NASA Daily News Summary For Release: Feb.

8, 2000 Media Advisory m00-023 SUMMARY NEWS RELEASES: SOHO SPACECRAFT BAGS 102 COMETS ***************************** SOHO SPACECRAFT BAGS 102 COMETS The record is to comet-hunting what Mark McGwire�s home-run streak is to baseball: In just four years of operation, the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) spacecraft has found 102 comets, making it by far the most successful comet-hunter in history. Headquarters contact: Dolores Beasley (Phone: 202/358-1753) Goddard Space Flight Center contact: William Steigerwald (Phone: 301/286-5017) ***************************** VIDEO: Video File Advisory for Feb. 8, 2000 v00-24 Item 1: SOHO - The Greatest Comet Hunter Center Contact: Bill Steigerwald (301) 286-5017 HQ Contact: Don Savage (202) 358-1727 TRT: 1:38 Suicidal comets take the spotlight with the Solar Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO). This satellite watches for Coronal Mass Ejections CMEs that can threaten Earth's space environment and views the sun by blotting out the bright solar disk. A spectacular sideshow has been the comet discoveries and their amazing images. After only four years of operation, SOHO has already imaged 102 comets, most of which were vaporized in the extreme solar atmosphere. Item 1a COMET HIGHLIGHTS

Sun-grazing comets, seen as early as 372 BC, are believed to be the fragments from one great comet which split again and again producing the Kreutz sun-grazer family of comets. a. b. c. d. The 100th Comet Imaged on 4 February 2000 Pair of sun-grazing comets on 2 June 1998 Observation of sun-grazer on 10-13 April 1998 LASCO Christmas Comet of 1996 (two views).



Animation of the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO). Replays from the Feb. 7 budget briefing Item 2 - FY 2001 budget briefing video Video includes animation and b-roll from NASA disciplines related to Administrator Goldin's briefing Item 3 - Living With A Star Contact Info: Wade Sisler 301-286-6256 Dolores Beasley 202-358-1747 Synopsis: Our Sun is a tremendously powerful, violent, and variable star like many we can see in the night sky. To better study solar variability and understand its effects on humanity, NASA is starting a multi-year program called "Living With a Star," a set of missions and enhancements to current programs which will provide new capability for understanding, and ultimately predicting "solar weather" and its effect on Earth. ITEM 3a SPACE WEATHER NETWORK

To better study solar variability and understand its effects on humanity, NASA is starting a program called "Living With a Star", a set of missions and enhancements to current programs which will eventually encompass a number of spacecraft and systems. "Living With a Star" also will pursue partnerships with other Federal agencies which are concerned with the effects of the Sun on the Earth. The goal is to provide an exciting new capability for understanding, and ultimately predicting, "solar weather" which affects Earth. ITEM 3b SOLAR SENTINALS

"Living With a Star" will introduce a new suite of spacecraft called Solar Sentinels. For the first time, scientists will be able to track solar storm regions over the entire solar surface as it rotates. ITEM 3c TECHNOLOGICAL ADVANCES

"Living With a Star" will use our most creative and advanced technologies in the construction of this outer space network of sentinels and scientific spacecraft. This animation sequence shows show a satellite using large Solar sails, somewhat like

those used in the days of sailing ships for propulsion. The sails on these new satellites will use the energy in sunlight, rather than traditional rocket propulsion, to get to their orbits. ITEM 3d EFFECTS OF SPACE WEATHER

As civilization becomes more technically advanced and expands into space both physically and economically, we are finding that Solar variability can affect civilian and military space systems, human space flight, electric power grids, GPS signals, high frequency radio communications, long range radar, microelectronics and terrestrial climate. ITEM 3e OUR VIOLENT SUN

Our Sun is a tremendously powerful, violent, and variable star like many we can see in the night sky. These images were captured by the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO). *** Courtesy NASA/ESA ITEM 3f SOLAR RESEARCHER B-ROLL

Solar Scientists at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. ITEM 3g EARTH WEATHER NETWORKS

Just as satellites help us better understand changes in weather around our Earth, the "Living With a Star" constellation of satellites will help us better understand how our star can affect many of the advanced technologies we have become so dependent on for everything from economic livelihood to national defense. ITEM 3h INTERVIEW EXCERPTS

Dr. Art Poland Astrophysicist NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD Item 4 - NASA's Earth Sciences: Top imagery from 1999 Item 4a October Item 4b Item 4c Item 4d 1999. Seawifs: Before and after flood still images from North Carolina-1999. Landsat 7: Flyover of Manhattan--April 1999. Radarsat flyover/around of Antarctica--November 1999. Landsat views: Urban growth of the Baltimore/Washington corridor--April

Item 5 - NASA's Aerospace Technology Item 5a Animation of the SATS, Small Aircraft Transportation System Item 5b Animation of the X-34 Technology Demonstrator Item 5c Animation of the X-33 Reusable Launch Vehicle (RLV) Item 6 - NASA's Space Shuttle Program Item 6a Space Shuttle Upgrades: footage includes launch, in-flight activity, and landing of the STS-88 crew In FY2000, the Space Shuttle program recommended three high priority safety upgrades, including electric auxiliary power units, advanced health monitoring for the orbiter main engines and avionics and cockpit upgrades. By incorporating these three upgrades, the reliability of the Shuttle during ascent almost doubles. During the FY 2001 budget process additional high priority safety upgrades were identified that will further increase the reliability of the Space Shuttle during ascent. They include upgrades to the Space Shuttle main engines, the solid rocket boosters and solid rocket motor propellant and the welding process used on the external tank. Before hardware development, an external review of the strategy will be conducted to assure that NASA has set the right priorities. Item 6b International Space Station animation Item 6c Glass Cockpit In FY 2000 the Space Shuttle program recommended a new "glass cockpit," called the Multifunction Electronic Display Subsystem, as a high priority safety upgrade for the Space Shuttle. Atlantis, the first orbiter to receive the glass cockpit, is scheduled for its first flight with the new system in April 2000. During the FY 2001 budget process, additional high priority safety upgrades were identified that will further increase the reliability of the Space Shuttle during ascent. Item 7 - X-38 Tests Largest Parafoil Ever - JSC (replay) Headquarters Contact: JSC Contact: Kirsten Williams 202/358-0243 James Hartsfield 281/483-5111

Item 8 - New Results Show Which Way the Wind Blows over the Oceans- JPL (replay) Headquarters Contact: JPL Contact: Dave Steitz 202/358-1730 Diane Ainsworth 818/354-5011

Item 9 - Astro-E: X-ray Technology Testbed (replay) Item 10 - "The Emotion of Space": NASA video on the excitement and challenges of exploration in the next few years. TRT: 3:30

HQ Contact:

Ray Castillo 202/358-4555

***************************** TV Producers: Please note all times, unless otherwise noted, are Eastern Time. This heads-up announces our most current line-up of stories on NASA's daily Video File feed. As we try to provide you the best, most current service possible, THE LINE-UP MAY CHANGE THROUGHOUT THE DAY. Any CHANGES TO THE LINE-UP WILL APPEAR ON THE NASA VIDEO FILE ADVISORY on the web at WE UPDATE THE ADVISORY THROUGHOUT THE DAY. The NASA Video File normally airs at noon, 3:00 p.m., 6:00 p.m., 9:00 p.m. and midnight Eastern Time. NASA Television is available on GE-2, transponder 9C at 85 degrees West longitude, with vertical polarization. Frequency is on 3880.0 megahertz, with audio on 6.8 megahertz. For general questions about the video file call NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC: Ray Castillo 202/358-4555 or Elvia Thompson 202/358-1696. ***************************** - end -

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