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

Sunday, February 25, 2007

The Study of the Pioneer Anomaly:

The Study of the Pioneer Anomaly:
New Data and Objectives for New Investigation

Slava G. Turyshev, a
Viktor T. Toth, b
Larry R. Kellogg, c
Eunice. L. Lau, a and
Kyong J. Lee, a

a Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology,
4800 Oak Grove Drive, Pasadena, CA 91109, USA
b, 3-575 Old St Patrick St., Ottawa ON K1N 9H5, Canada
c NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA 94035, USA 1

1 Contractor to NASA Ames Research Center employed by Bendix Field Engineering Corporation early on and Orbital Sciences Corporation at the end of the Pioneer missions; presently retired.


The Pioneer 10/11 spacecraft yielded the most precise navigation in deep space to date. However, their radiometric tracking data has consistently indicated the presence of a small, anomalous, Doppler frequency drift. The drift is a blue shift, uniformly changing with a rate of  6 × 10−9 Hz/s and can be interpreted as a constant sunward acceleration of each particular spacecraft of aP = (8.74 ±1.33) × 10−10 m/s2 (or, alternatively, a time acceleration of at = (2.92 ± 0.44) × 10−18 s/s2). This signal has become known as the Pioneer anomaly; the nature of this anomaly remains unexplained. We discuss the current state of the efforts to retrieve the entire data sets of the Pioneer 10 and 11 radiometric Doppler data. We also report on the availability of recently recovered telemetry files that may be used to reconstruct the engineering history of both spacecraft using original project documentation and newly developed software tools. We discuss possible ways to further investigate the discovered effect using these telemetry files in conjunction with the analysis of the much extended Pioneer Doppler data.

In preparation for this new upcoming investigation, we summarize the current knowledge of the
Pioneer anomaly and review some of the mechanisms proposed for its explanation. We emphasize the main objectives of this new study, namely i) analysis of the early data that could yield the true direction of the anomaly and thus, its origin, ii) analysis of planetary encounters, that should tell more about the onset of the anomaly (e.g. Pioneer 11’s Saturn flyby), iii) analysis of the entire dataset, that should lead to a better determination of the temporal behavior of the anomaly, iv) comparative analysis of individual anomalous accelerations for the two Pioneers with the data taken from similar heliocentric distances, v) the detailed study of on-board systematics, and vi) development of a thermal-electric-dynamical model using on-board telemetry. The outlined strategy may allow for a higher accuracy solution for the anomalous acceleration of the Pioneer spacecraft and, possibly, will lead to an unambiguous determination of the origin of the Pioneer anomaly.

1 Introduction 2
2 The Pioneer Anomaly and the Search for its Origin 5
2.1 The Pioneer Anomaly . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
2.2 Original Efforts to Explain the Anomaly . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
2.2.1 Effects with Sources External to the Spacecraft . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
2.2.2 Study of the On-Board Systematics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
2.2.3 Computational Systematics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
2.3 Recent Efforts to Explain the Anomaly . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
2.3.1 Search for Independent Confirmation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
2.3.2 Conventional Physics Mechanisms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
2.3.3 Possibility for New Physics? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
3 Recovery of the Extended Pioneer Doppler Data Set 10
3.1 Doppler Data . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
3.2 Pioneer Doppler Data Formats . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
3.2.1 ATDF – Archival Tracking Data File (Format TRK-2-25) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
3.2.2 ODF – Orbit Data File (Format TRK-2-18) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
3.3 Retrieval of the Pioneer Doppler Data . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
3.4 Current Status of the Data Recovery Process . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
4 Pioneer Telemetry and On-Board Systematics 16
4.1 Master Data Records . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
4.1.1 MDR Media and Data Organization . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
4.1.2 Data Integrity and Completeness . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
4.1.3 Interpreting the Data . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
4.1.4 Decoding Analog Values . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
4.1.5 Software Implementation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
4.2 Available Telemetry Information . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
4.3 What Can Telemetry Tell Us About the Spacecraft? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
5 A Strategy to Find the Origin of the Pioneer Anomaly 26
5.1 Analysis of the Earlier Data . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27
5.2 Study of the Planetary Encounters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
5.3 Analysis of the Entire Data Span . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
5.4 Analysis of the Individual Trajectories for Both Pioneers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
5.5 Investigation of the On-Board Systematics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
5.5.1 Radio Beam Reaction Force . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
5.5.2 Anisotropic Heat Reflection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
5.5.3 Differential Change of the RTG’s Radiant Emissivity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34
5.5.4 Constant Electrical Heat Radiation as the Source . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
5.5.5 Helium Expulsion from the RTGs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
5.5.6 Propulsive Mass Expulsion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36
5.6 Building a Thermal/Electrical/Dynamical Model for the Pioneers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37
6 Conclusion



A bit selfish I know, but I don't want the Pioneer 10 and 11 missions to be lost to the general consciousness.

If you get to page 17 you can see some of what goes into pulling the health of the spacecraft out of the Master Data Records.

Was a lot of fun working in support of the Pioneer Missions.

Larry R. Kellogg

Jonathan's Space Report - Latest Issue

No. 577

The Space Report ("JSR") is issued about twice a month. It describes all
space launches, including both piloted missions and automated
satellites. Back issues are available online
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encouraged. You can mail Jonathan McDowell at *jcm at*.


Jonathan's Space Report has some interesting information about the ISS
activity. Some may not be interested in what goes on at the ISS but it
may well be representative of the type of information you would get back
from a Lunar Base. Is this what you want to hear about, sitting Earth

Iran shot a rocket into the air, do I care? As a kid I shot an arrow
into the air and it came to land on the roof of our house. My dad cared
where I shot an arrow and I suppose those around the world would be
interested where rockets fired into the air, land. Maybe why they were
fired into the air as well.

