April 18-24, 2016 / Vol 35, No 16 / Hawai`i Island, USA

Booming CubeSat Industry Discussed at 13th Cal Poly Workshop and von Kármán Lecture

CubeSats 2016

The 13th annual CubeSat Developer’s Workshop is being held April 20-22 at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. Jordi Puig-Suari (TL) of Cal Poly (co-inventor of the CubeSat along with Bob Twiggs (TR) then at Stanford) will be giving welcome remarks. Over 65 talks (each about 15 minutes) will cover CubeSat mission successes, constellations, myths / realities of collision risk, launch and deployment accommodations. Lunar CubeSat presentations will be Lunar Flashlight Mission (Travis Imken, JPL), 6U CubeSat Designed for Lunar Orbit and Beyond (Kathleen Morse, Yosemite Space Inc.), Lunar Polar Hydrogen Mapper CubeSat (Craig Hardgrove, ASU) and Lunar Ice Cube (Pamela Clark, JPL / Morehead State Univ). The von Kármán Lecture Series 2016: CubeSats – Big Goals, Tiny Package held Apr 21 and 22 will feature Dr. Andrew Klesh, JPL Chief Engineer for Interplanetary Small Spacecraft. He will discuss government agencies, private enterprises and students developing CubeSat missions for LEO, Moon, asteroids, Mars and deeper space. It is estimated that 435 CubeSats have been launched to date, with plenty on the manifest for companies such as Planetary Labs, Spire and Nanosatisfi. Classification systems designate minisatellites (100–500 kg), microsatellites (10–100 kg), nanosatellites (1–10 kg), picosatellites / CubeSats (0.1–1 kg), and femtosatellites (0.01–0.1 kg). (Image Credit: Cal Poly, Kentucky Space photo, NASA, JPL, Caltech, Cornell, Weber State University, Bob Twiggs, ASU)


April 18 — ISS, LEO: Expedition 47 unloading cargo from Progress MS-2 and Dragon CRS-8, will set up / test new experiments including BEAM, Microchannel Diffusion for fluid dynamics, CASIS Protein Crystal Growth & Co-Crystallization in Microgravity, Rodent Research for skeletal muscle atrophy; Tim Peake to perform London Marathon from Space on Wednesday.

 April 18 — Chang’e-3 Lander & Yutu Rover, Guang Han Gong, Sinus Iridum / Mare Imbrium, 44.12°N 19.51°W, Moon: China lander operating in good health in Lunar Day 30 with its camera and Ultra Violet Telescope; while Yutu remains immobile, Ye Peijian – Chang’e-3 chief scientist – states Yutu is collecting & sending data to Earth.

April 18 — NEOWISE, LEO: Studying NEOs (hundreds of meters across) in infrared wavelengths, is ~56% of the way through its 5th coverage of the entire sky; over 419,000 infrared detections have been made including 498 NEOs & 96 comets (72 new objects were found since 2013); PI Amy Mainzer of JPL.

April 18 — SpaceX, Multiple Locations: NewSpace company analyzing first successful 1st stage to have landed on floating barge ~300 km off shore in Atlantic Ocean after orbital launch, next 2-3 launches will attempt same task, SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell states reusability could cut launch price by 30%; when will Elon capitalize the Moon?

April 18 — Space Frontier Foundation Advocate Newsletter, Boulder CO: New position of Advocate Coordinator filled by Ben Corbin, will shine light on inner workings of organization, decisions of BoD, connect Advocates through networking opportunities, projects and new Newsletter – in addition to NewSpace News.

April 18 — Breakthrough Initiatives, Multiple Locations: Founded by Yuri Milner & Stephen Hawking, Breakthrough Listen with US$100M funding attempting to identify ET communications, Breakthrough Message is studying ethics of sending messages into Deep Space, Breakthrough Starshot $100M proposal to develop spacecraft fleet able to fly to Alpha Centauri at 20% the speed of light (215 million km/h).

Apr 18-19 — SMi Group, London, United Kingdom: Military Space Situational Awareness.

APRIL - JUNE 2016 = 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 – Evening Planets: Mercury (WNW), Mars (S), Jupiter (S), Saturn (SW).

