CCNet DIGEST, 31 July 1998

    Mike DiMuzio <>

    Discover Magazine, 30 July 1998

    Birger Schmitz <>

    Christian Gritzner <>

    MSNBC News




From Mike DiMuzio <>

CNN has an update on the Greenland Meteorite fall search, a sort of
chronicle at



From CNN Interactive

A team of scientists has begun looking for a giant meteorite that
landed in Greenland last December. You can follow their progress as
they update their diary from the impact zone.

Eyewitness disagrees about impact zone

July 28, 1998

From DR Online

Fisherman Jacob Moeller disagrees with scientists in Copenhagen, who 
assessed the impact zone of the giant meteorite in southwest Greenland.

On December 9, 1997, at 5 a.m. local time, Moeller saw from his bedroom
window more than a dozen great fireballs drop behind the mountains to
the east of his native village, Qeqertarsuat-siaat.

Today he hovered over his house in a helicopter, his wife waving below,
as he indicated the direction in which he saw the fireballs disappear.
He is familiar with the wild landscape from 40 years of hunting, and as
the helicopter passed the southern shore of the inlet of Bj┐rnesund, he
was sure - some of the fireballs must have dropped here, apprxiamately
100 kilometers more westerly than assessed by the scientists.

The helicopter continued to the base camp of the meteorite expedition,
where expedition leader Jan Alquist had food for thought -- the
assessment of the skilled hunter and fisherman versus the scientists in

Moeller claims the last explosion as the meteorite was braked by the
atmosphere could have stopped it in its tracks, making the fragments
drop to the ground like bags of cement. This idea is not foreign to the
scientists, but has been discarded as too theoretical. But this is a
highly unusual meteorite fall. The extreme velocity of the bolide as it
entered the atmosphere should, according to theory, have made it
evaporate into atoms. But it did not, because then Jacob Moeller would
not have seen what he saw.

So maybe the expedition is looking in the wrong place if it wants to
find anything but dust.

Looking for a needle in a haystack

July 27, 1998

By Jan Haugaard

As search parties roam the 50 square kilometer impact zone, scientists
back at base camp are examining snow samples for microscopic particles,
which might give more exact clues as to the location of bigger

The work of the search parties is harassed by constant drizzle, making
prolonged stays in the field impossible. Helicopter activity is
impaired by lack of special skis and floats needed to touch down safely
on the glaciers, which by now form a vast watershed changing by the
hour, revealing crevasses in areas thought to be solid and safe.

Even the Greenlanders are surprised by the amount of snow still
covering the impact zone. Normally at this time of year the ice should
be exposed, leaving remnants of the meteorite visible. Helicopter
assistance is badly needed to form an overview of accessible areas, but
the weather forecast is bleak, promising fog, rain and moderate
southeasterly wind.

So the search parties trudge on, knee deep in sludge to cover their
assigned quadrants, but progress is slow, a maximum of 1 kilometer per
hour, as they constantly have to probe the wet snow for hidden

Back at base camp, it is a constant struggle to dig trenches to prevent
water from inundating the tents. Luckily, supplies are plenty,
including fuel for stoking the camp stoves which by now are used mainly
for drying clothes and equipment.

In the heart of the impact zone

July 24, 1998

By Jan Haugaard

Six yellow dome tents adorn the glacier just north of the Kangilla 
Nunataks, in the heart of the impact zone of the giant meteorite, which
fell over southern Greenland on December 9 of last year.

A southeasterly breeze is carrying a slight drizzle, which is pearling
off the Gore-Tex of the polargear, as the men are working hard to
arrange the basecamp. Clouds in the color of lead are drifting down
from the high inland ice, which is just a white wall to the east, with
no visible horizon. The surface of the glacier is like sorbet, and you
only have to dig down a few inches before it becomes cool, clear water
running down towards the west where it will converge into wild turrents
reaching for the Davis Strait.

There is no trace of the violent event that happened on that cold
winter's night over six months ago, as the meteorite came thundering
down through the heavens. But then again, this place seems to be able
to withstand a nuclear blast without any damage; the remnants of the
meteorite could be hiding anywhere.

