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CCNet DIGEST, 27 April 1998
---------------------------

(1) OCEANIC IMPACT MIGHT HAVE INSPIRED ABORIGINAL LEGEND
    Bob Kobres <bkobres@uga.edu>

(2) POPE ASSURES ITALIANS THE END IS NOT YET NIGH
    THE TIMES, 24 April

(3) MODELLING CLOSE ENCOUNTERS WITH OPIK'S THEORY
    G.B. Valsecchi et al., OBSERVATORY OF THE COTE AZUR

(4) DYNAMICAL BEHAVIOUR OF EARTH ORBIT CROSSING ASTEROIDS
    Y. Kozai, NATIONALL ASTRONOMICAL OBSERVATORY, TOKYO

(5) SPACE GEOLOGY
    Y.P. Dikov et al., MAX PLANCK INSTITUT FUR CHEMIE

(6) HOW TO DESIGN A SOFT-LANDING LANDER
    F. Doengi et al., DAIMLER BENZ AEROSPACE

(7) THE ESA COMET RENDEZVOUZ MISSION
    P. Villefranche et al., MATRA MARCONI SPACE, TOULOUSE

(8) HAS THE TAIL OF COMET HALE-BOPP A DUST-IMPACT ORIGIN?
    W.H. Ip & L. Jorda, MAX PLANCK INSTITUT FUR AERONAUTIC

(9) ROBOTIC MOBILITY ON ASTEROIDS AND COMETS
    L. Richter, DLR, COLOGNE

(10) SPACE ROBOTICS IN EUROPE
     P. Putz, EUROPEAN SPACE AGENCY

===============================

(1) OCEANIC IMPACT MIGHT HAVE INSPIRED ABORIGINAL LEGEND

From Bob Kobres <bkobres@uga.edu>

Sunday Herald Sun, July 6, 1997 <http://omzg.sscc.ru/tsulab/anew.html>

TSUNAMI LINK TO LEGEND by Graeme O'Neill

An Aboriginal legend long thought by historians to mark the arrival of
white men in Australia may refer to a giant tidal wave. Geologist
Professor Ted Bryant believes the legend of a "white wave" that wiped
out Aboriginal culture more than 200 years ago tells of a natural
disaster that devastated the south coast of NSW after a comet strike in
the Tasman Sea.

Most historians had assumed the legend referred to the coming of white
men to Sydney Cove in January, 1788. Prof. Bryant told a major
international research conference in Melbourne this week that the tidal
wave was one of two giant tsunamis that hit the NSW coast in the past
1000 years.

The Wollongong University geologist estimates the tsunami was moving at
about 350kmh when it hit the coast. He believes the earlier tsunami,
which struck about 850 years ago, was probably even bigger.

Prof. Bryant linked the legend with a tsunami after he and a colleague
found two telephone booth-sized boulders jammed one behind another in a
crevice below a cliff face at Haycock Point near Merimbula. The
boulders were well above any normal storm surge.

"This legend talks about a white wave falling out of the sky and
destroying their culture," he said.

"To an observer, a wave overtopping a headland and falling into an
embayment would seem to come out of the sky."

"We know it happened at daytime, around midsummer, because the legend
describes how the white wave came when it was very hot and sultry, and
people were lying around resting."

"The legend describes how people went down to the coast the next day
and found large new sea caves gouged out all along the cliffs."

Prof. Bryant said the tsunami may be linked with a massive underwater
mudslide on the continental shelf 50km off Wollongong, which left a
debris fan 20km long and 10km wide on the sea floor -- its collapse was
presumably triggered by a big earthquake.

"A slide of that volume would be big enough to give us our tsunamis,"
he said.

But as Prof. Bryant and Dr. James Nott of James Cook University
searched the Australian coastline for more evidence of tsunamis,
another, almost incredible possibility emerged.

"You find the signs all around the coast, once you know what you're
looking for, and we found tsunami debris on the south coast, in Western
Australia and around Cairns, and all the radiocarbon dates were
similar," Prof. Bryant said.

"You can't have one big tsunami approaching different parts of the
Australian coastline from opposite directions. Unless these things are
much more frequent than we think, there must be another explanation."

"We're toying with the idea that the tsunamis were created by a comet
that broke into a couple of fragments that hit the oceans around
Australia."

Prof. Bryant said if giant tsunamis occur once every 600 years, there
was a 15 per cent chance of one big tsunami in any century.

