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starship-design: FW: SpaceViews -- July 1998 by Boston NSS [part 2 of 2]

-----Original Message-----
From: SpaceViews-approval@nss.org [mailto:SpaceViews-approval@nss.org]
Sent: Wednesday, July 01, 1998 1:41 PM
To: undisclosed-recipients:;
Subject: SpaceViews -- July 1998 by Boston NSS [part 2 of 2]

[continued from part 1]

		       Doing Space: Making It Happen
			   by Timothy K. Roberts

[Editor's Note: This is the third and final installment in the "Doing
Space" series by Timothy K. Roberts.  Part one, "Speedbumps on the
Road to Space," was published in the May issue.  Part two, "Why Do We
Go?", was published in the June issue.]

	If you've been following along in this miniseries, you've
already gotten rid of some serious misconceptions about our space
programs.  And you've begun to think about the basic reasons we want
to go to space -- or, indeed, anywhere.  True believers are frustrated
at the slow pace of progress to any of these ends.  Potential
investors are impatient with the lack of development of this new

Three-Step Evolution

	How do we make these things happen?  Actually, we already know
how.  I'm not speaking of the technical problems but of the strategic
ones -- how do we as Americans, as humans, go about getting into space
on a serious basis?  The answer is surprisingly mundane -- do what
we've already done in similar situations.  Every time a culture or a
nation has seen advantage in moving into a new environment to explore
and exploit and has done so successfully, it has followed a three-step

	1) The government (or ruling group) has funded development of
methods of transportation, exploration, and exploitation of the new
environment.  This has taken the form of royal investment in new
ships, government incentives for new canals, federal funding for
railroads and airports, and of course, national space programs to
date.  The reason for this is, again, simple:  a new environment
always means unknown risks and rewards.  Private investors of any ilk
will not stake their treasure on such unknowns.  Only a body with vast
resources and a perceived immunity to risk will confront such an
investment environment.

	2) Once the initial way has been cleared and technical
feasibility has been demonstrated, private investors will begin to
take on clearly defined pieces of the new environment with an eye to
relatively easy profits.  They will only do so with significant
government help.  Royal charters in the Americas, private toll roads,
railroad expansion, and airport development are all examples of this
step.  In space, this is seen in the use of space for
telecommunications.  This is an area that the federal government
invested heavily in for its own reasons, demonstrated feasibility of,
and then created a market for.  Only when there was a guaranteed
return on investment would private industry take the plunge.

	3) The final step is full commercial participation in
exploiting the new environment.  We can see this today in the
communications satellite industry.  Hughes doesn't need government
support to make money from comsats -- they do quite nicely on their
own, thank you.  This last phase is where we really want to be, in all
potential areas of space exploitation.  As has been shown in many
industries, true innovation and market expansion occurs best without
government direction or involvement.  The free market really does work
-- eventually.

	Air transport followed the three-step model outlined above
fairly cleanly through step two.  After the initial inventions
(developed, I must note, entirely privately), further development of
practical air transport was closely tied to government investment in
military aircraft.  Airliners followed from bombers.  Aerial
navigation was perfected to ensure fighters and bombers could reach
their intended targets.  Virtually all significant improvements in
aircraft started with a governmental need.  Only when the government
had assumed the initial risks and showed the feasibility of air
transport would private industry become involved.  And their first and
largest customer?  The federal government.  It is a fact that
commercial aviation as a long-range transportation industry only
emerged as serious competition to ships and railroads after World War
II, when the US government (primarily) invested heavily in precisely
those things that an airline would need to compete.

	The complication comes in arriving at step three. Virtually
all airports of any commercial importance are owned and operated by a
governmental agency.  Air traffic control is a national government
monopoly with strong world-wide overtones and implications.  Private
companies may perform specific services in airports and air traffic
control but they do so under government direction.

	This is a common characteristic of most transportation
systems.  Government build highways, harbors, airports, and, yes,
spaceports.  Governments control how these facilities will be used and
by whom.  The underlying reason is that transportation is a critical
public need and can't be left in private hands.  We'll revisit this
point later on.

Space Transportation's Three Steps

	So where are we in space?  The answer is:  all three steps.
The federal government is very clearly deeply involved in research and
development in virtually every phase of space exploration and
exploitation, from basic transportation to data and telemetry
transmission.  There isn't a facet of "space" that the government
isn't working on.

