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The Space Gazette

Space for Everyone      -       September 16, 2001     -         Vol. 1 No. 6

Eyes in the Sky * Remote Sensing Industry

Man-made Catastrophe
Seen from Space

Astronauts often speak of how the earth, as seen from space, displays none of the border lines, ethnic boundaries or ideological outlines that so delineate and dominate the human point of view.

But on Tuesday, September 11 the Expedition 3 crew could see in plain sight a man-made mark of enormous hatred and destruction.

The space residents and several remote sensing satellites sent photos of the smoke plum from the ruins of the World Trade Tower:

Unfortunately, it will be a long time before all the patterns of dum prejudice, self-righteousness and violence will disappear from the face of the earth.

Astronomy

Amateur Telescope Going
to the International Space Station

In a few years, the Hubble will be joined in space by a much smaller but very enthusiastic orbiting observer. This junior space telescope will not receive its commands from NASA or university scientists but from amateur astronomers and students.

The ISSAT - The International Space Station Amateur Telescope project is sponsored by the Astronomical League, and other amateur astronomy organizations.

It seeks to install on the International Space Station a small (~15") telescope that would be controlled by amateur astronomers from the ground. The scope would be placed on an external pallet in 2006.

The project has received strong encouragement from NASA and Boeing, which see it as a great educational project for the station. Boeing will build the scope and NASA will pay for it.

The scope would not challenge Hubble's capabilities, but with 0.2 arcsecond resolution the scope would produce images of sharpness comparable to those from the largest ground-based observatories.

Compare Jupiter images (at Sky & Telescope) between the Hubble and the proposed amateur space telescope.

Access to the scope will go through a central ground based control group run by amateur astronomers. Up to half the observing time would be reserved for school kids worldwide.

Planets, bright galaxies, and temporal phenomena of high interests, such as comets and supernova, will be high priority targets.

In his article "Perfect Optics in Orbit (190kb pdf)", Richard Berry gives an overview of the project and what it can accomplish. He states that the goals include:

Making a long-term image record of the planets - this unique continuous record over a decade of the atmospheres of Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn would be valuable to both amateurs and professional space scientists.

Excellent Deep-sky Resolution - "Factor of 10 gain in resolution for deep-sky objects would give amateur astronomers the opportunity to assemble the most complete survey of galaxies ever made at 0.2 to 0.3 seconds-of-arc resolution."

Creation of a Large Image Archive - " Operation of the ISS-AT will create a growing inventory of high-quality space images at a uniform scale, depth, and resolution."

Student Operation - over the Internet students at all levels would be invited to submit proposals for observation studies and to remotely control the telescope. Analysis of the images would also be an essential part of the learning experience.

General education and public outreach would also be important aspects of the project.

For more details, see the FAQ and the ISSAT site and the article:

Tourism * New Space Industries

Commercial Space Station - MirCorp & Russian Space Agency
Commercial space station proposed
by MirCorp & the Russian Space Agency.
Press Release Sept.4.01

MirCorp Proposes Commercial Space Station

MirCorp recently announced the formal start of a design project for a commercial space station. It would be carried out in collaboration with the Russian Space Agency and RSC Energia.

The $100 million dollar Mini Station 1 could " accommodate up to three visitors for 20-day stays.."

MirCorp hopes to use the station as a space tourism destination. It's also worked with the several TV programs, such as NBC TV's Destination Space project, that will send contestant winners to space.

The company also hopes to develop several commercial activities that range from TV broadcasts from space to micro-gravity product manufacture.

Previous space news:

Articles Index

 

See also  
Space Headlines
RLV News
News Links

Art * Activism * Contests

Space Art Finalists Announced by Planetary Society

Three finalists in the Planetary Society's recent Space Art contest have been announced.

The Planetary Society Announces International Space Art Contest Winners: Public Must Now Award the Grand Prize - Planetary Society - Sept.4.01

Contestants attempted to "... artistically depict by hand what you think the surface of Mars will look like near the site of an upcoming robotic exploration mission…and what that same site might look like one hundred years from now. "

See their [--Link Dead--]artwork. and put in your [--Link Dead--]vote on which finalist should be the top winner

Satellite Watching

Satellite Observing Club Opens

The Astronomical League, also supports the Earth Orbiting Satellite Observers Club (EOSOC).

Find tutorial information, software and other resources on their web site.

 
 
 
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