The frequency is consistent with recent evidence about the frequency of
comet or asteroid-fragment impacts around the world.

Prof. Bryant told the 1997 Joint Assemblies of the International
Association of Meteorology and Atmospheric Sciences (IAMAS) and the
International Association for Physical Sciences of the Oceans (IAPSO)
that the impact of a tsunami on today's densely populated coastline,
and coastal cities such as Sydney, Wollongong and Newcastle, would be
enormous.

"Waves this big would ride right over Sydney Heads and get into Sydney
Harbor, or could flood into Port Phillip Bay," he said.

"Once these things get into harbors, you can get four-metre waves that
slosh back and forth for many hours, causing great damage, especially
in low-lying areas."

===============================
(2) POPE ASSURES ITALIANS THE END IS NOT YET NIGH

From THE TIMES, 24 April
<http://www.sunday-times.co.uk:80/news/pages/Times/frontpage.html?1617548>

From Richard Owen in Rome

To the dismay of Seventh Day Adventists, Jehovah's Witnesses and
followers of Nostradamus, but to the relief of almost everyone else,
the Pope has declared that the world is not about to end.

He said that it was doomed to end "at some point", but there was no
fixed date, "nor can one be discerned from the Bible". At his weekly
audience the Pope assured his listeners that the end of the world was
not nigh, or anywhere near nigh, and said widespread fears that the
new millennium would usher in the Last Judgment were unfounded.

Italy has been gripped by pre-millennial anxiety since the earthquakes
in Umbria last September, which killed 11 people and damaged the
Basilica of St Francis at Assisi. There are frequent rumours that
Vesuvius, which destroyed Pompeii in AD79 and last erupted in 1944, is
about to erupt again. The Vatican has sought to reassure people that
the mysterious Third Secret of Fatima - allegedly revealed by the
Virgin Mary to three Portuguese children in 1917 and kept secret by the
Pope - does not predict Doomsday. But books on Fatima and
interpretations of the arcane predictions of Nostradamus, the
16th-century sage, remain sought-after in bookshops. 

Speaking on "The Second Coming of Christ at the End of All Things", the
Pope said that attempts to predict the end of the world were "illusory
and misleading ... history is moving towards its conclusion, but Christ
did not indicate any chronological deadline." Apocalyptic visions were
to be taken "symbolically" as images of "the precarious position of
humanity and the sovereign power of Christ".

Theological experts said biblical references to the Apocalypse were at
best "open to interpretation", including the Revelation of St John,
with its visions of plagues, earthquakes and "mountains of fire"
ushering in "a new heaven and new earth".

(C) 1998, The Times Ltd.

==========================
(3) MODELLING CLOSE ENCOUNTERS WITH OPIK'S THEORY

G.B. Valsecchi*), C. Froeschle, R. Gonczi: Modelling close encounters
with Opik's theory. PLANETARY AND SPACE SCIENCE, 1997, Vol.45, No.12,
pp.1561-1574

*) OBSERVATORY OF THE COTE AZUR, BP 4229, F-06304 NICE, FRANCE

The results obtained by numerical integration of the equations of
motion of fictitious comets, in the restricted circular
three-dimensional three-body problem, are compared with those
obtained with Opik's theory of close encounters, for an experimental
set-up similar to that used by Froeschle and Rickman (1980-1981) to
model both the infeed of comets from the trans-jovian region into the
Jupiter family and their subsequent orbital evolution within the
family. The distributions of perturbations in orbital energy E,
eccentricity e and inclination i are well reproduced by Opik's theory,
as long as the comparison is made on the outcomes only up to a certain
unperturbed distance b(max); several values of the latter are
experimented with and it is found that, surprisingly, Opik's theory
seems to be still working reasonably well for the values of b(max) in
excess of several times the Hill's radius of the planet. (C) 1998
Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.

===================
(4) DYNAMICAL BEHAVIOUR OF EARTH ORBIT CROSSING ASTEROIDS

Y. Kozai: Dynamical behaviour of Earth orbit crossing asteroids.
PLANETARY AND SPACE SCIENCE, 1997, Vol.45, No.12, pp.1557-1560

NATIONALL ASTRONOMICAL OBSERVATORY, MITAKA, TOKYO 181, JAPAN

Computing the maximum and minimum a values of the eccentricities and
inclinations as functions of the arguments of perihelion for about 7000
numbered asteroids by adopting a simple model it is found that 80 have

the minimum perihelion distances less than 1.04 AU. Still, it is proved
that 20% of them have no chance of colliding with the Earth, whereas 30
of them have relatively high collision probability as they have orbits
similar to those of typical short-period comets. (C) 1998 Elsevier
Science Ltd. All rights reserved.