	However, there is, for example, a space transportation
industry.  It is clearly at step two -- it is dependent on government
owned and operated spaceports and investors will only put private
money into the most conservative rocket designs for production.  There
is virtually no significant private funding for new, innovative, cheap
spacelift -- that's back at step one.

	There are step three segments as well.  As noted earlier, the
communications satellite industry acts as if it were a mature segment
that isn't dependent on government support or investment.  As a whole,
however, "space" is between steps one and two.  There really is no
mature, self-sustaining "space industry."  Too much still needs to
happen.  As a result, there aren't human beings "living and working in
space on the eve of the 21st century" as NASA once touted for its
goal.  At best, we make brief forays into this new environment, maybe
establish a primitive camp or two, and strive to learn more about it.
We have a long way to go.

	We'll get to our goal of exploring and exploiting space on a
routine basis if we consciously apply the three-step process to space.
Here's what we need to do:

	First, we need to assess where we are in broad areas that
characterize "going to space" -- transportation, structures, life
support, power, etc.  This is probably best done by the government
with industry involvement. The output of this assessment will be an
investment plan -- one that addresses the greatest risks and takes us
to step two.

	Next, we need to spend taxpayers' dollars to reduce those
risks to the point that private industry and investors will step up to
the remaining share.  This translates to investment in both technology
development and use of the resulting capabilities to demonstrate its
usefulness and low risk.

	Finally, we need to keep control of much of the basic
infrastructure in government hands.  This must be done for two
reasons.  The obvious one is public safety.  Operating spacecraft,
from launch to mission end, is a hazardous business.  Fuels that are
highly explosive, toxic materials, and high risks make for a dangerous
business.  The impact of a Chinese Long March 2 rocket into a village
near the launch site and the estimated death toll of over 2,000 people
highlights just how much we still don't know -- or can't do.

	A less obvious reason is that many missions performed in space
are, in fact, public utilities.  The NavStar Global Positioning System
-- GPS -- is a clear example of this.  Originally intended to guide
cruise missiles to their targets, GPS is now far more widely used in
civilian life than in the military.  Even farm tractors use GPS!
Public utilities must stay under some form of public control in order
to ensure their availability to the entire population, not just an
elite few.

	The ultimate end-state for space is, I believe, a situation
where private industry does the vast majority of the exploiting,
institutions like universities, NASA, and the National Science
Foundation do the exploring, and the critical underlying
infrastructure is at least regulated and, in some cases, operated by
the federal government.  The situation would resemble aviation in the
late 20th century.  This is a viable, self-sustaining state that
maximizes innovation, discovery, and personal freedom while minimizing
the avoidable risks.  If the rate of progress of commercial aviation
is any indicator, allowing for the potentially quicker development
times now, we could reach this state by 2050.  That may seem quite a
long time, but it's really only 52 years from now.  If one moves 52
years from 1925, when government did most of the work in aviation and
the industry was tiny, one arrives at 1977 - certainly a time when
commercial aviation was viable and self-sustaining.

An Activist's Perspective

	This vision will require some disciplined investment, both
publicly and privately.  It will require a political will to stay the
course for the long term.  It will require broad-based public support
over decades.  In short, it will require us to address the US space
program in an entirely new way, with a new set of stated objectives,
and with a commitment rarely seen in American politics.  We can do
this.  Will we?

	That, of course, remains to be seen.  There are plenty of
private organizations that would like to see this course of events
unfold, perhaps more quickly or in a different sequence, but arriving
at the same end state.  Over the past couple of decades, groups like
the National Space Society, the Planetary Society, and the L-5
Society, to name just a few, have striven to influence both the
public's perception and public policy to these ends.  Apparently,
their impact is minimal because of the perceived low level of public
and Congressional interest in exploring and exploiting space.

	The real job that lies ahead for space activists is to promote
the entire agenda, not just a particular portion of it.  One reason
for the lack of success of many of these groups is that they are
perceived as single-interest groups.  They support specific projects
-- SSTO, L-5 colonies, Return to the Moon, Mars Direct -- the
unfamiliarity of some of these names indicates the problem.  Certainly
there are some investments that should precede others, but the key
focus ought to be in general public awareness.  Building public
awareness and support for space can be translated into action for
space, both politically and in business.

