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Space FAQ 01/13 - Introduction


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Archive-name: space/intro
Last-modified: $Date: 96/09/17 15:40:26 $

See reader questions & answers on this topic! - Help others by sharing your knowledge
    Compilation copyright (c) 1994, 1995, 1996 by Jonathan P. Leech. This
    document may be redistributed in its complete and unmodified form. Other
    use requires written permission of the author.

    FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ON SCI.SPACE.*/SCI.ASTRO

    INTRODUCTION

    This is the long FAQ for the sci.space hierarchy. It will soon be split
across the newly created sci.space.{tech,science,policy} groups, but for
now, it's being posted to all of them. The sci.space.tech moderator posts a
more frequent short FAQ with concise answers; this is the place to go for
more detail and references.

    If you have corrections or answers to other frequently asked questions
that you would like included in this posting, send email to leech@cs.unc.edu
(Jon Leech).

    If you don't want to see the FAQ, add 'Frequently Asked Questions' to
your KILL file for this group (if you're not reading this with a newsreader
that can kill articles by subject, you're out of luck).

    The current hypertext version of the FAQ is at

	http://www.cis.ohio-state.edu/hypertext/faq/usenet/space/top.html

    The current FTP version is at

	ftp://ftp.cs.unc.edu/pub/users/leech/FAQ/

    Corrections and good summaries are welcome in place of the answers given
here. The point of this is to circulate existing information, and avoid
rehashing old answers. Better to build on top than start again. Nothing more
depressing than rehashing old topics for the 100th time. References are
provided because they give more complete information than any short
generalization.

    Questions fall into three basic types:

    1) Where do I find some general information about space?

    Try your local public library first - and try browsing the Web, starting
    with some of the many pages referred to in this FAQ. Enormous amounts of
    information are online, and there's more being added constantly. If you
    can't find an answer to your query after putting in some research time
    of your own, post a question - but make it clear that you've done your
    homework first. Usenet provides a forum for discussion, not a reference
    library.

    2) I have an idea which would improve space flight?

    Hope you aren't surprised, but 9,999 out of 10,000 have usually been
    thought of before. Again, contact a direct individual source for
    evaluation. NASA fields thousands of these each day.

    3) Miscellanous queries.

    These are addressed on a case-by-case basis in the following series of
    FAQ postings.


    SUGGESTIONS FOR BETTER NETIQUETTE

    Read news.announce.newusers if you're on Usenet.
    Minimize cross references, [Do you REALLY NEED to?]
    Edit "Subject:" lines, especially if you're taking a tangent.
    Send mail instead, avoid posting follow ups. (1 mail message worth
	100 posts).
    Internet mail readers: send requests to add/drop to SPACE-REQUEST
	not SPACE.
    Read all available articles before posting a follow-up. (Check all
	references.)
    Cut down attributed articles (leave only the points you're
	responding to; remove signatures and headers). Summarize!
    Put a return address in the body (signature) of your message (mail
	or article), state your institution, etc. Don't assume the
	'reply' function of mailers will work.
    Use absolute dates. Post in a timely way. Don't post what everyone
	will get on TV anyway.
    Some editors and window systems do character count line wrapping and
	some do not. Keep lines under 70 characters for those using ASCII
	terminals, to allow quoting of responses, and end lines with hard
	carriage returns.


    INDEX TO LINKED POSTINGS

    I've attempted to break the postings up into related areas. There isn't
    a keyword index yet; the following lists the major subject areas in each
    posting. Only those containing astronomy-related material are posted to
    sci.astro (indicated by '*' following the posting number).

    #	Contents

    1*	Introduction
	(See "space/intro")
	    Suggestions for better netiquette
	    Index to linked postings
	    Notes on addresses, phone numbers, etc.
	    Contributors

    2*	Network resources
	(See "space/net")
	    Overview
	    Mailing lists
	    Periodically updated information
	    Warning about non-public networks

