The Alan Sondheim Mail Archive

July 1, 2009

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Tue, 30 Jun 2009 16:46:19 -0700
From: NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory <>
To: "" <>
Subject: Ulysses Spacecraft Ends Historic Mission of Discovery


DC Agle/Mark Petrovich 818-393-9011/393-4359
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. /

Dwayne Brown 202-358-1726
NASA Headquarters, Washington

Monica Talevi 31-71-565-3223
European Space Agency Communications, The Netherlands

         June 30, 2009

Ulysses Spacecraft Ends Historic Mission of Discovery

PASADENA, Calif. -- Ulysses, a joint NASA and European Space Agency
mission, officially ceased operations today, after receiving commands
from ground controllers to do so.  The spacecraft, which operated for
more than 18 years, charted the unexplored regions of space above the
poles of the sun.

As planned via commands beamed to the spacecraft earlier in the day,
Ulysses switched to its low-gain antenna at 1:09 p.m. PDT (4:09 p.m. EDT,
or 2009 UTC). As a result, ground controllers were no longer able to pick
up a signal from Ulysses, which had also been commanded to switch off its
transmitter completely at 1:15 p.m. PDT (4:15 p.m. EDT, or 2015 UTC).

When space shuttle Discovery launched Ulysses on Oct. 6, 1990, it had an
expected lifetime of five years. The mission gathered unique information
about the heliosphere, the bubble in space carved by the solar wind, for
nearly four times longer than expected.

"This has been a remarkable scientific endeavor," said Richard Marsden,
Ulysses mission manager and project scientist at the European Space
Agency. "The results Ulysses obtained have exceeded our wildest dreams
many times over."

Ulysses made nearly three complete orbits of the sun. The probe revealed
for the first time the three-dimensional character of galactic cosmic
radiation, energetic particles produced in solar storms and the solar
wind. Not only has Ulysses allowed scientists to map constituents of the
heliosphere in space, its longevity enabled them to observe the sun over
a longer period of time than ever before.

"The sun's activity varies with an 11-year cycle, and now we have
measurements covering almost two complete cycles," said Marsden. "This
long observation has led to one of the mission's key discoveries, namely
that the solar wind has grown progressively weaker during the mission and
is currently at its weakest since the start of the Space Age."

In addition to measuring the solar wind and charged particles, Ulysses
instruments measured small dust particles and neutral gases from local
interstellar space that penetrate into the heliosphere. Ulysses had an
unprecedented three chance encounters with comet tails, registered more
than 1,800 cosmic gamma-ray bursts, and provided findings for more than
1,000 scientific articles and two books.

"The breadth of science addressed by Ulysses is truly astonishing," said
Ed Smith, Ulysses project scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory
in Pasadena, Calif. "The data acquired during the long lifetime of this
mission have provided an unprecedented view of the solar activity cycle
and its consequences and will continue to keep scientists busy for many
years to come."

Ulysses' successes have not been confined to scientific data. The
extended mission presented significant challenges to the NASA-European
operations team. In particular, critical parts of the spacecraft became
progressively colder with time. In recent years, a major effort was
needed to prevent the onboard hydrazine fuel from freezing. The
operations team continually created methods to allow the aging space
probe to continue its scientific mission.

Earlier this month, the Ulysses mission team received a NASA Group
Achievement Award. Another milestone was reached on June 10 when Ulysses
became the longest-running ESA-operated spacecraft, overtaking the
International Ultraviolet Explorer which logged 18 years and 246 days of

"The Ulysses team performed exceptionally by building and operating a
research probe that would return scientific data for analysis no matter
what challenges it encountered," said Arik Posner, Ulysses program
scientist at NASA Headquarters in Washington.  "The knowledge gained from
Ulysses proves what can be achieved through international cooperation in
space research."

The Ulysses orbital path is carrying the spacecraft away from Earth. The
ever-widening gap has progressively limited the amount of data
transmitted. Ulysses project managers, with the concurrence of ESA and
NASA, decided it was an appropriate time to end this epic scientific

ESA Ulysses Mission Operations Manager Nigel Angold points out that more
than a year ago, "We had estimated Ulysses would not survive further than
July 2008. However, the spacecraft didn't stop surprising us and kept
working a full year, collecting invaluable science data. It's nice to be
going out in style."

After the spacecraft was placed into low Earth orbit in 1990, a
combination of solid fuel motors propelled Ulysses toward Jupiter.
Ulysses swung by Jupiter on Feb. 8, 1992. The giant planet's gravity bent
the spacecraft's flight path southward and away from the ecliptic plane,
putting the probe into a final orbit that would take it over the sun's
south and north poles.

The European Space Agency's European Space Research and Technology Centre
and European Space Operations Centre managed the mission in coordination
with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Ulysses is tracked by NASA's Deep
Space Network. A joint ESA/NASA team at JPL oversaw spacecraft operations
and data management. Teams from universities and research institutes in
Europe and the United States provided the 10 instruments on board.

More information about the mission is available
at  .


Remove yourself from this mailing.

