Update: Huge NASA telescope may be headed for fiery descent to splash landing near Hawaii

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This is an update on a story which appeared earlier on TB2000 the thread for which is posted below.Note the fact that the CNN story leaves out key details contained in the UPI report the link for which is provided below. Specifically there is no mention in the CNN report of the fact that the telescope had been expected to last for another 8 to 10 years as late as last fall. Why do you think CNN failed to mention this key detail from the original UPI story in their report?

Update: Huge NASA telescope may be headed for fiery descent to splash landing near Hawaii

Link toCNNstory


UPI Version of story: NASA may crash science satellite:was expected to have 8-10 years additional use Link to UPI story:


NASA Watch Version


Link to Thread at TB 2000


-- Carl Jenkins (Somewherepress@aol.com), January 16, 2000


Dang, they should have replaced THOSE gyroscopes too!!!

NASA Watch story:

NASA Preparing Plans for Destructive Reentry to End Compton Gamma Ray Observatory's Mission Keith Cowing Friday, January 14, 2000

[14 Jan 2000] NASA is considering a deliberate deorbit (hence destruction) of the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory (CGRO). Some investigators have already been informed that CGRO may not be around much longer - and they have contacted NASA Watch. Sadly, CGRO was designed, as was Solar Max, to be repaired/refurbished on-orbit by a Space Shuttle mission. Apparently no one at NASA feels like fixing it.

NASA Watch has learned that Gyroscope Number 3 on CGRO experienced a complete failure on 6 December 1999. None the less, given that one gyroscope's failure, the spacecraft can still handle 3 axis control using the two remaining (and functional) gyroscopes. However, should an additional gyroscope fail, the spacecraft would not be able to maintain 3 axis control. This would preclude further scientific observations. It would also preclude the ability for CGRO to perform a controlled reentry. There is some work underway at NASA that examines whether alternative means of orienting the spacecraft could be used if another gyroscope fails.

There is a firm requirement levied on this mission that the return of CGRO be done in a controlled fashion - either by Space Shuttle or by virtue of being commanded to perform a targeted destructive reentry over non-populated areas. Given the size of the spacecraft (35,000 pounds - 15,876 kilograms), NASA Watch has learned that NASA has calculated that some of it will survive a destructive reentry and that program statistics show a 1/1000 chance of human casualty if the spacecraft were allowed to make an uncontrolled reentry.

In addition to guidance problems with CGRO, there are apparently long standing fuel line anomalies with the spacecraft that affect its ability to fire attitude control thrusters. These issues might also pose flight rule violations for a Space Shuttle visit and capture.

NASA is still examining its options. If no solutions to guidance, navigation, and control issues are found, it is almost certain that NASA will decide avoid the risk of further failures and the prospect of an uncontrolled reentry and will command the spacecraft to de- orbit. Apparently, the prospect of a Shuttle repair mission is simply out of the question.

The de-orbit is being planned for the middle of March 2000 with a projected impact point south east of Hawaii.

CGRO is a NASA cooperative program with participation from Germany, the Netherlands, the European Space Agency, and the United Kingdom. It was launched aboard the STS-37 Space Shuttle mission in April 1991. The spacecraft was designed to be refueled and serviced in orbit by a future Space Shuttle mission - indeed, according to NASA's STS-37 press kit, "The Gamma Ray Observatory is the first scientific payload with a refuelable onboard propulsion system."

According to the STS-37 press kit: "the instruments onboard GRO, with sensitivities 10 times greater than that of earlier instruments, will scan active galaxies for new information on celestial objects. GRO also can detect the very high temperature emissions from the vicinity of stellar black holes, thereby providing evidence for the existence of these exotic objects. GRO observations of diffuse radiation will not only help resolve questions relating to the large scale distribution of matter in the universe, but also about the processes that may have taken place shortly after the universe began in the theoretical energetic explosion or "Big Bang".

-- Hokie (Hokie_@hotmail.com), January 16, 2000.