It is a vast undertaking that lies ahead. The impact zone covers 50
square kilometres, and although Greenlandair is providing ample
helicopter back-up, the actual spotting of what is left of the
meteorite will have to be done on foot.

Home away from home

July 23, 1998

By dawn today, the expedition searching for the giant meteorite had 
unloaded its equipment at the Ivigtut Royal Danish Navy base in
southwest Greenland. Thursday, on arrival at the former US Air Force
Base at Narsasuaq, the 5 Danish crew were joined by 2 Greenlanders,
geologist Hans Henrik Olsen and Hans Henrik Berthelsen, a fisherman.

A native of the village Qeqertarsuatsiaat, just 40 miles from the
impact zone, Berthelsen has trekked extensively on the glaciers, adding
expert knowledge of terrain and weather conditions to the expedition.

This afternoon, an advance party will reach the impact zone for an
appropriate campsite, and tonight, weather permitting, it will be the
first lullaby on the ice.

Copyright 1998 CNN


From Discover Magazine, 30 July 1998
Asteroids and comets are a hit with the public, judging from the
success of the summer movies Deep Impact and Armageddon. The rogue
bodies are a hit with scientists as well, who have released a flurry of
related research announcements (some timed, no doubt, to catch the wave
of media interest. David Tholen and Robert Whiteley of the University
of Hawaii recently announced the discovery of a new kind of asteroid
whose orbit lies entirely within the orbit of the Earth. Astronomers
previously knew only of asteroids circling the sun entirely outside the
Earth's orbit or the more threatening ones whose paths cross that of
the Earth. Asteroids within the Earth's orbit are difficult to observe
because they appear close to the sun in the sky. Many of these objects
could be out there, as-yet unseen. If they approach or slightly cross
the Earth at their most distant point from the sun, these sun-hugging
asteroids could possibly strike the Earth.

On July 14, NASA established a new "Near-Earth Object Program Office"
in order to get a better sense of the total population of
Earth-threatening asteroids. The office will be headed by Donald
Yeomans of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, who recently helped debunk
reports that an asteroid discovered in March might strike the
Earth. NASA's goal is to locate, by 2010, at least 90 percent of the
sizable (more than 1 kilometer wide) asteroids or comets that approach
the Earth. Several current and upcoming missions will provide close-up
information about the solar system's rogue members. The NEAR spacecraft
is on its way to the asteroid Eros. Deep Space 1, an experimental
high-technology mission to an as-yet unspecified asteroid, launches in
October of this year. And Stardust, set for launch in 1999, will fly
along Comet Wild-2, collect samples, and return them to the Earth for

--Corey S. Powell

Copyright, Discover Magazine 1998


From Birger Schmitz <>

Dear Benny Peiser:

I would appreciate if the information below could be distributed
through your CCNet. Many thanks in advance for your help.

Best wishes
Birger Schmitz


Accretion of extraterrestrial (ET) matter has influenced the biological,
chemical, and physical evolution of Earth. Recent studies indicate that
records of the terrestrial accretion history can be obtained from ice
cores and marine sediments, complementing existing long-term cratering
records. Contributions to the terrestrial accretion record based on
chemical tracers in ice and sediments, collection of ET particles,
detection of ET matter in space, as well as cratering records are

Abstract deadline August 26 (mail & e-mail) or September 2 (interactive
web form). For further information, see American Geophysical Union home

Birger Schmitz (Dept. of Marine Geology, Earth Sciences Center, Box 460,
Univ. of Goteborg, S-405 30 Goteborg, Sweden; e-mail:
Bernhard Peucker-Ehrenbrink (Dept. Marine Chemistry & Geochemistry,
MS#25, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, MA 02543-1541,
USA; e-mail:


From Christian Gritzner <>

Dear Benny,

congratulations for your happy event!!!

