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Space FAQ 02/13 - Network Resources

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Archive-name: space/net
Last-modified: $Date: 96/09/17 15:40:29 $

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.



    You may be reading this document on many types of computers, so much of
    the material below may not apply to you. In general, however, systems
    connected to 'the net' fall in one of three categories: Internet,
    Usenet, or BITNET. Electronic mail may be sent between these networks,
    and other resources available on one of these networks are sometimes
    accessible from other networks by email sent to special 'servers'.

    The space and astronomy discussion groups actually are composed of
    several mechanisms with (mostly) transparent connections between them.

    One mechanism is the mailing list, in which mail is sent to a central
    distribution point which relays it to all recipients of the list. In
    addition to the general lists for space (called SPACE Digest for
    Internet users, and SPACE on BITNET), there are a number of more
    specialized mailing lists described below.

    A second mechanism is Usenet 'netnews'. This is somewhat like a bulletin
    board operating on each system which is a part of the net. Netnews
    separates contributions into hundreds of different categories based on a
    'group name'. The groups dealing most closely with space topics are

	sci.astro - astronomy, general.
	sci.astro.amateur - amateur astronomy equipment, techniques, info
	sci.astro.research - moderated, for discussion of current research
	    in astronomy and astrophysics.
	sci.astro.{fits,hubble,planetarium} - topic-specific subgroups.
	sci.geo.eos - discussion of the Earth Observing System
	alt.sci.planetary - planetary science. is a better
	    group for most purposes. - obsolete; replaced by - moderated, for mission status reports, news
	    announcements, etc. - space policy and politics. - moderated, space & planetary science. - discussion specific to the space shuttle,
	    including launch/landing schedules and mission activities. - moderated, technical/hardware issues.

    Contributors 'post' submissions (called 'articles' in netnews
    terminology) on their local machine, which sends it to other nearby
    machines. Similarly, articles sent from nearby machines are stored
    locally and may be forwarded to other systems, so that an article is
    posted locally and eventually reaches all the Usenet sites interested in
    receiving the news group to which the article was posted.

    Gateway machines redirect several of the Usenet groups into
    Internet and BITNET mailing lists and vice versa; the other Usenet
    groups are not accessible as mailing lists. If you can receive netnews,
    its more flexible interface and access to a wider range of material
    usually make it the preferred option.


    SPACE Digest has been broken up into 5 separate digests to mirror the
    Usenet split of To submit messages, the addresses are:

	To submit to:		Send email to:
	--------------------	-------------------------------------

    To subscribe or unsubscribe to any of these lists (rather than to submit
    postings to them), email

    The message body should be one of

	help				    (get help document)
	info genintro			    (get intro document)
	subscribe <listname> <your name>    (add yourself to a list)
	signoff <listname>		    (remove yourself from a list)


	subscribe space John Public
	signoff spacesci

    If you need to communicate with a human list maintainer rather than the
    listserv, email

    Old copies of SPACE Digest since its inception in 1981 are in

    The Shuttle Elements Mailing List is a moderated list for fast
    distribution of Space Shuttle Keplerian Elements before and during
    Shuttle flights. NASA two-line elements are sent out to the list
    frequently with the most up-to-date data available from several sources.

    or to get subscription information by email, send "info elements" to The list maintainer is Gary Morris

    GPS Digest is a (currently inactive, for lack of a system to run it on)
    moderated list for discussion of the Global Positioning System and other
    satellite navigation positioning systems. Email to join. A Usenet group,
    sci.geo.satellite-nav, has been established to deal with terrestrial
    applcations of satellite navigation.

    Space-investors is a list for information relevant to investing in
    space-related companies. Email to
    join. The list maintainer is Michael Wallis (

    Space-tech is a list for more technical discussion of space topics;
    discussion has included esoteric propulsion technologies, asteroid
    capture, starflight, orbital debris removal, etc. Email to to join. Some archives (now somewhat
    out of date, but still interesting) are in

    or by email to space-tech-request if you don't have FTP access.

    Ssi-mail is a discussion group covering the Space Studies Institute.
    Email to with a message saying "subscribe ssi_mail
    First Name Last Name".

    SEDS-L is a BITNET list for members of Students for the Exploration and
    Development of Space and other interested parties. Email
    LISTSERV@TAMVM1.BITNET with a message saying "SUBSCRIBE SEDS-L your
    name". Email saying "INDEX SEDS-L" to list the archive contents.

    SEDSNEWS is a BITNET list for news items, press releases, shuttle status
    reports, and the like. This duplicates material which is also found in
    Space Digest,,, and sci.astro. Email
    LISTSERV@TAMVM1.BITNET saying "SUBSCRIBE SEDSNEWS your name" to join.
    Email saying "INDEX SEDSNEWS" to list the archive contents.

    Ron Baalke ( runs a mailing list which
    carries the contents of the Usenet group. Email him to
    join the list.

    As a general note, please mail to the *request* address to get off a
    mailing list. SPACE Digest, for example, relays many inappropriate
    'please remove me from this list' messages which are sent to the list
    address rather than the request address.


    In addition to this FAQ list, a broad variety of topical information is
    posted to the net (unless otherwise noted, in the group
    created for this purpose). Please remember that the individuals posting
    this information are performing a service for all net readers, and don't
    take up their time with frivolous requests.

