[FPSPACE] FPSPACE Digest, Vol 77, Issue 17

William Keel wkeel at bama.ua.edu
Sat Jul 17 15:50:55 EDT 2010

On Jul 17, 2010, at 11:00 AM, fpspace-request at friends-partners.org  
> From: fpspace-bounces at friends-partners.org
> [mailto:fpspace-bounces at friends-partners.org] On Behalf Of Robert  
> Reeves
> Sent: Friday, July 16, 2010 21:14
> To: fpspace at friends-partners.org
> Subject: Re: [FPSPACE] Re Apollo Soyuz
> One of the unsung near-misses of mannerd spaceflight occurred at the  
> very
> Message: 3
> Date: Sat, 17 Jul 2010 08:51:04 -0600
> From: David Portree <dsfportree at hotmail.com>
> To: <ljk4 at msn.com>, <fpspace at friends-partners.org>
> Subject: Re: [FPSPACE] Re Apollo Soyuz
> Message-ID: <SNT133-w227F6112913BB5B78E6EE1D5BD0 at phx.gbl>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"
> Great images!
> Apollo 16 did UV astronomy from the lunar surface, if I'm not  
> mistaken, and there was UV astronomy on Skylab. NASA made a big deal  
> about the science on ASTP, but it was (as I understand it) mostly  
> window dressing. A lot of payloads were proposed, including some  
> engineering payloads to support Shuttle, but the budget was so tight  
> that very little flew.
> David S. F. Portree

Correct - as well as UV astronomy from Gemini 11, Salyut 1 (film was  
rescued from the ill-fated Soyuz 11 descent capsule) and Soyuz 13,  
plus satellites. What ASTP carried that was new was an extreme- 
ultraviolet experiment from Stu Bowyer at Berkeley, a first probe at a  
spectral region that would prove useful only if the interstellar  
medium was patchier than most people thought (which indeed it was, so  
that line of work led over a decade later to EUVE). The EUV spans from  
wherever you think soft X-rays end to the Lyman limit at 912  
Angstroms, where interstellar hydrogen absorption blocks radiation  
very effectively. Bowyer recalls that he thought the science program  
started as mostly cosmetic, but the EUV experiment had been under  
development all the way back to the OSO series and was practically  
flight-ready. They had four papers (and he claims the only other ASTP  
science paper was on uric acid in the spacecraft environment, but I  
can't vouch for that independently). From Bowyer's account a few years  
ago, they had to complete the observations before docking, and could  
monitor everything via telemetry but were pretty much encouraged not  
to ask for crew contacts (though the crew had to turn it on and off).  
Once they had information indicating misorientation of the spacecraft,  
mentioned this to flight control, heard some muffled curses and then  
noticed the spacecraft rolling.

Bill Keel
William C. Keel                                        205-348-1641  
Professor, Physics and Astronomy      205-348-5051 (fax)
Box 870324                                              205-348-5050  
University of Alabama                             http://www.astr.ua.edu/keel
Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0324, U.S.A.    wkeel at bama.ua.edu

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