SPACE/NET - Network Resources

Last-modified: $Date: 94/03/01 17:24:40 $



You may be reading this document on many types of computers, so much of
the material below may not apply to you. In general, however, systems
connected to 'the net' fall in one of three categories: Internet,
Usenet, or BITNET. Electronic mail may be sent between these networks,
and other resources available on one of these networks are sometimes
accessible from other networks by email sent to special 'servers'.

The space and astronomy discussion groups actually are composed of
several mechanisms with (mostly) transparent connections between them.

One mechanism is the mailing list, in which mail is sent to a central
distribution point which relays it to all recipients of the list. In
addition to the general lists for space (called SPACE Digest for
Internet users, and SPACE on BITNET), there are a number of more
specialized mailing lists described below.

A second mechanism is Usenet 'netnews'. This is somewhat like a bulletin
board operating on each system which is a part of the net. Netnews
separates contributions into hundreds of different categories based on a
'group name'. The groups dealing most closely with space topics are

sci.astro - astronomy
sci.astro.* - various topic-specific subgroups
alt.sci.planetary - planetary science. is
probably a better group for most purposes. - space politics. is
preferred. - moderated, for mission status reports,
news announcements, etc. - general space discussion. To be removed soon, replaced
by: - moderated, technical/hardware issues - moderated, space & planetary science - unmoderated, space policy

Contributors 'post' submissions (called 'articles' in netnews
terminology) on their local machine, which sends it to other nearby
machines. Similarly, articles sent from nearby machines are stored
locally and may be forwarded to other systems, so that an article is
posted locally and eventually reaches all the Usenet sites interested in
receiving the news group to which the article was posted.

Gateway machines redirect several of the Usenet groups into
Internet and BITNET mailing lists and vice versa; the other Usenet
groups are not accessible as mailing lists. If you can receive netnews,
its more flexible interface and access to a wider range of material
usually make it the preferred option.


SPACE Digest is the main Internet list, and is now being run by the
International Space University (in only its second change of management
in over a decade). Email (message body
should be in the format 'subscribe space John Public') to join. Note
that the moderated SPACE Magazine list is defunct at present for lack of
a moderator. Old copies of SPACE Digest since its inception in 1981 are

Elements is a moderated list for fast distribution of Space Shuttle
Keplerian Elements before and during Shuttle flights. NASA two line
elements are sent out on the list from Dr. Kelso, JSC, and other sources
as they are released. Email to to join.

GPS Digest is a moderated list for discussion of the Global Positioning
System and other satellite navigation positioning systems. Email to to join.

Space-investors is a list for information relevant to investing in
space-related companies. Email Vincent Cate ( to join.

Space-tech is a list for more technical discussion of space topics;
discussion has included esoteric propulsion technologies, asteroid
capture, starflight, orbital debris removal, etc. Email to to join. Archives of old digests and
selected excerpts are in

or by email to space-tech-request if you don't have FTP access.

Ssi-mail is a discussion group covering the Space Studies Institute.
Email to with a message saying "subscribe ssi_mail
First Name Last Name".

SEDS-L is a BITNET list for members of Students for the Exploration and
Development of Space and other interested parties. Email
LISTSERV@TAMVM1.BITNET with a message saying "SUBSCRIBE SEDS-L your
name". Email saying "INDEX SEDS-L" to list the archive contents.

SEDSNEWS is a BITNET list for news items, press releases, shuttle status
reports, and the like. This duplicates material which is also found in
Space Digest,,, and sci.astro. Email
Email saying "INDEX SEDSNEWS" to list the archive contents.

Ron Baalke ( runs a mailing list which
carries the contents of the Usenet group. Email him to
join the list.

As a general note, please mail to the *request* address to get off a
mailing list. SPACE Digest, for example, relays many inappropriate
'please remove me from this list' messages which are sent to the list
address rather than the request address.


In addition to this FAQ list, a broad variety of topical information is
posted to the net (unless otherwise noted, in the group
created for this purpose). Please remember that the individuals posting
this information are performing a service for all net readers, and don't
take up their time with frivolous requests.

Veikko Makela ( posts a monthly list of
anonymous FTP servers containing astronomy and space related
material to and sci.astro.

Henry Spencer ( posts summaries of
space-related stories in the weekly _Aviation Week and Space

Ronnie Kon ( posts a guide to buying telescopes to

Editor Larry Klaes ( posts the monthly
Electronic Journal of the Astronomical Society of the Atlantic to
sci.astro, sci.misc,, and

The EJASA Volume Lists for ordering back issues may be requested
from him, and back issues are also available from the ASA site

Swaraj Jeyasingh ( posts summaries of
space-related news from _Flight International_. This focuses more on
non-US space activities than Aviation Week.