Some rockets don't fall to Earth, they cause satellites to break up and
make for a lot of debris. As more and more rockets carry loads to
space, flying through shrapnel will continue to be a concern. Loads
that don't make it to a proper orbit, still fueled, are a potential
problem as well. We are reminded by Jonathan of a recent example.

Also note that Japan used their H2A rocket.

I hope you don't mind my copying Jonathan's Report below.

Thanks for looking up with me.

Larry Kellogg

Web Site:
RSS link:


Jonathan's Space Report
No. 577 2007 Feb 25, Somerville, MA

Shuttle and Station

Lopez-Alegria, Williams and Tyurin continue on ISS as Expedition 14. LA
and Williams began another EVA on Feb 4. The Quest airlock was
depressurized and the hatch opened at 1336 UTC. The spacewalkers
completed reconfiguration of the ammonia cooling system, retracted the
aft radiator on the P6 truss, and began installation of cables that will
allow a docked Shuttle to get electrical power from the ISS solar
arrays. The astronauts returned to the airlock at 2025 UTC and closed
the hatch at 2033 UTC. The airlock was repressurized at 2049 UTC.

On Feb 8 at 1322 UTC Quest was again depressurized, with hatch open at
1324 UTC. Suni Williams emerged at 1332 UTC with LA exiting the lock at
1340 UTC. They went to the CETA carts on the truss, and took them to the
P3 truss segment where two small and two large thermal covers were
removed and stuffed into bags. The two bags, each about 9 kg and perhaps
0.5m across, were jettisoned at 1536 and 1542 UTC. After deploying
cargo attachment adapters on P3, and preparing the P5 truss for
its connection to P6 later in the year, the astronauts went to the PMA-2
docking port outside the Destiny lab to install the remaining SSPTS
cables for supplying visiting Shuttles with electrical power. The hatch
was closed at 2002 UTC and the airlock was repressurized at 2006 UTC.

On Feb 22 Lopez-Alegria and Tyurin made a spacewalk from the Pirs
airlock wearing spacesuits Orlan M-25 and M-27. The airlock was
depressurized by around 1005 UTC, and the hatch was opened at 1027 UTC;
egress was at 1045-1049 UTC; the Progress antenna was freed using
cutting tools by about 1245 UTC; at 1407 UTC, having left the aft
end of Zvezda, the astronauts jettisoned two cleaning towels used to
protect against thruster fuel contamination. After other minor
inspection and hardware installation tasks, they re-entered the Pirs
airlock at 1622-1627 UTC and closed the hatch at 1645 UTC, with
repressurizaton at 1649 UTC. Thanks to Andrey Krasil'nikov for
help with some of the EVA times in this report.

Atlantis is now on the pad at KSC, being prepared for launch on mission

Iranian sounding rocket (not satellite)

On Feb 25 the Iranian Aerospace Research Institute announced the launch
of a 'space system' called 'Kavesh' (search). The Iranian news agency
talks about launching a rocket into space. At first it wasn't entirely
clear whether this reflected a successful orbital launch but a later
clarification established that it was a sounding rocket test. The rocket
has a maximum apogee of 150 km. Iran has launched missiles to that
height in the past, so what's new here is that it's a quasi-civilian
research payload, possibly testing systems for a later satellite launch.
It is not clear when the launch took place, what the name of the launch
vehicle is (possibly based on the Shahab-3 ('Meteor') missile, itself
derived from the North Korean Nodong) or what the launch site was
(perhaps the Shahroud missile test base at about 36.4N 55.0E; there is
also reportedly a test site at Qom, 34.7N 50.9E and one at
Dasht-E-Kabir, 32.8N 51.9E; all these locations are uncertain). The
Iranian Aerospace Research Institute is based in Tehran and is, I
believe, conducting the launch under the auspices of the Iranian
National Space Agency formed in 2003 as part of the government of the
Islamic Republic of Iran.

Rosetta and New Horizons

The European comet probe Rosetta made a 250 km flyby of Mars at 0157 UTC
on Feb 25. The probe will arrive at comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko in
2014; it was launched in Mar 2004 and made an Earth flyby in Mar 2005.
As Rosetta leaves the Mars gravitational sphere of influence it
enters a 0.78 x 1.59 AU solar orbit inclined 1.9 deg to the ecliptic,
setting it up for another Earth flyby in November.

Pluto New Horizons makes its closest approach to Jupiter on Feb 28
at 0541 UTC, at a distance of 2.305 million km just outside the orbit of
Callisto; the inert Star 48 third stage of the New Horizons launch flies
past Jupiter at 2.8 million km at 0144 UTC the same day. New Horizons'
Centaur AV-010 second stage has been left far behind, meandering through
the asteroid belt 2.8 AU from the Sun.


China launched a navigation satellite towards geostationary orbit
on Feb 2. The CZ-3A rocket put the fourth Beidou payload in a
192 x 41772 km x 25.0 deg supersynchronous transfer orbit.
As of Feb 24, the Beidou satellite - reportedly the first of a new
generation - remained in this transfer orbit and had not moved to
geostationary, suggesting the possibility that it may have failed.


710 pieces of debris were cataloged from the previous record debris
event, an accidental fragmentation of the Pegasus/HAPS rocket stage from
the 1994-029 launch. As of Feb 20, 786 pieces had been cataloged from
the destruction of the Chinese FY-1C satellite in a space weapons test,
breaking the record and officially making the FY-1C destruction the
worst orbital debris event since the formation of the Moon. By Feb 25
the number had reached 916 pieces. The accidental explosion on Feb 19 of
the Arabsat-4 Briz upper stage 2006-06B, stranded in orbit in 2006 with
tonnes of propellant left on board, is thought to have generated
hundreds more debris objects, none of which have yet been cataloged.


