People

William Cooke

Meteoroid Environments Program Manager

Learn more about Meteoroid Environments Program Manager William Cooke.

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Suzanne Aleman

Meteoroid Environments Program Executive

Learn more about Meteoroid Environments Program Executive Suzanne Aleman.

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Points of Contact

For details on contacting a Meteoroid Environments Point of Contact (PoC), click below.

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Meteoroid Engineering Model PoC

Dr. Althea Moorhead

Dr. Althea Moorhead is a member of the Meteoroid Environment Office and leads the office’s efforts in improving and updating NASA's Meteoroid Engineering Model (MEM). As the MEM Point of Contact, she provides user support and assists spacecraft programs in applying MEM to their designs, as well as directing ongoing development of the software and its underlying meteoroid environment model. In addition to her work on MEM, Moorhead also conducts investigations of meteor showers, such as the 2014 Kappa Cygnid outburst. She also models unique meteoroid environments such as that produced by comet Siding Spring during its Mars flyby.

Moorhead has a Bachelor of Science degree in physics and mathematics from the University of Arizona and a Doctorate of Philosophy in physics from the University of Michigan. Before joining NASA, she worked at the University of Florida as a postdoctoral researcher studying the dynamics of extrasolar planetary systems. She is a member of the American Astronomical Society.

Videos

Policy and Guidance

NASA

NPR 8715.3, Chapter 11

NASA General Safety Program Requirements, NASA Meteoroid Environment Program

The Meteoroid Environment Program chapter of this policy specifies the implementation and components of the NASA Meteoroid Environment program.

See Requirements

NPD 8700.1

NASA Policy for Safety and Mission Success

This policy outlines NASA's responsibilities as they relate to safety and mission success.

Additional Details See NPD 8700.1

Publications

Title Publication Authors  
The flux of kilogram-sized meteoroids from lunar impact monitoring Icarus. 238, 23-36, 2014 Suggs, R. M., Moser, D. E., Cooke, W. J., Suggs, R. J. See Paper
Dust production of comet 21P/Giacobini-Zinner using broadband photometry Meteoritics & Planetary Science: Online Early, 2013 Blaauw, R. C., Suggs, R. M., and Cooke, W. J. See Paper
Meteorites from meteor showers: A case study of the Taurids. Meteoritics & Planetary Science, 48:2, 270-288, 2013 Brown, P., Marchenko, V., Moser, D. E., Weryk, R., and Cooke, W. See Paper
The 2012 Lyrids from non-traditional observing platforms Proceedings of the 2012 IMC, 146-149, 2013 Moser, D. E., Suggs, R. M., Cooke, W. J., and Blaauw, R. See Paper
The present-day flux of large meteoroids on the lunar surface—A synthesis of models and observational techniques Planet. and Space Science. 74:1, 179, 2012 Oberst, J., Christou, A., Suggs, R., Moser, D., Daubar, I. J., McEwen, A. S., Burchell, M., Kawamura, T., Hiesinger, H., Wünnemann, K., Wagner, R., and Robinson, M. S. See Paper
The status of the NASA All Sky Fireball Network Proceedings of the 2011 IMC, 9-12, 2012 Cooke, W. J. and Moser, D. E. See Paper
Results from the NMSU-NASA Marshall Space Flight Center LCROSS observational campaign J. Geophysical Research 116:E8, 2011 Chanover, N. J., Miller, C., Hamilton, R. T., Suggs, R. M., and McMillan, R. See Paper
Flux of Kilogram-sized Meteoroids from Lunar Impact Monitoring Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, vol. 40, pp. 455, 2008 Suggs, R. M., Cooke, W., Suggs, R., McNamara, H., Swift, W., Moser, D., and Diekmann, A See Paper
Updates to the MSFC Meteoroid Stream Model Earth, Moon, and Planets, vol. 102, pp. 285-291, 2008 Moser, D. E. and Cooke, W. J. See Paper
Measurement of the meteoroid flux at Mars Icarus, vol. 191, no. 1, pp. 141-150, 2007 Domokos, A., Bell, J. F., Brown, P., Lemmon, M. T., Suggs, R., Vaubaillon, J., and Cooke, W. See Paper
Model predictions for the 2001 Leonids and implications for Earth-orbiting satellites Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, vol. 326, pp. L19-L22, 2001 Brown, P. and Cooke, B. See Paper
A 500-kiloton airburst over Chelyabinsk and an enhanced hazard from small impactors Nature 503:7475, 238-241, 2013 Brown, P. G., Assink, J. D., Astiz, L., Blaauw, R.; Boslough, M. B., Borovička, J., Brachet, N., Brown, D., Campbell-Brown, M., Ceranna, L., and 23 coauthors See Paper
Meteoroid Engineering Model (MEM): A Meteoroid Model for the Inner Solar System Earth, Moon, and Planets, vol. 95, pp. 123-139, 2004 McNamara, H., Jones, J., Kauffman, B., Suggs, R., Cooke, W., and Smith, S. See Paper
MSFC Stream Model Preliminary Results: Modeling Recent Leonid and Perseid Encounters Earth, Moon, and Planets, vol. 95, pp. 141-153, 2004 Moser, D. E. and Cooke, W. J. See Paper
Meteor44 Video Meteor Photometry Earth, Moon, and Planets, vol. 95, pp. 533-540, 2004 Swift, W. R., Suggs, R. M., and Cooke, W. J. See Paper
Determining Bolide Luminous Efficiency Through Optical Observations of the Genesis Atmospheric Entry Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, vol. 37, pp. 650, 2005 Cooke, W. J., Swift, W. M., and Suggs, R. M. See Paper
A Search for Meteor Shower Signatures in the LDEF IDE Data Proceedings of the Dust in Planetary Systems Conference, pp. 35, 2005 Cooke, W. J. and McNamara, H. A. See Paper
Genesis Reentry Observations and Data Analysis NASA TM 2005-214192, November 2005 Swift, W. R. and Suggs, R. M. See Paper
A Probable Taurid Impact on the Moon 37th Annual Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, abstract no. 1731, 2006 Cooke, W. J., Suggs, R. M., and Swift, W. R. See Paper
The meteoroid fluence at Mars due to Comet C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring). Icarus 231, 13-21, 2014 Moorhead, A. V., Wiegert, P. A., Cooke, W. J. See Paper
A meteor cluster detection algorithm WGN, Journal of the International Meteor Organization 41:1,14-19, 2014 Burt, J. B., Moorhead, A. V., Cooke, W. J. See Paper
Outburst and Dust Production of Comet 29P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 1 The Astronomical Journal, 145:5, 122, 2013 Hosek, M. W. Jr., Blaauw, R. C., Cooke, W. J., and Suggs, R. M. See Paper
Comparison of ASGARD and UFOCapture Proceedings of the 2011 IMC, 44-46, 2012 Blaauw, R. and Cruse, K. S. See Paper
Luminous Efficiency of Hypervelocity Meteoroid Impacts on the Moon Derived From the 2006 Geminids, 2007 Lyrids and 2008 Taurids Proceedings of the Meteoroids 2010 Conference, NASA/CP-2011-216469, 142, 2011 Moser, D. E., Suggs, R. M., Swift, W. R., Suggs, R. J., Cooke, W. J., Diekmann, A. M., and Koehler, H. M. See Paper
An Exponential Luminous Efficiency Model for Hypervelocity Impact into Regolith Proceedings of the Meteoroids 2010 Conference, NASA/CP-2011-216469, 125, 2011 Swift, W. R., Moser, D. E., Suggs, R. M., and Cooke, W. J. See Paper
Lunar Meteoroid Impact Observations and the Flux of Kilogram-sized Meteoroids Proceedings of the Meteoroids 2010 Conference, NASA/CP-2011-216469, 116, 2011 Suggs, R. M., Cooke, W. J., Koehler, H. M., Suggs, R. J., Moser, D. E., and Swift, W. R. See Paper
Meteoroids: The Smallest Solar System Bodies Proceedings of the Meteoroids 2010 Conference, NASA/CP-2011-216469, 2011 Cooke, W. J., Moser, D. E., Hardin, B . F., and Janches, D. See Paper
Rate and Distribution of Kilogram Lunar Impactors 38th Annual Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, abstract no. 1986, 2007 Cooke, W. J., Suggs, R. M., Suggs, R. J., Swift, W. R., and Hollon, N. P. See Paper
The NASA Lunar Impact Monitoring Program Earth, Moon, and Planets, vol. 102, pp. 293-298, 2008 Suggs, R. M., Cooke, W. J., Suggs, R. J., Swift, W. R., and Hollon, N. See Paper
Algorithms for Lunar Flash Video Search, Measurement, and Archiving Earth, Moon, and Planets, vol. 102, pp. 299-303, 2008 Swift, W., Suggs, R., and Cooke, B. See Paper
Measurement of Ejecta from Normal Incident Hypervelocity Impact on Lunar Regolith Simulant Earth, Moon, and Planets, vol. 102, pp. 549-553, 2008 Edwards, D. L., Cooke, W., Moser, D. E., and Swift, W. See Paper
Meteoroid Environment Workshop and Call for Lunar Impact Observations WGN, Journal of the IMO, vol. 36, no. 4, pp. 83-86, 2008 Arlt, R. and Moser, D. See Paper