    3*	Online (and some offline) sources of images, data, etc.
	(See "space/data")
	    Introduction
	    Viewing Images
	    Online Archives
		Center for Advanced Space Studies
		Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP)
		Infrared Processing & Analysis Center
		NASA Ames
		NASA Astrophysics Data System
		NASA Directory of WAIS Servers
		NASA Jet Propulsion Lab (Mission Information and Images)
		NASA Johnson Space Center (Manned Space Images)
		NASA Langley (Technical Reports)
		NASA Spacelink
		National Space Science Data Center
		Space Telescope Science Institute Electronic Info. Service
		Starcat
		Astronomical Databases
		Astronomy Programs
		Orbital Element Sets
		SPACE Digest Archives
		World-Wide-Web (WWW)
	    GeoSphere Project (full Earth image)
	    Landsat & NASA Photos
	    Planetary Maps
	    Solar System Tours
	    Cometary / Minor Planet Orbital Data

    4*	Performing calculations and interpreting data formats
	(See "space/math")
	    Constants and equations for calculations
	    Computing spacecraft orbits and trajectories
	    Computing planetary positions
	    Computing crater diameters from Earth-impacting asteroids
	    Map projections and spherical trignometry
	    Performing N-body simulations efficiently
	    Interpreting the FITS image format
	    Sky (Unix ephemeris program)
	    Nearby star/galaxy coordinates

    5*	References on specific areas
	(See "space/references")
	    Publishers of space/astronomy material
	    Careers in the space industry
	    SL-9 Comet/Jupiter Impact
	    DC-X single-stage to orbit (SSTO) program
	    How to name a star after a person
	    LLNL "great exploration"
	    Lunar Prospector
	    Lunar science and activities
	    Mars Direct / Lunar Direct
	    Orbiting Earth satellite histories
	    Spacecraft models
	    Rocket propulsion
	    Spacecraft design
	    Esoteric propulsion schemes (solar sails, lasers, fusion...)
	    Spy satellites
	    Space capsule locations
	    Space shuttle computer systems
	    SETI computation (signal processing)
	    Amateur satellies & weather satellites
	    Tides
	    Astronomical Mnemonics

    6	Contacting NASA, ESA, space agencies/companies, and individual
	astronauts
	(See "space/addresses")
	    NASA Centers / Arianespace / CSA / CNES / DARA / ESA / ISAS /
		NASDA / NPO Energia / RSA / Soyuzkarta / Space Camp / Space
		Commerce Corporation / Spacehab / SPOT Image
	    Other commercial space businesses
	    Astronauts

    7	Space shuttle answers, launch schedules, TV coverage
	(See "space/schedule")
	    Shuttle launchings and landings; schedules and how to see them
	    Why does the shuttle roll just after liftoff?
	    How to receive the NASA TV channel, NASA SELECT
	    Amateur radio frequencies for shuttle missions
	    Solid Rocket Booster fuel composition

    8	Planetary probes - Historical Missions
	(See "space/probe")
	    US planetary missions
	    Mariner (Venus, Mars, & Mercury flybys and orbiters)
	    Pioneer (Moon, Sun, Venus, Jupiter, and Saturn flybys and orbiters)
	    Ranger (Lunar lander and impact missions)
	    Lunar Orbiter (Lunar surface photography)
	    Surveyor (Lunar soft landers)
	    Viking (Mars orbiters and landers)
	    Voyager (Outer planet flybys)
	    Soviet planetary missions
	    Soviet Lunar probes
	    Soviet Venus probes
	    Soviet Mars probes
	    European planetary missions
	    Japanese planetary missions
	    Planetary mission references

    9	Upcoming planetary probes - missions and schedules
	(See "space/new_probes")
	    ASCA
	    Cassini
	    Clementine
	    Galileo
	    Hiten
	    Magellan
	    Mars Observer
	    TOPEX/Poseidon
	    Ulysses
	    Other space science missions
	    Proposed missions

    10	Controversial questions
	(See "space/controversy")
	    Space shuttle mission costs
	    What happened to the Saturn V plans
	    Why data from space missions isn't immediately available
	    Risks of nuclear (RTG) power sources for space probes
	    Impact of the space shuttle on the ozone layer
	    How long can a human live unprotected in space
	    How the Challenger astronauts died
	    Using the shuttle beyond Low Earth Orbit
	    The "Face on Mars"

    11	Space activist/interest/research groups and space publications
	(See "space/groups")
	    Network Groups and Resources
	    Groups
	    Publications
	    Undocumented Groups

    12	How to become an astronaut
	(See "space/astronaut")

    13	Orbital and Planetary Launch Services
	(See "space/launchers")


    NOTES ON ADDRESSES, PHONE NUMBERS, ETC.

