April 11-17, 2011 / Vol 30, No 15 / Hawai`i Island, USA

International Events to Celebrate 50 Years of Human Spaceflight

The world will celebrate human space exploration with the 50th observance of the 1st human spaceflight by Russian Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin (TR) on April 12, 1961, and the 1st Space Shuttle flight of STS-1 Columbia commanded by Apollo Moonwalker John Young (TL) 20 years later to the day. In the 50 years since Gagarin’s 1st historic space journey, 522 men and women have flown to space to advance exploration and scientific discovery. Over 320 ‘Yuri’s Night 2011’ events have been organized by local groups all over the world in more than 60 countries including, Russia, USA, China, India, Canada, Japan, Europe, Africa and South America. Yuri’s Night Co-Founders George Whitesides and Loretta Hidalgo-Whitesides have created the ‘Space Exploration Advertisement Competition’ design contest to create a new print ad campaign to build space awareness. Winners will receive a 4-day tour of the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Moscow including a microgravity flight on the Ilyushin-76 aircraft. There will also be an ‘Open Luna Contest’ for the public to create tribute videos for the 50th Commemoration of Human Spaceflight. The submission deadline for both contests is Apr 15. The United Nations General Assembly recently adopted a resolution declaring Apr 12 as the International Day of Human Space Flight. Pictured: SpaceX Founder Elon Musk (BL), STS-1 Astronaut Robert Crippen (TC). (Credit: Yurisnight.com, Wakaweb.com, SpaceX, Yurigagarin50.org, Virgin Galactic)

Future of Humans in Space Taking Shape at IAA, AIAA Meetings

Private entrepreneurs continue to develop commercial solutions to launching payloads and tourists into space, and national space agencies are preparing to sponsor human exploration missions to destinations farther than ever before. For these historic accomplishments to be realized, advances in the human and biological sciences related to long-duration space travel must first be made. The focus of the 18th IAA Humans in Space Symposium, to be held April 11-15 in Houston TX, will be on the integration needed across cultures, nations, agencies, disciplines and objectives for humanity to successfully navigate the next chapters of the Humans-in-Space story. Nick Kanas (TL) will co-chair a panel on Advances in Behavioral Health and Performance and Guenther Reitz (BL) will chair the Space Radiation panel. There will also be special sessions devoted to the 50th anniversary of the first human space flight and the 30th anniversary of the 1st Shuttle mission. The 17th AIAA International Space Planes and Hypersonic Systems and Technologies conference will take place on Apr 11-14 in San Francisco CA. (Credit: IAA, AIAA, USFCA, seti.org, NASA)

= All times for terrestrial events in local time unless noted.

= All times for international terrestrial events in local time unless noted.

= All times for space events, and…

= All times for international space / astro events in Hawaii Standard Time unless noted. Add 10 hours to obtain UT (‘Universal Time;’ Greenwich, England).

Weekly Planet Watch – Morning Planets: Venus (ESE) / Evening Planets: Saturn (ESE).


Apr 11 — International Space Station, LEO: E-27 crew members take time to celebrate 50th commemoration of human spaceflight as well as continue with ongoing experiments and maintenance activities.

Apr 11 — NASA Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), Lunar Orbit: All systems nominal in scientific phase of mission as LRO continues to make digital elevation and terrain maps which will be a fundamental reference for future human exploration.

Apr 11 — Mars Express, Red Planet: ESA scientists continue to study recent imagery of Ceraunius Tholus, a volcano that runs 120km across and rises 5.4km; data may give clues as to how the northern hemisphere of the Red Planet was transformed by meteor impacts.

Apr 11 — Marshall Space Flight Center,  Huntsville AL: Expedition 24 / 25 Space Station Astronaut Dough Wheelock to visit NASA MSFC from o9:00-11:00.

Apr 11 — Stuttgart Planetarium, Stuttgart, Germany: ‘Yuri’s Night,’ 50th Anniversary of human spaceflight celebration.

Apr 11 — Milan Planetarium, Milan, Italy: ‘Yuri’s Night,’ event to celebrate 50 years of human spaceflight.

Apr 11-13 — IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Society, International Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, et al, Munich, Germany: ‘Joint Urban Remote Sensing Event 2011.’

