PLEASE NOTE:


*

CCNet 23/2002 - 14 February 2002
-------------------------------


"Our most serious obstacle was the Clinton Administration -- who
felt quite clearly that NEO work was some sort of subterfuge for
space-based missile defense. This attitude resulted in Mr. Clinton's
1997 line-item veto of the (republican) Congress' appropriation of
resources for a Clementine II spacecraft -- which was devoted to addressing
the NEO impact threat."
--S. Pete Worden, 14 February 2002


"But what good is all this observing if there are no plans for
averting disaster? Claudio Maccone at the Centre for Astrodynamics in
Turin claims to have worked out the best way to deflect an asteroid.
In the past, studies have assumed missiles will be launched from
Earth, but Maccone says space-based missiles would be far more effective.
"You are in the worst possible situation to deflect a body when it's
pointing at you," he says." So he recommends putting space-based
missile launchers at "Lagrangian points". These are locations in space
where the gravity of the Earth and Moon balances out in such a way that
a satellite maintains its position relative to each body with minimal
correction from its thrusters."
--Eugenie Samuel, New Scientist, 16 February 2002


(1) INCOMING! TO DEFLECT AN ASTEROID, CHOOSE YOUR SHOT CAREFULLY
    New Scientist, 16 February 2002

(2) ASTRONOMER SAYS SPACE ROCKETS MAY BE EARTH'S BEST DEFENSE
    Ananova, 14 February 2002

(3) PLANETARY DEFENSE FROM THE NEAREST 4 LAGRANGIAN POINTS
    Acta Astronautica, Volume 50, Issue 3, February 2002, Pages 185-199

(4) RE: US POLICIES FOR DEALING WITH THE IMPACT HAZARD
    S. Pete Worden  <spw21oct@earthlink.net>

(5) RE: UK ASTRONOMY FUNDING SQUEEZE
    Michael Bode <mfb@astro.livjm.ac.uk>

(6) ASTEROID SCALE
    Loren Ball <elo843@charter.net>

(7) EXTENDING WARNING TIMES
    Jens Kieffer-Olsen <dstdba@post4.tele.dk>

(8) BRAVO
    Andy Smith <astrosafe@yahoo.com>

(9) AND FINALLY: BRITISH PLANETARY SCIENTIST WINS £350,000 PRIZE
    Ananova, 14 February 2002


=====================
(1) INCOMING! TO DEFLECT AN ASTEROID, CHOOSE YOUR SHOT CAREFULLY

>From New Scientist, 16 February 2002

STRANGE as it may seem, averting Armageddon isn't the top priority for most
asteroid hunters. They'd be happy just to know where the rock that could
wipe out life on Earth will come from. But an astronomer in Italy thinks he
can save the world - with space-based missiles.

By the end of the decade, astronomers will have located over 90 per cent
(sic) of the near-Earth asteroids capable of causing a global catastrophe.
Last week, NASA's Spaceguard Survey reported that over 100 rocks more than a
kilometre across were discovered in 2001, bringing the total known to 587 of
the estimated 1743 (sic) whoppers out there.

But what good is all this observing if there are no plans for averting
disaster? Claudio Maccone at the Centre for Astrodynamics in Turin claims to
have worked out the best way to deflect an asteroid. In the past, studies
have assumed missiles will be launched from Earth, but Maccone says
space-based missiles would be far more effective. "You are in the worst
possible situation to deflect a body when it's pointing at you," he says.

An incoming asteroid would approach the Earth on a curved, hyperbolic path.
Simple mathematics shows that for every such hyperbola, there's an
elliptical orbit around the Earth which intersects it at 90 degrees - the
ideal angle for a missile strike because even a small impact should deflect
the asteroid from its collision course (see Graphic).

