NEAR Shoemaker

The Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous – Shoemaker, renamed after its 1996 launch in honor of planetary scientist Eugene Shoemaker, was a robotic space probe designed by the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory for NASA to study the near-Earth asteroid Eros from close orbit over a period of a year. The mission succeeded in closing in with the asteroid and orbited it several times terminating by touching down on the asteroid on 12 February 2001; the primary scientific objective of NEAR was to return data on the bulk properties, mineralogy, internal mass distribution and magnetic field of Eros. Secondary objectives include studies of regolith properties, interactions with the solar wind, possible current activity as indicated by dust or gas, the asteroid spin state; this data will be used to help understand the characteristics of asteroids in general, their relationship to meteoroids and comets, the conditions in the early Solar System. To accomplish these goals, the spacecraft was equipped with an X-ray/gamma-ray spectrometer, a near-infrared imaging spectrograph, a multi-spectral camera fitted with a CCD imaging detector, a laser rangefinder, a magnetometer.

A radio science experiment was performed using the NEAR tracking system to estimate the gravity field of the asteroid. The total mass of the instruments was 56 kg, they required 80 W power. A previous plan for the mission was for it to go to 4660 Nereus and do a flyby of 2019 Van Albada en route. In January 2000 it would rendezvous with Nereus but instead of staying it would visit multiple asteroids and comets; some of the choices that were discussed were 2P/Encke, 433 Eros, 1036 Ganymed, 4 Vesta, 4015 Wilson–Harrington. The Small-Body Grand Tour was a plan for visiting two asteroids and two comets over a span of a decade with the spacecraft; the primary goal of the mission was to study the near-Earth asteroid 433 Eros from orbit for one year. Eros is an S-type asteroid 13 × 13 × 33 km in size, the second largest near-Earth asteroid; the orbit was circular with a radius of 200 km. The radius of the orbit was brought down in stages to a 50 × 50 km orbit on 30 April 2000 and decreased to 35 × 35 km on July 14, 2000.

The orbit was raised over succeeding months to a 200 × 200 km orbit and slowly decreased and altered to a 35 × 35 km retrograde orbit on December 13, 2000. The mission ended with a touchdown in the "saddle" region of Eros on February 12, 2001; some scientists claim that the ultimate goal of the mission was to link Eros, an asteroidal body, to meteorites recovered on Earth. With sufficient data on chemical composition, a causal link could be established between Eros and other S-type asteroids, those meteorites believed to be pieces of S-type asteroids. Once this connection is established, meteorite material can be studied with large and evolving equipment, the results extrapolated to bodies in space. NEAR-Shoemaker did not disprove this link to the satisfaction of scientists. Between December 1999 and February 2001 NEAR Shoemaker used its gamma-ray spectrometer to detect gamma-ray bursts as part of the InterPlanetary Network. After launch on a Delta 7925-8 and exit from Earth orbit, NEAR entered the first part of its cruise phase.

NEAR spent most of the cruise phase in a minimal activity "hibernation" state, which ended a few days before the flyby of the 61 km diameter asteroid 253 Mathilde. On 27 June 1997, NEAR flew by Mathilde within 1200 km at 12:56 UT at 9.93 km/s, returning imaging and other instrument data. The flyby produced over 500 images, covering 60% of Mathilde's surface, as well as gravitational data allowing calculations of Mathilde's dimensions and mass. On July 3, 1997, NEAR executed the first major deep space maneuver, a two-part burn of the main 450 N thruster; this decreased the velocity by 279 m/s and lowered perihelion from 0.99 AU to 0.95 AU. The Earth gravity assist swingby occurred on January 23, 1998 at 7:23 UT; the closest approach was 540 km, altering the orbital inclination from 0.5 to 10.2 degrees, the aphelion distance from 2.17 to 1.77 AU, nearly matching those of Eros. Instrumentation was active at this time; the first of four scheduled rendezvous burns was attempted on December 20, 1998 at 22:00 UT.