	The focus for space activists now is where the focus for
aviation societies (they really did exist!) was in the 1910s and 1920s
- advocacy of the entire agenda of creating a space-faring
civilization.  Convince the public that an American (or Canadian or
French or . . .) goal is truly the conquest and settlement of the
Solar System and that there is a believable timetable and the rest
will follow.  Lest you think I am overly optimistic in my view, recall
what the environmental movement has done in the past twenty years.
>From a random collection of radicals, extremists, and well-meaning but
unsophisticated common citizens, the United States grew a strong
environmental civic ethic, a veritable raft of laws that are enforced
nationwide, and the rescue from extinction of several species
scientists once thought headed for history.  We can do this for space
but only if we can forge a nation-wide coalition of space activists
that agree both on the basic goal and the strategy to get there.

	The object of these articles has not been to build the
political base for space activism -- that is best left to those who
know politics best.   The object is to buttress your knowledge of what
is and is not and what we can do.  Without clear understanding of our
history, our rationale, and our goal, we won't go to space.  Someone
else will -- and they might not even want to sell us a ticket.  We can
avoid this future.  We must.  So keep a clear head, keep your eyes on
the grand goal and tell everyone you meet:

	We're going out!  Lead, follow, or get out of the way!

Timothy K. Roberts is a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Air Force,
currently stationed at Cheyenne Mountain Operations Center where he is
both a Space Control Center Commander and the Deputy Chief of
Training.  He has served in both Air Force Space Command and United
States Space Command headquarters working on next-generation
spacelifters and space surveillance.

			   *** Book Reviews ***
			       by Jeff Foust

			   Comets Friend and Foe

Comets: Creators and Destroyers
by David H. Levy
Touchstone, 1998
softcover, 256 pp., illus.
ISBN 0-684-85255-1

	The 1990s may be remembered as the decade of the comet. In
this deacde we've witnessed two briliant naked-eye comets, Hyakutake
and Hale-Bopp, and saw fragments of another comet, Shoemaker-Levy 9,
pummel the planet Jupiter. Upcoming spacecraft missions, like
Stardust, will yield more information about comtes in the coming
years. It's in this context that astronomer David Levy provides us
with a broadbased introduction to comets in "Comets: Creators and

	Comets, Levy reminds us, have helped the formation of life on
Earth by supplying the young planets with volatiles like water and
perhaps even amino acids and more complex chemicals. Comets have also
wiped out much of the life they helped to start through cataclysmic
impacts, such as the Chicxulub impact 65 million years ago. Long
before their roles in creating and destroying life on Earth were
understood, humans treated comets as omens, sometimes good, often bad.

	Levy's book provides a general introduction to comets, both
from a scientific standpoint (their role in shaping life on Earth) and
a historical one (how we have interpreted and understood comets
through the ages.) He does stray from this topic later in the book,
devoting a couple chapters to whether Mars, Europa, or other worlds in
our solar system and beyond could support life -- a digression that's
not uncommon in astronomy books these days, given in increasing
interest in the subject.

	If you or someone you know is looking for a general
introduction to comets that is quite readable and not overly
technical, Levy's "Comets" is a good choice.

		       Filling in the Drake Equation

Other Worlds: The Search for Life in the Universe
by Michael D. Lemonick
Simon and Schuster, 1998
hardcover, 272pp., illus.
ISBN 0-684-83294-1

	Astronomy has been filled with a number of hot topics in
recent years, including the search for, and discovery of, planets
around other stars; evidence that primitive life once existed on Mars;
the increasing likelihood of an ocean of liquid water under Europa's
ice surface; and more. On the surface these topics may seem unrelated,
but Michael Lemonick, a senior science writer at Time magazine, shows
in "Other Worlds" that they are deeply connected as different factors
in the search for life in the universe.

	Lemonick unifies these different fields of research through
the Drake Equation: a series of factors put together by astronomer and
SETI advicate Frank Drake nearly forty years ago, which attempts to
estimate the number of intelligent species in the galaxy with whom we
could communicate. Since Drake drafted this equation, the numbers
people have plugged into it have been nothing more than wild guesses
that reflect personal philosophies as much as hard science.

	What research like Mars life and extrasolar planets do,
Lemonick notes, is help us nail down some of these Drake Equation
values we have been guessing at, such as the fraction of stars that
have planets and the fraction of planets that can support life.  He
takes us behind the scenes on several research projects, including the
work of planet hunters Geoff Marcy and Paul Butler, SETI researchers
Seth Shostak and Jill Tarter, and the team that found evidence of life
in Martian meteorite ALH 84001.