Failure of the Hubble Space Telescope's ACS (Advanced Camera for Surveys)
is a major blow to space astronomy: ACS was being used for about 80
percent of observations, although some programs can be switched to
the less capable WFPC-2 camera. One of ACS's three sub-cameras has
been recovered - the ultraviolet SBC (Solar Blind Channel) camera
is now operable again, but the main visible-light imagers are thought
to be lost for good.


NASA's THEMIS mission was launched on Feb 17 by United Launch Alliance
using a Boeing Delta 7925-10C vehicle. The Delta 7925 rocket entered a
182 x 563 km x 28.5 deg initial orbit; the second burn of the second
stage moved it to a 518 x 1528 km x 26.6 deg orbit. The third stage then
spun up, separated and fired to go to a 469 x 87337 km x 16.0 deg orbit.
After a five minute coast, two despin weights were unreeled and then the
five THEMIS probes were separated. The second stage later made a third
burn to lower its orbit to 184 x 1510 km x 22.1 deg, ensuring a short
orbital life for this stage.

The THEMIS (Time History of Events and Macroscale Interactions during
Substorms) probes, built by Swales Aerospace, are 76 kg dry, 125 kg
fully fuelled, and 0.8m across with booms spanning 40.2 m. They carry
four 4.4N orbit adjust thrusters and will end up in a variety of high
apogee orbits, measuring particles and fields to study magnetospheric
storms. The mission is a NASA MIDEX Explorer led by UC Berkeley.


Japan launched two spy satellites on Feb 24, the Information Gathering
Satellite Radar-2 and the IGS Optical-3 Verification Satellite. Earlier
IGS satellites were placed in 490 km sun-synchronous orbits. Optical-1
and Radar-1 were launched in Mar 2003; two satellites lost in a Nov 2003
launch failure would have been Optical-2 and Radar-2 on reaching orbit
- I'll call them Optical-2a and Radar-2a although those are not
official names. In an effort to recover quickly, a second Optical-2 was
launched on its own in Sep 2006 while the new Radar-2 was still being
completed. The Optical-3 Verification Satellite is an experimental
second-generation optical imaging craft that hitched a ride with
Radar-2; I'll unofficially call it Optical-3V for short (it's not 100
percent clear from translations that the Verification qualifier applies
to just the Optical satellite, but that seems to be the balance of

The H2A rocket serial number F-12 used the 2024 version with two large
and four small strapons, and the 4/4D-LC fairing which releases into
orbit the upper satellite adapter and two side lower fairing panels as
well as the two payloads.

Table of Recent Launches
Date UT Name Launch Vehicle Site Mission INTL.
Jan 10 0416 Cartosat-2 ) PSLV Sriharikota LP1 Imaging 01B
SRE-1 ) Tech 01C
LAPAN Tubsat) Imaging 01A
Pehuensat ) Comms 01D
Jan 18 0212 Progress M-59 Soyuz-U Baykonur LC1 Cargo 02A
Jan 30 2322 NSS 8 Zenit-3SL SL Odyssey, POR Comms F01
Feb 2 1628 Beidou 2A Chang Zheng 3A Xichang Navigation 03A
Feb 17 2301 THEMIS P1 ) Delta 7925 Canaveral SLC17B Science 04A
THEMIS P2 ) Science 04B
THEMIS P3 ) Science 04C
THEMIS P4 ) Science 04D
THEMIS P5 ) Science 04E
Feb 24 0441 IGS Radar-2 ) H-2A 2024 Tanegashima YLP1 Radar 05A
IGS Optical-3V ) Imaging 05B

| Jonathan McDowell | phone : (617) 495-7176 |
| Somerville MA 02143 | inter : |
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Saturday, February 24, 2007


*What famous people (and some not famous) have said about why humankind
must expand into space:
*/To survive

*/To preserve Earth

*/To eliminate war

*/To grow

*/Time is running out...

*/To evolve

*/...To achieve the goal visionaries have foreseen

Thanks for looking up with me.

Larry Kellogg

Web Site:
RSS link:

Just one from each topic, there are many more. - LRK -
*/To survive

*"Since, in the long run, every planetary civilization will be
endangered by impacts from space, every surviving civilization is
obliged to become spacefaring--not because of exploratory or romantic
zeal, but for the most practical reason imaginable: staying alive... If
our long-term survival is at stake, we have a basic responsibility to
our species to venture to other worlds."
Carl Sagan, /Pale Blue Dot,/ 1994

*/To preserve Earth

*"Many of the problems that we have today may not have solutions on
Earth. The solutions may lie only in leaving the planet behind. There's
no way we can avoid tearing up the countryside for ores, for fuel, for
raw materials here on Earth--short of everybody dying off."
Keith and Carolyn Henson in /Worlds Beyond,/
ed. New Dimensions Foundation, 1978*

*/To eliminate war

*"It is the hope of those who work toward the breakout from planet
Earth that the establishment of permanent, self-sustaining colonies of
humans off-Earth will ... make human life forever unkillable, removing
it from the endangered species list, where it now stands on a fragile
Earth overarmed with nuclear weapons. Second, the opening of virtually
unlimited new land areas in space will reduce territorial pressures and
therefore diminish warfare on Earth itself."
Gerard O'Neill, Foreword to /The Overview Effect/
by Frank White, 1981*

*/To grow

*"The fatalism of the limits-to-growth alternative is reasonable only
if one ignores all the resources beyond our atmosphere, resources
thousands of times greater than we could ever obtain from our
beleaguered Earth. As expressed very beautifully in the language of
House Concurrent Resolution 451, 'This tiny Earth is not humanity's
prison, is not a closed and dwindling resource, but is in fact only part
of a vast system rich in opportunities...'"
Gerard O'Neill, testimony before a congressional
committee, 1978*

*/Time is running out...