Carl.... I do not understand. What do you think is the reason they did not mention the 8-10 years.... Y2k glitch...or what. Sorry I'm a blond. Please explain.

-- Sandi Harris (SaHarris77@aol.com), January 16, 2000.

Sandi- I'm a blonde too. The answer is very staightforward. There is no such thing as a "Y2K glitch". Ask ANY lawyer, or .gov agency. They'll be happy to tell you.

-- Gia (laureltree7@hotmail.com), January 16, 2000.

Hi Sandra,

sorry, the UPI Link is in error, should read:

http://www.insidechina.com/frames/frames.php3? url=http://www.vny.com/cf/News/upiheadlines.cfm

regarding your blond problem...

Why do you think the major media consistently leaves out key details in stories or ignores significant stories? I think most people would link that fact with manipulating public perception. What would you call it?

CNN's decision to delete this portion of the UPI story is an example of this kind of manipulation:

"As recently as last fall, ground controllers assessed the spacecraft as healthy. Its remaining lifetime was estimated as "another 8-10 years."

NASA had recently completed an upgrade to the satellite's ground control center.

However, on Dec. 6, one of the spacecraft's three gyroscopes broke."

Forgive me for not trusting public officials. Maybe I've been a reporter too long, but the recent string of problems at NASA, coupled with a major piece of space hardware having problems (and leave us not forget the Pentagon Satellite problem) right after the roll over, raises some serious questions in my mind.

And IMHO that is exactly why the mass media doesn't report the kind of facts above.

What do you think?

Oh, and ignore John (post above). He must be off his medication again.

-- Carl Jenkins (Somewherepress@aol.com), January 16, 2000.

Ah, wonder if Carl has whined to the sysops to get any responses to his posts that were anything other than "Thanks Carl! Good Catch!" deleted. I suppose he's pretty much limited to that and the oh-so- creative "off his medication" insult these days rather than point-by- point substantive responses to my contentions.

Of course, people can routinely use profanity to tell me to shut up or leave, accuse me of being a Holocaust denier, or accuse me of being a paid Government disinformation agent, and absolutely nothing happens to THEIR posts? (Not that it bothers me at all, of course, I get good hearty laughs out of those posts.)

Ok, Carl,

1) The CNN article is, apparently, original reporting, rather than the all-too-common rehash or reprinting of a wire service story...byline is the CNN Science Correspondent. I should think you'd be HAPPY about that.

2) The UPI reporter and the CNN reporter talked to different people. The CNN guy talked to "Preston Burch, deputy program manager for space science operations at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center."

The UPI guy talked to "NASA public affairs officer James Sahli"

3) The CNN story contains the following information NOT in the UPI story:

A) More exact location of the possible deliberate crash, near Hawaii, rather than the UPI's vague "in the Pacific."

B) The exact dimensions of the anticipated debris field on re-entry, totally absent from the UPI story. 16 x 962 miles.

C) The CNN article is only 305 words and the UPI article is over THREE TIMES LONGER at 965 words!

How can CNN "delete" a portion of the UPI story as you claim when their story is an ORIGINAL story with a new byline?

Why did UPI "delete" out key, scary facts from the CNN story that the re-entering debris field might be close to 1000 long? Could it be UPI media manipulation of the public?

Here's my wild, off-the-wall theories of why the CNN story doesn't have the "expected to last 8-10 more years" part:

1) The CNN guy talked to a totally different person who chose not to volunteer or highlight that information.

2) The CNN guy asked a different set of questions than the UPI guy and ended up with more detailed info on the re-entry but less detailed info on the expected life of Compton.

3) The CNN story was much shorter, no doubt by design, and the CNN reporter simply chose to highlight different information in his far more limited space.

Now, dear readers. Evaluate whether one of my theories or Carl's theory that CNN is "manipulating public perception" is more plausible.