	While perhaps prone to a bit of hyperbole (it would be tough
to argue that the Drake equation is the second most important equation
of the century after E=mc^2, given all the significant work in quantum
mechanics and other fields), Lemonick has created a readable,
enjoyable account of work in these areas in "Other Worlds".  Those new
to the field will find his descriptions of research enlightening;
those familiar with the work will enjoy his personal accounts of the

			     *** NSS News ***

			Boston NSS Upcoming Events

Saturday, July 11, 11am-4pm

Boston NSS Annual Picnic
102 Sanborn Lane, Reading, Mass.

Come enjoy food, and a swimming pool, nerf rockets, badminton, other
lawn games and children's games. And, find out what other NSS chapter
members do outside the regular meetings. We may take a walk in the
local town forest after 2 pm. Bring your children. Also, bring
swimming suit, snacks, lunch food to share, and games. We will
provide: barbeque grill, swimming pool, plates, cups.

Please RSVP, leave message for Bruce Mackenzie, (617)258-2828 (10 am -
6 pm) or (781)944-7027 (8 - 9 pm) or BMackenzie@draper.com.


Take I-93 or I-95 (rt. 128) to their interchange on the north side of

Take I-93 4 miles north to the second exit, labeled "Concord St.", at
the end of the exit ramp, reset your 'trip odometer' to zero, Turn
right, going east on Concord St.

at a mileage reading of 1.25, there is a stop sign, bear right onto
Park St.

take the next right turn, at mileage 1.5, onto Mill St. (the stop
light is too far)

immediately after "Old Mill Village" on the right, at mileage 2.0,
turn right on Sanborn Lane.

Continue SLOWLY, past the signs say "DO NOT ENTER", "NO TRESPASSING",
etc. At mileage 2.4, our house is on your left. A white house with
A-frame, set lower and way from the road. Try to park in driveway or
on dirt along left side of driveway.

Tuesday, July 14, 7:30pm

"The Lunar-Mars Life Support Test Project Phase III 90-day Test: The
Crew Perspective" Vickie Kloeris, John Lewis, and Laura Supra

The Lunar Mars Life Support Project Phase III test was a 91 day test
of air and water recycling systems conducted at the Johnson Space
Center from Sept. 19, 1997 to Dec. 19, 1997. Vickie Kloeris of the
Johnson Space Center, John Lewis of Lockheed Martin Corporation, and
Laura Supra of AlliedSignal Aerospace will be giving this
presentation, and will describe life inside the chamber through video
and slides.

		      Boston NSS June Lecture Summary
			       by Lynn Olson

	Can a small group build a launch vehicle to launch a small
spacecraft into LEO (Low Earth Orbit)?  Rainier Anacker was inspired
to investigate this question by the February talk of Supriya
Chakrabarti on the building of a satellite by students and young
investigators at Boston University. Anacker wondered what it would
take to build a launch vehicle capable of launching such a small
satellite.  At the June meeting of the Boston Chapter of the National
Space Society he walked the audience through some of the design

	The first task is to determine what "delta v" or velocity
change the rocket must deliver.  A spacecraft in LEO has a velocity of
~7.8 kilometers per second (km/s).  After adding in velocity losses
due to gravity and atmospheric drag and subtracting the boost given by
the earth's rotation, a typical rocket will require 9.2 km/s (20,500
mph) to boost a satellite in to orbit.

	Given this velocity requirement, the rocket equation can be
used to calculate other rocket parameters. The rocket equation says
that the mass ratio (ratio of initial mass to final mass) is equal to
the exponential of the ratio of the velocity requirement (9.2 km/s) to
the rocket exhaust velocity.  The final mass is the payload plus inert
mass.  Inert mass includes tanks, engines, guidance electronics, etc.
The initial mass is the final mass plus the propellant.  Low inert
mass and high exhaust velocity are necessary to achieve high rocket
performance.  Exhaust velocity is usually quoted as specific impulse,
which is the number of seconds a pound of rocket propellant can
produce a pound of thrust, because it is easier to measure.  Specific
impulse and exhaust velocity are directly proportional to each other.