*"A new space race has begun, and most Americans are not even aware of
it. This race is not [about] political prestige or military power. This
new race involves the whole human species in a contest against time. All
of the people of the Earth are in a desperate race against disaster...
To save the Earth we must look beyond it, to interplanetary space. To
present the collapse of civilization and the end of the world as we know
it, we must understand that our planet does not exist in isolation."
Ben Bova, /The High Road/, 1981*

*/To evolve

*"It may be that the venture into space is the product of biological
determinism which impels us to explore a new environment when we are
technologically ready."
Richard S. Lewis, /Appointment on the Moon/, 1968*

*/...To achieve the goal visionaries have foreseen

*"As soon as somebody demonstrates the art of flying, settlers from our
species of man will not be lacking [on the moon and Jupiter]... Given
ships or sails adapted to the breezes of heaven, there will be those who
will not shrink from even that vast expanse."
Johannes Kepler, letter to Galileo, 1610*




Wednesday, February 21, 2007

NASA, Virgin Galactic to Explore Future cooperation

NASA, Virgin Galactic to Explore Future cooperation


MOFFETT FIELD, Calif. - NASA officials signed a memorandum of understanding
Tuesday with a U.S. company, Virgin Galactic, LLC, to explore the potential for collaborations
on the development of space suits, heat shields for spaceships, hybrid rocket motors
and hypersonic vehicles capable of traveling five or more times the speed of sound.

Under the terms of the memorandum, NASA Ames Research Center, located in
California's Silicon Valley, and Virgin Galactic LLC, a U.S.-based subsidiary of Sir Richard
Branson's Virgin Group, will explore possible collaborations in several technical areas employing
capabilities and facilities of NASA's Ames Research Center.


Do I feel the wind changing?
Will have to watch this.
- LRK -

Thanks for looking up with me.

Larry Kellogg

Web Site:
RSS link:

02.21.07 - NASA, Virgin Galactic, to Explore Future Cooperation

NASA officials signed a memorandum of understanding Tuesday with a
U.S. company, Virgin Galactic, LLC, to explore the potential for
collaborations on the development of space suits, heat shields for
spaceships, hybrid rocket motors and hypersonic vehicles capable of
traveling five or more times the speed of sound.

+

+ View Photo



"This understanding with Virgin Galactic affords NASA an opportunity to
work with an emerging company in the commercial human space
transportation industry to support the agency's exploration, science
and aeronautics mission goals", said S. Pete Worden, director of NASA
Ames Research Center. "Our location in California's Silicon Valley
provides a dynamic research and development platform for future
potential collaborations with other such companies in support of a
robust commercial space industry."

"We are excited to be working with NASA and look forward to future
collaborations in exploration and space travel," said Alex Tai,
vice president of operations for Virgin Galactic.

The agreement with Virgin Galactic was negotiated through NASA�s
Space Portal, a newly formed organization in the NASA Research Park
at Ames, which seeks to engage new opportunities for NASA to promote
the development of the commercial space economy.

"This new type of private-public partnership can benefit the agency
while helping to foster a new industry," said Dan Coughlin, NASA's
lead for the Virgin Galactic agreement.

The memorandum of understanding will be in effect for two years and
stipulates that neither NASA nor Virgin Galactic will be required to
pay any fees or provide funds to support the areas of possible




Pioneer 10 - Missing web site moving to NASA's ONE PORTAL

At the moment this link doesn't work.

Information from Dr. Lawrence Lasher indicates that the Pioneer 10
information on the NASA Ames server is moving to NASA's ONE PORTAL.

That means there will indeed be a different URL and any use of the old
links will break.

Yesterday GĂ©rald Cloutier sent me a list of the whole web site that is
at the WebArchive but I think these are the one you would need for the
Pioneer information.
- LRK -


Dr. Lasher said he would give me the new URL when the material is posted
and I will pass that to you when I get it.
When we get it you can all pass along to anyone with a reference to the
old URL so they can update to the new one.
- LRK -

Ron Wells passed this as well.

I just did a search at:

with the URL:

and I got the page, and the links all work!@!! or at least the first one



Thanks for looking up with me.

Larry Kellogg

Web Site:
RSS link:
An example of the link that will break with the ONE PORTAL - LRK -
Pioneer 10
*NSSDC ID: *1972-012A



This mission was the first to be sent to the outer solar system and the
first to investigate the planet Jupiter, after which it followed an
escape trajectory from the solar system. The spacecraft achieved its
closest approach to Jupiter on December 3, 1973, when it reached
approximately 2.8 Jovian radii (about 200,000 km). As of Jan. 1, 1997
Pioneer 10 was at about 67 AU from the Sun near the ecliptic plane and
heading outward from the Sun at 2.6 AU/year and downstream through the
heliomagnetosphere towards the tail region and interstellar space. This
solar system escape direction is unique because the Voyager 1 and 2
spacecraft (and the now terminated Pioneer 11 spacecraft mission) are
heading in the opposite direction towards the nose of the heliosphere in
the upstream direction relative to the inflowing interstellar gas. The
spacecraft is heading generally towards the red star Aldebaran, which
forms the eye of Taurus (The Bull). The journey over a distance of 68
light years to Aldebaran will require about two million years to
complete. Routine tracking and project data processing operatations were
terminated on March 31, 1997 for budget reasons. Occasional tracking
continued later under support of the Lunar Prospector project at NASA
Ames Research Center with retrieval of energetic particle and radio
science data. The last successful data acquisitions through NASA's Deep
Space Network (DSN) occurred on March 3, 2002, the 30th anniversary of
Pioneer 10's launch date, and on April 27, 2002. The spacecraft signal
was last detected on Jan. 23, 2003 after an uplink was transmitted to
turn off the last operational experiment, the Geiger Tube Telescope
(GTT), but lock-on to the sub-carrier signal for data downlink was not
achieved. No signal at all was detected during a final attempt on Feb.
6-7, 2003. Pioneer Project staff at NASA Ames then concluded that the
spacecraft power level had fallen below that needed to power the onboard
transmitter, so no further attempts would be made.