Apr 11-14 — Space Foundation, Colorado Springs CO: ‘27th National Space Symposium.’

Apr 11-14 — American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, San Francisco CA: ‘17th AIAA International Space Planes and Hypersonic Systems and Technologies Conference.’

Apr 11-14 — University of Hawaii, National Science Foundation, Poipu Koloa Kaua`i HI: ‘5th Workshop on Titan Chemistry: Observations, Experiments, Computations and Modeling.’

Apr 11-15 — International Academy of Astronautics, Houston TX: ‘18th IAA Human in Space Symposium: Integration and Cooperation in the Next Golden Age of Human Space Flight.’

Apr 11-15 — Max Planck Institute for Physics, Tuorla Observatory, Muonio, Finland: ‘Beamed and Unbeamed Gamma-rays from Galaxies Workshop.’

Apr 11-15 — General Relativity and Gravitation Group, National University of Cordoba, et al,  Cordoba, Argentina: ‘Grav 11.’

Apr 11Moon: At First Quarter, 02:05; 9.0° SSW of Pollux, 05:00.

Continued from . . .

Mar 29 — Planetary Decadal Steering Group, NASA, Boulder CO; Tucson AZ; New York NY; Orlando FL; St Louis MO; Pasadena CA; Chicago IL: Town hall meetings to present details of upcoming planetary exploration for the decade 2013 – 2022; through Apr 13.

Apr 1 — Space Tourism Month, Global: Space Tourism Society and other space groups designate April to be ‘Space Tourism Month,’ celebrating the 10th commemoration of Tito’s liftoff, 15th year of the founding of STS, 30th commemoration of 1st US Space Shuttle flight and Apr 12 50th commemoration of the 1st human to orbit Earth in 1961; through Apr 30.

Apr 5 — Space Foundation, Colorado Springs CO: ‘Space Shuttle Art Auction,’ being held in conjunction with the 27th National Space Symposium to provide funding for STARS classroom enrichment programs; through Apr 14.

Apr 10 — American Astronomical Society, Austin TX: ‘2011 Meeting of the Division of Dynamical Astronomy;’ through Apr 14.

Apr 10 — International Committee on Remote Sensing of Environment, Sydney, Australia: ‘34th International Symposium on Remote Sensing of Environment;’ through Apr 15.

Apr 10 — International Astronomical Union, Cape Town, South Africa: ‘2nd Middle-East and Africa IAU Regional Meeting;’ through Apr 15.


Apr 12 — 50th Commemoration of Human Spaceflight, Worldwide: On April 12, 1961 Yuri Gagarin of Russia became the 1st human to orbit Earth on the Vostok 1 spacecraft; The flight lasted 108 minutes, circling Earth at a speed of 27,400km per hour and 327km above Earth.

Apr 12 — 30th Celebration of 1st Space Shuttle Launch, USA: On April 12, 1981 Astronauts John Young and Robert Crippen launched aboard STS-1, the 1st orbital flight of NASA’s Columbia Space Shuttle which lasted for 2 days and orbited the Earth 37 times.

NET Apr 12 — ULA, Launch Atlas 5 / NROL – 34, Cape Canaveral FL: ULA Atlas 5 rocket set to launch a classified spacecraft payload for the USA National Reconnaissance Office.

Apr 12 — Space Frontier Foundation, New York City NY: ‘5th Annual Yuri’s Night Party,’ organized by Elizabeth Kennick and The SFF will feature NewSpace speakers, performers, live music, DJ’s, dancing, costumes, prizes and a midnight toast to Yuri.

Apr 12 — Montana State University, Havre MT: ‘Yuri’s Night Party,’ as well as live webcast on ‘Space Property Rights’ with Dennis Hope of the Lunar Embassy / Galactic Government and MSU-Bozeman Professor Loren Acton.

Apr 12 — Defense Threat Reduction Agency, NASA Electronic Parts and Packaging Program, et al, La Jolla CA: ‘Space Radiation Effects on Electronics.’

Apr 12 — Griffith Observatory, Los Angeles CA: ‘Yuri’s Night: Celebrating 50 Years of People in Space.’

Apr 12 — San Diego Air and Space Museum, San Diego Space Society, San Diego CA: ‘Yuri’s Night: 50th Anniversary of Human Spaceflight.’