    Unless otherwise specified, telephone numbers, addresses, and so on are
    for the United States of America. Non-US readers should remember to add
    the country code for telephone calls, etc.


    CREDITS

    Eugene Miya (then under the authority of the Computer Systems Division,
    NASA Ames Research Center) started a series of linked FAQ postings some
    years ago which inspired (and was largely absorbed into) this set.

    Peter Yee and Ron Baalke have and continue to spend a lot of their own
    time setting up the SPACE archives at NASA Ames and forwarding official
    NASA announcements.

    Many other people have contributed material to this list in the form of
    old postings to sci.space and sci.astro which I've edited. Please let me
    know if corrections need to be made. Major contributors I've managed to
    keep track of are:

    ad038@yfn.ysu.edu (Steven Fisk)		- publication refs.
    akerman@bill.phy.queensu.CA (Richard Akerman)   - crater diameters
    alweigel@athena.mit.edu (Lisa Weigel)	- SEDS info
    aoab314@emx.utexas.edu (Srinivas Bettadpur) - tides
    awpaeth@watcgl.waterloo.edu (Alan Wm Paeth) - map projections
    baalke@kelvin.jpl.nasa.gov (Ron Baalke)	- planetary probe schedules
    bankst@rata.vuw.ac.nz (Timothy Banks)	- map projections,
	variable star analysis archive
    benhuset@skypoint.com (Ben Huset)		- AAS info
    billa@znet.net (Bill Arnett)		- solar system tour URLs
    bobbyweave@aol.com (Bobby Weaver)		- commercial space resources
	periodic posting, miscellaneous info on space publishers,
	publications, and other refs.
    brosen@pioneer.arc.nasa.gov (Bernie Rosen)	- Space Camp
    bruce_dunn@mindlink.bc.ca (Bruce Dunn)	- propulsion refs.
    bschlesinger@nssdca.gsfc.nasa.gov (Barry Schlesinger)   - FITS format
    cew@venera.isi.edu (Craig E. Ward)		- space group contact info
    chapin@cbnewsc.att.com (Tom Chapin)		- planetary positions
    cunnida@tenet.edu (D. Alan Cunningham)	- NASA Spacelink
    cyamamot@kilroy.Jpl.Nasa.Gov (Cliff Yamamoto) - orbital elements
    datri@convex.com (Anthony Datri)		- PDS/VICAR viewing software
    daver@sjc.mentorg.com (Dave Rickel)		- orbit formulae
    dlbres10@pc.usl.edu (Phil Fraering)		- propulsion
    eder@hsvaic.boeing.com (Dani Eder)		- Saturn V plans, SRBs
    eugene@nas.nasa.gov (Eugene N. Miya)	- introduction,
	NASA contact info, started FAQ postings
    frank.reddy@genie.geis.com (Francis Reddy)	- map projections
    french@isu.isunet.edu (Patrick M. French)	- space group contact info
    g@telesoft.com (Gary Morris)		- amateur radio info
    gaetz@cfa.harvard.edu (Terry Gaetz)		- N-body calculations,
	orbital dynamics
    glandis@lerc.nasa.gov (Geoffrey A. Landis)	- survival in vacuum, AAS &
	Artemis Society info
    gmcquary@Ingres.COM (George F. McQuary)	- nearby star refs
    grandi@noao.edu (Steve Grandi)		- planetary positions
    greer%utd201.dnet%utadnx@utspan.span.nasa.gov (Dale M. Greer)   - constants
    gregb@gemini.den.mmc.com (Greg Bollendonk)	- space model catalog
    henry@zoo.toronto.edu (Henry Spencer)	- survival in vacuum,
	astronaut how-to, Challenger disaster, publication refs, DC-X
    higgins@fnal.bitnet (William Higgins) - RTGs, publishers, shuttle
	landings, spysats, propulsion, "Face on Mars", and general