The history of the Pioneer 10 tracking status is available from the web
site of the former Pioneer Project at the following location:

Fifteen experiments were carried to study the interplanetary and
planetary magnetic fields; solar wind parameters; cosmic rays;
transition region of the heliosphere; neutral hydrogen abundance;
distribution, size, mass, flux, and velocity of dust particles; Jovian
aurorae; Jovian radio waves; atmosphere of Jupiter and some of its
satellites, particularly Io; and to photograph Jupiter and its
satellites. Instruments carried for these experiments were magnetometer,
plasma analyzer, charged particle detector, ionizing detector,
non-imaging telescopes with overlapping fields of view to detect
sunlight reflected from passing meteoroids, sealed pressurized cells of
argon and nitrogen gas for measuring the penetration of meteoroids, UV
photometer, IR radiometer, and an imaging photopolarimeter, which
produced photographs and measured polarization. Further scientific
information was obtained from the tracking and occultation data.




Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Pioneer 10 - Launched March 2 1972

In a few weeks it will be 35 years since the launch of Pioneer 10 and at
that time the fastest object to leave Earth.

While doing some checking on Pioneer stats, noticed that the Pioneer
web site seems to be off-line.

At the moment this link doesn't work.

Will be interesting to see why the web site is down.

The Pioneer information used to be on a server in the building where the
Pioneer Operations had been and that is all changed now.

I got the Space Projects web information moved from the N244 building
over to the Ames servers to keep the historical information available
but there was a lot of old Space Projects information there as well and
that division no longer exists in the present Ames structure.

I had hoped that the same long URL would be used as a lot of links will
break if you change the naming.

Google will certainly find you a lot of other links about the Pioneer 10
mission so all will not be lost if the site does not come back but I
feel like part of me has been erased. The old photo is just getting a
bit more faded. :-(

Thanks for looking up with me.

Larry Kellogg

Web Site:
RSS link:
National Aeronautics and Space Administration

NASA History Office

Revised Edition

Richard O. Fimmel
Pioneer Project
Ames Research Center

William Swindell
Optical Sciences Laboratory
University of Arizona

Eric Burgess
Science writer

Prepared at Ames Research Center

National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Scientific and Technical Information Office
Washington, D.C., 1977

Table of Contents <>

Approved in 1969, Pioneer 10 and its sister ship were designed to live up to their names: as first-time explorers intended to both gather data and report on conditions in the asteroid belt and in Jupiter-space; how they fared would be critical in the planning and technology of any future missions.[1]

Pioneer 10 was built by TRW.[2] It was light, at only 260 kg--30 and 27 kg of which were instruments and fuel, respectively.[3] Like the Voyagers, it was powered by RTGs (SNAP-19s) containing plutonium-238, which provided 155W at launch, and 140W by the Jupiter flyby. The RTGs were mounted well away from the body, to prevent their radiation from interfering with the spacecraft's instruments.[4]

Pioneer 10 was fitted with a plaque to serve as a message for extraterrestrial life, in the event of its discovery.

The spacecraft made valuable scientific investigations in the outer regions of our solar system until the end of its mission on March 31, 1997.

The Pioneer 10's weak signal continued to be tracked by the Deep Space Network as part of a new advanced concept study of chaos theory. After 1997 the probe was used in the training of flight controllers on how to acquire radio signals from space.

The last, very weak, signal from Pioneer 10 was received on January 23, 2003. A contact attempt on February 7, 2003 was not successful. The last successful reception of telemetry was on April 27, 2002; subsequent signals were barely strong enough to detect. Loss of contact was probably due to a combination of increasing distance and the spacecraft's steadily weakening power source, rather than failure of the craft. One final attempt was made on the evening of March 4, 2006, the last time the antenna would be correctly aligned with Earth. No response was received from Pioneer.[5]

Pioneer 10 is heading in the direction of the star Aldebaran in the constellation Taurus at roughly 2.6 AUs per year. If Aldebaran had zero relative velocity, it would take Pioneer about 2 million years to reach it.[6]




Sunday, February 18, 2007

This Week in The Space Review - 2007 February 19

What is The Space Review?

The Space Review is an online publication devoted to in-depth articles,
commentary, and reviews regarding all aspects of space exploration:
science, technology, policy, business, and more.


In case you do not subscribe to "The Space Review" I thought I would
pass the links just received.
Hopefully you find material of interest in the many stories Jeff Foust
has presented.

Thanks for looking up with me.

Larry Kellogg

Web Site:
RSS link:
The Space Review by Jeff Foust - LRK -

Another voice in the wilderness

A cut in NASA�s final 2007 budget may put the development schedule of
the Orion spacecraft and Ares 1 launcher in jeopardy. Stephen Metschan
says that now is the time to reconsider NASA�s current plan if the US is
serious about returning humans to the Moon.
Monday, February 19, 2007

Space tourism and carbon dioxide emissions

The suborbital space tourism industry is emerging at the same time as
concerns about greenhouse gas emissions grow. Steven Fawkes believes
that tourism companies must carefully address this issue or risk
incurring the wrath of environmental activists and government regulators.
Monday, February 19, 2007

Past futures <>

One of the biggest questions about the emerging commercial space
industry is how new companies plan to make money. Bob Clarebrough
suggests that the best way to answer the question is to look at how
previous industries and modes of transportation answered the same question.
Monday, February 19, 2007

