Many folks would like to see us back on the Moon and developing its resources.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Good day,

You are part of a community interested in looking up and seeing how the events in space (well near space for now) unfold.- LRK -

There are a number of groups on the Internet that cover topics of interest related to the space effort and I sometimes copy too much, especially if you are already getting this info on your own.

Since I cannot see over the foot lights from this stage I only know you from what you throw my way.

I find it enjoyable to feel the common interest in looking up together and appreciate the whispers in my ear as you do so with me.

STS-114 Status Report
NASA STS-114 Mission Status Report #01 26 July 2005

Discovery launched into a clear Florida sky this morning, returning the Shuttle fleet to space and beginning a journey of exploration to the Moon, Mars and beyond.

Discovery lifted off at 9:39 a.m. central time today following a flawless countdown. Over the next 11 days, Discovery's seven person crew will demonstrate techniques for inspecting and protecting the Shuttle's thermal protection system and continue assembly of the International Space Station. Today's launch was the first for a Shuttle since the loss of Columbia and its crew
in February 2003.

Discovery's climb to orbit was extensively documented through a system of new and upgraded ground-based cameras, radar systems and airborne cameras aboard high altitude aircraft. The imagery captured of Discovery's launch, and additional imagery from laser systems on a new boom extension for the Shuttle's robot arm as well as data from sensors embedded in the Shuttle's wings, will help mission managers determine the health of Discovery's thermal protection system over the next several days prior to its scheduled Aug.7 landing.

Thanks to the Internet I am able to share with you from the middle of the USA where my daughter is stationed in the Army at Fort Leonard Wood, MO,+MO - LRK -

Maybe someday from the Moon. - LRK -
If you want to see where you live you can down load a program from GOOGLE for this Earth.
- LRK -
Fly from space to your neighborhood. Type in an address and zoom right in.
Larry Kellogg
larry.kellogg at
[as seen at the InsideKSC Yahoo groups list fromPhilip Sloss] - LRK -

There's a lot of new video from today's events...we posted several countdown videos and the standard launch video, along with ET camera views during second stage. So we're going let that get distributed for a bit before posting more video. We're still discussing mirroring possibilities, too.

FYI, the WB-57 video has already been broadcast and we have copies of that; for now, NASA has posted a niceclip of it; here's the direct link:

Philip Sloss

Make sure to visit the Flagship website: =======================================================
[ Another clip from InsideKSC from Ben ] - LRK -

I just want to second that of course. Spectacular, bone throttling launch from the press site...I've been waiting nearly three years to hear that again. I almost cried it was so powerful and beautiful. Some of my photos will be on later, and checkout my site in a few days when I upload them. _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

- Ben

-----Original Message-----
>From: albatron at
>To: astronauts at
>Sent: Tue, 26 Jul 2005 11:03:04 EDTSubject: [astronauts]

What a beautiful and spectacular launch!!!!!!!

Oh they all are, but as we all know this one was pretty signifigant and poignant. Listening to the exchange between Mission Control and that cool as a cucumber Commander Eileen Collins, was a thing of beauty as well. I've said it before, I'll say it again - she was THE Commander to be n this flights cockpit. Her last flight, by the way, as she'll be leaving NASA after this flight, and has already retired from theUSAF. A shame - as she was guaranteed at least 1 star- and who knows where she would've gone in NASA.
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]=======================================================
[ Interest from around the world. ] - LRK -
Presently beamed into Europe via Sat TV , NASA TV
showing the wing scanning boom in action....good pics


Yahoo! Groups Links<*> To visit your group on the web, go to:
[snip from HumanSpaceflight Yahoo groups and topic also on InsideKSC group ] - LRK -

This from, when I posted the question:
Herb Schaltegger Jul 27, 9:22 amNewsgroups:

>From: Herb Schaltegger<herb.schalteg... at> -

Find messages by this authorDate: Wed, 27 Jul 2005 09:22:33 -0500Local: Wed,Jul 27 2005 9:22 am
>Subject: Re: Burn through on SRB from WB57 video?

It appears to be nothing more than recirculation of exhaust gases around the base of the stack due to flow separation at the low ambient pressure during that phase of flight prior to SRB sep, as seen on previous flights, but examination of the recovered SRBs (and the film from the SRB cams) will tell the full tale.

Quoting DRLunsford <antimatter33 at>:> WB-57 chase plane video:
> > > >
There appears to be a burn-through of the SRB, as inthe Challenger accident - first visible as a faint glow at about 1:28 and clearly visible by 1:47,shortly before SRB separation.
> > -drl> >
Thanks for looking up with me.- LRK -

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Good afternoon,

NASA TV - Real Video - still playing and I am listening.

One of the benefits of no job and sitting in the middle of the USA while your daughter is in an Army class. :-)

Some small amount of debris was seen coming off theShuttle tank as the SRBs finished their burn and separated. The news and lists are a buzz searching for those BIG DARK words to talk about. Will copy one InsideKSC snip. The shuttle has new tools on the armand an extension so will be giving itself a completelook over. - LRK -

The Sun is has some sunspots on the far side that are hurling coronal mass ejections (CMEs) over the sun'slimb. No problem now. As the Sun turns and the sunspots come around maybe we will see Auroras on Earth and the shuttle astronauts will get some more pictures of just what happens in space.

Larry Kellogglarry.kellogg at


Almost nine minutes after lifting off from KennedySpace Center in Florida, Space Shuttle Discoverysuccessfully reached orbit, marking the Shuttlefleet’s return to space. STS-114 is the first mission to fly since the loss of Shuttle Columbia and the STS-107 crew on Feb. 1, 2003.

Discovery and its seven-member crew launched at 10:39a.m. EDT to begin the two-day journey to the International Space Station. Discovery is slated to dock with the ISS at 7:18 a.m. EDT Thursday.

The mission has several objectives. The STS-114 crew will demonstrate new methods of inspecting and repairing the Shuttle’s thermal protection system.

Discovery will deliver supplies to the ISS, and the STS-114 crew will perform three spacewalks. The spacewalks tasks will include tasks to repair and outfit the ISS.

Discovery and its crew are scheduled to return toEarth on Aug. 7 at 5:46 a.m. EDT.


Discovery's seven-member Return to Flight crew willfly to the International Space Station primarily to test and evaluate new safety procedures.

There have been many safety improvements to the Shuttle, including a redesigned External Tank, new sensors and a boom that will allow astronauts toinspect the Shuttle for any potential damage.

Two crewmembers, Steve Robinson and Soichi Noguchi,will venture outside the Shuttle three times on spacewalks (+ Read About Their Training). The firstwill demonstrate repair techniques on the Shuttle'sprotective tiles, known as the Thermal ProtectionSystem. During the second spacewalk, they'll replace afailed Control Moment Gyroscope, which helps keep the station oriented properly. Finally, they'll install the External Stowage Platform, a sort of space shelf for holding spare parts during Station construction.

STS-114 will also be the third trip of the MultiPurpose Logistics Module (MPLM) named Raffaello to the Station. It's essentially a "moving van" thattransports supplies to the orbital outpost.

[more and links at the web site ] - LRK -

[as seen on [Inside KSC] Debris ] - LRK -

Debris strikes are a regular occurrence during the STS boost phase. TPS foam, ice and other debris has inflicted tile damage, to some degree, on practically every launch.The new camera views were bound to provide some scary and unprecedented views of debris coming off of the vehicle during this particular launch. Consequently, it is no surprise that some media types are enthusiastically jumping on the debris footage with near glee.

The professional experts are now going over the video and impact sensor data. The new boom extension will provide high quality close-ups of any tile damage. The ISS crew and EVA participants will also have a goodview of the Orbiter.

