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NASA Astronomers Compare Meteors to Spacecraft Re-entry (Jules Verne Reentry)

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  • Ron Baalke
    http://www.nasa.gov/centers/ames/news/releases/2008/08_84AR.html Rachel Prucey Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif. 650-604-0643
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 25, 2008
      http://www.nasa.gov/centers/ames/news/releases/2008/08_84AR.html

      Rachel Prucey
      Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif.
      650-604-0643
      rachel.l.prucey@... <mailto: rachel.l.prucey@...>

      Michael Braukus
      NASA Headquarters, Washington
      202-358-1979
      michael.j.braukus@... <mailto:michael.j.braukus@...>

      Clare Mattok
      European Space Agency, Paris
      33-1-5369-7412
      clare.mattok@... <mailto:clare.mattok@...>
      Sept. 24, 2008

      MEDIA ADVISORY : 08_84AR

      NASA Astronomers Compare Meteors to Spacecraft Re-entry

      MOFFETT FIELD, Calif. -- A group of astronomers from NASA, the European
      Space Agency (ESA) and other institutions will take to the skies to
      observe the re-entry of ESA's "Jules Verne" Automated Transfer Vehicle
      (ATV) as it falls back to Earth from the International Space Station on
      Sept. 29, 2008.

      An Ames research aircraft will take off from Moffett Field, Calif., and
      a Douglas DC-8 airborne laboratory will depart from NASA's Dryden
      Aircraft Operations Facility at Palmdale, Calif., on Friday, Sept. 26,
      2008 to fly more than 30 scientists and their instruments over the South
      Pacific Ocean in ideal and virtually unchanging conditions far above
      light pollution and clouds.

      NASA's primary goal during the lengthy airborne mission is to study the
      re-entry and fragmentation of ESA's "Jules Verne" ATV spacecraft to gain
      insight and find similarities to meteor fragmentation. This observation
      campaign is similar to the January 2006 Stardust and September 2004
      Genesis spacecraft re-entry airborne campaigns, in which NASA scientists
      studied the levels of radiation, light and out-gassing of the descending
      spacecraft, to better understand meteor radiation mechanisms.

      Another goal is to validate the computer models astronomers use to
      predict how an object will fragment and disperse as it enters Earth's
      atmosphere. NASA astronomers made similar airborne studies for the
      January 2008 Quadrantid and September 2007 Aurigid meteor showers to
      determine when they peaked and how they were formed.

      Peter Jenniskens, the observation campaign principal investigator, at
      NASA Ames Research Center and the SETI Institute, Mountain View, Calif.,
      and Dave Jordan, observation campaign project manager, at NASA Ames will
      be available for telephone interviews, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. PDT, Thursday,
      Sept. 25, 2008. To schedule an interview please contact Rachel Prucey,
      public affairs specialist, at 650-604-0643.

      For more information on NASA and its programs, visit:

      http://www.nasa.gov

      For more information about the “Jules Verne” airborne observation
      campaign, visit:

      http://atv.seti.org/


      - end -
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