Little red lies <>

Hollywood is planning a remake of /Capricorn One/, the infamous 1970s
movie about a faked mission to Mars. Dwayne Day reviews the original
movie and how different a remake might be given the developments of
society and moviemaking technology over the last 30 years.
Monday, February 19, 2007

The other side of the Fermi paradox

The Fermi paradox, the absence of extraterrestrial evidence despite the
size and age of the galaxy, is central to the search for
extraterrestrial intelligence. Michael Huang argues that the Fermi
paradox could also chart the future of human civilization.
Monday, February 19, 2007

Review: Into the Black <>

The Jet Propulsion Laboratory has emerged as the preeminent center for
conducting robotic space science and exploration missions. Taylor
Dinerman reviews a new book that offers a history of JPL over the last
three decades.
Monday, February 19, 2007



We appreciate any feedback you may have about these articles as well as
any other questions, comments, or suggestions about The Space Review.
We're also actively soliciting articles to publish in future issues, so
if you have an article or article idea that you think would be of
interest, please email me.

Until next week,

Jeff Foust
Editor, The Space Review




Friday, February 16, 2007



WASHINGTON - NASA commemorates the 45th anniversary of Americans in
orbit with a special multimedia salute to the original Mercury
astronauts and new interviews with Sen. John Glenn, Scott Carpenter and
Walter Schirra.
[See below]

It doesn't seem like we have been in orbit this long, but then time
marches on and we aren't back to the Moon yet.
- LRK -

There is more NASA News at the link below.
- LRK -
02.16.07 - NASA Commercial Space Partners Complete Milestones
NASA Commercial Space Partners Complete Milestones

HOUSTON - Two companies that are receiving NASA Commercial Orbital
Transportation Services funds achieved significant milestones this month
in their efforts to develop and demonstrate space cargo launch and
delivery systems.

Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) completed a preliminary design
review for its first orbital demonstration mission. Rocketplane Kistler
completed a system requirements review for its cargo services system.
The two companies want to offer commercial delivery services for cargo,
and possibly crews, to the International Space Station in the future. In
August 2006, NASA and the companies signed Space Act Agreements that
established a series of milestones and criteria for assessing progress
toward their individual goals.

"These milestones demonstrate genuine progress toward a new way of doing
business for NASA and pave the way for the commercial purchase of
transportation services needed to maintain the International Space
Station," said Alan Lindenmoyer, manager of the Commercial Crew and
Cargo Program Office at NASA's Johnson Space Center, Houston. "If these
companies can continue this rapid pace, the first demonstration launches
are right around the corner."
+ Read More

02.15.07 - Shuttle Atlantis Moves to Pad, Crew Ready for Countdown Test

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. � The space shuttle Atlantis arrived at its launch
pad at NASA's Kennedy Space Center, Fla., at 3:09 p.m. EST on top of the
giant vehicle known as the crawler transporter. The next milestone for
the upcoming mission, STS-117, is a full launch dress rehearsal as the
six-member crew prepares to continue building the International Space

The crawler transporter began carrying Atlantis out of Kennedy's Vehicle
Assembly Building at 8:19 a.m. It traveled just under 1 mph during the
3.4 mile journey.

While at the pad, the shuttle will undergo final testing, payload
installation and a "hot fire" test of auxiliary power units. When
testing is completed, the rotating service structure will be moved
around the vehicle for protection.
+ Read More


Thanks for looking up with me.

Larry Kellogg

Web Site:
RSS link:
Following from NASA News - LRK -

Feb. 16, 2007

Bob Jacobs
Headquarters, Washington

RELEASE: 07-45


WASHINGTON - NASA commemorates the 45th anniversary of Americans in
orbit with a special multimedia salute to the original Mercury
astronauts and new interviews with Sen. John Glenn, Scott Carpenter
and Walter Schirra.

On Feb. 20, 1962, an Atlas rocket successfully carried Glenn and the
hopes of an entire nation into orbit aboard Friendship 7, a flight
that ushered in a new era of space travel that eventually led to
Americans walking on the moon by the end of the 1960s. "Glenn's
achievement came at a time when there were many unknowns about the
ability of humans to survive in space," said NASA Deputy
Administrator Shana Dale.

Glenn was soon followed into orbit by colleagues Carpenter, Schirra
and Gordon Cooper. Their fellow Mercury astronauts Alan Shepard and
Virgil "Gus" Grissom flew earlier suborbital flights, and Donald
"Deke" Slayton was grounded by a medical condition until the
Apollo-Soyuz Test Project in 1975.

NASA remembers the achievements of its first generation of explorers
through special programming and interviews on NASA Television and an
extraordinary interactive feature on the agency's Internet site,, beginning at noon EST, Friday.

A half-hour program that highlights the achievements of Mercury and
the 45th anniversary of Americans in orbit will be broadcast on NASA
TV. Extended interviews with surviving Mercury astronauts Glenn,
Carpenter and Schirra also will be available on NASA TV's Video File
feeds for media organizations, as will a special message from the
Expedition 14 crew orbiting Earth on board the International Space

The interactive Internet feature is hosted by NASA astronaut Carl Walz
and will offer a rare virtual look inside Glenn's Mercury spacecraft,
which is on display at the Smithsonian Institution's National Air and
Space Museum in Washington.

Images from a rare photo shoot inside the tiny Friendship 7 capsule
provides a 360-degree tour of the spacecraft. Plus, users can select
the questions answered by veteran space explorers Glenn, Carpenter
and Schirra.

To experience the 45th anniversary of Americans in Orbit multimedia
feature, visit:

For more information about NASA TV programming, Video File feed times,


To subscribe to the list, send a message to:
To remove your address from the list, send a message to:




Wednesday, February 14, 2007

What is the view you want to see on the Moon?