It does little good to ignorantly speculate at this point, but it is inevitable that we do speculate. I heard one cable news reporter (a blond female) erroneously call that post-SRB sep debris episode a, "debris strike". I have my own ignorant, speculative ideas about the debris event. The fact that the debris came off shortly after SRB sep is significant, in my view,although the debris event is probably very inconsequential as far as safety is concerned. The bit of TPS, or other material, that came loose appeared to be in an area somewhat shielded from dynamic pressures by the SRB structure prior to sep.

Thanks, Jim McDade

[ Now that we are in orbit, what will they see as theSun lets fly with more CMEs? ] - LRK -
Space Weather News for July 26, 2005

At any given moment, only one side of the sun faces Earth. The other side, the farside, is hidden from direct view. Nevertheless, it is possible to monitoractivity "over there." In recent days the farside of the sun has been very active. One or more sunspotshave been exploding, hurling coronal mass ejections(CMEs) over the sun's limb. Because the sun spins, sunspots on the farside now will be rotating around to face Earth later this week and next, raising the possibility of geomagnetic storms and auroras. Visit for more information and updates.

Thanks for looking up with me.- LRK -=======================================================
Wow, looks great.

Between MSNBC cable and a Real Player link, nice view.

Wish I could have been at Kennedy but I will take whatI can get.MSNBC is continuing with coverage.

Will beinteresting to see how long and what the publicreaction will be.The NASA TV Real Player link from continues to run. Had to start a few times because ofcommunication drop outs and you could watch thetransmission rate drop as folks logged on. We are holding at 34 Kbps now. Noticed there was a time lag from what I was seeing oncable.The best to all of you that are watching and lookingup with me.Thanks for being there and for you kind remarks.

Larry Kellogglarry.kellogg at
Good day.

Excitement in the air.

On the Internet at my daughtershouse on Ft. Leonard Wood, MO, while watching the count down to the Shuttle launch.

Larry Kellogglarry.kellogg at

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Good evening.

We will be flying back to Missouri this week end and will be gone for the week so probably no posts for a bit.
- LRK -

Sander Goossens sent me a post about a book written by Michel van Pelt about Space Tourism and thought that some of you might be interested in the topic and possibly the book. Will snip some links below should you care to check it out.

- LRK -

Space Tourism
Adventures in Earth Orbit and Beyond
Pelt, Michel van
2005, XVI, 224 p. 73 illus., Hardcover
ISBN: 0-387-40213-6.

Sander Goossens
National Astronomical Observatory
2-12 Hoshigaoka
Iwate 023-0861


Books help to speak an idea into existence.

Some cultures re-tell their dreams and look at them to see into the future. Some folks write their dreams down and make books that can entertain and provide the inspiration for someone else to think up new ideas and ways to get things done.

There have been books written about Mars and the Moon that had people in them. Telling stories around a campfire or sharing a written piece can make us feel part of a community.

Thanks Sander for sharing. Hope to hear more about your work with SELENE too. Would like to see Japan launch to the Moon. You did it before, can do again, YES!

Larry Kellogg
larry.kellogg at

About this book

Many scientific papers and popular articles have been written on the topic of space tourism, describing everything from expected market sizes to the rules of 3-dimensional microgravity football. But what would it actually feel like to be a tourist in space, to be hurled into orbit on top of a controlled explosion, to float around in a spacecraft, and to be able to look down on your hometown from above the atmosphere?

Space tourism is not science fiction anymore, Michel van Pelt tells us, but merely a logical step in the evolution of space flight. Space is about to be opened up to more and more people, and the drive behind this is one of the most powerful economic forces: tourism. Van Pelt describes what recreational space travel might look like, and explains the required space technology, the medical issues, astronaut training, and the possibilities of holidays to destinations far, far away.

This is a book for everyone who has ever dreamed of traveling to space: a dream which, according to van Pelt, may not be so far from becoming a reality. Consider it the armchair traveler's guide to the coming boom in space tourism.

Written for:

General science readers, space enthusiasts, anyone who has ever dreamed of traveling to space


Snip of the review:
"Michel van Pelt's book is a cheerful assembly of miscellaneous personal
astronaut experiences, ambitious business plans, old dreams and new
ambitions, mostly about adventures in low-Earth orbit. Might humans one day
holiday on the moon? Could a lunar Olympics one day produce high jumps of
9.4m? Dream on. Don't forget, he says, that you are already on a spaceship,
fitted with everything you need already, dashing at 18 miles a second around
the sun, and circling the Milky Way at 135 miles a second. Enjoy the trip."


Book Review: Space Tourism - Adventures in Earth Orbit and Beyond
Summary - (May 20, 2005) At the end of a hard day's work, taking time to enjoy the accomplishments somehow makes the blood, sweat and tears less than what they were. When the trials and labours of building a space faring infrastructure are complete, then the opportunity to relax and enjoy this capability will surely lighten the memories of its development as well. Michel Van Pelt in his book, Space Tourism gives us a glimpse of how this leisure activity may take shape and he also highlights some of the hard work needed to get there.

Through the book, Van Pelt discusses the technical issues of space flight and pleasant issues of leisure time in space. In a neutral, analytical view, he considers technical issues, starting with the history of space activities, the progressive development of launch vehicles, existing state of the art capabilities and the steps needed to enable the space tourism industry. Practicalities like radiation dosimetres, pressure suits to counter g forces, pre-flight training and group interactions also get attention. These and other technical details are faithfully extended from current or historically established technology. However, launcher reusability is favoured without much supporting justification. Also, some of the later discussion about warp drives, transporters and faster than light travel seem a little out of place and add an incredulous tone to an otherwise rational and even presentation.


Planetary and Lunar Missions Under Consideration
These missions are still in study or definition phases and may undergo significant changes before launch.

SELENE (SELenological and ENgineering Explorer)
Lunar Orbiter and Lander

Launch Period: 2006
Agency: ISAS, NASDA - Japan

SELENE will carry 13 instruments including imagers, a radar sounder, laser altimeter, X-ray fluorescence spectrometer and gamma-ray spectrometer to study the origin, evolution, and tectonics of the Moon from orbit. The 2000 kg launch-mass spacecraft will be carried by an H-2A rocket from the Tanegashima Space Center. The spacecraft consists of three separate units: the main orbiter, a small relay satellite, and a small VLBI (Very Long Baseline Interferometry) satellite. The orbiter is a rectangular box carrying the scientific instrumentation, measures about 2.1 m by 4.2 m, and has a mass of roughly 1600 kg. The relay satellite is an octagonal prism and will be used to transmit communications from the orbiter to Earth. The VLBI satellite is the same shape as the relay satellite and will be used to conduct precise investigations on the position and precession of the Moon.

SELENE will take 5 days to reach the Moon, where it will be put into an initial 120 x 13000 km polar orbit. The relay satellite will be released into a 100 x 2400 km orbit and then the VLBI satellite will be released into a 100 x 800 km orbit. The orbiter will then be lowered to its nominal 100 km circular orbit. Selene will carry out observations for approximately one year.

More detailed information on SELENE



SELENE(SELenological and ENgineering Explorer), developed in the first ISAS/NASDA joint lunar program, will be launched by H-IIA rocket in 2006(FY). The major objectives of the mission are to obtain scientific data of the lunar origin and evolution and to develop the technology for the future lunar exploration. The mission, which is the largest mission to the Moon after the Apollo program, will consist of a main orbiting satellite at about 100km altitude in the polar circular orbit and two sub satellites (Relay Satellite / VRAD Satellite) in elliptical orbits with apolune at 2400km and 800km. The orbiters will carry instruments for scientific investigation of the Moon, on the Moon, and from the Moon.


and you may want to get that job on the Moon with GOOGLE if you didn't read about it on the last post.
- LRK -
Google Copernicus Center is hiring

Google is interviewing candidates for engineering positions at our lunar hosting and research center, opening late in the spring of 2007. This unique opportunity is available only to highly-qualified individuals who are willing to relocate for an extended period of time, are in top physical condition and are capable of surviving with limited access to such modern conveniences as soy low-fat lattes, The Sopranos and a steady supply of oxygen.

