This series of linked messages is periodically posted to the Usenet
groups and sci.astro in an attempt to provide good answers to
frequently asked questions and other reference material which is worth
preserving. If you have corrections or answers to other frequently asked
questions that you would like included in this posting, send email to (Jon Leech).

    If you don't want to see the FAQ, add 'Frequently Asked Questions' to
your KILL file for this group (if you're not reading this with a newsreader
that can kill articles by subject, you're out of luck).

    The FAQ volume is excessive right now and will gradually being trimmed
down by rewriting, condensing, and moving static information to archive
servers. The FAQ postings are available from the Ames SPACE archive in*, along with more information expanding
on topics in the FAQ.

    Good summaries will be accepted in place of the answers given here. The
point of this is to circulate existing information, and avoid rehashing old
answers. Better to build on top than start again. Nothing more depressing
than rehashing old topics for the 100th time. References are provided
because they give more complete information than any short generalization.

    Questions fall into three basic types:

    1) Where do I find some information about space?

    Try your local public library first. The net is not a good place to ask
    for general information. Ask INDIVIDUALS (by email) if you must. There
    are other sources, use them, too. The net is a place for open ended

    2) I have an idea which would improve space flight?

    Hope you aren't surprised, but 9,999 out of 10,000 have usually been
    thought of before. Again, contact a direct individual source for
    evaluation. NASA fields thousands of these each day.

    3) Miscellanous queries.

    These are addressed on a case-by-case basis in the following series of
    FAQ postings.


    Read news.announce.newusers if you're on Usenet.
    Minimize cross references, [Do you REALLY NEED to?]
    Edit "Subject:" lines, especially if you're taking a tangent.
    Send mail instead, avoid posting follow ups. (1 mail message worth
        100 posts).
    Internet mail readers: send requests to add/drop to SPACE-REQUEST
        not SPACE.
    Read all available articles before posting a follow-up. (Check all
    Cut down attributed articles (leave only the points you're
        responding to; remove signatures and headers). Summarize!
    Put a return address in the body (signature) of your message (mail
        or article), state your institution, etc. Don't assume the
        'reply' function of mailers will work.
    Use absolute dates. Post in a timely way. Don't post what everyone
        will get on TV anyway.
    Some editors and window systems do character count line wrapping:
        keep lines under 80 characters for those using ASCII terminals
        (use carriage returns).


    I've attempted to break the postings up into related areas. There isn't
    a keyword index yet; the following lists the major subject areas in each
    posting. Only those containing astronomy-related material are posted to
    sci.astro (indicated by '*' following the posting number).

    #   Contents

    1*  Introduction
            Suggestions for better netiquette
            Index to linked postings
            Notes on addresses, phone numbers, etc.

    2*  Network resources
            Mailing lists
            Periodically updated information
            Warning about non-public networks

    3*  Online (and some offline) sources of images, data, etc.
            Viewing Images
            Online Archives
                NASA Ames
                NASA Astrophysics Data System
                NASA Directory of WAIS Servers
                NASA Jet Propulsion Lab (Mission Information and Images)
                NASA Langley (Technical Reports)
                NASA Spacelink
                National Space Science Data Center
                Space Telescope Science Institute Electronic Info. Service
                Astronomical Databases
                Astronomy Programs
                Orbital Element Sets
                SPACE Digest
            Landsat & NASA Photos
            Planetary Maps
            Cometary Orbits

    4*  Performing calculations and interpreting data formats
            Constants and equations for calculations
            Computing spacecraft orbits and trajectories
            Computing planetary positions
            Computing crater diameters from Earth-impacting asteroids
            Map projections and spherical trignometry
            Performing N-body simulations efficiently
            Interpreting the FITS image format
            Sky (Unix ephemeris program)
            Three-dimensional star/galaxy coordinates

    5*  References on specific areas
            Publishers of space/astronomy material
            Careers in the space industry
            DC-X single-stage to orbit (SSTO) program
            How to name a star after a person
            LLNL "great exploration"
            Lunar Prospector
            Lunar science and activities
            Orbiting Earth satellite histories
            Spacecraft models
            Rocket propulsion
            Spacecraft design
            Esoteric propulsion schemes (solar sails, lasers, fusion...)
            Spy satellites
            Space shuttle computer systems
            SETI computation (signal processing)
            Amateur satellies & weather satellites
            Astronomical Mnemonics

    6   Contacting NASA, ESA, and other space agencies/companies
            NASA Centers / Arianespace / CNES / ESA / NASDA / Soyuzkarta /
                Space Camp / Space Commerce Corporation / Spacehab /
                SPOT Image
            Other commercial space businesses

    7   Space shuttle answers, launch schedules, TV coverage
            Shuttle launchings and landings; schedules and how to see them
            Why does the shuttle roll just after liftoff?
            How to receive the NASA TV channel, NASA SELECT
            Amateur radio frequencies for shuttle missions
            Solid Rocket Booster fuel composition

    8   Planetary probes - Historical Missions
            US planetary missions
            Mariner (Venus, Mars, & Mercury flybys and orbiters)
            Pioneer (Moon, Sun, Venus, Jupiter, and Saturn flybys and orbiters)
            Ranger (Lunar lander and impact missions)
            Lunar Orbiter (Lunar surface photography)
            Surveyor (Lunar soft landers)
            Viking (Mars orbiters and landers)
            Voyager (Outer planet flybys)
            Soviet planetary missions
            Soviet Lunar probes
            Soviet Venus probes
            Soviet Mars probes
            Japanese planetary missions
            Planetary mission references

