Monday2 February 20045:19pm MST2004-02-03 UTC 0019 back top next  

The Asteroid/Comet Connection's
daily news journal about
asteroids, comets, and meteors

Today's issue status: done

Cover image: Photograph by Graziano Ventre and Enrico Colzani of the Leonid Meteor Shower at 3:30am local on 17 November 1998 at Sormano Observatory in Italy. This two-minute exposure was made with a 35mm camera with 50mm lens at f/1.9 and Fujiicolor 800 SuperPlus film.

News briefs – part 1/1 Major News for 2 Feb. 2004 back top next  
News briefs

NASA budget:  The NASA budget and supporting documents were released today. It appears that NASA's three coming minor object space missions all remain fully budgeted and on schedule (Deep Impact, New Horizons, and Dawn; see 265Kb PDF). Keith Cowing comments that, "Contrary to arm waving prior to the release of the budget NASA's Space Science programs are not being hit. Indeed, Space Science actually benefits from the new exploration focus and the new synergy that will now be promoted for human and robotic programs." Crew Exploration Vehicle funding is explained in a 141Kb PDF.

Hayabusa news:  The Haybusa MUSES-C Project page has posted a brief news item dated 30 January:

JAXA finished the running test of an ion engine, "[mu]10", which is the same type of the onboard engines of Hayabusa. The running hours reached 20,614 hours (or about 859 days), and that is about 7 times longer than that of one onboard engine of Hayabusa, or 1.3 times of the total operation hours expected for a mission. We will acquire data by
analyzing the tested engine in details for ion engine development for future flights. 

The spacecraft has four ion engines, three for thrust and one in reserve (shown in an earlier report).

More Japanese news:  On January 30th A/CC briefly reported news that Japan will re-examine launching its own manned spaceflight program, and showed a Japanese 2002 Apollo/CEV-like concept with the kind of modular flexibility that would be needed for missions to near-Earth objects. yesterday gathered related news items from January 31st at Yomiuri Shimbun and The Japan Times. Resusable as well as capsule-type space vehicles reportedly will be considered for development in the same time span as that planned for NASA's new Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV) dubbed "Project Constellation." Japan already has two unmanned testbed reusables, the winged and somewhat Shuttle-like HOPE-X, and the RVT, reminiscent of the now abandoned U.S. military/NASA Delta Clipper.

Risk monitoring - part 1/1 Major News for 2 Feb. 2004 back top next  
Risk monitoring 2 Feb.

The Monday Daily Orbit Update MPEC (DOU) has observations of 2004 BE68 from Siding Spring Observatory in Australia yesterday, and today NEODyS and JPL cut their impact solution count numbers (JPL by more than half, including removal of its 2008 solution) and lowered their overall risk assessments for this object.

Siding Spring also got 2004 BZ74 and today both risk monitors cut solution counts and slightly lowered their overall risk ratings for this object.

Today the European Spaceguard Central Node retired its observing campaigns for 2004 BO41 and 2004 BW58 — both of which had all of their impact solutions removed on 29-30 January. Campaigns continue for 2004 BE68 and for tiny 2004 BN41, last reported seen early on the 30th.

Update:  JPL has posted 2004 BB103, an object estimated to have a diameter larger than a kilometer (perhaps 0.9 mile) that was announced today in MPEC 2004-C10 as discovered by LINEAR early

Summary Risk Table - sources checked at 2358 UTC, 2 Feb




 2004 BZ74 NEODyS 2/22016-208027-2.69-3.1705.393
JPL 2/22016-209427-2.47-2.8205.393
 2004 BN41JPL 1/312086-20982-6.57-6.6906.998
 2004 BG86 NEODyS 2/12015-207310-4.24-4.6803.006
JPL 1/312015-20151-4.56-4.5603.006
 2004 BE68 NEODyS 2/22008-208044-2.61-3.3005.390
JPL 2/22016-210245-2.62-3.3005.390
 2004 BB103JPL 2/22009-2103183-2.07-2.7602.045
 2003 YG118JPL 1/302087-20871-3.75-3.75043.820
NEODyS 12/31R E M O V E D
VI = count of "virtual impactors" (impact solutions)
See A/CC's Consolidated Risk Tables for more and maybe
  newer details, and check the monitors' links for latest info.
Note that only objects recently in view are shown here.

Saturday in New Mexico. It was confirmed yesterday by Table Mountain Observatory in southern California, which caught it again this morning along with Robert Hutsebaut via remote-controlled telescope at New Mexico Skies and Desert Moon Observatory in New Mexico.
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