The Google Copernicus Hosting Environment and Experiment in Search Engineering (G.C.H.E.E.S.E.) is a fully integrated research, development and technology facility at which Google will be conducting experiments in entropized information filtering, high-density high-delivery hosting (HiDeHiDeHo) and de-oxygenated cubicle dwelling. This center will provide a unique platform from which Google will leapfrog current terrestrial-based technologies and bring information access to new heights of utility.

- LRK -

Thanks for looking up with me.
- LRK -



Saturday, July 16, 2005

Good afternoon.

One more to follow up on the last on how missions have been reported by the

Robert mentions Reginald Turnhill (Reginald Turnill - The Moonlandings: An
Eyewitness Account). I have the book and found it very interesting. Thanks
much to you folks on the other side of the pond from me. - LRK -

The Moonlandings: An Eyewitness Account
The Soviet-American race to land the first man on the Moon was a technical
challenge unlike any other in recent human history. Reginald Turnill, the
BBC's Aerospace Correspondent, covered the entire story first-hand, and his
reports were heard and seen by millions around the world. With unparalleled
access to the politicians, scientists and technicians involved in the race
to the Moon, Turnill got to know all the early astronauts - Alan Shepard,
John Glenn, Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin - as they pioneered the techniques
that made the Moon landings possible. He became a friend of Dr Wernher von
Braun, the German rocket pioneer and mastermind behind it all. This unique
eyewitness account of one of the most thrilling adventures of the 20th
Century is written in a lucid style, packed with action and drama, and is a
fascinating read for all those interested in the story of the race to the

Hope we get some more reporting of the same caliber for the Moon - Mars
missions. - LRK -

To dream the dream. :-)

Larry Kellogg
larry.kellogg at
[this was posted by Robert Law on the InsideKSC list in response to Jim
McDade's "one man" National TV Space Coverage Championship Poll: - LRK -]


During the Apollo Program hear in the UK we only had 2 TV stations BBC
and ITV both provided coverage The BBC began with Cliff Michimore who was
more famous for the Holiday Program to anchor there coverage along with a
panel of experts which included Patrick Moore (who had contributed to
Lunar Mapping pre space age) They built a big space studio to present there
coverage behind the desks suspended from the ceiling was a huge moon globe.
one rumor about this globe was that originally it was a prop for 2001 which
had been rejected because Stanly Kubrick thought the craters where to deep
!. The BBC used the theme music of 2001 to introduce these programs.
During the coverage of the Apollo 8 mission in 1968 at the most critical
moment when the astronauts where about to fire the SPS for the journey home
the BBC cut the program to show Play School ! as the Apollo program
progressed the BBC decided to get a space corespondent this was James Burke
who had been on the science program Tomorrow's World , more recently he has
done Connections which is shown on the Discovery Channel, I thought James
Burke was excellent and so was Patrick Moore

The Space Studio also imputed to the News programs The BBC sent there Air
correspondent Reginald Turnhill to cover these mission from the USA ( I had
the Honor of Meeting Reg in 2003 ) Reg is a real expert in spaceflight he
also flew in the early test flights of Concorde and is famous for his
observers books of spaceflight , more recently he has written The Moon
landings which tells the story of his space reporting. he was the first
reporter to Brake the Apollo 13 story ! as the Apollo program continued
these programs got better and for the final Moon Shot James Burke and
Patrick Moore went to Florida to cover the flight from the USA via Satellite
, these programs broke many firsts in broadcasting technology in the history
of British Broadcasting. Unfortunately very Little remains as the BBC
scrubbed most of the tapes to re use for sports coverage .

ITVs coverage was provided by ITN the ITV system consisted of lots of
regional company's in those days this caused problems for ITN (Independent
Television News) as they had to fight to get to show the space coverage ,
for Apollo 11 it was awful they had a verity night from a theater hosted by
David Frost only cutting to ITN as Armstrong stepped of the ladder !
The First ever News at Ten in 1967 had coverage of preparations for Apollo
7. but like the BBC as time went on ITNs coverage improved There space
expert was Peter Fairlie who always talked about the Moon Ship etc where
as James Burke was fluent in NASA , CM etc.
ITNs studio was a lot smaller than the BBC and there programs where
introduced by space sounding music which I preferred rather than the music
the BBC used.

I was very young back then 9 in 1969 ! but unfortunately space has never had
the same level of reporting since a few more comments


There was very Little coverage I remember watching the Saturn V launch live
after that very Little, ITN covered the story of Arabela the Spider ! and
Patrick Moore had James Burke on his Sky at Night Program to talk about


I was 15 and it happened during the School Holidays in fact 30 years ago
this week i think !
The BBC had excellent coverage of this with a space studio , The Moon Globe
had been replaced with a Large globe of the world and models of Apollo and
Soyuz suspended from the ceiling ! again James Burke the music to introduce
these programs was "Fanfare for the common Man" Arron Copeland.
This was the first space flight I had seen in Colour as my friend Eric's
parents had just bought a new coulor TV. this of course was also the first
time we had live coverage of the Soyuz launch , in the UK this happened in
the morning and Apollo went about 7PM again the BBC coverage was far
superior than ITNs because they had more time. one of the highlights for me
was when the sports program was cut for space ! I think this was the


The BBC did a live program on July 4 1976 for the mars landing and James
Burke reported live from America unfortunately the Viking landings where
delayed and this spoiled the program as there was no pics from Mars !


In 1981 both ITV and BBC covered the Launch of Columbia and this time ITNs
coverage was far superior than the BBCs . ITN constructed a Space Studio
the programs where anchored by Sir Alister Burnett (News at Ten) and in the
studio with him was Dave Scott of Apollo 15
The program was introduced with fireballxl5 type space music. there was
coverage of the launch then a shorter program with coverage from orbit and
news reports on the ITN news from the Space Studio and coverage of the

The BBC coverage was done by the Tomorrow's World program I was
disappointed that James Burke was not doing the coverage. for the opening
music again Copeland was used "Rodeo" the next track on the LP from Apollo
Soyuz !.


ITN again provided coverage from there space studio this time with Dick
Gordon APOLLO 12

The BBC was reduced to coverage of the launch on Radio 2 Pathetic !


>From STS 3 until Discovery's return to flight in 1988 we had no live
coverage and had to make do with the ordinary news reports I bought a VHS
video for sts 1 and have a huge collection as I record and watch all space
missions (Apollo has a lot to answer for !)
By the Time of the first Shuttle flights Reg Tunrnhil was forced to retire
from The BBC due to his age and became a freelance space reporter (see his
book Moon landings ) he began to provide live reports over the phone to the
children's news program Newsround these where more accurate than what we
where getting in some of the main news programs.
In a rare event in 1983 the ITV breakfast station TVAM covered the first
Night Launch of the space shuttle Challenger , which was the start of lots
of space items on this program over the years sadly in 1991 they lost the

Over the years ITNs reporting was away ahead of the BBC which tended to be
very negative
in 1985 ITN even arranged a schools experiment in Space which sadly was
delayed by the Challenger accident. The BBC Newsround program was on air
but not showing live pictures of the launch but after the explosion went to
it so they broke the story in the UK.


The BBC provided live coverage of the launch of STS26 they had James Pike
reporting live from KSC since 1988 the BBC has now moved ahead of ITN in
its space reporting which douse not seem to be bad as it was in the 80s .
with BBC NEWS 24 they can now cover launches live . there was no live
coverage planed for Discovery last week but we now have the 24 hour news
channels for that.


In 1991 I got a Satellite dish installed for CNN which covers the Launches
in the 1990s we had John Holiman who I thought was excellent as a space
reporter he was full of enthusiasm he would keep going when they tried to
move on to the next item!. when I heard the news that John had been killed
in a car crash it was a very sad day for me ,like the Challenger Disaster or
the loss of Columbia.

