April 3-9, 2017 / Vol 36, No 14 / Hawai`i Island, USA

Hawaii Island Mayor Harry Kim Addresses Global Future of Maunakea at ILOA Galaxy Forum in Kona

The International Lunar Observatory Association (ILOA) is hosting Hawaii Mayor Harry Kim for a community talk session with the theme “Maunakea and Hawaii 21st Century Astronomy” at Galaxy Forum Hawaii 2017 Kona on Saturday April 8, 09:30-11:30am at the King Kamehameha Hotel. Mayor Kim has generously agreed to make a feature presentation outlining his transcending vision of Aloha for a Maunakea World Park, a gift for the World from Cosmopolitan People of Hawaii. Island communities, educators, scientists, teachers, schools, universities, and astronomical observatories now have a very challenging opportunity and responsibility regarding the future of Maunakea and Hawaii 21st Century Astronomy and Education. The whole world is looking to Hawaii, as the best place culturally, scientifically, geographically and spiritually to launch on these voyages of exploration of the farthest reaches of our cosmic ocean. Kim has said “Maunakea can be and should be a monument for the World, especially at this time, for mankind’s quest of knowledge to make us a better people.” ILOA is working on near-term opportunities for that kind of quest. The ILO-1 Mission to advance 21st Century astronomy, education and communication from the Moon is being conducted from Hawaii with support from spacecraft provider Moon Express of Florida, USA, and primary instrument contractor Canadensys Aerospace of Ontario, Canada, as well as National Astronomical Observatory of China, India Space Research Organization, and others. (Image Credit: ILOA, Space Age Publishing Company, B. Adams)


star-grey Apr 3 — ISS, 330-435-km LEO: Expedition 50 stowing equipment and gear from recent EVAs, Pressurized Mating Adapter-3 now ready for future installation of International Docking Adapter-3 to allow commercial crew vehicles to dock at ISS; preparing for Change in Command, packing Soyuz MS-03 for three member return to Earth.

star-grey Apr 3 — Akatsuki, Venus Orbit: Japan orbiter 3 out of 5 cameras operating, along with longwave-infrared camera, ultraviolet imager, lightning / airglow camera to further investigate Venus complex weather systems; has imaged 1st ever localized cloud vortex.

circle-full-grey Apr 3 — Proposed Cislunar Gateway Outpost, Washington DC: Human Moon / deep space missions may become highest priority for NASA to support future crews working on Moon, in cislunar space; Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM) likely cut with 2018 budget request from new U.S. Administration.

circle-full-grey Apr 3 — B612 Foundation, Menlo Park CA: NewSpace company preparing for Asteroid Day 2017, now a UN designated event supported by Association of Space Explorers; Luxembourg is hosting 24-hour live broadcast of Asteroid Day activities June 30; anticipating more than 700 events globally.

 Apr 3 — Copenhagen Suborbitals, Copenhagen, Denmark: Planning Nexø II rocket launch this summer, will be 6th rocket launch to date, working toward crewed amateur space flight, hoping to raise US$20K over 3 months, team consists of 50 volunteers.

circle-full-greyApr 3 — Commercial Spaceflight Federation, Washington DC: CSF and President Eric Stallmer advocate for ISS operations to be extended through at least 2028, stating it is “critical” to continued maturity of commercial space industry, noting there are no other human outposts anywhere in space and the important discoveries ISS continues to find for deep space missions.

Apr 3 — NASA SSERVI, University of Central Florida, Online / Orlando FL: Online Seminar: In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) – Propellant Depots.

Apr 3 — Experimental Rocket Propulsion Society, Santa Clara CA: rLoop – an adventure in distributed Hyperloop pod development; at Hacker Dojo, 18:30.

= 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 (W), Mars (W), Jupiter (ESE); Morning Planets: Venus (E), Saturn (S).