	Anacker first analyzed an SSTO (Single Stage To Orbit)
launcher with a 100 kg payload.  This turned out to be very tough.
Using the rocket equation, he showed that either the initial mass had
to be enormous or "unobtainium" must be used to reduce the inert mass,
even using high performance hydrogen/oxygen rocket engines with
average specific impulse of 400 or more seconds.  This is currently a
hot topic of research with the NASA/Lockheed Martin X-33 effort, but
not realistic for a small university or other group.

	He then presented a two stage rocket using gasoline and nitric
acid which could launch a small satellite with fairly low specific
impulse (260, 290 seconds for first, second stages) and inert fraction
within current state of the art.  No advances would be required.  The
actual cost would depend on R&D, hardware, operations, and propellant
costs, but the project appears to be doable on a relatively small

	Universities are very interested in a small satellite launcher
such as Anacker proposes.  The Universities Space Research Association
was the advocate of NASA's Bantam Launch Technologies program, which
aims to put a 100 kilogram satellite in orbit for $1.5M.  NASA
administrator Dan Goldin pledged to meet this goal recently, even
though initial studies awarded to four companies did not meet the cost
target and follow up funds were redirected. (Space News, June 8-14,

		   Philadelphia Area Space Alliance News
			       by Jay Haines

	PASA regular business luncheon/formal meeting from 1-3 pm the
3rd Saturday of every month at Liberty One food court, 16th & Market.
Go toward the windows, then to the left. Public parking in Liberty on
17th St.

	Scheduled PASA activities: regular monthly meetings: July 18th
(special location), Aug. 15th, Sept. 19th. Other activities: Nov.
13th-15th: Philcon. Call Earl for details.

	June Meeting Report: Oscar Harris gave the Education report,
covering the timetable for the Carver Science Fair for 1998-99 at
Temple Univ. and the Academy of Natural Sciences, and our plans to
judge and present an award for space-oriented projects.

	Earl Bennett mentioned a local middle-school project on the
Mars rover, a 5/98 NASA Tech Briefs article on a Get Away Special
project by the U Michigan SEDS group, and a Summer 98 Robotics World
article on the For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and
Technology (FIRST) National Competition at WDW Epcot in April, and a
NJ ex-astronaut who is associated with it.

	Hank Smith gave the Science Fiction report, covering the Aug.
5th-9th Bucconeer 56th Annual World Science Fiction Convention in
Baltimore, the Nov. 13th- 15th Philadelphia Science Fiction
Convention, and the Philadelphia 2001 World Science Fiction Convention

	Mitch Gordon gave the NSS report, covering the 5-6/98 Ad Astra
articles on space tourism, and the Public Relations report, covering
his progress on next Spring's FutureFest, and discussions with Derrick
Pitts of the Franklin Institute on plans for celebrating the 1999 30th
anniversary of the lunar landing. Michelle Baker mentioned that we had
received the Lockheed- Martin VentureStar poster.

	Michelle also gave the new ProSpace report, covering the Space
Commercialization Act which is now in the Senate, having passed the
House. Oscar reported on the 5/98 Architectural Record article by
Robert Zubrin, 'Building on Mars and living off the land.' Jay Haines
reported on our Web site (28 accesses from 5/21 to 6/20).

Earl gave the Technology report, covering a 6/98 Photonic Spectrum
article on measuring astronauts' motion sickness, a 6/98 Industrial
Physicist article on using ion engines on geostationary satellites to
save 400Kg of launch weight in fuel, and using aerogel to contain the
heat of the ion engines.

	Earl also covered a 7-8/98 Analog Science Fiction and Fact
Alternate View article by Jeffery Kooistra, 'The Golden Age of
Rocketry,' wherein he gives an appreciation for G. Harry Stein.

	Our next meeting will be an outing to Atlantic City NJ: we
meet on Sat., 7/18 at 6 p.m. at the Ocean One Mall food area on the
3rd floor. Go toward the windows, then to the right. Park at the Trump
Plaza and walk north on the boardwalk to Ocean One.

			 *** Regular Features ***

		      Jonathan's Space Report No. 364
			   by Jonathan McDowell

[Ed. Note: Go to http://hea-www.harvard.edu/QEDT/jcm/space/jsr/jsr.html for
back issues and other information about Jonathan's Space Report.]

Shuttle and Mir

The next Shuttle mission is STS-95, in October.