Unfortunately over the Year's CNNI has less US programing and we do not get
the same amount of coverage as CNN USA we do not see much of Miles O'Brien
in fact Deep Impact was covered from London by the Technology Corespondent.

Now adays it is the INTERNET and Broadband if only we had that in the 70s !



Make sure to visit the Flagship website:

<*> To visit your group on the web, go to:

"Now adays it is the INTERNET and Broadband if only we had that in the 70s!"

hmmmm, seems it will be possible for YOU ALL to participate in reporting
what you see happen for the missions of the future. It certainly will be
possible for you to voice your opinions on what you think the future should
be like, and then take action to "Make It So!".

Thanks for looking up with me.
- LRK -


Good day.

Time marches on and it has now been 36 years since we took off towards the
Moon for our first Lunar landing with astronauts aboard.

We had been up and around and close to landing before with Apollo 10.

Prior to that we had orbited with Apollo 8 but no Lunar Module.

We did get pictures of the far side and that striking picture of Earth rise.
(the Russians had already photographed the far side, but never mind, now the
U.S.A. had done it too, and with humans on board.)

The famous photograph that was taken in the next two minutes is usually
credited to crewman William Anders, although commander Frank Borman has
always claimed that he took it.

It turns out that in fact three photographs were taken, one in black and
white and two in colour. The black and white shot was taken first - by
Borman, and the two colour shots were taken moments later by William Anders.

The curious thing about the images is the difference in the way the two men
perceived what they were seeing. Frank Borman related the 'Earthrise' to a
moonrise on Earth, with the lunar surface horizontal and the Earth rising
above it.

[see web site for images - LRK - ]

But William Anders framed his photographs from the perspective of being in
orbit about the lunar equator. So his horizon was the plane in which he was
travelling. This meant he framed it so the edge of the Moon was vertical,
with planet Earth a little to the left but with its North and South poles
aligned the same way as the North and South poles of the Moon.

(It is interesting to note that the colour photographs taken by William
Anders are almost always re-published with the image on its side - ie from
the perspective that Borman adopted for his B&W photograph).

But regardless of which way the photograph was taken, the image shows our
entire world as a small and blue and very finite globe, with our nearest
celestial neighbour a desolate presence in the foreground.

US Nature photographer Galen Rowell has described this image as "the most
influential environmental photograph ever taken".

It is an image which still speaks to us today.

The Sciences Nov/Dec 1998
Genisis: The Story of Apollo 8 by Robert Zimmerman. (pub Four Walls Eight

If you want to go back and study what was done while on the Moon, check out
the Apollo Lunar Surface Journal.

Now we wait for the shuttle to launch again to the ISS, then mission to the
Moon with images from orbit. Hopefully to be followed again with great
images from the surface of the Moon.

Can we set up a Lunar Base that will open the way for developing space as a
new frontier?

Will we ever go to Mars with more than a handful of astronauts?

I have been looking at a publication by Kaiser Aluminum & Chemical
Corporation written in 1967 and titled, "tHe dynamics of cHange". Don Fabun
was the Publications Editor.

Let me copy three paragraphs.
"Society has many built-in time spanners that help link the present
generation with the past. Our sense of the past is developed by contact
with the older generation by our knowledge of history, by the accumulated
heritage of art, music, literature and science passed down to us through the
years. It is enhanced by immediate contact with the objects that surround
us, each of which has a point of origin with the past, each of which
provides us with a trace of identification with the past.

"No such time spanners enhance our sense of the future. We have no objects,
no friends, no relatives, no works of art, no music or literature that
originate in the future. We have, as it were, no heritage of the future."

And so, not having one, and needing it, we will have to develop one. This
can be done, perhaps, by examining the forces of change around us and by
trying to understand how they originated where they are likely to be going,
and how we can to some extent by guiding them, cushion ourselves against
"future shock."


The thought is that it will help if we can set goals with a vision that we
can hang our time marks on and then set our sites to make it happen. By
doing so we can keep a sense of sanctity and help shape the way we want to
go so that the future will in fact become the past that we would like to
look back on and talk about.

We can't change the past, the present is gone in a snap of the finger, the
future all too soon is the present and then the past. One needs to set
these future time marks out ahead of us at least far enough so that we get a
chance to make it part of our expectations so that the change that comes
with it will not drive us crazy.

If we use the vision of going to the Moon, Mars, and Beyond as something we
expect WILL happen, then when it does we will be ready for it.

Thanks for looking up with me, helping me experience the future, while
looking back at the past.

Larry Kellogg
larry.kellogg at
THE APOLLO MISSIONS The first and last man on the moon
For the first time you can now experience the moon just as the astronauts
did - almost as you were there.


On July 20 ( July 21 GMT ) 1969 the first man stepped on the moon. During
the next 3 years 6 missions to the moon was made and a total of 12
astronauts walked on the moon. One of the missions Apollo 13 failed and they
had to return.

During these missions thousands of images were taken, most of them with the
Hasselblad EDC. A special version of the Hasselblad 500 EL. Many of these
images are famous, like the one from Apollo 11 showing Buzz Aldrin with Neil
Armstrong reflected in the glass of his helmet. (It is available in super
resolution from the panorama).

Less known is that during all the missions they made image sequences which
with todays computer technics can be stitched together into 360o interactive
panoramas giving you the possibillity to view the moon almost as you were
Many of these panoramas have been published before but in low resolution and
displayed in small sizes.

During the last year the original films have been rescanned in large
resolution and the Apollo 11 images were released the week before the 35
year anniversary. I can now present you for the first time the Moon in
interactive 360 degree fullscreen Quicktime VR.

3 panoramas are now available and I will follow up with panoramas from all
the missions

All images are credit NASA - Panoramas/QTVR movies ©2004 Hans Nyberg
Original images from The Apollo Image Gallery

The links to the panoramas opens in a new fullscreen window which expands
automatically to your screen - QuickTime needed
Read about Hasselblad in Space

Apollo 11 Fullscreen QuickTime VR
Launched: 16 July 1969 UT 13:32:00 (09:32:00 a.m. EDT)
Landed on Moon: 20 July 1969 UT 20:17:40 (04:17:40 p.m. EDT

Neil A. Armstrong, commander
Michael Collins, command module pilot
Edwin E. Aldrin, Jr., lunar module pilot

Apollo 11 NASA Journal
Apollo 11 at 35:
Celebrating the Past with a Vision for the Future

30th anniversary of Apollo 11 : 1969 - 1999

Apollo 11-The entire air-to-ground communications (email

Apollo 11

Launched: 16 July 1969 UT 13:32:00 (09:32:00 a.m. EDT)
Landed on Moon: 20 July 1969 UT 20:17:40 (04:17:40 p.m. EDT)
Landing Site: Mare Tranquillitatis - Sea of Tranquility (0.67 N, 23.47 E)
Returned to Earth: 24 July 1969 UT 16:50:35 (12:50:35 p.m. EDT)

Neil A. Armstrong, commander
Michael Collins, command module pilot
Edwin E. Aldrin, Jr., lunar module pilot

[below from InsideKSC - Yahoo group - in case you care to compare then and
now for reporting. - LRK -]

Today, we are another year removed from mankind's greatest adventure.
It was 36 years ago today that Apollo 11 was launched from KSC.

Apollo 11
Saturn-V AS-506 (6)
High Bay 1
Firing Room 1 July 16, 1969; 09:32:00 am EDT. Launch Complex 39-A

BTW- Here is my "one man" National TV Space Coverage Championship Poll:

1- MSNBC/NBC: NATIONAL CHAMPS! James Oberg is the only network guy on
the air today who has masterful comprehension the topic of human
spaceflight. Jim is a full-time space reporter and his presence on the
air was more than enough to overcome the bloopers committed by the
rest of the NBC team, which consisted of "out of their realm younger
reporters" and rusty old coots that are just not as sharp as they
supposedly were back in 1969. Poor old Jay Barbaree. Back in 2003 he
confidently predicted that "the shuttle will be back in service
quicker than the Challenger accident".