Remove yourself from all mailings from NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

One-string music

Three of my string instruments are played on one string only:

The hegelung, which has frets and two strings - drone and melody; the
hasapi, which has no frets two strings - drone and melody; and the yayli
tanbur, which has frets and six strings in three courses - drone, drone,
and melody.

The first two are plucked or strummed; the last is usually bowed.

It's far too simple to play these as mountain dulcimers; the music is far
more complex in general. Grace-notes, harmonics, hammering and pulling,
and with the hegelung, situating the finger in different areas behind the
frets - all serve to create a wide variety of effects. On the tanbur,
different bowing techniques are used in combination with grace-notes,
harmonics, hammering and pulling, and occasional bowing of the drone

One-string playing is pleasing, since the string acts as a one-dimensional
object with a singular timbre that slowly changes up and down its length.
More than one string creates a two-dimensional field - possibilities are
extended, but the sublime appears as a greater construct, separated from
the sound itself. One-string also uses different muscles - finger, wrist,
and arm for example - since pitch changes are more often accompanied by
large-scale body changes.

On the yayli tanbur, the range is well over two octaves, perhaps three;
the hegelung is slightly over an octave, and the hasapi is variable but
best played within the hegelung range (both are boat-lutes).

To play a single string is to play a universe of fundamental theory with
innumerable images emanating from a model which almost disappears in its
'purity.' Purity results in embellishment, ornament, creating object-
processes flying from the string. The playing is a meditating and drones
ensure its connectivity or networking to other playings and universes.

The playing is a meditating on model, on inhabiting a model, on model as
habitus. Melody and rhythm are 'there,' harmony is a memory: A memory of
harmonies elsewhere (synchronic), and a memory of single-string notes
hinting at the collapse of individuals (diachronic) - never quite bring-
ing either to the foreground.

Therefore a model of models, models with and without memory, pure and
impure ('dirty,' 'noisy') models, models under erasure, models within and
without consciousness and the consciousness of erasure. To play single-
string is to participate in habitus and becoming. Every playing string has
a beginning and an end (or length, if one might imagine a wrapped string);
every string announces, enunciates, its appearance and separation within
the world: Every string _inheres._

The string is a dancing (just as a keyboard is a dancing) - moving every-
where upon or around it, while at the same time letting it speak to its
own devices. And what are these devices, if not the coupling of the string
to fretboard, soundboard, hollow, materiality, frettage and/or stopping?
The string always speaks the world, just as one end speaks _a-_ and the
other _um_. All of us are listening as we are playing to the dual singu-
larities of sound, birth and death, and their irrevocability - what's said
and born can never be taken back.

tuning new sculpty prim's inland-scape of weather and desire

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Wed, 1 Jul 2009 18:25:50 -0400 (EDT)
From: Center for Biological Diversity <>
Subject: Breaking News: 193 Million Acres of Forest Protected

Dear Alan,

Great news: A federal judge just struck down the Bush administration's rules limiting protection and citizen oversight of the entire 193-million acre National Forest System.

The Bush rules stripped away the U.S. Forest Service's requirement to maintain viable wildlife populations whenever it planned a new clear-cut, mine, or road. The rules also banned the Forest Service from even considering environmental impacts when developing long-term management plans guiding million of acres of lands.

The court, however, agreed with the Center for Biological Diversity's lawsuit that such willful disregard for endangered species, clean water, and quiet recreation violated the Endangered Species Act and other laws, and struck down the rules in their entirety.

Our national forests provide critically important habitat for thousands of fish, wildlife, and plant species, and are a source of clean water and recreational opportunities for millions of Americans. We look forward to working with the Obama administration to develop a new set of rules that truly protect the invaluable resources they contain.

Enjoy this major victory for our national forests. Thank you for helping make it happen. We'll be calling on you soon to contact the Obama administration to ensure its new rules do everything possible for wildlife and wild places.


Kieran Suckling
Executive Director
Center for Biological Diversity

P.S. Your support made it possible for the Center to keep the pressure on the Forest Service to protect our national forests for almost a decade. If you'd like to help keep us in the fight, please consider making a gift now:

P.P.S. Here's how the San Francisco Chronicle covered the victory:

Forest Service must reinstate tougher guidelines
By Peter Fimrite // July 1, 2009
San Francisco Chronicle

A federal judge in San Francisco Tuesday struck down national forest management rules devised by the Bush administration that environmentalists had denounced as a thinly veiled sop for timber companies.

U.S. District Court Judge Claudia Wilkin ruled in favor of a group of 14 environmental organizations that sued the U.S. Forest Service for essentially relaxing regulations in violation of the National Environmental Policy Act and Endangered Species Act.

The decision means the Forest Service will have to reinstate rules protecting fish and wildlife and limiting logging in 150 national forests and 20 national grasslands covering 192 million acres, including more than a dozen national forests in California.

"It is a great victory for national forests," said Marc Fink, a lawyer for the Center for Biological Diversity, which was one of the plaintiffs. "We're hoping today's ruling is the final nail in the coffin for the Bush forest policies and that we can move forward and do what is right for the forests...."

Donate now to support our work:

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