	assistance with FAQ upkeep.
    higgins@aa.washington.edu (Andrew Higgins)	 - gun launcher refs.
    hmueller@cssun.tamu.edu (Hal Mueller)	- map projections,
	orbital dynamics
    jbh55289@uxa.cso.uiuc.edu (Josh Hopkins)	- launch services
    jim@pnet01.cts.com (Jim Bowery)		- propulsion, launch services
    jnhead@pirl.lpl.arizona.edu (James N. Head) - atmospheric scale heights
    jscotti@lpl.arizona.edu (Jim Scotti)	- planetary positions
    kcarroll@zoo.toronto.edu (Kieran A. Carroll)- refs for spacecraft design
    ken@orion.bitnet (Kenneth Ng)		- RTGs
    kjenks@gothamcity.jsc.nasa.gov (Ken Jenks)	- shuttle roll manuever
    lklaes@aol.com (Larry Klaes)		- planetary probe history
    leech@cs.unc.edu (Jon Leech)		- crater diameters
    lfa@ssi.com (Lou Adornato)			- orbital dynamics
    maury.markowitz@egsgate.fidonet.org (Maury Markowitz)   - propulsion
    max@west.darkside.com (Erik Max Francis)	- equations
    mazz@ipac.caltech.edu (Joe Mazzarella)	- IPAC
    mbellon@mcdurb.Urbana.Gould.COM		- N-body calculations
    mcconley@phoenix.Princeton.edu (Marc Wayne Mcconley)    - space careers
    msb@sq.com (Mark Brader)			- Mariner 1 info.
    mwm@cmu.edu (Mark Maimone)			- SPACE Digest
    N.W.Watkins@sussex.ac.uk (Nick Watkins)	- models, spysat refs
    ohainaut@eso.org (Olivier R. Hainaut)	- publishers, STARCAT
    oneil@aio.jsc.nasa.gov (Graham O'Neil)	- Lunar Prospector
    panama@cup.portal.com (Kenneth W Durham)	- cometary orbits, IAU
    paul.blase@nss.fidonet.org (Paul Blase)	- propulsion
    pete@denali.gsfc.nasa.gov (Pete Banholzer)	- Clementine
    pjs@plato.jpl.nasa.gov (Peter Scott)	- RTGs
    pschleck@novia.net (Paul W. Schleck)	- AMSAT, ARRL contact info
    pwt@minnie.bell.inmet.com (Paul Tarr)	- Shuttle computer refs
    rdb@mel.cocam.oz.au (Rodney Brown)		- propulsion refs
    rja7m@phil.cs.virginia.edu (Ran Atkinson)	- FTPable astro. programs
    rjungcla@ihlpb.att.com (R. Michael Jungclas)- models
    rosborne@uk.ac.ucl.ps (Richard Osborne)	- UK-SEDS
    seal@leonardo.jpl.nasa.gov (David Seal)	- Cassini mission schedule
    shafer@skipper.dfrf.nasa.gov (Mary Shafer)	- photos, shuttle landings
    sherzer@netcom.com (Allen W. Sherzer)	- Great Exploration
    smith@sndpit.enet.dec.com (Willie Smith)	- photos
    stephen@gpwd.gp.co.nz (Stephen Dixon)	- shuttle audio frequencies
    sterner@warper.jhuapl.edu (Ray Sterner)	- planetary positions
    stooke@vaxr.sscl.uwo.ca (Phil Stooke)	- planetary maps
    ted_anderson@transarc.com (Ted Anderson)	- propulsion
    terry@astro.as.utexas.edu (Terry Hancock)	- NASA center info
    thorson@typhoon.atmos.coloState.edu (Bill Thorson) - FITS info
    tm2b+@andrew.cmu.edu (Todd L. Masco)	- SPACE Digest
    tom@ssd.csd.harris.com (Tom Horsley)	- refs for algorithms
    veikko.makela@helsinki.fi (Veikko Makela)	- orbital element sets
    Wales.Larrison@ofa123.fidonet.org (Wales Larrison) - groups & publications
    wayne@csri.utoronto.ca (Wayne Hayes)	- constants
    weemba@libra.wistar.upenn.edu (Matthew P Wiener) - Voyager history
    yamada@yscvax.ysc.go.jp (Yoshiro Yamada)	- ISAS/NASDA missions
    yee@ames.arc.nasa.gov (Peter Yee)		- AMES archive server,
	propulsion

    In Net memoriam:
	Ted Flinn

NEXT: FAQ #2/13 - Network Resources

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