sample return mission announced this month that it will give nearly half of its planned return payload to scientists at no charge, pending the results of a "Lunar Challenge". If 500,000 "Lunar Time Capsules" -- up to three pages of text and graphics etched onto nickel disks flown on the lunar spacecraft -- are purchased, the company will give away 5 kg (11 lbs.) of lunar samples to science for free. The company also said it will give way 1 kg (2.2 lbs.) worth of experiment space on the spacecraft to a worthwhile experiment that has not been able to fly to the Moon yet. The remaining 9 kg (19.8 lbs.) of experiment space will be sold for $5 million per kilogram. The company's Lunar Retriever mission, planned for launch in August 2001, will land in the Mare Nectaris region of the Moon and return 13 kg (28.6 lbs.) of samples from the Moon at a total cost of $50 million. Ask John Glenn: The National Space Society is providing members of the general public with an opportunity to ask questions of once-and-future astronaut John Glenn. Visitors to the NSS's "Ask an Astronaut" Web site (http://www.nss.org/askastro) can submit their questions to Glenn to be answered at a future date, and read questions he answered at a previous appearance two years earlier. Also planned for the launch is a live Webcast and online chats. This has been the October 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/981015.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@spaceviews.com. ____ | "SpaceViews" (tm) -by Boston Chapter // \ // | of the National Space Society (NSS) // (O) // | Dedicated to the establishment // \___// | of a spacefaring civilization. - To NOT receive future newsletters, send this message to our NEW address: - To: majordomo@SpaceViews.com - Subject: anything - unsubscribe SpaceViews - E-Mail List services provided by Northern Winds: www.nw.net - SpaceViews (tm) is published for the National Space Society (NSS), - copyright (C) Boston Chapter of National Space Society - www.spaceviews.com www.nss.org (jeff@spaceviews.com) Hа сегодня все, пока! =SANA=

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