Next-Gen Rockets from Super Heavy-Lift to Microsat Launch Vehicles

Among hundreds of launch vehicles around the globe, SpaceX Falcon Heavy to debut this summer is one of the largest ever created. The modified Falcon 9 consists of 27 Merlin 1D engines providing 22,819 kN at liftoff. It has the capacity to lift 54,000 kg into orbit and fly Humans to LEO, Moon and Mars. Rocket Lab of New Zealand launching its 1st Electron rocket this month, is planning to fly Moon Express craft to orbit before 2018 for its attempt to land on the Moon and win GLXP. Electron is a 2-stage vehicle with 9 Rutherford engines providing 152 kN for US$4.9M per launch. Blue Origin New Glenn reusable rocket will use 7 BE-4 engines providing 17,125 kN to carry heavy payloads / crew to orbit, with an option for 2nd stage BE-4 addition, and BE-3 in a 3rd stage. Maiden flight expected before 2020. United Launch Alliance is also using two BE-4 engines for its new Vulcan rocket (debut 2019), providing 4,893 kN, with a backup plan to use Aerojet Rocketdyne engine AR1. Virgin Galactic LauncherOne is to be operated by spin off company “Virgin Orbit”. It is planned to launch 200 kg payloads to SSO by riding carrier aircraft Cosmic Girl to 10.67 km, then separating and firing 1st stage 335 kN NewtonThree engine, and 2nd stage 22 kN NewtonFour engine. Vector Space Systems is designing Vector-R (Wolverine) rockets based on Garvey Spacecraft designs, capable of lofting ~50 kg to LEO with 3 engines providing 75 kN thrust for $1.5M. (Image Credit: SpaceX, Rocket Lab, Blue Origin, ULA, Virgin Galactic, Vector Space Systems)

Apr 3-5 — Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt MD: Titan Through Time 4 Workshop.

Apr 3-6 — Space Foundation, Colorado Springs CO: 33rd Space Symposium; to feature Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-OK), at Broadmoor Hotel.

Apr 3-7 — University Cultural Center (Centro Cultural Universitario), Morelia, Mexico: Conference: Multi-Scale Star Formation.

Apr 3-7 — European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST), Polish Academy of Sciences (PAN), Warsaw, Poland: Meeting: Early Earth and ExoEarths – Origin and Evolution of Life.

Apr 3 — Moon: At first quarter, 08:39.

Apr 3 — Apollo Asteroid 2017 FT102: Near-Earth Flyby (0.003 AU).

Apr 3 — Apollo Asteroid 2015 BY310: Near-Earth Flyby (0.079 AU).

Continued from…

Mar 27 – Apr 7 — United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA), Vienna, Austria: 56th Session Legal Subcommittee – Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space 2017.

Mar 30 – Apr 4 — Dillard University Deep South Center for Environmental Justice, Barbara Jordan/Mickey Leland School of Public Policy at Texas Southern University, New Orleans LA: 4th Annual Historically Black Colleges & Universities Climate Change Conference: Bridging The Gap Between Theory and Experience.

NET Apr — CNSA, Launch Long March 7 (Y2) / Tianzhou-1, Wenchang Satellite Launch Center, Hainan Island, China (19° N): Cargo ship to launch to Tiangong-2 space lab for 305-day mission; will test technologies related to cargo transport, propellant re-supply, rapid rendezvous, docking, other experiments; will be 2nd Long March 7 launch.

Apr 2-6 — American Chemical Society, San Francisco CA: 253rd American Chemical Society National Meeting and Exposition.


NET Apr 4 — ISRO, Launch GSLV Mk. 2 / GSAT 9, Satish Dhawan Space Center, Sriharikota, India: India Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mk. 2, flying on GSLV-F09 mission, to launch GSAT 9 satellite to provide communications services over India and neighboring countries.

Apr 4 — Keck Institute for Space Studies, Caltech, Pasadena CAThe Glass Ceiling and The Glass Universe; Dava Sobel – New York Times bestselling author.

Apr 4 — Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, University of Arizona, Tucson AZ: Colloquium: The Late Lunar Dynamo; Sonia Tikoo, Assistant Professor at Rutgers University, 15:45.

Apr 4-6 — Applied Technology Institute, Columbia MD: Satellite Communications Design; taught by Chris DeBoy, RF Engineering Group lead at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory.

Apr 4 — Apollo Asteroid 2017 EB3: Near-Earth Flyby (0.035 AU).


