Press Release

NASA Daily News Summary 4 May 2000

By SpaceRef Editor
May 4, 2000
Filed under

NASA Daily News Summary
For Release: May 4, 2000
Media Advisory m00-89

SUMMARY

NEWS RELEASES:

SATELLITES USED TO HELP PREDICT DEADLY DISEASE OUTBREAKS

ASTRONOMERS CATCH IMAGES OF GIANT METAL DOG BONE ASTEROID

NASA SPACECRAFT DATA IMPROVES TROPICAL FORECASTS

VIDEO

ALL TIMES EASTERN

VIDEO FILE FOR MAY 4, 2000

Item 1 – TRMM Sees Through Clouds, Aids Hurricane Forecasters
– GSFC
Item 2 – Asteroid Kleopatra – a metal dog bone the size of New
Jersey – JPL
Item 3 – QuickScat Tracks Cholera – ARC and JPL
Item 4 – Planetary Alignment (replay)

UPCOMING LIVE TELEVISION EVENTS

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NEWS RELEASES

SATELLITES USED TO HELP PREDICT DEADLY DISEASE OUTBREAKS

NASA is providing new insights from space that may help health
officials predict outbreaks of deadly water-borne cholera, a
bacterial infection of the small intestine that can be fatal to
humans. Scientists have learned how to use satellites to track
blooms of tiny floating plant and animal plankton that carry
cholera bacteria by using satellite data on ocean temperatures,
sea height and other climate variables. The work is described in
a recent paper co-authored by University of Maryland Biotechnology
Institute (UMBI) and NASA researchers that appeared in the
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The authors
found that rising sea temperatures and ocean height near the coast
of Bangladesh in the Bay of Bengal from 1992 to 1995 often
preceded sudden growth, or “blooms,” of plankton and outbreaks of
cholera. Similar application of risk analysis developed by NASA
using satellite data has also been used in the study of diseases
such as malaria, Lyme disease and Rift Valley fever.

Contact at NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC: Renee Juhans (Phone
202/358-1712).
Contact at NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA: John
Bluck (Phone 650/604-5026).

Contact at University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute,
Baltimore, MD: Steve Berberich(Phone: 410/385-6315).

For full text, see:
ftp://ftp.hq.nasa.gov/pub/pao/pressrel/2000/00-073.txt

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ASTRONOMERS CATCH IMAGES OF GIANT METAL DOG BONE ASTEROID

NASA astronomers have collected the first-ever radar images of a
“main belt” asteroid, a metallic, dog bone-shaped rock the size of
New Jersey, an apparent leftover from an ancient, violent cosmic
collision. The asteroid, named 216 Kleopatra, is a large object
in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter; it measures
about 135 miles long and about 58 miles wide. Kleopatra was
discovered in 1880, but until now, its shape was unknown. “With
its dog bone shape, Kleopatra is one of the most unusual asteroids
we’ve seen in the Solar System,” said Dr. Steven Ostro of NASA’s
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, who led a team of
astronomers observing Kleopatra with the 1,000-foot (305-meter)
telescope of the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico. “Kleopatra
could be the remnant of an incredibly violent collision between
two asteroids that did not completely shatter and disperse all the
fragments.” The astronomers used the telescope to bounce radar
signals off Kleopatra. With sophisticated computer-analysis
techniques, they decoded the echoes, transformed them into images,
and assembled a computer model of the asteroid’s shape. The
Arecibo telescope underwent major upgrades in the 1990s, which
dramatically improved its sensitivity and made it feasible to
image more distant objects. “Getting images of Kleopatra from
Arecibo was like using a Los Angeles telescope the size of the
human eye1s lens to image a car in New York,” Ostro said.

Contact at NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC: Donald Savage
(Phone 202/358-1547).
Contact at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA: Jane
Platt (Phone 818/354-5011).

For full text, see:
ftp://ftp.hq.nasa.gov/pub/pao/pressrel/2000/00-074.txt

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NASA SPACECRAFT DATA IMPROVES TROPICAL FORECASTS

A microwave imager onboard a NASA spacecraft can help improve
forecasts of hurricanes and severe storms, and monitor long-term
climate by seeing through clouds, new research shows. The
Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) Microwave Imager (TMI)
represents the first microwave spacecraft sensor capable of
accurately measuring sea-surface temperatures through clouds.
These findings were reported today in the Journal Science, by
Frank Wentz and colleagues at Remote Sensing Systems, Santa Rosa,
CA, who also are TRMM Science Team members. Science team members
have found that data from the TRMM Microwave Imaging (TMI) sensor
onboard the spacecraft has great potential to increase the
accuracy of tropical storm and climate forecasts. Microwave
radiation penetrates clouds with little loss of signal, providing
an uninterrupted view of the ocean surface, whereas much of the
infrared radiation, typically used for measuring sea-surface
temperatures from satellites, is blocked by cloud cover.

Contact at NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC: David E. Steitz
(Phone 202/358-1730).
Contact at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD: Allen
Kenitzer (Phone 301/286-2806).

For full text, see:
ftp://ftp.hq.nasa.gov/pub/pao/pressrel/2000/00-075.txt

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If NASA issues any news releases later today, we will e-
mail summaries and Internet URLs to this list.

Index of 2000 NASA News Releases:
http://www.nasa.gov/releases/2000/index.html

Index of 1999 NASA News Releases:
http://www.nasa.gov/releases/1999/index.html

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VIDEO

LIVE TELEVISION COMING UP THIS WEEK

UPCOMING LIVE TELEVISION

May 4, Thursday
– 1:00 – 1:20 p.m. – Administrator Goldin’s Remarks for NASA
Health and Safety Day (recorded earlier on 5/4/00)- HQ
– 1:20 – 2:00 p.m. – Administrator Goldin’s Remarks for Space Day
(recorded earlier on 5/4/00) – HQ

May 11, Thursday
– 6:00 – 10:00 a.m. – Interstellar Transportation Live News
Interviews – MSFC
– 1:00 p.m. – Chandra Space Science Update – HQ

For a complete list of upcoming live television events, see
http://www.nasa.gov/ntv/breaking.html

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Unless otherwise noted, ALL TIMES ARE EASTERN.

ANY CHANGES TO THE VIDEO LINE-UP WILL APPEAR ON THE NASA VIDEO
FILE ADVISORY ON THE WEB AT
ftp://ftp.hq.nasa.gov/pub/pao/tv-advisory/nasa-tv.txt
WE UPDATE THE ADVISORY THROUGHOUT THE DAY.

The NASA Video File normally airs at noon, 3 p.m., 6 p.m., 9 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.

Refer general questions about the video file to NASA Headquarters,
Washington, DC: Ray Castillo, 202/358-4555, or Fred Brown,
202/358-0713, fred.brown@hq.nasa.gov

During Space Shuttle missions, the full NASA TV schedule will
continue to be posted at:
http://spaceflight.nasa.gov/realdata/nasatv/schedule.html

For general information about NASA TV see:
http://www.nasa.gov/ntv/

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Contract Awards

Contract awards are posted to the NASA Acquisition information
Service Web site: http://procurement.nasa.gov/EPS/award.html

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The NASA Daily News Summary is issued each business day at
approximately 2 p.m. Eastern time. Members of the media who wish
to subscribe or unsubscribe from this list, please send e-mail
message to:

Brian.Dunbar@hq.nasa.gov

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end of daily news summary

SpaceRef staff editor.