It was sad to watch Barbaree fumble with that cheap, low-fidelity
Shuttle desk model when he struggled to explain the sensor issues. NBC
and the other networks need to spend a few books and build some sets
and pieces like we saw during Apollo coverage. One great bonus aspect
of the MSNBC was the random Space Coast spot-reports from near the
Cocoa beach Pier and -places like Titusville. Those reports were
reminiscent of NBCs day at the Cape on July 16, 1969. I will never
forget that NBC had a helicopter flying down Bennet Causeway as well
as a ground reporter who interviewed some of the million or so folks
who camped out to watch the Apollo 11 launch.

Oberg should have been the desk man at the Cape instead of the squint-
eyed teleprompter reader who anchored the MSNBC STS-114 coverage.

2- CNN: Miles O'Brien is very sharp and is still learning. The CNN
staff was busy bragging about Miles, but to his credit, Miles paid
homage to his inspiration, John Holliman. John Zarella is also a
competent pro. I would like to see more of Lou Dobbs in the coverage.
Dobbs is definitely an expert on space exploration and CNN needs to
have Dobbs at KSC for all of the Shuttle launches. He is a great
promoter of the space business.

Overall, CNN space coverage has always been consistent but very cheap.
CNN always has one, sometimes two, reporters at the space center. The
usually lone reporter is always standing in front of the VAB or some
other familiar site. CNN has never had a "space desk" of any sort. CNN
is much better at covering politics, medicine, big trials, and
showcasing the mystics and nuts regularly featured on Larry King Live.
I got the feeling that the CNN producers were hoping that they could
get this RTF mission over with so that they could rush back to the
more familiar and easier to tread waters of political scandals,
celebrity news and legal matters.

3- CBS- CBS has a small but fantastic team who stays on top of space
developments. Walter Cronkite set the consensus standard for space
anchors. His shoes have not been filled. Unfortunately, their coverage
is also cheap and CBS is not eligible for the championship since they
are still on probation for airing Dan Rather's error-filled space
documentaries over the years and for celebrating the Apollo 11 20th
anniversary by having Charles Kuralt narrate a documentary that was
only 2% Apollo 11 history and 98% "human interest" crap. What was it
called, "The Moon above, the Earth Below"?

4- ABC: Oh, how I long for the day when Jules Bergman came on the air
and actually made ABC look credible.

5- FOX: Could somebody please help Jamie Colby figure out which end of
the Space Shuttle Orbiter contains the propulsion system. Colby was
the absolute worst of all the people who covered the RTF false start.
At least, the tired old coots at MSNBC have their hearts into the
space program. FOX had a NASA bashing discussion on the air just this
(Saturday) morning following the week's activities at KSC. I know that
FOX has access to some of the best space reporters on the planet. Why
don't they use Rand Simberg or one of their affiliate reporters to
cover space missions. The FOX STS-114 coverage had ZERO value. In
fact, most FOX space coverage consists of rewriting or directly
reading AP and Reuters wire reports. FOX is so bad with their space
coverage they are a non-factor and should actually be unranked.

Thanks, Jim McDade

Make sure to visit the Flagship website:

Yahoo! Groups Links

<*> To visit your group on the web, go to:



This is the lunar-update at
mailing list!

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

HDNet Viewers Get Exclusive Front Row Seats for NASA's Return to Flight With Live High-definition Coverage of Discovery Launch

Exclusive North American HD Telecast to Feature Behind-the-Scenes Coverage of Astronauts' Pre-flight Activities, Launch and Landing

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - DALLAS - July 6, 2005 - HDNet will take viewers on an exclusive high-definition adventure with complete coverage of NASA's historic Return to Flight, as the Space Shuttle Discovery and its seven-member crew embark on mission STS-114, currently scheduled for July 13.

Utilizing up to 14 cameras positioned throughout the Kennedy Space Center, HDNet's extensive live coverage on the launch date will begin at 11:00 a.m. EDT with behind-the-scenes access to the astronauts and their families as they eat breakfast, suit up, board the shuttle, and complete their pre-launch routine inside the crew module. Then viewers will witness the countdown, launch, and follow the shuttle as it reaches far into the earth's atmosphere.

HDNet's cameras will also be live on location for the shuttle's landing, currently scheduled for July 25 at 11:01 a.m. EDT. In keeping with HDNet's practice of delivering live world news raw and uninterrupted by outside commentary, the network will be broadcasting the natural sounds of the launch complemented by NASA's commentary, allowing the HDNet audience to receive 100% of their information directly from mission control.

"NASA is pleased to work with HDNet to provide the world's viewing audience live pictures of the launch of Space Shuttle Discovery in high-definition TV," said Mike Rein, Chief, Media Services at NASA's Kennedy Space Center. "These will undoubtedly be the highest quality pictures ever broadcast of a Space Shuttle launch."

"Once again, HDNet is leading the way with innovative and exclusive programming for our viewers," said Mark Cuban of HDNet. "While other networks are beholden to business as usual, only HDNet will bring launch-to-landing coverage of the Shuttle Discovery, without annoying talking heads interrupting this historic return to space."

Cuban continued: "HDTV is a completely new entertainment medium and only HDNet tailors programming to the advanced resolution, sound and widescreen picture HD offers. The launch of the Shuttle Discovery will be a thrilling experience on HDNet and we are proud to be partnering with NASA to present it exactly as those at the launch pad will see it."

Extensive Equipment and Technology Required to Produce Complex Telecast
The complex task of producing a live, multi-camera, switched high-definition telecast of an historic event such as this requires extensive equipment and technical support. HDNet is installing 1080i cameras in various locations ranging from inside the "firing room" where engineers and administrators direct the countdown, to right on the launching pad itself. Close-up views of the exterior of the shuttle itself and of the astronauts once they are inside the crew module will appear courtesy of several NASA cameras.

HDNet will be deploying a special Canon DIGI SUPER 86 TELExs lens capable of a 2,322mm focal length to enable a 1080i camera situated at one of the tracking sites to follow Discovery at least 176,000 feet, or 33 miles into the earth's atmosphere. The network is also using a pan and tilt robo head at the launch pad from Eagle Pan Tilt, and is installing the Grass Valley Kalypso(TM) HD Video Production Center switcher, which is switchable between SD and HD productions inside NASA's TV control room.

About HDNet
HDNet provides viewers with exciting and topical news, sports, music and entertainment programming. The network features up to 20 hours of original programming each week, all produced in the highest quality 1080i HDTV format - more original high-definition programming than any other network. HDNet news and entertainment includes original series "HDNet World Report," "Deadline!," "Face 2 Face with Roy Firestone," "Art Mann Presents," "HDNet Concert Series," and "True Music," as well as every episode of the acclaimed Warner Bros. series "Smallville." Live sports productions include NASCAR auto racing, National Hockey League and Major League Soccer games. HDNet Movies, the company's second network, shows a wide selection of major studios' theatrical releases - all uncut, unedited, and appearing in their original aspect ratio. The network also features movies produced and finished in true 1080i high-definition, including movies premiering day and date with their theatrical releases. Co-founded by Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks, and General Manager Philip Garvin, the HDNet networks are available on Adelphia, Charter, DIRECTV, DISH Network, Insight, Mediacom, Time Warner Cable and more than 40 NCTC cable affiliate companies. For more information visit


Sherry Yeaman, HDNet, (214) 366-3449,

Sunday, July 10, 2005

[lunar-update] Capture Dynamics and Chaotic Motions in Celestial Mechanics - With Applications to the Construction of Low Energy Transfers
Good afternoon.