The IAUC are copyrighted, and should normally not be posted to the
net (sometimes they are posted, with Brian Marsden's permission).
The best way to get all the IAUC is to subscribe: you get all the
info by e-mail, and it helps the Minor Planet Center.

A subscription is $7.50 per month for hardcopy or e-mail delivery
(e-mail version includes log-in privileges to collect the Circulars,
as well as orbits from the MPC files, and a facility for computing

Enquiries (and checks) should be sent to

Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams
Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory
Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.

with checks (in U.S. dollars) made out to "Central Bureau for
Astronomical Telegrams". Subscribers can also purchase the MPC's
cometary orbit catalogue at half price. A more complete description
of IAUC/MPC services is available from the email contact.

Robert Bunge ( posts a list describing many
"Large Telescope Projects Either Being Considered or in the Works"
to sci.astro.

Peter Yee ( posts a variety of NASA material,
including NASA Headline News (with the schedule for NASA SELECT),
shuttle payload briefings and flight manifests, and KSC shuttle
status reports. For Usenet users, much of this material appears in
the group

Ron Baalke ( posts frequent updates from
JPL, Ames, and other centers on the Ulysses, Gailileo, Pioneer,
Magellan, Landsat, and other missions.

TS Kelso ( posts orbital elements from
NASA Prediction Bulletins.

Mike Rose ( posts orbital elements for the Hubble
Space Telescope to sci.astro.

Jost Jahn ( posts ephemerides for asteroids,
comets, conjunctions, and encounters to sci.astro.

Richard Langley ( posts SPACEWARN Bulletin, which
describes recent launch/orbital decay information and satellites
which are useful for scientific activities. Recent bulletins are in (directory ANON_DIR:[000000.ACTIVE.SPX])

(This is a VMS FTP site, and the URL is non-functional).

Ken Hollis ( posts a compressed version of
the Space Shuttle launch manifest to This
includes dates, times, payloads, and information on how to see
launches and landings. These files are in

Cary Oler ( posts Solar Terrestrial reports
(describing solar activity and its effect on the Earth) to The report is issued in part from data released by the
Space Enviroment Services Center, Boulder Colorado. The intro
document needed to understand these reports is in is an archive site for the reports (please note this
site is in Europe, and the connection to the US is only 56KB). A new
primary archive site,

has been established and will be actively supported.

Glenn Chapman ( posts summaries of Soviet space

Allen Sherzer ( posts a newsletter, "One Small Step for
a Space Activist," to It describes current
legislative activity affecting NASA and commercial space activities.

Ron Baalke ( posts a calendar including
anniversaries, conferences, launch dates, meteor showers and
eclipses, and other space-related events.

John Magliacane (kd2bd@ka2qhd.UUCP) posts "SpaceNews" (covering
AMSATs, NOAA and other weather satellites, and other ham
information) to and

Jonathan McDowell ( posts "Jonathan's Space
Report" covering launches, landings, reentries, status reports,
satellite activities, etc.

Bev Freed ( posts "Toward 2001", a weekly
global news summary reprinted from _Space Calendar_ magazine.


(Included at the suggestion of Eugene Miya, who wrote the item)

NASA has an internal system of unclassified electronic mail and bulletin
boards. This system is not open for public use. Specifically, NASA
personnel and procurement operations are regarded with some sensitivity.
Contractors must renegotiate their contracts. The Fair and Open
Procurement Act does not look kindly to those having inside information.
Contractors and outsiders caught using this type of information can
expect severe penalities. Unauthorized access attempts may subject you
to a fine and/or imprisonment in accordance with Title 18, USC, Section
1030. If in fact you should should learn of unauthorized access, contact
NASA personnel.

Claims have been made on this news group about fraud and waste. None
have ever been substantiated to any significant degree. Readers
detecting Fraud, Waste, Abuse, or Mismanagement should contact the NASA
Inspector General (24-hours) at 800-424-9183 (can be anonymous) or write

Inspector General
P.O. Box 23089
L'enfant Plaza Station
Washington DC 20024

NEXT: FAQ #3/13 - Online (and some offline) sources of images, data, etc.

Return to KSC Home Page Return to FAQ Page


This is a static and possibly incomplete copy of the USEnet SCI.SPACE Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document dated March 1994 (before the material was copyrighted). The official copyrighted and and up-to-date FAQ is maintained by Jon Leech ( and is posted to Network News and available via the World Wide Web . KSC's Hypertext converter last run Thursday June 15 10:22:19 EDT 1995