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[en] The NRV (Nosetip Recovery Vehicle) program at Sandia Laboratories is designed to recover the nose section from a sphere cone reentry vehicle after it has flown a near ICBM reentry trajectory. Both mass jettison and parachutes are used to reduce the velocity of the RV near the end of the trajectory to a sufficiently low level that the vehicle may land intact. The design problem of determining mass jettison time and parachute deployment time in order to ensure that the vehicle does land intact is considered. The problem is formulated as a min-max optimization problem where the design parameters are to be selected to minimize the maximum possible deviation in the design criteria due to uncertainties in the system. The results of the study indicate that the optimal choice of the design parameters ensures that the maximum deviation in the design criteria is within acceptable bounds. This analytically ensures the feasibility of recovery for NRV
[en] Electron sources can be used to control the potential of spacecraft and rockets. The plasma current collected by these bodies can be measured; the average value of the emitted current gives information about the density and temperature of the ambient medium. It is shown that in addition, the fluctuation of this current can disclose the existence of waves propagated in the surrounding plasma
[en] Kepler's mission design includes a comprehensive plan for commissioning and science operations. The commissioning phase completed all critical tasks and accomplished all mission objectives within a week of the pre-launch plan. Since the start of science data collection, the nominal timeline has been interrupted by two safe-mode events, several losses of fine point, and some small pointing adjustments. The most important anomalies are understood and mitigated, so Kepler's technical performance has improved significantly over this period, and the prognosis for mission success is excellent. The Kepler data archive is established and hosting data for the science team, guest observers, and the public. The first data to become publicly available include the monthly full-frame images and the light curves for targets that are dropped from the exoplanet program or released after publication. Data are placed in the archive on a quarterly basis; the Kepler Results Catalog will be released annually starting in 2011.
[en] In late 1982 and early 1983, the Subcommittee on Arms Control, Oceans, International Operations, and Environment of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations held hearings on space weapons and arms control. To explore these issues further in a discussion format not easily achieved in hearings, Sen. Larry Pressler, Chairman of the Subcommittee, asked OTA to conduct a workshop focusing on antisatellite (ASAT) weapons as one aspect of space arms control. The workshop held in Washington, DC on January 30 and 31, 1984, provided an opportunity for technical, diplomatic, military, and policy-analysis experts to interact, think out loud, and build each other's ideas. The workshop was organized into six sessions, although issues involving anti-satellite weapons and arms control are not easily compartmentalized into distinct subject areas. Each session was introduced by a 10- or 15-minute informal oral presentation which set the stage for further discussion. This workshop proceedings volume is organized along the same divisions as the sessions, with some rearrangement