To get a missile into the right elliptical orbit would require several long
burns from Earth, but just one tiny push from certain orbits in space, says
Maccone. So he recommends putting space-based missile launchers at
"Lagrangian points". These are locations in space where the gravity of the
Earth and Moon balances out in such a way that a satellite maintains its
position relative to each body with minimal correction from its thrusters.

It will be hard to convince governments to prepare planetary defences that
might never (sic) be needed, but Maccone feels it's not too soon to start
discussing what form they might take. Although we're likely to become aware
of an impending collision with one of the rare, large asteroids many decades
in advance, numerous asteroids smaller than one kilometre across could still
cause a local disaster, and those are thought to hit Earth once every couple
of centuries.

That makes surveillance all the more of a priority, says Brian Marsden of
the Minor Planet Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts, especially in the
southern hemisphere where none is currently undertaken. "The important thing
in any military operation is to know your enemy."

Eugenie Samuel
More at: Acta Astronautica, vol 50, p 1851

Copyright 2002, New Scientist

============
(2) ASTRONOMER SAYS SPACE ROCKETS MAY BE EARTH'S BEST DEFENSE

>From Ananova, 14 February 2002
http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_520279.html

An astronomer in Italy wants to save the planet with space-based missiles.

He thinks he has worked out the best way to deflect an incoming asteroid.

He says missiles in orbit will be more effective than land-based launches
because they could hit the rock side-on and deflect it.

Claudio Maccone, at the Centre for Astrodynamics in Turin, says Earth-based
defences would be haphazard.

Mathematicians agree there are specific orbits from which a missile launch
would be guaranteed to hit at 90 degrees.

Mr Maccone told New Scientist that even a small impact from this angle
should deflect an asteroid from its collision course.

This is why he prefers the space-launched rocket to the land-launched
rocket. He said: "You are in the worst possible situation to deflect a body
when it's pointing at you."

He recommends putting space-based missile launchers at points where the
gravity of the Earth and Moon balance each other out because from here very
little fuel would be required to fire the rockets on their course.

Copyright 2002, Ananova

==============
(3) PLANETARY DEFENSE FROM THE NEAREST 4 LAGRANGIAN POINTS

Acta Astronautica, Volume 50, Issue 3, February 2002, Pages 185-199
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6V1N-451DFVJ-2&_us
er=777686&_coverDate=02%2F28%2F2002&_rdoc=7&_fmt=full&_orig=browse&_srch=%23
toc%235679%232002%23999499996%23283378!&_cdi=5679&_sort=d&_acct=C000043031&_
version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=777686&md5=450686ef01162ec5ea57c5c04dc88cb0

Planetary defense from the nearest 4 lagrangian points plus rfi-free
radioastronomy from the farside of the moon: a unified vision

Claudio Maccone, clmaccon@libero.it
Via Martorelli 43, I-10155 Torino (TO), Italy

Received 15 January 2001. Available online 29 January 2002.

Abstract
A unified system of five space bases is proposed to achieve both the
Planetary Defense of the Earth against dangerous asteroids and the RFI-free
Radioastronomy from the farside of the Moon.
We show that the layout of the Earth¯Moon system with the five relevant
Lagrangian points in space leads naturally to only one, unmistakable
location of space bases within the sphere of influence of the Earth.

Article Outline
1. Introduction to both planetary defense and rfi-free radioastronomy
2. A short review about the five lagrangian points
3. Confocal trajectories for the best deflection of dangerous asteroids
4. Political problems for planetary defense from the lagrangian points
5. Jean heidmann's crater saha proposal (1994) for rfi-free searches
6. Selecting crater daedalus at 180°E for all rfi-free searches
7. This author's vision of planetary defence and rfi-free searches
8. Proposing "radiomoon": a new space mission to set up and operate the
space base in crater daedalus robotically
9. Conclusion
References

Copyright © 2002 Published by Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.