I have been engrossed in working with the Firefox 2 browser and
customizing it with the many Add-ons that are available.

All of this with the intent improving searches and finding interesting
material about going back to the Moon.

Did you ever feel like you were connected with a flow of thought that
encircled the whole World?

I have been been listening and bouncing ideas about how to portray a
Lunar experience and then you get the same from a different source.
I recently looked at the following link and just this moment got the
same from Larry Klaes.
- LRK -

Ever wish you could explore the worlds in the movie /2001: A Space
Odyssey/? Now you can, in 3D! These models were created in VRML
(Virtual Reality Modeling Language). Sit inside the Orion III cockpit
and watch the *moving navigation displays* as you rendezvous with Space
Station Five. Also, walk inside the Space Station Five hotel lobby! Get
a close look at the Discovery spacecraft; click on the pod bay doors to
open them. Sit inside a *Space Pod* and fly it around the Discovery.


Do you participate in MMORPG massive multiplayer online 3D games?

Then maybe this would be of interest.
- LRK -

If VRML is not your thing, maybe Videos are. This medium seems to be
coming alive with higher bandwidth users.

Chip Proser has a number of videos posted about why he thinks we should
go back to the Moon.

Here are 14 found at Grouper.
- LRK -
Moon Rush, Asteroid Danger to Earth, Tranquility Dome - Moon

Thanks for looking up with me.

Larry Kellogg

Web Site:
RSS link:
Following from NASA Science News - LRK -
Lunar Eclipse

The Moon is a School for Exploration 02.14.2007




Saturday, February 03, 2007



One step at a time, a mission plan progresses.

Lunar CRater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS)

I hope there is a coordinated effort with other nations sending instruments
to the Moon.
- LRK -
The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency(JAXA) plans to launch
SELENE(SELenological and ENgineering Explorer) on-board H-IIA Launch Vehicle
from Tanegashima Space Center in 2007(FY).
Moon shots: China, Japan in '07; U.S., India in '08
Chandraayan-1 is the first Indian mission to the Moon. It will map the Moon
in visible, infrared and X-ray wavelengths to determine the chemistry and
mineralogy of the lunar surface. It will also look for surface and
sub-surface water ice.

ource: Washington University In St. Louis
Date: September 18, 2006

U.S., Chinese Researchers To Collaborate On China's Moon Missions

Science Daily - Amid a bevy of international space exploration missions to
the Moon, the Washington University Department of Earth and Planetary
Science in Arts & Sciences and ShanDong University at WeiHai (SDU at WH) in
Mainland China have agreed to cooperate on scientific research and joint
training of students in the two institutions.

The agreement comes less than a year away from the planned launch of
Chang'E-1, the Chinese lunar probe project, in April, 2007. The goals of
China's Chang'E-1 project are first to place a satellite into orbit around
the Moon in 2007; then to land an unmanned vehicle on the Moon by 2010; and
to collect samples of lunar soil with an unmanned vehicle by 2020. The
spacecraft carries five instruments to image and measure different features
of the Moon.

Within two years, three additional missions from the United States, India
and Japan will generate a furious flurry of data that will keep space
scientists enthralled for the better part of the next decade. The Japanese
Selene mission is scheduled to launch in the summer of 2007, the Indian
Chandrayan-1 in late 2007 or early 2008, and the United States' Lunar
Reconnaissance Orbiter for October 2008.


Those with eyes to see, let them see, and those that have funds, let them
fund. Tell your governmental representative that you too would like to see
some Lunar activity. Make it so!

Thanks for looking up with me.

Larry Kellogg

Web Site:
RSS link:
Following from NASA News
- LRK -
Also at:
NASA Moon-Impactor Mission Passes Major Review
Feb. 2, 2007

Beth Dickey/J.D. Harrington
Headquarters, Washington

John Bluck
Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif.

RELEASE: 07-21


WASHINGTON - NASA's drive to return astronauts to the moon and later
probe deeper into space achieved a key milestone recently when agency
officials approved critical elements of a moon impact mission
scheduled to launch in October 2008. NASA's unmanned Lunar Crater
Observation and Sensing Satellite, known as LCROSS, will strike the
moon near its south pole in January 2009. It will search for water
and other materials that astronauts could use at a future lunar

Scott Horowitz, associate administrator of the agency's Exploration
Systems Mission Directorate, led a confirmation review panel that
recently approved the detailed plans, instrument suite, budget and
risk factor analysis for the satellite.

NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif., manages the
mission. The mission is valued at $79 million, excluding launch
costs. The mission will help NASA gain a new foothold on the moon and
prepare for new journeys to Mars and beyond.

The confirmation review authorized continuation of the lunar impactor
project and set its cost and schedule. Another mission milestone, the
critical design review, is scheduled for late February. That review
will examine the detailed Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing
Satellite system design. After a successful critical design review,
the project team will assemble the spacecraft and its instruments.

"The Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite project represents
an efficient way of doing business by being cost capped, schedule
constrained and risk tolerant," said Daniel Andrews, project manager
at Ames for the lunar impactor mission.

The lunar impactor will share a rocket ride into space with a second
satellite, the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. After the orbiter
separates from the Atlas V launch vehicle for its own mission, the
LCROSS will use the spent Centaur upper stage of the rocket as a
4,400-pound lunar impactor, targeting a permanently shadowed crater
near the lunar South Pole.

According to scientists, the Centaur's collision with the moon will
excavate about 220 tons of material from the lunar surface. The Lunar
Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite will observe the plume of
material with a suite of six instruments to look for water ice and
examine lunar soil. The satellite will fly through the plume, also
impacting the lunar surface. That second impact will be observed from

The prime contractor for the satellite is Northrop Grumman Space
Technologies of Redondo Beach, Calif.