Apr 12 — The Museum of Flight, Seattle WA: ‘Celebration of Human Spaceflight.’

Apr 12 —Frankfurt Chamber of Commerce, Frankfurt, Germany: ‘Yuri’s Night Celebration,’ featuring a public movie festival, Astronaut Health Check and family fun activities.

Apr 12 — Camp Phoenix, Kabul, Afghanistan: ‘Yuri’s Night Celebration.’

Apr 12 — Space Association of Australia, The Victorian Space Science Education Center, Melbourne, Australia: ‘Yuri’s Night 2011,’ a free event for the whole family featuring a film release ‘First Orbit‘ by Chris Riley.

Apr 12 — Monash University, Melbourne, Australia: Yuri’s Night Celebration with public lecture ‘Spam in a Can: The History of Human Spaceflight,’ Marion Anderson.

Apr 12 — The Perth Artifactory, Perth, Australia: ‘Yuri’s Night Party,’ event to celebrate 50 years of human spaceflight with astronomy activities.

Apr 12 — 4-Pines Brewing Company, Sydney, Australia: ‘Yuri’s Night Party,’ featuring a taste-testing of the Vostok beer, the 1st beer designed for drinking in space.

Apr 12 — Mur.Sat, Graz, Austria: ‘Yuri’s Night Party.’

Apr 12 — Tusi-Bohm Planetarium, Baku, Azerbaijan: ‘Yuri’s Night Party.’

Apr 12 — Louis Cruls Astronomy Club, Campos Dos Goytacazes, Rio De Janeiro, Brazil: ‘Yuri’s Night Celebration.’

Apr 12 — Telus World of Science Edmonton, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada: ‘Yuri’s Night Celebration,’ with space exploration activities and science demonstrations.

Apr 12 — The Canada Aviation Museum, Canadian Space Society, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada: ‘Yuri’s Night Celebration.’

Apr 12 — Tsinghua University, Beijing, China: ‘Yuri’s Night,’ participants to also celebrate China’s promising future in space.

Apr 12 — Finnish Meteorological Institute, Helsinki, Finland: ‘Yuri’s Night 2011.’

Apr 12 — The French Air and Space Museum, Le Bourget, France: ‘Yuri’s Night,’ event features guided tours and a lecture with space specialists.

Apr 12 — Russian Center of Science and Culture, New Delhi, India: ‘Yuri’s Night,’ celebrating 50 years of human spaceflight and a panel discussion on Russian – Indian cooperation in space exploration.

Apr 12 — The Irish Astronomical Society, Gonzaga College, South Dublin Astro Society, Dublin, Ireland: ‘The Russian Space Program,’ celebrating 50 years of human spaceflight and lecture by Brian Harvey.

Apr 12 — Alice Aqua Garden, Tokyo, Japan: ‘Yuri’s Night Tokyo 2011.’

Apr 12 — Stardome Observatory and Planetarium, KiwiSpace Foundation, Auckland, New Zealand: ‘KiwiSpace Launch Party and ‘First Orbit’ Screening,’ celebrating 50 years of human spaceflight.

Apr 12 — South African Astronomical Observatory, Cape Town, South Africa: ‘Yuri’s Night Cape Town.’

Apr 12 — Spanish Museum of Space, Cadiz, Spain: ‘50th Anniversary of the First Human in Space.’

Apr 12 — Thinktank Planetarium, Birmingham, United Kingdom: ‘First Orbit,’ screening of Yuri Gagarin’s historic journey to Space.

Apr 12 — Institute of Engineering and Technology, London, United Kingdom: ‘The IET Yuri Gagarin Lecture.’

Apr 12-14 — Goddard Spaceflight Center, Greenbelt MD: ‘Signposts of Planets Conference.’

Apr 12-15 — ESA, Noordwijk, The Netherlands: ‘11th Symposium on Advanced Space Technologies in Robotics and Automation (ASTRA 2011).’

Apr 12Mercury: 2.8° NW of Jupiter; 11:00.

Apr 12Moon: 4.7° S of Beehive Cluster; 07:00.

Apr 12Asteroid 2011 GE: Near-Earth Flyby (0.012 AU).