John Reed passed a note.
>From: John Reed
>Sent: Sunday, July 10, 2005 12:46 PM
>To: Larry Kellogg
>Subject: Re: [lunar-update] As noted at Inside KSC - NASA Announces Space
Shuttle Return to Flight Activities

>Greetings--no wind here, in SE Ga, just lots of rain--hope things clear by
Wed, planning to go down a watch the shuttle go off...Some of your
math-oriented readers may enjoy Dr. Belbruno's work:


>By using chaos theory applied to 3-body orbital mechanics, he's found
routes to the moon that are twice as efficient as what NASA used for
Apollo...might be useful when we finally start going there again!


John mentions --- math-oriented readers --- and math was not one of my A
subjects, at least taking Calculus 2, 26 years after Calculus 1 was not the
way to study math with me. (slight break in college with 26 years in the
Navy between my first year and second year of school.)

Still I think you will appreciate that there are different ways of looking
at problems and using your mind to visualize a problem can be productive.
You will see that capture dynamics and chaotic motions in celestial
mechanics paints a picture of sets of orbits that can ease your way from one
point in space to another with little expenditure of energy.

I'll copy the book review below and then some other links and I hope you
will appreciate thinking about going through space on these low energy
transfer routes. Just visualize the roller coaster ride on your space
gravity pin ball machine.

If you read all the way through the last article you may see that a student
of mathematics could spend a great deal of time mapping space for the ride
to the stars.

Now where is my Texas Instruments four function calculator with six
dimension, holographic projection, that folds up in my pocket just waiting
to be used for my next jump point.

Larry Kellogg
larry.kellogg at

[See web site for live links. - LRK -]
Capture Dynamics and Chaotic Motions in Celestial Mechanics:
With Applications to the Construction of Low Energy Transfers

Edward Belbruno

Cloth | 2004 | $52.50 / £33.95 | ISBN: 0-691-09480-2
224 pp. | 6 x 9 | 20 line illus.

Shopping Cart | Reviews | Table of Contents
Chapter 1 [in PDF format]

This book describes a revolutionary new approach to determining low energy
routes for spacecraft and comets by exploiting regions in space where motion
is very sensitive (or chaotic). It also represents an ideal introductory
text to celestial mechanics, dynamical systems, and dynamical astronomy.
Bringing together wide-ranging research by others with his own original
work, much of it new or previously unpublished, Edward Belbruno argues that
regions supporting chaotic motions, termed weak stability boundaries, can be
estimated. Although controversial until quite recently, this method was in
fact first applied in 1991, when Belbruno used a new route developed from
this theory to get a stray Japanese satellite back on course to the moon.
This application provided a major verification of his theory, representing
the first application of chaos to space travel.

Since that time, the theory has been used in other space missions, and NASA
is implementing new applications under Belbruno's direction. The use of
invariant manifolds to find low energy orbits is another method here
addressed. Recent work on estimating weak stability boundaries and related
regions has also given mathematical insight into chaotic motion in the
three-body problem. Belbruno further considers different capture and escape
mechanisms, and resonance transitions.

Providing a rigorous theoretical framework that incorporates both recent
developments such as Aubrey-Mather theory and established fundamentals like
Kolmogorov-Arnold-Moser theory, this book represents an indispensable
resource for graduate students and researchers in the disciplines concerned
as well as practitioners in fields such as aerospace engineering.

Edward Belbruno has been a Visiting Research Collaborator in the Program in
Applied and Computational Mathematics at Princeton University since 1998.
The author of numerous articles in professional journals in mathematics,
astronomy, and aerospace engineering, he received the Laurel Award in 1999
for the salvage of a Hughes satellite in 1998 using lunar transfer.


"You have just launched a multimillion dollar communications satellite into
space. A malfunction means your expensive cargo will not reach its required
orbit. Who are you going to call? A good choice would be Edward Belbruno, a
celestial mechanician who seems to specialize in such lost causes. . . .
Capture Dynamics is the first book to describe the necessary theory in the
context of the whole process of capture. . . . The result is a brilliant
example of the application of chaos theory to practical problems."--Carl
Murray, New Scientist

"This is a how-to book on how to construct a low energy orbit from the earth
to the moon by the man who did just that to save the Japanese space mission
in 1990."--Ken Meyer, SIAM Review


"A classic, by one of the masters of the field. Belbruno found the almost
magical low energy chaotic orbit that got the Hiten spacecraft successfully
to the moon. This text has a beautiful general treatment of chaotic orbits,
which are now of great importance both in the celestial navigation of
spacecraft and in evaluating the threat of killer asteroids in near earth
orbit."--J. Richard Gott, III, Professor of Astrophysics, Princeton

"It is truly amazing to see how many new gems have been discovered recently
in the classical three-body problem, which has led to theoretical delight as
well as to practical applications in solar-system space flight. In this book
we hear the story firsthand, from someone who has been instrumental in both
aspects of these developments."--Piet Hut, Institute for Advanced Study,

"This is a well-written book, the first one in the literature to combine
modern and advanced theoretical results in celestial mechanics with
practical methods used for understanding and designing the low energy
trajectories of space missions."--Florin Diacu, University of Victoria.

[See more reviews and links to table of contents at the web site. - LRK -]

[Often we find that history is made over expanded periods of time rather
than instantaneously. - LRK -]
When The Moon Hits Your Eye ...
By apsmith, Section Commentary
Posted on Sun Jan 11, 2004 at 05:26:55 AM PST
Space Exploration Driving east towards home this evening from the New York
NSS chapter meeting, with my mind on space exploration and all the recent
excitement, I happened to catch the just-past-full Moon exactly on the
horizon, huge and ruddy-brown. Our sister planet, it seemed so close, within
reach. Are we really going back there? And why now?

Dr. Edward Belbruno was the speaker today, and had been intending to talk
about his new book, and how he got into the field of chaotic orbital
dynamics. But first we heard him share some of his excitement about the
potential for the changes (still not yet official) for NASA and US space

Ed just got back from China, in particular Shanghai, where he was stunned by
the vibrancy of the city, the changes of just the last few years, and how
inexpensive everything was (sumptuous dinner for eight people: $12.00). What
really made him both excited for China, and depressed about the current
state of the US, was the repeated sighting on the local news of Yang Liwei,
China's first astronaut, who seems to have caught his country in a frenzy of
space enthusiasm. To Ed it seemed like a combination of New York in the
1900's (when the skyscrapers first went up) and the US in the 50's and
60's - positive, win-win attitudes and enthusiasm and hard work everywhere.

And while he was there, Beagle (is that any name for a spacecraft?)
vanished. Even though China hasn't attempted any lunar or interplanetary
probes yet, it seemed further evidence of the decline of the west... But,
now we have Spirit on Mars, and the promise of a new direction for NASA at
last! Perhaps all is not lost! But some remain skeptical - does NASA really
still have it in it, or is it now like a former Olympic athlete eating
potato chips and drinking beer while watching reruns of past glories.?

Anyway, Belbruno did eventually get to his fascinating talk on chaotic
orbits, capture dynamics, and the story of political machinations at the Jet
Propulsion Lab. Interestingly enough, ESA's Smart-1 craft is following one
of Belbruno's suggested trajectories right now. And Martin Lo's
Interplanetary Superhighway, which was in the news a couple of years back,
is all based on Belbruno's mathematics. Rocket science is actually quite a
bit more complicated than everybody thought!

By the way, NSS has chapters even in remote locations like Alabama; no
admission normally required for meetings :-)

[Notice the date of this IAA symposium and what Dr. BELBRUNO's talk was
about. - LRK - ]
to the Outer Solar System and Beyond

First IAA symposium on realistic near-term advanced scientific space

June 25-27, 1996 - Turin, Italy
International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) together with Politecnico di

Symposium Goals

The Interstellar Space Exploration Committee (ISEC) of the International
Academy of Astronautics (IAA) feels that the time is ripe to exploit many
excellent speculations about space missions to the outer solar system and
beyond up to 1000 Astronomical Units (AU) from the Sun. This Symposium aims
at identifying a Deep Space Transportation System and the relevant space
missions to make new scientific progress, some of which cannot be achieved
within the solar system.