    9   Upcoming planetary probes - missions and schedules
            Mars Observer
            Other space science missions
            Proposed missions

    10  Controversial questions
            What happened to the Saturn V plans
            Why data from space missions isn't immediately available
            Risks of nuclear (RTG) power sources for space probes
            Impact of the space shuttle on the ozone layer
            How long can a human live unprotected in space
            How the Challenger astronauts died
            Using the shuttle beyond Low Earth Orbit
            The "Face on Mars"

    11  Space activist/interest/research groups and space publications
            Undocumented Groups

    12  How to become an astronaut

    13  Orbital and Planetary Launch Services


    Unless otherwise specified, telephone numbers, addresses, and so on are
    for the United States of America. Non-US readers should remember to add
    the country code for telephone calls, etc.


    Eugene Miya started a series of linked FAQ postings some years ago which
    inspired (and was largely absorbed into) this set.

    Peter Yee and Ron Baalke have and continue to spend a lot of their own
    time setting up the SPACE archives at NASA Ames and forwarding official
    NASA announcements.

    Many other people have contributed material to this list in the form of
    old postings to and sci.astro which I've edited. Please let me
    know if corrections need to be made. Contributors I've managed to keep
    track of are: (Steven Fisk)             - publication refs.
    akerman@bill.phy.queensu.CA (Richard Akerman)   - crater diameters (Lisa Weigel)       - SEDS info (Srinivas Bettadpur) - tides (Alan Wm Paeth) - map projections (Allen W. Sherzer)              - Great Exploration (Ron Baalke)     - planetary probe schedules (Timothy Banks)       - map projections,
        variable star analysis archive (Bernie Rosen)  - Space Camp (Barry Schlesinger)   - FITS format (Craig E. Ward)          - space group contact info (Tom Chapin)         - planetary positions (D. Alan Cunningham)      - NASA Spacelink
    cyamamot@kilroy.Jpl.Nasa.Gov (Cliff Yamamoto) - orbital elements (Anthony Datri)            - PDS/VICAR viewing software (Dave Rickel)         - orbit formulae (Phil Fraering)         - propulsion (Dani Eder)          - Saturn V plans, SRBs (Eugene N. Miya)    - introduction,
        NASA contact info, started FAQ postings (Francis Reddy)  - map projections (Patrick M. French)   - space group contact info (Gary Morris)                - amateur radio info (Terry Gaetz)         - N-body calculations,
        orbital dynamics (Steve Grandi)              - planetary positions (Dale M. Greer)   - constants (Henry Spencer)       - survival in vacuum,
        astronaut how-to, Challenger disaster, publication refs, DC-X
    higgins@fnal.bitnet (William Higgins) - RTGs, publishers, shuttle
        landings, spysats, propulsion, "Face on Mars", and general
        assistance with FAQ upkeep. (Hal Mueller)       - map projections,
        orbital dynamics (Josh Hopkins)    - launch services (Jim Bowery)             - propulsion, launch services (James N. Head) - atmospheric scale heights (Jim Scotti)        - planetary positions (Kieran A. Carroll)- refs for spacecraft design
    ken@orion.bitnet (Kenneth Ng)               - RTGs (Ken Jenks)  - shuttle roll manuever (Larry Klaes)      - planetary probe history (Jon Leech)                - crater diameters (Lou Adornato)                  - orbital dynamics (Maury Markowitz)   - propulsion (Erik Max Francis)    - equations
    mbellon@mcdurb.Urbana.Gould.COM             - N-body calculations (Marc Wayne Mcconley)    - space careers (Mark Brader)                    - Mariner 1 info. (Mark Maimone)                  - SPACE Digest (Dr. Nick Watkins)  - models, spysats (Olivier R. Hainaut)       - publishers, STARCAT (Graham O'Neil)      - Lunar Prospector (Kenneth W Durham)    - cometary orbits, IAU (Paul Blase)     - propulsion (Pete Banholzer)  - Clementine (Peter Scott)        - RTGs (Paul W. Schleck)      - AMSAT, ARRL contact info (Rodney Brown)          - propulsion refs (Ran Atkinson)   - FTPable astro. programs (R. Michael Jungclas)- models (David Seal)     - Cassini mission schedule (Mary Shafer)  - photos, shuttle landings (Willie Smith)    - photos (Stephen Dixon)       - shuttle audio frequencies (Ray Sterner)     - planetary positions (Phil Stooke)       - planetary maps (Ted Anderson)    - propulsion (Terry Hancock)   - NASA center info (Bill Thorson) - FITS info (Todd L. Masco)        - SPACE Digest (Tom Horsley)        - refs for algorithms (Veikko Makela)   - orbital element sets (Wales Larrison) - groups & publications (Wayne Hayes)        - constants (Matthew P Wiener) - Voyager history (Yoshiro Yamada)    - ISAS/NASDA missions (Peter Yee)           - AMES archive server,

    In Net memoriam:
        Ted Flinn

NEXT: FAQ #2/13 - Network Resources