India Accelerating PSLV Rocket Program Evolution

Calendar feature - india PSLV 2016

ISRO is hosting a unique conference on April 21 in Bengaluru between space scientists and 25 industry leaders with the goal of forming a consortium of companies to manufacture and fly the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV). The 44-m tall 2.8-m diameter medium-lift rocket is a dynamo of the India space program. A record-breaking flight expected May 2016 is set to carry 22 satellites at once, more than ever for PSLV. In 2015 by comparison 6 separate launches orbited 4 India missions and 17 foreign satellites from Canada, Indonesia, Singapore, UK, and USA. During 2013-2015 the rocket raked in a total of US$101M in revenue with 28 flights. ISRO Chairman A.S. Kiran Kumar and Antrix Corp. Chairman V. S. Hegde are hoping to increase commercial launch services incrementally with 12, 18, then 24 per year while privatizing the rocket. ISRO is building an additional rocket assembly facility at Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota (due for completion this year) and is looking to a wider field of domestic companies to diversify supply chains for all components. Since inception in the early 1990’s PSLV has launched satellites for 20 countries as well as some of the most exceptional India missions: Chandrayaan-1, Mangalyaan, and Astrosat. US Ambassador Richard Verma has celebrated growing US-India cooperation in space, acknowledging the important role and trusted status of PSLV. Conversely, the FAA endorsed a COMSTAC recommendation to continue banning commercial US satellites from PSLV, due to potential to “distort the conditions of competition” in the launch-services market. (Image Credit: ISRO, Antrix Corp., NASA)




Apr 18-20 — The National Academies, Washington DC: Meeting: NASA Science Mission Extensions – Scientific Value, Policies, and Review Process.

Apr 18-22 — Sant Cugat Forum, Niels Bohr International Academy, Villum Foundation, Barcelona, Spain: 4th Session of the Sant Cugat Forum on Astrophysics: Workshop on Young Solar Systems.

Apr 18-24 — NASA, The Mars Generation, Worldwide: Train like a Martian Challenge; fitness events held Worldwide to promote wellness, STEAM education; inspired by NASA Train Like an Astronaut program.

Apr 18 — Apollo Asteroid 2016 GX: Near-Earth flyby (0.060 AU).

Apr 18 — Apollo Asteroid 2016 FF13: Near-Earth flyby (0.072 AU).

Continued from…

Apr 17-22 — European Geosciences Union, Vienna, Austria: European Geosciences Union (EGU) General Assembly 2016.


Apr 19 — ESA, Noordwijk, The Netherlands: 8th European Workshop on Thermal Protection Systems and Hot Structures.

Apr 19 — Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, University of Arizona, Tucson AZ: Colloquium: Mercury’s Complex Exosphere – What Have We Learned From MESSENGER? Dr. Ronald Vervack, Kuiper Space Sciences Room 312 at 15:45.

Apr 19 — American Astronomical Society, San Diego CA: Abstracts Due: 228th Meeting of the AAS; to be held Jun 12-16 at Hilton San Diego Bayfront.

Apr 19 — Poland Ministry of Economic Development, PARP, Polish Space Agency, ESA, Warsaw, Poland: User Forum Poland: Satellites For Society.

April 19 — Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute, NASA, Online / Moffett Field CA: Extended Deadline: 3rd Exploration Science Forum (ESF 2016); to be held Jul 20-22, at Ames Research Center.

Apr 19 — Moon: 7.2° W of Saturn, 18:00.

Apr 19 — Amor Asteroid 2016 FN13: Near-Earth flyby (0.036 AU).


Apr 20 — SETI Institute, Mountain View CA: Lecture: The Twisted Universe – the cosmic quest to reveal which end is up; Brian Keating, 12:00.

Apr 20-22 — California Polytechnic State University CubeSat Program, San Luis Obispo CA: 13th Annual CubeSat Developer’s Workshop.

Apr 20-22 — United Nations Committee of Experts on Global Geospatial Information Management (UN-GGIM), Government of Ethiopia, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), Addis Ababa, Ethiopia: 4th High Level Forum on United Nations Global Geospatial Information.


Apr 21 — ISRO, Bengaluru, India: Heads of more than 25 companies invited to form a consortium to build and fly the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV).

Apr 21 — Conrad Foundation, NASA, Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, Titusville FL: 10th Annual Conrad Spirit of Innovation Challenge; high schools students work together in teams to develop solutions in categories: Aerospace & Aviation, Energy & Environment, Cyber Technology & Security, Health & Nutrition.