Apr 13 — The SETI Institute, Mountain View CA: Colloquium Series Lecture: ‘Mars Odyssey Measurements of Radiation at Mars,’ Cary Zeitlin.

Apr 13 — Women in Aerospace, Colorado Springs CO: ‘4th Annual WIA Reception,’ at the National Space Symposium.

Apr 13 — Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, Washington DC: ‘The Space Shuttle Era: 1981 – 2011 – Marking the 30th Anniversary of the First Shuttle Mission and Imminent Launch of the Last,’ Valerie Neal.

Apr 13 — Intech Science Center and Planetarium, Winchester, United Kingdom: ‘Lecture: What’s Wrong with the Sun,’ Stuart Clark.

Apr 13Moon: 5.1° SSW of Regulus; 19:00.

Apr 13Asteroid 9965 GNU: Closest Approach to Earth (1.091 AU).


Apr 14 — Stephen Austin State University, Nacogdoches TX: Former NASA Astronaut / Artist Alan Bean to speak at SFA.

Apr 14 — Hamburg Planetarium, Hamburg, Germany: ‘Deep Space Night,’ featuring activities to celebrate Yuri Gagarin’s 1st flight into space.

Apr 14-15 — Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena CA: The von Karman Lecture Series: ‘A Unique Opportunity: Scientific Research and Human Space Flight in the Shuttle Era,’ Eugene Trinh.


Apr 15 — Yuri’s Night Organization, Worldwide: Submission deadlines for ‘The Space Exploration Advertisement Competition’ and the ‘Open Luna Video Contest.’

Apr 15 — Teachers in Space, NASA, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, et al, Online:Teachers in Space Program,’ application deadline.

Apr 15 — Antelope Valley Board of Trade, Dryden Flight Research Center, Lancaster CA:Space Shuttle: T+30 Years.’

Apr 15-25 — Austrian Space Forum, Rio Tinto, Spain: ‘Mars-Analog Field Test to Rio Tinto, Spain,’ ASF and partnering institutions to conduct field tests on the AoudaX spacesuit simulator, the Phileas rover prototype and astrobiology experiments.

Apr 15 — Cassini OTM-280, Saturn Orbit: Spacecraft conducts Orbital Trim Maneuver #280 today.

Apr 15Asteroid (Near-Earth Flyby): 2011 FS29 (0.033 AU); 2007 WC5 (0.089 AU).


Apr 16 — Washington Science Teachers Association, Vancouver WA: ‘Addressing Student Misconceptions of the Earth-Sun-Moon System,’ a free workshop for teachers to deepen content knowledge and provide constructivist techniques to help students understand the Earth-Sun-Moon system.

Apr 16 — Virginia Air and Space Center, Hampton VA: ‘Yuri’s Night Hampton Roads.’

Apr 16 — The Challenger Center for Space Science Education, Houston TX: ‘Yuri’s Night Houston 5k Fun / Run Walk.’

Apr 16 — Imiloa Astronomy Center, Hilo HI: ‘Mauna Kea Skies Talk.’

Apr 16 — University of Adelaide Student Branch of the American Institute of Astronautics, Adelaide, Australia: ‘Yuri’s Night,’ featuring a special screening of ’50 Years of Manned Space Flight.’

Apr 16 — Colombian Commission of Rocketry and Astronautics, Bogota, Cundinamarca, Colombia: ‘Yuri’s Night Celebration 2011.’

Apr 16Moon: 7.6° SSW of Saturn, 17:00; At Perigee (Distance 56.15 Earth-radii), 20:00.

Apr 16Asteroid 2011 FG41: Near-Earth Flyby (0.084 AU).


Apr 17-21 — Royal Astronomical Society, Llandudno, United Kingdom: ‘2011 RAS National Astronomy Meeting (NAM 2011).’

Apr 17-21 — International Astronomical Union, Cape Town, South Africa: ‘2nd Middle East-Africa IAU Regional Meeting.’

Apr 17-22 — University of Franche-Comte, National Institute of Sciences of the Universe, et al, Le Grand-Bornand, France: ‘Assembling the Puzzle of the Milky Way.’

Apr 17Moon: 2.5° S of Spica, 19:00; Full Moon, 16:43.

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