The burn sequence was initiated but aborted. The spacecraft subsequently began tumbling; the spacecraft's thrusters fired thousands of times during the anomaly, which expended 29 kg of propellant reducing the program's propellant margin to zero. This anomaly resulted in the loss of the spacecraft due to lack of solar orientation and subsequent battery drain. Contact between the spacecraft and mission control could not be established for over 24 hours; the root cause of this incident has not been determined, but software and operational errors contributed to the severity of the anomaly. The original mission plan called for the four burns to be followed by an orbit insertion burn on January 10, 1999, but the abort of the first burn and loss of communication made this impossible. A new plan was put into effect in which NEAR flew by Eros on December 23, 1998 at 18:41:23 UT at a speed of 965 m/s and a distance of 3827 km from the center of mass of Eros. Images of Eros were taken by the camera, data were collected by the near IR spectrograph, radio tracking was performed during the flyby.

A rendezvous maneuver was performed on January 3, 1999 involving a thruster burn to match NEAR's orbital speed to that of Eros. A hydrazine thruster burn. On August 12 a two-minute thruster burn slow

Barbara Wienecke

Barbara Wienecke is a Senior Research Scientist with the Australian Antarctic Division. She is a seabird ecologist who uses satellite tracking to investigate seabird population dynamics and ecology. Wienecke has played a key role in enhancing the quality of, overseeing the implementation of, a number of Antarctic Specially Protected Area management plans for wildlife concentrations in East Antarctica. Wienecke was graduated from high school in Germany. After travelling and living in a number of different countries, including Israel and the Netherlands, she moved to Australia to begin her bachelor's degree, she has a Bachelor of Science degree from Murdoch University, where she completed an honours thesis on the penguins of Penguin Island, Western Australia. This research led into a PhD from Murdoch University in Perth, which she completed in 1993. Wienecke is a seabird ecologist at the Australian Antarctic Division, where she has worked since 1993, she has been studying penguins and other seabirds for over twenty-five years, participating in over fifteen expeditions to Antarctica and the sub-Antarctic islands.

Her first expedition was an overwintering expedition to Australia's Mawson Station in 1994, during which she was employed as a seabird ecologist conducting a field program on emperor penguins at Auster and Taylor Glacier for fourteen months. Wienecke is interested in the foraging ecology and population dynamics of seabirds, using satellite tracking to conduct research geared toward protecting seabirds and their habitat from humans and climate change, she has collaborated on research mitigating the incidental bycatch of seabirds in commercial longline fisheries. This work has directly contributed to the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources conservation measures, which led to a major reduction of bycatch in pelagic long-line fisheries, she was lead author of the 2011 five-yearly Australian report detailing the state of the East Antarctic environment and a co-author of BirdLife International’s assessment of Important Bird Areas in Antarctica, a report identifying Antarctic sites and populations of international conservation significance.

In 2013, Wienecke was awarded the Australian Antarctic Division’s Australian Antarctic Medal for "exemplary research into sea birds and the effect of commercial fishing operations on sea bird populations". Fretwell, P. T. LaRue, M. A. Morin, P. Kooyman, G. L. Wienecke, B. Ratcliffe, N. Fox, A. J. Fleming, A. H. Porter, C. and Trathan, P. N. 2012. An emperor penguin population estimate: the first global, synoptic survey of a species from space. PLoS One, 7, p.e33751. Robertson, G. McNeill, M. Smith, N. Wienecke, B. Candy, S. and Olivier, F. 2006. Fast sinking longlines reduce mortality of white-chinned petrels and sooty shearwaters in demersal longline fisheries. Biological Conservation, 132, pp. 458–471. Wienecke, B. C. and Robertson, G. 1997. Foraging space of emperor penguins Aptenodytes forsteri in Antarctic shelf waters in winter. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 159, pp. 249–263. Constable, A. J. Melbourne‐Thomas, J. Corney, S. P. Arrigo, K. R. Barbraud, C. Barnes, D. K. Bindoff, N. L. Boyd, P. W. Brandt, A. Costa, D.