============================
* LETTERS TO THE MODERATOR *
============================

(4) RE: US POLICIES FOR DEALING WITH THE IMPACT HAZARD

>From S. Pete Worden  <spw21oct@earthlink.net>

Benny,

Ed Grondine's review of the NASA budget and focus on the small object threat
is admirable.  However, his fine work is flawed by his emotional reaction to
all things "Republican" and slavish devotion to all things "Democratic." Al
Gore's contribution to the NEO hazard and making it
public is about as significant as his contribution to inventing the
Internet. I have been involved in over a decade in working to de-classify
military satellite data relevant to the NEO threat. This effort began to
bear fruit in the early 1990s -- even before Mr. Gore burst upon the
national scene. The ultimate declassification has been due to a small number
of very dedicated individuals inside the national security community. Our
most serious obstacle was the Clinton Administration -- who felt quite
clearly that NEO work was some sort of subterfuge for space-based missile
defense. This attitude resulted in Mr. Clinton's 1997 line-item veto of the
(republican) Congress' appropriation of resources for a Clementine II
spacecraft -- which was devoted to addressing the NEO impact threat.

Respectfully
S. Pete Worden

================
(5) RE: UK ASTRONOMY FUNDING SQUEEZE

>From Michael Bode <mfb@astro.livjm.ac.uk>

Dear Benny,

Unfortunately, the recent BBC Online article (CCNet 13 Feb) contained quotes
attributed to me that were incorrect. I was particularly concerned to nail
the "myth" that the growth in the UK astronomy community is due to small
groups springing up. The recent survey conducted by the Standing Conference
of Astronomy Professors (which I led) clearly shows the growth is dominated
(as one would logically expect) by the large, long-established groups.
Furthermore, it is well known that I recognise that the "newer" groups
(including my own!) contain researchers of the highest international calibre
researching and teaching at the highest levels. An amended version
has now been posted on the BBC online website, and I thank David Whitehouse
for doing so. Overall, I was also concerned that the article could give the
impression that the growth in the community did anything other than reflect
the increasing significance of astronomy to the UK's
physics departments. This is a subject area in which we excel
internationally, but, as impled in the article, lack of funds are
threatening this position.

Mike

------------------------------------------------------------------------
Professor Michael F. Bode             | email: mfb@astro.livjm.ac.uk
Head, Astrophysics Research Institute | Tel:   +44 (0)151-231 2920 (direct)
Liverpool John Moores University      |
2919(secretary)
Twelve Quays House                    | FAX:   +44 (0)151-231 2921
Egerton Wharf                         | WWW:   www.livjm.ac.uk/astro/
Birkenhead L41 1LD                    |
United Kingdom                        |

===============
(6) ASTEROID SCALE

>From Loren Ball <elo843@charter.net>

Hello Benny,

I take great pleasure in speaking to local schools about astronomy in
general and asteroids in particular. A scale model I have used is as follows:

At 1 mile = 1 mm, an 8,000 mile dia Earth is 8,000 mm or 26.25 ft.
At 1 mile = 1 mm, a 1 mile asteroid is 1 mm or about a # 9 birdshot.

It is a little hard to believe that such a small asteroid can in fact create
not just local, but global destruction. I would be hard pressed to prove
mathematically the dire results, but others have convinced me that this is
so. Now I have only to convince these same students that a fraction of a
second after the Big Bang, the entire universe was smaller than the same
# 9 bird shot. Typically, a 5th grader will want to know what it
weighed in pounds and ounces. :>)

Thank you,

Loren C Ball
Emerald Lane Observatory 843
Decatur, Alabama
elo843@charter.net

============
(7) EXTENDING WARNING TIMES

>From Jens Kieffer-Olsen <dstdba@post4.tele.dk>

Dear Benny Peiser,

>From the Duncan Steel and Mark Bailey report on the December 2001 Meeting:

> "By identifying the next potential NEO impact we can
> ameliorate its effects or maybe obviate it altogether.
> But lots of warning time is needed and that is where
> astronomy comes in. We must scour the skies, catalogue
> all Earth-approaching asteroids above a certain size ...