Apr 21 — Cornell University, Ithaca NY: Colloquium: The (Bio?)Geochemistry of Enceladus’ Ocean; Chris Glein from SwRI.

Apr 21, 22 — Jet Propulsion Laboratory, NASA/Caltech, Pasadena CA: The von Kármán Lecture Series 2016: CubeSats – Big Goals, Tiny Package; Dr. Andrew Klesh, JPL Chief Engineer for Interplanetary Small Spacecraft.

Apr 21-22 — UCLA Institute for Planets and Exoplanets, Los Angeles CA: The Asteroid-Meteorite Connection Workshop.

Apr 21 — Moon: 4.8° NNE of Spica, 02:00; at apogee (distance 405,896 km), 06:00; Full (Pink / Egg Moon), 19:24.

Apr 21 — Lyrid Meteor Shower Peak: Unfavorable due to full Moon, Lyrids derived from Comet C/1861 G1 Thatcher with period 415 years, are medium-swift (49 km/sec), often bright with persistent trains and can offer 15-20 per hour.

Apr 21 — Apollo Asteroid 2016 GC1: Near-Earth flyby (0.023 AU).


Apr 22 — Arianespace, Launch Soyuz / Sentinel 1B, Sinnamary, French Guiana: Arianespace Soyuz rocket, designated VS14, to launch Sentinel 1B radar observation satellite, Microscope microsatellite, Norway’s Norsat 1 microsatellite & a CubeSat sponsored by ESA.

Apr 22 — Earth Day Network, Worldwide: Earth Day 2016: Trees for the Earth; to broaden, diversify & activate the environmental movement worldwide; originally proposed to occur March 21 (first day of Spring) by creator John McConnell.

Apr 22 — Ad Astra Kansas Foundation, Wichita KS: Ad Astra Kansas Day lecture 2016: Matter-Antimatter Propulsion via QFT Effects from Parallel Electric and Magnetic Fields; by Dr. Gerald Cleaver of Baylor University, at Wichita State University, 14:00.

Apr 22 — Space Resources Roundtable (SRR), Planetary & Terrestrial Mining Sciences Symposium (PTMSS), Lunar and Planetary Institute, Golden CO: Abstracts Due: 2016 SRR/PTMSS; to be held Jun 7-9, at Colorado School of Mines.

Apr 22-24 — European Commission (FP7), Athens, Greece: Inspiring Science Education (ISA) Athens; at Ellinogermaniki Agogi.

Apr 22-24 — NASA, JPL, Caltech, Pasadena CA / Worldwide: International Space Apps Challenge; local events taking place simultaneously in 193 locations spanning 72 countries.

Apr 22 — Venus: 0.81° SSE of Uranus, 11:00.

Apr 22 — Apollo Asteroid 2016 GD207: Near-Earth flyby (0.011 AU).


Apr 23 — Mauna Kea Astronomy Outreach Committee, Kamuela HI, Mauna Kea 2,800-meter level: Malalo o ka Po Lani; presentation covering cultural components that surround Mauna O Wakea, 18:00 followed by stargazing program, at Mauna Kea Visitor Information Center.

Apr 23 — Apollo Asteroid 2016 FH12: Near-Earth flyby (0.020 AU).

Apr 23 — Aten Asteroid 2014 UR: Near-Earth flyby (0.079 AU).

Apr 23 — Apollo Asteroid 2016 BU13: Near-Earth flyby (0.079 AU).

Apr 23 — Apollo Asteroid 2006 HF6: Near-Earth flyby (0.098 AU).


Apr 24 — Hubble Space Telescope, LEO: NASA spacecraft with 2.4-meter diameter main telescope begins 27th year in space today, launched Apr 24, 1990; expected to continue operations until at least 2021.

Apr 24 — People’s Republic of China, Nationwide: National Day of Space Flight 2016; commemorating the launch of China’s first satellite, Dongfanghong-1 on April 24, 1970.

Apr 24 — Mavericks Lab, NASA, SETI, Online / Moffett Field CA: Applications Due for Planetary Scientist positions.

Apr 24 — Moon: 4.9° N of Mars, 20:00; 9.6° N of Antares, 22:00.