Models

Sporadic Meteoroid Environment

In an attempt to overcome some of the deficiencies of past models, a Meteoroid Environment Model (MEM R2) was developed by the Meteoroid Environment Office (MEO). Some of the revolutionary aspects of MEM are

  • Identification of the sporadic radiants with real sources of meteoroids, such as comets
  • A physics-based approach that yields accurate fluxes and directionality for interplanetary spacecraft anywhere in the inner solar system
  • Velocity distributions obtained from theory and validated against observation.

Meteor Showers

MEO generates annual meteor shower forecasts suitable for all spacecraft in low-Earth orbit. Custom forecasts focusing on a specific shower for spacecraft in other locations are available by request.

View MEM Website

Measurements

Measurements of meteoroid fluxes, speeds and densities form the basis of sporadic meteoroid models and are vital in calibrating meteor shower forecasts. Because meteoroids move much faster than orbital debris and essentially have no radar cross-section, they must be understood in terms of the light or ionization they produce as meteors when ablating in Earth’s atmosphere (a meteoroid the size of a dime can produce an ionization trail the length of a aircraft carrier!).

NASA's All Sky Fireball Network

The NASA All Sky Fireball Network is a network of cameras, hosted by science centers, schools and observatories, designed to observe meteors known as fireballs — meteors brighter than Venus. Observations are posted on the All Sky Fireball Network website every morning. The Meteoroid Environment Office uses the data to construct models of the meteoroid environment, which are important to spacecraft designers.

Lunar Impact Modeling

NASA uses small telescopes to monitor the moon for flashes produced when meteoroids strike the surface, creating small craters. This helps establish how often larger meteoroids (bigger than a golf ball) stoke the moon and Earth.

View Fireball Network Website View Lunar Impact Monitoring Website