Concerned about warning times for comets as we must all be and inspired by
Ed Grondine's call for Discovery mission-type proposals, may I suggest that
a telescope be delivered into halo orbit around the L3 point, such as to
double the warning time in a worst-case scenario.

Yours sincerely
Jens Kieffer-Olsen, M.Sc.(Elec.Eng.)
Slagelse, Denmark

============
(8) BRAVO

>From Andy Smith <astrosafe@yahoo.com>

Hello Benny and CCNet,

It is just great to read the excellent meeting report and situation
summaries being published in your newsletter. Ed Grondine did an excellent
job of investigating and reporting on the status of NEO things, in
Washington.

It is this low-level of support which has caused us to emphasize the
importance of being sure the NEO hazard is identified and addressed by the
newly formed Natural Hazards Caucus (NHC)of the U.S.Senate. We are having
some luck with the NHC Working Group (WG), but we still need at least one
expert, who lives/works in that area (Washington, Virginia, Boston, etc.).
to attend the WG meetings.

We are trying to get representation from the National Space Society and/or
the AIAA to help.

Unity Is Vital

Because advocates for planetary defense are such a small group, it is
extremely important for us to work togeather. We were delighted to see the
cooperation reflected in the recent letter to the Australian leaders and we
appreciate the work involved and those who organized it. We would like to
see more of this kind of thing and one letter could certainly go to the NHC,
mentioned above.

Asteroid Impact is a Hundred-Year Event

As many of you know, the next NEA hit (Tunguska of larger) is a 100 year
event...a disturbingly high risk, in the light of the possible consequences.
As a result, we find it disturbing to see it being suggested that the job of
NEA hunting is almost done.

NEA larger that a kilometer are a very small portion of the dangerous
population (2% or so) and most of the 100,000 or so NEA remain unidentified.

We also think, as mentioned in an earlier note, to the net, that the
threshold an asteroid winter is in the 300 meter NEA range (1000 megatons),
based on a comparison with the Tambora volcanic explosion of 1815 (and the
year-without-a-summer of 1816). The greatest danger and the ngreates
discovery need is in the sub-kilometer range....and we need to get larger
survey telescopes involved ASAP.

We continue to see a major role for the very inexpensive liquid mirror
instruments, as NEA spotters and we are continuing to work with the pioneers
of this technology. We invite any others who share this interest to contact
us.

We Represent The Public

Because we are volunteers, acting in the interest of the millions of
possible impact victims, we are giving a high priority to civil
asteroid/comet emergency preparedness and we are devoting significant effort
to finding ways to survive an impact. The top priority, in this area, is
food stores and production.

We Are It

It would be nice if there were major and well-funded programs, around the
World....all working to help to prevent the next NEA hit and to be prepared
for survival, if we fail. However, the CCNet members and a few hundred other
specialists are all there are...and it is truly up to us to do as much as we
can, individually and collectively, to "get the train on the right track".

We appreciate all that you are doing, friends, and we pray that we will have
the time we need to prepare and that each of you will be given the
determination and strength you need.

Cheers 

Andy Smith

===========
(9) AND FINALLY: BRITISH PLANETARY SCIENTIST WINS £350,000 PRIZE

>From Ananova, 14 February 2002
http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_521051.html?menu=news.scienceanddiscovery

A Cambridge don has been named as this year's winner of the £350,000
Crafoord Prize for work that has contributed to understanding how and why
continents move.

Dan McKenzie, 59, also developed a method to predict earthquakes and
provided new insights into the evolution of Mars and Venus.

The Professor of Earth Sciences at Cambridge University said "a whole load
of people made huge contributions.

"It has changed our whole view of how the planet has evolved, and that
doesn't happen very often."

The annual award by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences is named after
Holger Crafoord who designed the first artificial kidney. It was established
in 1980 for scientific research in areas not recognised by the Nobel Prizes.

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