By the way, have you already circulated the address of the homepage of
the ExploSpace Workshop by ESA in October? The address is:

Thank you! Best regards,

Dr.-Ing. Christian Gritzner
EUROSPACE Technische Entwicklungen GmbH
BŘro Potsdam
Lindenstr. 6
D-14467 Potsdam
Tel.: +49-331-284-3305 (FAX: -3434)


Engineering and Economic Aspects into the 21st Century
20-22 October 1998
Cagliari, Sardinia, Italy

Organised by:
European Space Agency (ESA)

In co-operation with:
UniversitÓ degli Studi di Cagliari
CRS4 - Centro di Ricerca, Sviluppo e Studi Superiori in Sardegna

Co-sponsored by:
Alenia Aerospazio
Digital Italia

Overview and Objectives

During the last few years, a persistent interest toward issues linked
to long-term space exploration and resources exploitation, beyond the
currently funded programmes, has been shown worldwide, and in Europe in
particular. At this Workshop, European and international Space
Agencies, industry, Academia, and non-space partners will present their
views and plans on long-term research and development, as well as views
on economic and socio-political evolutions which are relevant to the
development of new space applications.

The fundamental long-term objectives of this Workshop are to contribute to:

1.creating a European network of research on extraterrestrial resources
2.establishing coherent plans for development of critical technologies,
including lower-cost access to space
3.enhancing public awareness and fostering research & 
technology-related higher education.

Contributed papers analyse new trends which are currently developing in
space exploration, space solar power, space mining, space station
utilisation, access to space, space tourism, public outreach, and space
project financing. In order to bring an innovative contribution,
authors focus on concrete benefits to industry and Academia, at least
in terms of technological return, if economic return on investment is
deemed too uncertain. Therefore, attention is given to innovative
services and exploitation of resources, while considering the purely
scientific motivation a constantly present boundary condition. This
will be accomplished by authors in terms of:

* proposing new ideas and approaches for space exploration and
resources exploitation.

* analysing critically the engineering complexity and feasibility of
the key technologies and capabilities required for space exploration
and resources exploitation (i.e. how credible, far away, affordable are
the long-term new applications?), as much as practicable in
quantitative terms with the relevant uncertainties.

* assessing the economics of space resources exploitation scenarios
(i.e. do potential revenues exist?), in particular by deriving their
cost-to-benefit ratio vis Ó vis terrestrial alternatives (i.e. how
competitive are they going to be?), and including possibilities of

*identifying which capabilities will make European industry competitive
in terms of participation to future international space enterprises, of
spin-off into more mature and commercially established space sectors,
and of spin-off into non-space fields. Specifically, the required
development of technologies and capabilities (e.g. operations) will be
carefully looked into, with the aim of finding out which early
investments would be the safest, or the potentially most rewarding.

* discussing funding aspects of space exploration and resources
exploitation. These may be based on potential new partnership schemes
between Space Agencies, industry, and other interested parties.

Workshop Organiser

Mauro Novara
P.O. Box 299
2200 AG Noordwijk
The Netherlands
Telephone: +31 71 565 4003
Telefax: +31 71 565 5184

Workshop Secretariat

ESTEC Conference Bureau
P.O. Box 299
2200 AG Noordwijk
The Netherlands
phone: +31 71 565 5005
fax: +31 71 565 5658

Lockheed Martin to pay Army millions if THAAD doesn’t work

From MSNBC News

WASHINGTON, July 27 —Lockheed Martin agreed Monday to pay the Army up
to $75 million if its developing theater missile defense system to
protect U.S. forces continues failing to strike its target. Tests
thus far have been a complete bust.

THE COST-SHARING deal had been expected following a May 12 test flight
failure, the fifth in a row, when an Army missile exploded over the New
Mexico desert.

Under the agreement, Lockheed Martin Missiles & Space must achieve
three direct hits in the five tests remaining under the $15 billion
contract to make a system capable of blowing up incoming enemy missiles
in the sky by 2006.

That puts greater pressure on Lockheed to overcome problems blamed on
failure of parts and equipment. Critics say the company is rushing the
experimental technology to satisfy congressional demands to deploy a
defense system quickly given the long-range missile building by such
nations as North Korea and Iran.

“Lockheed, in its rush to deployment, did not do the quality control
and testing it ordinarily would have done. This haste is causing many
of the problems,” said Keith Bickel, a defense spending expert with the
Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments. He previously worked
for the Clinton administration’s budget office.

Bickel called the $75 million a “token amount” of money compared with
the $3.2 billion the government has given Lockheed to date in
developing the Theater High Altitude Area Defense system for the Army.