Results from this Symposium will be submitted to the leading Space
Agencies as Proposals for space missions to the outer solar system and
beyond which are feasible within near term technology.

IAA will host a three-day International Symposium on Outer- and
Extra-Solar Missions in the town of Turin (Torino), Italy. Local supporting
organizations will be the "Giuseppe Colombo" Center for Astrodynamics of
Turin and the Departments of Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics of the
Politecnico (Engineering School) of Turin. The Symposium dates will be
Tuesday 25, Wednesday 26 and Thursday 27 June 1996.

Areas of Interest

* Scientific Objectives and Payload Requirements
* Power and Propulsion Systems
* Trajectory Optimization, Mission Profiles
* Attitude Dynamics
* Navigation, Guidance and Control
* Very Deep Space Telecommunications
* Sensors, Detectors and Lens Systems
* Nanotechnology and Robotics
* Perspectives and New Concepts for Missions
* Forms of International Cooperation

BELBRUNO Edward - The Geometry Center USA
GENTA Giancarlo - Dipartimento di Meccanica Politecnico di Torino

Low Energy Comet Rendez-Vous Using Resonance Transitions

[You may want to read the whole article.
See reference to Edward Belbruno towards the end of what I copied. - LRK -]
Next Exit 0.5 Million Kilometers
by Douglas L. Smith

The year is 2020. Under a crescent Earth, the assembly crew at the Lunar
Gateway Service Area some 62,000 kilometers above the moon’s surface
installs new electronics on an infrared telescope and sets it moving, at the
speed of a Ford Pinto climbing an on-ramp, off to park itself deep in Earth’
s shadow, where a little cryogenic coolant goes a long way and where Earth
is always directly overhead for high-speed data downlinks. This spacecraft
has, in fact, just entered what Martin
Lo (BS ’75), a member of the technical staff at JPL, calls the
Interplanetary Superhighway—“a vast network of winding tunnels in space”
that con-nects the sun, the planets, their moons, and a
host of other destinations as well. But unlike the wormholes beloved of
science-fiction writers, these things are real. In fact, they are already
being used.

The Genesis mission, for example, is following a route that a team of
scientists led by Lo plotted through the sun-Earth interchange of this
freeway system. (In fact, this low-energy route helped JPL win the mission.)
Genesis, of which Caltech professor of nuclear geochemistry Don Burnett
is the principal investigator, is collecting samples of the solar wind—the
torrent of charged particles that emanates from the sun, and whose makeup
reflects that of the disk of gas and dust from which the sun and the planets
condensed. In 2004, Genesis will bring its booty home the same way. (Well,
technically not the same way, as it will return through the other side of
the cloverleaf,
as it were.)

Lo, together with Caltech’s Jerrold Marsden, professor of control and
dynamical systems (CDS), and their coworkers Shane Ross (BS ’98, a CDS
graduate student) and Wang Sang Koon (a CDS senior postdoc) have begun a
systematic mapping effort of what is more properly known as the
Interplanetary Transport Network. As a freeway system, the network is more
akin to the Pacific Coast Highway and other scenic routes than to
interstates like the I-5—a collection of meandering byways for leisurely
travel, not the fastest, most direct routes between points. But the quickest
paths in outer space are all toll roads (it costs a lot of rocket fuel to
use them), while you can ride the Interplanetary Superhighway almost for
free. Gravity does the driving, so the system is really more like an
elaborate set of Hot Wheels tracks. All you have to do is let go of the car
at the right place. (It’s a lot more complicated than this, because the
tracks are in constant motion, but we’ll get to that later.)

Think of a planet as a bowling ball sitting on a taut rubber sheet; the
depression the ball makes is its gravitational well. To hoick a marble (the
spacecraft) up out of that well takes thrust—often quite a lot of it. But
what if the marble was balanced on a cusp, such as where Earth’s well and
the moon’s well meet? The gravitational (and sometimes rotational) forces
would balance one another, and the slightest sneeze, a mere feather touch,
would nudge the spacecraft in the right direction.

A set of five of these balance points, called Lagrange or libration points,
exist between every pair of massive bodies—the sun and its planets, the
planets and their moons, and so on. Joseph-Louis Lagrange (1736–1813)
discovered the existence of the two points now known as L4 and L5, each of
which is located in the orbital plane at the third vertex of an equilateral
triangle with, say, Earth at one vertex and the moon at the other. So L4 is
60° in advance of the moon, and L5 60° behind it. Ideally, a spacecraft at
L4 or L5 will remain there indefinitely because when it falls off the cusp,
the Coriolis effect—which makes it hard for you to walk on a moving
merry-go-round—will swirl it into a long-lived orbit around that point.
Comet debris and other space junk tends to collect there, and Jupiter has
accumulated an impressive set of asteroids that way.

Leonhard Euler (1707–1783) rounded out the assortment with L1, L2, and L3,
where the rotational forces don’t balance out and nothing stays put for
long. (Euler actually discovered L1, L2, and L3 first, but Lagrange had a
better press agent.) For the sun-Earth pair, L1 lies on a line between them,
about 1.5 million kilometers from Earth. Genesis is parked in a halo orbit
around L1, so called because, as seen from Earth, the flight path follows a
halo around the sun. (Sitting right on L1 isn’t a good idea, as the
spacecraft’s radio signals would be lost in the sun’s glare.) Since orbits
around L1 are unstable, Genesis needs a small boost every 60 days or so to
keep it on station. Because of its unobstructed view of the sun, L1 is a
popular place these days—the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO), a
joint project of the European Space Agency and NASA, and NASA’s WIND and the
Advanced Composition Explorer (ACE) are also there. (Ed Stone, the Morrisroe
Professor of Physics, is ACE’s principal investigator, and two of its nine
instruments were built on campus.) L2 is a similar distance from Earth as
L1, but in the opposite direction, and L2 orbits are also unstable on a
60-day scale. NASA’s MAP, the Microwave Anisotropy Probe, has been in orbit
around L2 since October 2001, mapping the variations in the leftover heat
from the Big Bang. And finally, L3 lies hidden from our view directly behind
the sun. We haven’t found any reason to keep a spacecraft there, but it’s
proven a dandy place for science-fiction writers to conceal inhabited,
Earthlike planets—despite the fact that all these anti-Earths and Planet Xs
would, if left unattended, fall out of orbit in 150 days or so.

“Historically, L1 and L2 were not interesting,” says Koon. “People were
interested in L4 and L5, because they are stable. But instability can be a
good thing, because a little force achieves a big result.” Adds Ross, “You,
walking around, are dynamically unstable. You keep falling forward.” Without
your inner-ear balance system constantly sending signals for your body to
right itself, you’d be flat on your face in an instant. (Watch a toddler
learning to walk some time.) But this imbalance is good, as it allows a
little forward impetus to move your mass.

The tools to deal with this celestial instability were developed by
Jules-Henri Poincaré (1854–1912) in the 1890s. Poincaré was working on the
infamous three-body problem, which has bedeviled mathematicians since the
days of Isaac Newton. The problem is simplicity itself: calculate the orbits
of three masses whose only interaction with one another is through their
gravitational pulls. Building on Kepler’s foundational work, Newton solved
the two-body version—Earth going around the sun, for example—but throwing a
third mass into the mix gives a complex interplay of constantly shifting
forces. Says Marsden, “You can fit the equations for the three-body problem
in a corner of the blackboard somewhere, but the subtleties in it are very
interesting. Many computational scientists like working on it because it’s
one of the simplest problems that’s complicated enough to test out
computational theories.” And trying to do all nine planets at once?

