From: LARRY KLAES (ljk4_at_msn.com)
Date: Wed Mar 21 2007 - 12:10:16 PDT
>From: "What's New" <whatsnew_at_BOBPARK.ORG>
>Subject: [BOBPARKS-WHATSNEW] What's New Friday March 16, 2007
>Date: Mon, 19 Mar 2007 08:22:08 -0400
>WHAT'S NEW Robert L. Park Friday, 16 Mar 07 Washington, DC
>1. APOPHIS 2036: NASA SAYS IT HAS MORE IMPORTANT THINGS TO DO.
>In 1998 Congress mandated a NASA Spaceguard Survey to discover,
>track and catalog the 20,000 or so near-earth asteroids and
>comets. NASA is behind schedule. Asteroids usually show up
>around budget time. The latest is named Apophis, which is headed
>our way in 2036. WN has a call in to Bruce Willis to see if he
>will be available in 2036. Apophis is nothing like the asteroid
>that spelled curtains for the dinosaurs 65 million years ago, nor
>does it have much chance of hitting Earth, but you play the cards
>you're dealt. This morning's New York Times has an op-ed by
>Apollo astronaut Russell Schweickart calling for public hearings
>to "shame" NASA into action. This looks like the old "Washington
>Monument ploy," in which the Park Service threatens to close the
>most popular visitor site because of budget problems.
>2. NASA BUDGET: NO ROOM FOR THE ALPHA MAGNETIC SPECTROMETER.
>Yesterday, Bart Gordon (D-TN), chair of the House S&T Committee,
>noted that the budget reality bears little resemblance to the
>"rosy projections" offered by the Administration when the
>President announced his "Vision for Space Exploration" three
>years ago. Don't scrap the vision - kill the science. One
>casualty is the $1.5 billion Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer that was
>scheduled to go to the ISS on a 2008 shuttle flight. Griffin now
>says there's no room for the AMS on the shuttle because every
>flight is crammed with hardware to finish the ISS. It wouldn't
>do to drop an unfinished ISS into the ocean. The AMS was
>designed to search for antimatter. Nobel prize winner Sam Ting
>of MIT, made the case for AMS personally to Dan Goldin. It was
>cited repeatedly by NASA to show that the ISS would do basic
>science http://bobpark.physics.umd.edu/WN98/wn061298.html .
>3. MARS ICE CAPS: EUROPEAN SPACE AGENCY MEASURES WATER AT POLES.
>An instrument called the Mars Advanced Radar for Subsurface and
>Ionospheric Sounding (MARSIS) on board the Mars Express has
>measured the water trapped in layers covering the south polar
>region. The icy layers cover an area bigger than Texas, and in
>places as deep as 3.7 km. That is enough water to cover the
>entire planet with a layer 11 meters deep. They are now mapping
>the layers around the north pole of the arid planet.
>4. EARTH'S ICE CAPS: ANTARCTIC ICE IS SLIPPING INTO THE OCEAN.
>And they don't know why. In Greenland the loss of ice is caused
>by melting, but that doesn't explain the rapid movement of ice
>into the ocean from the frigid West Antarctic ice sheet, even as
>the East Antarctic ice sheet is growing. The net loss is huge,
>raising sea levels. A special issue on Polar Science in today's
>Science magazine, notes that good measurements of the thickness
>of the ice sheet have only been made in the past ten years, so it
>is not yet possible to tell if this is a natural cycle.
>THE UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND.
>Opinions are the author's and not necessarily shared by the
>University of Maryland, but they should be.
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