The Lockheed offer came in response to a government letter expressing
disappointment in the program, said Maj. Co Woods, a spokeswoman for
the Pentagon’s Ballistic Missile Defense Organization.

“This proposal for cost-sharing, that in itself shows their commitment
to the program,” Woods said. “This is a significant amount of money.”
Each missile test costs $12 million, she said.

The next test, which had been scheduled for this month, will instead
take place in November or December, according to the Army.

Jeff Adams, a spokesman for Lockheed’s missile and space program in
Sunnyvale, Calif., said the agreement “demonstrates our commitment at
the highest level of the corporation on the mission success of this
program. We are working diligently to achieve the remaining objectives
of the THAAD program.”

He also disputed the notion of poor quality work on the project,
although he said Lockheed recently has “applied additional resources in
the area of quality.”

The theater missile defense system is a more modest version of former
President Ronald Reagan’s 1980s-era “Star Wars” space-based national
missile defense plan.

Rep. Curt Weldon, R-Pa., a strong proponent of missile defense who was
trying to force a cost-sharing arrangement through legislation, hailed
the Lockheed agreement.

“The past THAAD intercept failures have not been a technology problem,
they have been a quality control problem,” Weldon said. “This
cost-sharing arrangement will place greater pressure on the contractor
to perform.”

Air Force Lt. Gen. Lester Lyles, director of the Ballistic Missile
Defense Organization, called THAAD’s development “critical” for the
protection of American forces, particularly against missiles that could
carry chemical, biological or nuclear weapons. He said the Army hoped
to deploy a working system by 2006.

THAAD is supposed to be an improvement on the Patriot missile system,
used during the 1990-91 Persian Gulf War, but without much success.
ę 1998 Associated Press



While visiting France a few years back, geologist John Spray of
the University of New Brunswick in Canada chiseled some rock
samples from the ancient Rochechouart crater in west-central
France. Geologists had debated the crater's age for some time,
and Spray wanted to use a new dating technique to settle the
issue. His resultoan age of 214 million years reminded him that
the Manicouagan crater in Quebec was about that old. Intrigued,
he did some more sleuthing and found three more craters of a
similar age: Saint Martin, in Manitoba; Obolon, in the Ukraine;
and tiny Red Wing, in North Dakota. Could all five craters have
been created simultaneously? If so, it could explain a mass
extinction of that age. David Rowley, a geophysicist at the
University of Chicago who specializes in charting Earth's drifting
tectonic plates, helped Spray determine where the craters would
have been 214 million years ago. He found a remarkable pattern.
As the map above shows, three of the craters line up in a neat
row at latitude 22.8 degrees. Red Wing and Obolon fall slightly
off that path. The likely explanation, says Spray, is that an
asteroid broke up in space before hitting Earth. "It's highly
unlikely," says Spray, "that the arrangement is coincidental."

Copyright, Discover Magazine 1998


W.U. Reimold*) , D. Brandt, C. Koeberl: Detailed structural analysis of
the rim of a large, complex impact crater: Bosumtwi crater, Ghana.
GEOLOGY, 1998, Vol.26, No.6, pp.543-546


The 1 Ma Bosumtwi Crater in Ghana is an Il-km-diameter, presumably
complex, well-preserved impact structure that is associated with the
Ivory Coast tektite strewnfield. Detailed structural geologic studies
along a complete traverse through the northwestern rim section
indicated four zones characterized by distinct deformation styles from
just outside of the crater rim to near the crater noon Zone 1 is
dominated by thick deposits of lithic impact breccia, intercalated in
places with products of local mass wasting. Zone 2 contains
inward-dipping thrust planes, conjugate radial fractures, isoclinal
folding, and overturned stratigraphic sequences. Zone 3 represents a
megabreccia zone, in which block size decreases upward and outward
toward the rim crest. The innermost zone 4 is dominated by intense
thrust faulting of multiple orientations, resulting in complex
duplex-and lens-shaped bodies. These deformation styles generally
correspond to those previously reported from the rims of simple
bowl-shaped meteorite-impact craters and appear to be characteristic of
impact structures in general. Copyright 1998, Institute for Scientific
Information Inc.

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