NET Apr 5 — Arianespace, Launch Soyuz / SES 15, Kourou, French Guiana: Arianespace Soyuz rocket, designated VS17, to launch SES 15 communications satellite for SES of Luxembourg.

Apr 5 — ISS, LEO: Reboost scheduled to place station in correct altitude for departure of three Expedition 50 crew members April 10.

Apr 5 — Cassini, Saturn Orbit: Flyby of Pandora scheduled at 40,000-km altitude, Atlas at 66,000 km, Epimetheus at 111,000 km.

Apr 5 — Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt MD: Colloquium: Volatiles and Ices in the Polar Regions of Mars – The Future is LIDAR; Adrian Brown from GSFC, 15:30.

Apr 5 — Moon: 3.8° S of Beehive Cluster, 02:45.


Apr 6 — ISS, U.S. EVA 42, LEO: Astronauts Kimbrough and Pesquet to perform 6.5-hour spacewalk for Multiplexer/De-Multiplexer (MDM) and ExPRESS Logistics Carrier (ELC-4) work.

Apr 6 — ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter, Mars Orbit: ESA craft to perform last aerobraking burn today bringing craft low point of orbit to 113 km from 200 km.

Apr 6 — British Interplanetary Society, London, United Kingdom: Lecture: The Last Man on the Moon – A Tribute to Gene Cernan; Mark Craig, director and co-producer of feature documentary The Last Man on the Moon.

Apr 6 — Deep Astronomy, American Astronomical Society, American Astronautical Society, Online: Hangout Live: Footsteps to Mars: Safe When They Arrive; starts 15:00 EDT, featuring Tony Darnell, Harley Thronson, Alberto Conti of NASA with  Arnauld Nicogossian (George Mason University) and Charles Doarn (University of Cincinnati).

Apr 6, 7 — JPL, Caltech/NASA, Pasadena CA: von Kármán Lecture Series 2017: Harnessing the Sun’s Light to Explore Our Planet and Universe; Mark Helmlinger of JPL.

Apr 6 — Moon: 0.7° S of Regulus, 18:30.

Apr 6 — Apollo Asteroid 2017 FU64: Near-Earth Flyby (0.010 AU).

Apr 6 — Amor Asteroid 2017 DC38: Near-Earth Flyby (0.038 AU).

Apr 6 — Aten Asteroid 2014 FN38: Near-Earth Flyby (0.064 AU).


Apr 7 — Royal Astronomical Society, London, United Kingdom: Meeting: Science with Cubesats; Meeting: Synergies between Intensity Mapping and Optical Galaxy Surveys.

Apr 7 — Jupiter: At opposition, 11:00.

Apr 7 — Apollo Asteroid 2017 FS102: Near-Earth Flyby (0.020 AU).


Apr 8 — ILOA, Galaxy Forum, Space Age Publishing Company, Kailua-Kona HI: Galaxy Forum Hawaii – Kona: Maunakea and Hawai’i 21st Century Astronomy / Education; featuring Hawaii Mayor Harry Kim, ILOA Director Steve Durst, Astronomy / Galaxy Educator Janine Bonham; 09:30-11:30, King Kamehameha Kona Beach Hotel – Courtyard Marriott.

Apr 8 — Jet Propulsion Laboratory, NASA, Pasadena CA: Rockets and Flight – Educator Workshop; for teachers grades 4-12 to get students using the engineering design process to investigate the principles of flight.

Apr 8-9 — Spaceport America, MH Enterprises LLC, Las Cruces NM: Spaceport America Relay Race; with Virgin Galactic Chief Astronaut Instructor Beth Moses.

Apr 8 — Aten Asteroid 2016 GH135: Near-Earth Flyby (0.088 AU).


 Apr 9 — ISS, 330-435-km LEO: Expedition 50/51 Change of Command Ceremony; Shane Kimbrough hands over ISS Command to Peggy Whitson, making her the only female to command the station twice; she is also 1st female to ever command ISS, the oldest female space walker, holds record for most ever EVAs (8 in total) performed by a female astronaut.

Apr 9 — The Space Show, Online / Tiburon CA: Dr. David Livingston hosts open lines for callers to discuss Space and related topics.