======================
(5) SPACE GEOLOGY

Y.P. Dikov, A.V. Ivanov, F. Wlotzka, E.M. Galimov, H. Wanke: High
enrichment of carbon and volatile elements in the surface layers of
Luna 16 soil sample 1635: Result of comet or meteorite impact? EARTH
AND PLANETARY SCIENCE LETTERS, 1998, Vol.155, No.3-4, pp.197-204

*) MAX PLANCK INSTITUT FUR CHEMIE, ABTEILUNG KOSMOCHEMIE, D-55122   
   MAINZ, GERMANY

Surface analysis by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) in
combination with Ar etching was performed on a lunar regolith sample
from the Luna 16 drill-core. The sample contains only similar to 10% of
glass spherules; these are of highly variable composition, which
distinguishes them from the pristine (volcanic) lunar glasses with
their restricted compositional range. The XPS analyses revealed that
practically all grains in this sample are coated by layers of different
chemical composition. The outer 1200 Angstrom have a normal Fe,Mg-
silicate composition. The middle zone between 1200 and 4400 Angstrom is
strongly enriched in carbon (up to 60 at%) and in Zn (4 at%). From the
electron binding energy of the carbon atoms, it can be concluded that
most of the carbon is present in the form of nanodiamonds and graphite.
Other volatile elements (Cd, Pb, Ga, P, and Cl) were detected at the
0.1-0.2 at% level in this zone. The inner zone below 4400 Angstrom has
again a silicate composition, but is more refractory than the outer
zone, i.e. higher in Ca and Al. We propose that this layering was
formed by condensation from a carbon-rich cloud, originating from the
impact of a comet or a carbonaceous chondrite-like body. XPS analysis
of the surface layers showed variations in the chemical state of the
main elements (Mg, Si, Al, Ca, Fe) in these layers, corresponding to
different molecular structures. Similar variations were found in
condensate films produced in laser-pulse impact simulation experiments.
(C) 1998 Elsevier Science B.V.

======================
(6) HOW TO DESIGN A SOFT-LANDING LANDER

F. Doengi, S.T. Burnage, H. Cottard, R. Roumeas: Lander
shock-alleviation techniques. ESA BULLETIN-EUROPEAN SPACE AGENCY, 1998,
No.93, pp.51-60

DAIMLER BENZ AEROSPACE, DORNIER SATELLITENSYSTEME GMBH,
FRIEDRICHSHAFEN, GERMANY

Future European space missions have been and are being discussed which
involve the landing of scientific payloads on the surfaces of planets
or comets in the Solar System, including Mars, Titan, the Moon and
smaller remote comets. For all of these missions - Marsnet,
Intermarsnet, Ares, Rosetta, Euromoon, etc, - the landing subsystem is
a critical element in that a single-point failure could jeopardise the
success of the whole mission. Several studies have therefore been
performed to investigate potential landing devices and strategies,
including the descent, impact, and post-impact stability and operation
phases. They have shown that the acceleration peaks transferred to the
lander structure during impact can be significantly higher than
expected, resulting in major risks to the integrity of the scientific
payload, This article reviews work that has  been performed in this
domain as part of the Agency's  Technology Research Programme (TRP).
Copyright 1998, Institute for Scientific Information Inc.

====================
(7) THE ESA COMET RENDEZVOUZ MISSION

P. Villefranche, J. Evans & F. Faye: Rosetta: The ESA comet rendezvous
mission. ACTA ASTRONAUTICA, 1997, Vol.40, No.12, pp.871-877