Poincaré simplified the mess by organizing similar orbits into “manifolds.”
A manifold is any nice, smooth surface: a sheet of paper is a manifold, as
is the surface of a sphere; or the crust of a donut, also called a torus.
Poincaré saw that families of orbits lay on “invariant” manifolds—“No matter
where it goes, a particle that starts on that surface will remain on that
surface forever unless you give it a knock,” Lo explains. “So that surface
is invariant.” These manifolds sit inside what is called six-dimensional
phase space, because it includes the three dimensions of normal space plus a
dimension for the particle’s velocity in each direction. Thus particles that
have the same location but different velocities will appear at different
points in the 6-D phase space. (Marsden and Lo are working with Alan Barr,
professor of computer science, on ways to visualize such higher-dimensional
objects, but, fortunately, there’s a lot that’s easy to see in two


In yet another leap, the collaboration includes a pack of chemists—Charles
Jaffé of West Virginia University, Turgay Uzer from Georgia Tech, and Utah
State’s David Farrelly. “Suppose an asteroid hits Mars and throws up a bunch
of debris,” Marsden asks. “What’s the probability of some of it reaching
Earth? Being bound in Mars orbit and then escaping is mathematically
analogous to a molecule breaking apart. Jaffé, Uzer, and Farrelly brought in
all sorts of techniques from chemistry, because chemists have really been
worrying about those problems.”

It’s useful to know how material sloshes through the solar system, drifting
on gravity’s currents, but no man will wait for that tide. A mission a grad
student would consider a good career move needs to get where it’s going in
only a few years at most. You can do this if you stay in the vicinity of one
planet—taking the beltway rather than the inter-state, as it were—and a
Japanese spacecraft named Hiten was the first to do just that. Launched in
January 1990, it was placed into a highly elliptical orbit around Earth,
from which it was supposed to release a small probe named Hagoromo into
lunar orbit. Hagoromo’s radio failed before deployment, however, and Hiten
didn’t have enough fuel to get to the moon itself on a conventional path. So
JPL’s Edward Belbruno (now affiliated with Princeton) and James Miller
proposed gradually nudging Hiten’s orbit into a very long ellipse extending
some 1.4 million kilometers from Earth. (You may recall that the sun-Earth
L1 point is about 1.5 million kilometers out.) In this region, which
Belbruno and Miller called the Weak Stability Boundary, a carefully timed
rocket burst sent Hiten looping into lunar orbit.

The same trick will work in other planetary neighborhoods. The gulf between
Jupiter’s moons Ganymede and Europa is only about 400,000 kilometers—about
the distance from Earth to
the moon. So a mission could fly to Jupiter on conventional conic sections,
then slip into a “petit grand tour” of the Jovian system. Based on the
method developed in the Chaos paper, Koon, Lo, Marsden, and Ross created a
proof-of-concept flight plan in which a spacecraft took one loop around
Ganymede before settling into a permanent orbit around Europa—a moon that
planetary scientists are dying for a long look at, as it may have oceans of
liquid water beneath its frozen surface. “Most previous applications of
dynamical systems theory to mission design focused on the surfaces of the
invariant manifolds,” says Koon. “We showed that the regions inside and
outside the manifolds can be used to advantage as well as the manifolds
themselves.” Recent, more ambitious itineraries include Callisto and Io, and
go on for a hundred or so orbits. Says Ross, “I think 100 is sort of the
limit of predictability. Like you can only predict the weather for so many
days into the future, we can only predict what’s going to happen up to some
finite horizon in any chaotic environment.” So you still need to fire the
maneuvering thrusters every now and then, just as Genesis needs a nudge
every couple of months to keep it in orbit around L1. But you’ll use a lot
less fuel if you work with the manifolds rather than trying to punch through

Nowadays, these calculations for space missions are done using a software
package called LTool, which can actually handle an N-body problem using
positional data from JPL’s elaborate model
of the solar system, called an ephemeris. LTool grew out of a set of
computational tools developed by astrodynamicists at Purdue over the last 20
years, and which Lo borrowed from longtime collaborator Kathleen Howell, a
halo-orbit expert there. Lo, Howell, and her grad student Belinda Marchand
used these tools on a Jupiter-resonant comet called Helin-Roman-Crockett
(codiscovered by JPL’s Eleanor Helin), meticulously matching the comet’s
orbit with the appropriate segments of Jupiter’s tubes—the model’s first use
of the real motions of actual celestial bodies instead of idealized circular
orbits. In 1998, Lo assembled a JPL team to develop and expand the software,
calling on Larry Romans (PhD ’85), George Hockney, Brian Barden and Roby
Wilson (both Howell alums), Min-Kun Chung (BS ’81), and James Evans.


But right now Lo, Marsden, and company are a long way from compiling a Rand
McNally–esque road atlas of the entire system, much less a detailed street
map. The work they’ve done so far is more of a point-to-point nature—the
equivalent of having a bunch of people just hop into cars and drive, and
seeing where everyone winds up. To do this, they pick a large number of
initial conditions and let the computer run the paths out to wherever they
go. They can make informed choices of the starting points to set the machine
off in the right direction, but the final destinations remain the luck of
the draw. What they need is enough computer power to make the equivalent of
time-lapse aerial photographs of all those flailing tubes. Furthermore,
there are whole families of periodic and quasi-periodic orbits that haven’t
even been catalogued yet, much less explored—you can have an orbit that lies
on the surface of a torus, for example, so that it looks as if you had
soldered the ends of a Slinky together. The manifolds winding onto and off
of this orbit look like hairy donuts. And Randy Paffenroth, staff scientist
in applied and computational math; Eusebius Doedel, visiting associate in
applied math; Herb Keller, professor emeritus of applied math; and Don
Dichmann of the Aerospace Corporation have discovered even weirder orbits
that are impossible to describe in simple terms.

But what if you aren’t anywhere near the tube you want to take? Lo, Marsden,
and company, in collaboration with a group headed by Michael Dellnitz at the
University of Paderborn in Germany, are also working on an extension of the
theory they call “lobe dynamics.” Lobe dynamics allows you to begin at a
distant point on the Poincaré cut and, over many successive passes, hop
chaotically between orbital resonances until you arrive in the vicinity of
the proper tube and fall in. It’s kind of like starting in the middle of a
grassy paddock and bouncing your way over the rough ground to reach a paved

“Exactly how three-body dynamics can be used to help solve Galileo-type
trajectories is a real-life research problem,” says Lo. “How this connects
up to conventional conic orbits is not entirely clear. They’re not separate,
not clearly distinct, and we would like to be able to use elements of both.
Ultimately, this will enable us to do missions we can’t even conceive of
now. The rational numbers didn’t replace the integers, they just increased
the number of things we could do. And who knows what lies ahead? Beyond the
rationals are the irrational numbers, and beyond them the imaginaries.” Says
Marsden, “Since the foundation of the Interplanetary Transport Network we
have laid is so broad and fundamental, it helps us understand many
different, otherwise disparate phenomena at multiple scales, from the
trajectories of spacecraft to the chaotic motion of comets and the transport
of zodiacal dust particles.”

Says Marsden, “We’d really like to establish a formal joint Caltech/JPL
center to carry on this research, perhaps in collaboration with Caltech’s
Center for Integrative Multiscale Modeling and Simulation. But we need a
donor—someone who thinks this stuff is really cool.” Adds Lo, “It’s a
large-scale project. Maybe not quite as horrendous as, say, the human
genome, but a lot like those star catalogs. It’s going to take some time,
because there are a lot of theoretical underpinnings that are still not
really understood.” The center would take advantage of Caltech’s
supercomputer facility and draw faculty from a wide range of disciplines.
And the work done at the center would redound
to other fields in return—perhaps the celestial dynamicists will ultimately
teach the chemists
a thing or two.



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