	Henry Spencer ( posts summaries of
	space-related stories in the weekly _Aviation Week and Space

	Ronnie Kon ( posts a guide to buying telescopes to

	 Bobby Weaver ( posts "Resource List of
	 Commercial Space Material," which describes reference works,
	 magazines/newletters and online resources (including commercial
	 services, BBSs and the Internet). Also at

	Editor Larry Klaes ( posts the monthly Electronic
	Journal of the Astronomical Society of the Atlantic to sci.astro,
	sci.misc,, and

	The EJASA Volume Lists for ordering back issues may be requested
	from him, and back issues are also available from the ASA site

	Swaraj Jeyasingh ( posts summaries of
	space-related news from _Flight International_. This focuses more on
	non-US space activities than Aviation Week.

	The IAUCs are copyrighted, and should NOT be posted to the net
	without the express permission of the director of the Central
	Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams, Brian Marsden. IAUCs should
	also not be made available on ftp or Web sites (astronomy
	departments may run IAUC servers as long as access is restricted
	to the department). Circulars are not, contrary to reports on
	sci.astro, freely available for posting anywhere six weeks (or
	any other time interval) after publication. The best way to get
	all the IAUCs is to subscribe--the majority of CBAT/MPC funding
	comes from subscriptions!

	A subscription is $6.00 per month for e-mail and $9.00 per month
	for hardcopy delivery. E-mail version includes log-in privileges
	to collect missing Circulars, as well as orbits from the MPC
	files, a facility for computing ephemerides, and other related

	Enquiries (and checks) should be sent to

	    Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams
	    Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory
	    Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.

	with checks (in U.S. dollars) made out to "Central Bureau for
	Astronomical Telegrams". A more complete description of CBAT/MPC
	services, which include catalogs of cometary and minor planet
	orbits, is available from the email contact given above or at

	Robert Bunge ( posts a list describing many
	"Large Telescope Projects Either Being Considered or in the Works"
	to sci.astro.

	Peter Yee ( posts a variety of NASA material,
	including NASA Headline News (with the schedule for NASA SELECT),
	shuttle payload briefings and flight manifests, and KSC shuttle
	status reports. For Usenet users, much of this material appears in
	the group

	Ron Baalke ( posts frequent updates from
	JPL, Ames, and other centers on the Ulysses, Gailileo, Pioneer,
	Magellan, Landsat, and other missions.

	TS Kelso ( posts orbital elements from
	NASA Prediction Bulletins.

	Mike Rose ( posts orbital elements for the Hubble
	Space Telescope to sci.astro.

	Andreas Doppler( posts ephemerides for
	close conjunctions between asteroids and objects of the NGC2000

	Richard Langley ( posts SPACEWARN Bulletin, which
	describes recent launch/orbital decay information and satellites
	which are useful for scientific activities. Recent bulletins are in

	Steven S. Pietrobon ( posts a
	compressed version of the Space Shuttle launch manifest to This includes dates, times, payloads, and
	information on how to see launches and landings. These files are in

	Cary Oler ( posts Solar Terrestrial reports
	(describing solar activity and its effect on the Earth) to The report is issued in part from data released by the
	Space Enviroment Services Center, Boulder Colorado. The intro
	document needed to understand these reports is in is an archive site for the reports (please note this
	site is in Europe, and the connection to the US is only 56KB). A new
	primary archive site,

	has been established and will be actively supported.

	Glenn Chapman ( posts summaries of Soviet space

	Allen W. Sherzer ( posts a newsletter, "One Small
	Step for a Space Activist," to It describes
	current legislative activity affecting NASA and commercial space

	Ron Baalke ( posts a calendar including
	anniversaries, conferences, launch dates, meteor showers and
	eclipses, and other space-related events; also available as

	John Magliacane (kd2bd@ka2qhd.UUCP) posts "SpaceNews" (covering
	AMSATs, NOAA and other weather satellites, and other ham
	information) to and

	Jonathan McDowell ( posts "Jonathan's Space
	Report" covering launches, landings, reentries, status reports,
	satellite activities, etc.

    TOWARD 2001
	Bev Freed ( posts "Toward 2001", a weekly
	global news summary reprinted from _Space Calendar_ magazine.


    (Included at the suggestion of Eugene Miya, who wrote the item)

    NASA has an internal system of unclassified electronic mail and bulletin
    boards. This system is not open for public use. Specifically, NASA
    personnel and procurement operations are regarded with some sensitivity.
    Contractors must renegotiate their contracts. The Fair and Open
    Procurement Act does not look kindly to those having inside information.
    Contractors and outsiders caught using this type of information can
    expect severe penalities. Unauthorized access attempts may subject you
    to a fine and/or imprisonment in accordance with Title 18, USC, Section
    1030. If in fact you should should learn of unauthorized access, contact
    NASA personnel.

    Claims have been made on this news group about fraud and waste. None
    have ever been substantiated to any significant degree. Readers
    detecting Fraud, Waste, Abuse, or Mismanagement should contact the NASA
    Inspector General (24-hours) at 800-424-9183 (can be anonymous) or write

	Inspector General
	P.O. Box 23089
	L'enfant Plaza Station
	Washington DC 20024

NEXT: FAQ #3/13 - Online (and some offline) sources of images, data, etc.

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Last Update March 27 2014 @ 02:12 PM