P. and Davidson, A. T. et al. 2014. Climate change and Southern Ocean ecosystems I: how changes in physical habitats directly affect marine biota. Global Change Biology, 20, pp. 3004–3025

Ken Blackwell

John Kenneth Blackwell is an American politician and conservative activist who served as the mayor of Cincinnati, the Ohio State Treasurer, Ohio Secretary of State. He was the Republican candidate for governor of Ohio in 2006, the first African-American major-party candidate for governor of Ohio, he is a Senior Fellow for Family Empowerment with The Family Research Council. Blackwell was born in Alliance, the son of Dana, a part-time nurse, George Blackwell, a meatpacker, he has two brothers and Charles. He married his wife Rosa in 1969, they have three children, Kimberly and Kristin. Blackwell attended Xavier University in Ohio on a football scholarship, he received a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology from Xavier in 1970 and his Master of Education degree from Xavier, in 1971. After college, he was invited to the Dallas Cowboys' training camp, he taught at Xavier from 1974 to 1991. He has served as a trustee of Wilmington College. On April 25, 1987 Kenneth Blackwell was made a Mason-on-Sight by Grand Master Odes J. Kyle Jr. of the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Ohio.

This African-American branch of Freemasonry was founded in the 19th century. Blackwell became involved in politics through the Charter Party, Cincinnati's third party, supported by left-leaning voters, he was served on the Cincinnati city council. In 1978, he was elected as Mayor of Cincinnati, serving into 1980. One of his first priorities was to establish a crowd control task force, to study better methods of crowd control and injury prevention; this was in response to the deaths of 11 concert fans at a concert by the British rock group The Who at Riverfront Coliseum on December 3, 1979. When Blackwell began to consider statewide and national offices, he became a Republican, he was appointed to serve in the administration of President George H. W. Bush, as undersecretary in the Department of Housing and Urban Development from 1989 to 1990, he returned to Cincinnati to run for the first district seat in the United States House of Representatives, being vacated by Tom Luken. Blackwell lost to Charlie Luken, by a narrow 51 % to 49 % margin.

Following his close defeat, Blackwell was appointed by President Bush as US ambassador to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights. Blackwell served in that post from 1992 to 1993. In 1994 Gov. George Voinovich appointed Blackwell as Ohio State Treasurer to complete the term of Mary Ellen Withrow, she had been appointed as U. S. treasurer by President Bill Clinton. Blackwell was elected treasurer in 1994 and was elected Ohio Secretary of State in 1998; that year, Blackwell considered a run for governor, but Ohio Republican Party chairman Robert T. Bennett persuaded Blackwell to run for secretary of state instead, leaving the governorship open to Bob Taft. Blackwell was national chairman of longtime friend Steve Forbes' presidential campaign in 2000. Blackwell was re-elected secretary of state in 2002; as Secretary of State of a hotly contested swing state, Blackwell played a prominent role in the 2004 national election. He held the position of Chief Elections Officer. In testifying to Congress in 2005 about the conduct of the 2004 election in Ohio, Blackwell said that every Republican holder of statewide office in Ohio had been named as an honorary "co-chair" of the 2004 Bush campaign, that the position carried no responsibilities, that previous Ohio Secretaries of State from both parties had held similar honorary positions.

Prior to the 2004 presidential election, Blackwell had announced he would enforce an Ohio State election law decreeing that any person who appeared at a polling place to vote but whose registration could not be confirmed would be given only a provisional ballot. He directed poll workers to refuse to distribute provisional ballots unless they were satisfied as to the voter's residence; the Democratic party filed a lawsuit claiming that the policy was "intended to disenfranchise minority voters" and in violation of federal election law section 302 of the Help America Vote Act. On October 21, 2004, U. S. District Court Judge James G. Carr issued an order rejecting Blackwell's policy. Blackwell said. Blackwell appealed the decision to the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. On October 26, 2004, the Court of Appeals reversed in part; the court agreed with the plaintiffs and the District Court that Blackwell's directive violated HAVA to the extent that it empowered poll workers to withhold a provisional ballot based on their "on-the-spot determination at the polling place."

The court ruled that if a subsequent review concluded that the voter was not entitled to vote in that precinct the provisional ballot would not be counted. In accordance with the Court of Appeals ruling, provisional ballots cast in the wrong precincts were not counted in Ohio's 2004 elections. Democratic members of the U. S. House Committee on the Judiciary asked Blackwell to explain irregularities in the Ohio election in two letters, requested his presence at a Public Congressional Hearing, he did not attend the hearing, but responded to the first letter, refusing to comply with their requests for explanation, noting that he was