On the Mir space station complex, the Progress M-39 cargo ship is docked
to the Kvant module, and the Soyuz TM-27 transport is docked to the PKhO
transfer module on the Mir base compartment. The EO-25 mission crew of
Talgat Musabaev and Nikolai Budarin are scheduled to be replaced in
August by EO-26 crew Gennadiy Padalka and Sergey Avdeev.

Recent Launches

HGS-1, following a second lunar flyby on Jun 6, successfully reached
inclined geosynchronous orbit and is now drifting over the Pacific at
0.5 degree per day. On Jun 19 it was over 152W in a 35681 x 35963 km x
8.7 deg orbit. The Hughes team deserve to be congratulated on this
spectacular and innovative rescue mission.

Intelsat 805 was launched by an Atlas 2AS on Jun 18 into a standard
geostationary transfer orbit. Intelsat 805 is an LM7000 series satellite
built by Lockheed Martin/East Windsor. Launch mass is 3520 kg; the
satellite has 28 C-band and 3 Ku-band transponders, and will initially
serve the Atlantic Ocean region for INTELSAT.

Two Minuteman III missiles were launched from Vandenberg to Kwajalein
Atoll on Jun 24, one from silo LF-09 and the second from LF-10. Each
carried three re-entry vehicles.

Erratum: Thor 3 launch date was Jun 10, not Jun 11.

Table of Recent Launches

Date UT       Name            Launch Vehicle  Site            Mission


May  2 0916   Iridium 69        CZ-2C/SD      Taiyuan           Comsat
              Iridium 71                                        Comsat
May  7 0853   Kosmos-2351       Molniya-M     Plesetsk          Early Warn
May  7 2345   Echostar 4        Proton-K/DM3  Baykonur          Comsat
May  9 0138   USA 139           Titan Centaur Canaveral SLC40   Sigint
May 13 1552   NOAA 15           Titan 2       Vandenberg SLC4W  Weather
May 14 2212   Progress M-39     Soyuz-U       Baykonur LC1      Cargo
May 17 2116   Iridium 70)       Delta 7920    Vandenberg SLC2W  Comsat
              Iridium 72)                                       Comsat
              Iridium 73)                                       Comsat
              Iridium 74)                                       Comsat
              Iridium 75)                                       Comsat
May 30 1000   Zhongwei 1        CZ-3B         Xichang           Comsat
Jun  2 2206   Discovery    )    Shuttle       Kennedy LC39A     Spaceship
              Spacehab     )
Jun 10 0035   Thor 3            Delta 7925    Canaveral LC17A   Comsat
Jun 15 2258   Kosmos-2352  )    Tsiklon-3     Plesetsk LC32     Comsat
              Kosmos-2353  )                                    Comsat
              Kosmos-2354  )                                    Comsat
              Kosmos-2355  )                                    Comsat
              Kosmos-2356  )                                    Comsat
              Kosmos-2357  )                                    Comsat
Jun 18 2248   Intelsat 805      Atlas 2AS     Canaveral LC36A   Comsat

Current Shuttle Processing Status

Orbiters               Location   Mission    Launch Due

OV-102 Columbia        OPF Bay 3     STS-93  Unknown
OV-103 Discovery       OPF Bay 2     STS-95  Oct 29
OV-104 Atlantis        Palmdale      OMDP
OV-105 Endeavour       OPF Bay 1     STS-88  Unknown

MLP/SRB/ET/OV stacks


			      Space Calendar
			       by Ron Baalke

[Ed. Note: visit http://newproducts.jpl.nasa.gov/calendar/ for the
complete calendar]