If they are, funny that they have the story on the CNN front page (well down it, the headline is the death of Arkan) but it's there. There is no cable around here and I haven't gotten around to getting a dish, so I haven't the foggiest idea how the story is going out on CNN TV.

And the headline on the article is the scary-sounding "Huge NASA telescope may be headed for fiery descent to splash landing."

CARL seems to be the guy consistently leaving out key details or manipulating facts to support a particular agenda. Doesn't seem like very good reporting.

As an interesting aside, the two articles DIRECTLY contradict each other on whether Compton was designed to be serviced by the Space Shuttle..CNN no, UPI, yes. Not unusual to see that kind of confusion in a science story.

The media is often grossly incompetent in Science reporting. But in this case, accusations of deliberate "manipulation" are laughable.

-- John H Krempasky (johnk@dmv.com), January 16, 2000.

And Carl needs to make up his mind on what he wants out of the media. I believe I've seen him complain before that they're lazy and unwilling to do original reporting and simply repeat what they get from other media sources.

If every news outlet in the world simply reposted or re-hashed the UPI article, not deleting any facts, but not adding any either, I'm sure Carl would be complaining about the lazy news media not doing investigative reporting on a very important story, and simply all taking what they're spoon-fed by the government.

And possibly using the fact that everybody had the same facts as evidence of a huge media conspiracy.

But then CNN has their own reporter out interviewing a DIFFERENT person from NASA, getting important details that the UPI story (posted at approximately the same time) didn't get, DESPITE being only 1/3 the length, and somehow that's highly suspicious.


-- John H Krempasky (johnk@dmv.com), January 16, 2000.

I guess John is utterly clueless about how the news industry works...I wonder if he really thinks CNN discovered this story independently and the reporter didn't see the UPI story. As a former broadcast news director, I can tell you that the different media outlets follow all the major services and that UPI clearly scooped CNN on this important story. CNN's science guy probably got his butt chewed for not being on top of things at NASA.

I sure hope John gets back on his medication before he swallows his tongue...poor guy..if the pretzel logic in the diatribe above is any indication, he's real close to having a seizure:)

(none of it is worth making an effort to rebutt, either).

-- Carl Jenkins (Somewherepress@aol.com), January 16, 2000.

CNN article:

January 14, 2000 Web posted at: 7:49 p.m. EST (0049 GMT)

UPI article:

Friday, 14 January 2000 19:55 (ET) (that's 7:55 pm Eastern Time for those of you oblivious to military time.)

Gee, CNN SCOOPED UPI, not the other way around, it looks like. By a whole six minutes :-)

If you have an earlier version of the UPI story, please post it, I'd be interested to see it. (Also, just want to make sure that that timing is attached to the UPI article itself and not to the website the UPI article appeared on...I don't have LEXIS/NEXIS, of course, where i could be sure.)

And funny how CNN talked to a NASA Deputy Program Manager and UPI merely talked to a NASA Public Affairs flunkie. Seems to be a bit more legwork/effort on CNN's part.

And Carl wrote:

>As a former broadcast news director

Hey, thanks for helping me prove my point about the incompetence of the media :-)

I'd be genuinely interested in seeing you apply your reporting, reasoning, and argumentative skills to explaining why your theory of CNN leaving out the "8-10 years" fact was deliberate manipulation is superior to any of my theories, posted previously, of why it was left out of the CNN article.

If you don't, I'll assume you simply are incapable of doing so.

-- John H Krempasky (johnk@dmv.com), January 16, 2000.

John H. Krempasky identifies himself on the debunkers board


-- (spelunking@debunking.dunking), January 17, 2000.

As a former broadcast news director

Former being the word that explains why Carl is posting here instead of working in the industry.


Immagine once being in broadcast news (as janitor perhaps?) and ending up posting on a doom and gloom board after the doom has been averted? These posts should do well on his resume when he tries to get a job don'tcha think?

He talks about meds from firsthand experience!

-- Cherri (sams@brigadoon.com), January 18, 2000.

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