For information about the Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing
Satellite on the Web, visit:

For information about NASA's Exploration Systems Mission Directorate
on the Web, visit:

For information about NASA and agency programs on the Web, visit:


To subscribe to the list, send a message to:
Also at:




Friday, February 02, 2007

181 Things To Do On The Moon

181 Things To Do On The Moon

Did you see this today?
Are you on the Science at NASA list?
If not, maybe sign up.
- LRK -

I hope some of our legislatures that are diverting funds will wake up.
- LRK -

NASA Science News for February 2, 2007
If you woke up tomorrow morning and found yourself on the moon, what would
you do? NASA has released a list of 181 good ideas.


Check out our RSS feed at


The full list in a 48 page PDF file.
- LRK -

Lunar Exploration Objectives
Version 1, released December 2006

Thanks for looking up with me.

Larry Kellogg

Web Site:
RSS link:
If you go to the URL below there are also some images. - LRK -
181 Things To Do On The Moon 02.02.2007

February 2, 2007: If you woke up tomorrow morning and found yourself on the
moon, what would you do? NASA has just released a list of 181 good ideas.

Ever since the end of the Apollo program, "folks around the world have been
thinking about returning to the moon, and what they would like to do there,"
says Jeff Volosin, strategy development lead for NASA's Exploration Systems
Mission Directorate. Now, NASA is going back; the agency plans to send
astronauts to the Moon no later than 2020. "So we consulted more than 1,000
people from businesses, academia and 13 international space agencies to come
up with a master list of 181 potential lunar objectives."

The moon would also be an excellent place to study the high-energy particles
of the solar wind, as well as cosmic rays from deep space. Earth's magnetic
field and atmosphere deflect many of these particles, so even satellites in
low-Earth orbit can't observe them all. The moon has virtually no
atmosphere, and it spends most of its 28-day orbit outside of Earth's
magnetosphere. Detectors placed on the moon could get a complete profile of
solar particles, which reveal processes going on inside the sun, as well as
galactic cosmic radiation from distant black holes and supernovas.

Bonus: These particles are trapped by lunar regolith, the layer of crushed
rock and dust covering the moon's surface. This means that lunar regolith
contains a historical record of solar output: core samples could tell us
about changes in solar output over billions of years. "We believe that the
moon's preservation of this solar record is unique and can provide us with
insights on how past fluctuations in the solar output have affected, for
example, the history of life on Earth," says Volosin. In particular, it
could shed light on the extent to which solar variability and galactic
cosmic radiation influence climate change.

But the moon would be far more than just a platform for scientific
instruments gazing into space. The moon itself is a scientific gold mine, a
nearby example of planetary formation largely unaltered by the passage of
time. Some scientists call it "a fossil world." The moon is a small,
non-dynamic planetary body and its interior state is largely preserved since
the early days of solar system history. Studying its interior would tell
scientists a lot about how a planet's internal layers separate and solidify
during planetary formation.

Even something as simple as establishing the dates when various craters on
the moon were formed can provide us with a unique picture of how the flux of
meteoroids in the vicinity of Earth has changed over time. (For more
information see Science@NASA's "The Moon is a Harsh Witness.") This impact
history is lost on Earth by the constant renewal of the crust but on the
moon it is intact, rich with clues to periods in the past when an increase
in bombardment may have affected the climatic history of Earth and even the
evolution of life.

Science accounts for only about a third of the 181 objectives, however. More
than half of the list deals with the many challenges of learning to live on
an alien world: everything from keeping astronauts safe from radiation and
micrometeors to setting up power and communications systems to growing food
in the airless, arid lunar environment.

"We want to learn how to live off the land and not depend so much on
supplies from Earth," says Tony Lavoie, leader of NASA's Lunar Architecture
Team (Phase 1) at the Marshall Space Flight Center.

Astronauts would face the same problems on a manned mission to Mars, so much
of the experience gained on the moon would carry over when NASA eventually
sends people to the Red Planet.

The moon could also provide some creative commercial opportunities: lunar
power from solar cells, protected data archives, mining of lunar metals, and
research under conditions of low gravity and high vacuum, to name a few. In
fact, mining the moon may eventually yield rocket propellant that could be
sold to commercial satellite operators to access and service their satellite
assets in Earth orbit. Beyond charging space tourists for a chance to visit
the moon, lunar entrepreneurs might host special television events from the
moon to boost publicity, or place a remote-controlled rover on the moon.
People back on Earth could pay to take turns controlling the rover from
their Internet-connected computers, letting them take a virtual drive across
the moon's crater-pocked surface. In short, let your imagination be your

Not all of the ideas on the list will necessarily happen. From the master
list of 181, NASA currently is selecting the a smaller number of high
priority goals for its initial return to the moon. Other goals could be
considered by other space agencies or private entrepreneurs who have an
interest in exploring the moon. NASA continues to receive input from
scientists at space agencies and universities around the world, the list
itself is still evolving and expanding.

There's a lot to do on the moon. See for yourself: complete list.

Author: Patrick L. Barry |
Editor: Dr. Tony Phillips |
Credit: Science@NASA
Associate Administrators Discuss Budget Details
Beginnng at 2:30 p.m. EST on Feb. 5, NASA's mission directorate associate
administrators will be available by telephone to discuss the Fiscal Year
2008 budget proposal's impact on their specific areas.
+ Read More

NASA Announces FY 08 Budget Press Conference
NASA Administrator Michael Griffin briefs the media about the agency's
Fiscal Year 2008 budget at 1 p.m. EST, Monday, Feb. 5.
+ Read More

NASA to Highlight Next Space Station Component
On Tuesday, Feb 6, at 10:30 a.m. EST, NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida
will showcase the next element to be added to the International Space
+ Read More

+View Archives



Moon and Mars - Videos