July 1998
  Jul ?? - Celestis-03 Pegasus XL Launch
* Jul ?? - ORBCOMM-2 Pegasus XL Launch
* Jul ?? - Resurs Zenit Launch (Russia)
  Jul 01 - Asteroid 6748 (1995 UV30) Closest Approach to Earth (1.066 AU)
* Jul 04 - Planet B M-5 Launch (Japan Mars Mission)
  Jul 04 - Earth at Aphelion (1.017 AU From Sun)
  Jul 04 - Henrietta Leavitt's 130th Birthday (1868)
  Jul 05 - Asteroid 4953 (1990 MU) Closest Approach to Earth (0.615 AU)
  Jul 05 - Asteroid 1992 JB Closest Approach to Earth (0.872 AU)
  Jul 06 - Asteroid 5672 Libby Closest Approach To Earth (1.477 AU)
  Jul 06 - Asteroid 5657 (1936 QE1) Closest Approach To Earth (1.569 AU)
  Jul 09 - Asteroid 1862 Apollo Near-Earth Flyby (0.339 AU)
  Jul 09 - Pluto Occults P42 (14.7 Magnitude Star)
  Jul 10 - Asteroid 7 Iris at Opposition (8.6 Magnitude)
  Jul 12 - Comet Arend-Rigaux Perihelion (1.371 AU)
  Jul 12 - Asteroid 1998 KM3 Near-Earth Flyby (0.253 AU)
  Jul 12 - 10th Anniversary (1988), Phobos 2 Launch (Soviet Mars Orbiter)
* Jul 14 - Sinosat 1 Long March 3B Launch
  Jul 14 - Moon Occults Jupiter
  Jul 15 - Asteroid 1993 PB Closest Approach to Earth (0.590 AU)
  Jul 15 - Asteroid 3551 Verenia Closest Approach to Earth (0.794 AU)
  Jul 15 - Asteroid 6708 Bobbievaile Closest Approach To Earth (1.002 AU)
  Jul 16 - GPS IIR-3 Delta 2 Launch
  Jul 16 - Comet Arend-Rigaux Closest Approach to Earth (2.354 AU)
  Jul 16 - Asteroid 4973 Showa Closest Approach To Earth (2.726 AU)
  Jul 17 - Mercury at Greatest Eastern Elongation (27 Degrees)
* Jul 17 - Comet C/1998 K5 (LINEAR) Perihelion (0.964 AU)
  Jul 17 - Asteroid 432 Pythia at Opposition (10.9 Magnitude)
  Jul 17 - Comet Russell 3 Closest Approach to Earth (1.941 AU)
  Jul 18 - Galileo, Orbital Trim Maneuver #50 (OTM-50)
  Jul 18 - Asteroid 6460 Bassano Closest Approach To Earth (1.481 AU)
  Jul 18 - Asteroid 6172 Prokofeana Closest Approach To Earth (1.888 AU)
  Jul 19 - Asteroid 6232 1985 SJ3 Closest Approach To Earth (0.963 AU)
  Jul 19 - Asteroid 4295 Wisse Closest Approach To Earth (1.165 AU)
  Jul 19 - Asteroid 6022 Jyuro Closest Approach To Earth (1.319 AU)
* Jul 20 - Iridium Long March 2C/SD Launch
  Jul 20 - Asteroid 43 Ariadne at Opposition (9.1 Magnitude)
  Jul 20 - Comet Shoemaker 1 Closest Approach to Earth (1.897 AU)
  Jul 21 - Galileo, Europa 16 Flyby
  Jul 21 - Asteroid 59 Elpis Occults TAC -106880 (11.1 Magnitude)
  Jul 21 - Asteroid 4644 Oumu Closest Approach To Earth (1.375 AU)
  Jul 21 - 25th Anniversary (1973), Mars 4 Launch (USSR Mars Flyby Mission)
  Jul 23 - Neptune at Opposition
  Jul 23 - Asteroid 6682 (1973 ST3) Closest Approach To Earth (1.484 AU)
  Jul 25 - Galileo, Orbital Trim Maneuver #51 (OTM-51)
  Jul 25 - DOD US Air Force Titan 4 Launch
  Jul 25 - Asteroid 4021 Dancey Closest Approach To Earth (1.143 AU)
  Jul 25 - Asteroid 3553 Mera Closest Approach To Earth (1.407 AU)
  Jul 25 - 25th Anniversary (1973), Mars 5 Launch (USSR Mars Orbiter
  Jul 26 - Iridium 10 Delta 2 Launch
* Jul 26 - Asteroid 1998 ME3 Near-Earth Flyby (0.120 AU)
  Jul 26 - Asteroid 6742 Biandepei Closest Approach To Earth (1.052 AU)
  Jul 26 - 35th Anniversary (1963), Syncom 2 Launch, 1st Geosynchronous
* Jul 27 - Kuiper Belt Object 1998 KY61 At Opposition (44.803 AU - 24.1
  Jul 28 - 25th Anniversary (1973), Skylab-3 Launch
  Jul 29 - South Delta-Aquarids Meteor Shower Peak
  Jul 29 - Asteroid 1998 HL3 Near-Earth Flyby (0.246 AU)

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