MATRA MARCONI SPACE, 31 RUE COSMONAUTES, F-31077 TOULOUSE, FRANCE

Rosetta was selected in November 1993 for the ESA Cornerstone 3
mission, to be launched in 2003, dedicated to the exploration of the
small bodies of the solar system (asteroids and comets). Following this
selection, the Rosetta mission and its spacecraft have been completely
reviewed: this paper presents the studies performed the proposed
mission and the resulting spacecraft design. Three mission
opportunities have been identified in 2003-2004, allowing rendezvous
with a comet. From a single Ariane 5 launch, the transfer to the comet
orbit will be supported by planetary gravity assists (two from Earth,
one from Venus or Mars); during the transfer sequence, two asteroid
fly-bys will occur, allowing first mission science phases. The comet
rendezvous will occur 8-9 years after launch; Rosetta will orbit around
the comet and the main science mission phase will lake place up to the
comet perihelion (1-2 years duration). The spacecraft design is driven
(i) by the communication scenario with the Earth and its equipment,
(ii) by the autonomy requirements for the long cruise phases which are
not supported by the ground stations, (iii) by the solar cells solar
array for the electrical power supply and (iv) by the navigation
scenario and sensors for cruise, target approach and rendezvous phases.
These requirements will be developed and the satellite design will be
presented. (C) 1998 Published by Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights
reserved.

============================
(8) HAS THE TAIL OF COMET HALE-BOPP A DUST-IMPACT ORIGIN?

W.H. Ip & L. Jorda: Can the sodium tail of comet Hale-Bopp have a
dust-impact origin? ASTROPHYSICAL JOURNAL, 1998, Vol.496, No.1 Pt2,
p.L47

MAX PLANCK INSTITUT FUR AERONAUTIC, POSTFACH 20, D-37191 KATLENBURG
DUHM,GERMANY

Consideration is given to the possible mechanisms responsible for the
production of the atomic sodium tail of comet Hale-Bopp. It is shown
that both photosputtering and ion sputtering of nonvolatile dust grains
might not be the main driving force. Instead, the generation of impact
vapor by collisional interaction between the cometary dust coma of
micron-sized particles and the very small grains (VSGs) of 10-100
Angstrom size could possibly account for the observations if a large
amount of VSGs existed in the coma region. Copyright 1998, Institute
for Scientific Information Inc.

==========================
(9) ROBOTIC MOBILITY ON ASTEROIDS AND COMETS

L. Richter: Principles for robotic mobility on minor solar system
bodies. ROBOTICS AND AUTONOMOUS SYSTEMS, 1998, Vol.23, No.1-2, pp.117-
124

DLR, LINDER HOHE, D-51140 COLOGNE, GERMANY

For the coming years, a number of planetary missions to small solar
system bodies such as asteroids and comets are being planned or already
under development. Most of these projects aim at a fly-by or a
rendezvous with the target object. Inevitably, landing missions to
small bodies will follow the first one being MUSES-C of ISAS which is
to return a sample from the Near Earth Asteroid 4660 Nereus. Within
Europe, ESA has selected the comet nucleus rendezvous mission ROSETTA,
including a small lander, as Cornerstone 3 of its scientific program
Horizon 2000. Eventually, missions will evolve which feature mobile
robotic vehicles being able to traverse across the surface of an
asteroid or comet nucleus, enabling scientific and technological
investigations at a number of sites on the surface. This paper outlines
the significant differences of mobility on small bodies as compared to
larger planetary objects such as the Moon, Mars, or Mercury and
presents approaches for mobility on small bodies, based on the
principle of ballistic flight in  the weak gravitational field.
Finally, critical technology issues related to such free-flying mobile
vehicles are discussed. (C) 1998 Elsevier Science B.V.

====================
(10) SPACE ROBOTICS IN EUROPE

P. Putz: Space robotics in Europe: A survey. ROBOTICS AND AUTONOMOUS
SYSTEMS, 1998, Vol.23, No.1-2, pp.3-16

EUROPEAN SPACE AGENCY, ESTEC, POSTBOX 299, NL-2200 AG NOORDWIJK,
NETHERLANDS

Europe has been very active in developing space robotics systems and
technology for close to 15 years. This survey paper serves as the
introduction to the Special Issue on Space Robotics in Europe. It first
highlights the most significant differences between space and
terrestrial robots. Next, it structures the space applications
scenarios into internal and external robotics in Low Earth Orbit
(essentially the Space Stations), robotics for servicing of
geostationary satellites, for in-orbit assembly of large space
structures, and mobile robots (revers) and manipulator-type robotics
for surface operations on the Moon, on Mars, on comets and on
asteroids. Finally, it gives an overview of the major European space
robotic technology research and development programs. From this
context, it extensively refers to the individual papers of this Special
Issue for more in-depth treatment. (C) 1998 Elsevier Science B.V.

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