April 4-10, 2011 / Vol 30, No 14 / Hawai`i Island, USA

Soyuz Launch of Expedition 27 Pays Tribute To Yuri Gagarin, 1st Human in Space

Just one week before the 50th commemoration of Yuri Gagarin’s (TL) historic journey into space, the 3 remaining members of Expedition-27 (B) are set to depart from the same launch pad aboard a Soyuz TMA-21 spacecraft to the International Space Station on April 5 from Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan. Cosmonauts Aleksandr Samokutyayev and Andrey Borisenko along with NASA astronaut Ronald Garan will rendezvous with Cmdr. Dmitry Kondratyev, Catherine Coleman and Paolo Nespoli on Apr 6. The spacecraft, nicknamed “Gagarin” will be the 109th human spaceflight of a Soyuz spacecraft which will dock to the Poisk module where it will remain for the duration of the E-27 mission. This will mark the 1st spaceflight for Samokutyayev and Borisenko. Borisenko will stay on board and serve as Commander for Expedition 28 planned for NET May 30, 2011. (Credit: NASA, spacefeelings.com)

3 USA Events Advancing Key Space Exploration / Development Issues of New Decade

‘The International Symposium on Asteroid Mitigation and Exploration’ will be held in College Station, TX on April 4-6. NASA Ames Director Pete Worden and Project Manager of the JAXA Hayabusa mission Makoto Yoshikawa will give keynote speeches, and an international community of researchers and practitioners will discuss new research results, mitigation and exploration strategies, international collaboration, and public awareness. On Apr 6-7 the Space Policy Institute and the National Space Society will sponsor ‘The International Space Station and Mars’ at George Washington University in Washington, DC. Knowing that the ISS will be a central part of human space flight for the next decade, event organizers hope to focus attention on its potential as a research test bed for technologies and capabilities needed for human Mars missions. The Space Access Society will continue its mission to promote routine, reliable, radically cheaper access to space with ‘Space Access ‘11’ on Apr 7-9 in Phoenix, AZ. John Carmack of Armadillo Aerospace and Dave Masten of Masten Space Systems will speak of their respective company’s activities and Misuzu Onuki will discuss Japanese Space Activities. (Credit: Texas A&M, SAS, NASA, JAXA)

= 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 4 — International Space Station, LEO: E-27 crew members Cmdr. Dmitry Kondratyev, Catherine Coleman and Paolo Nespoli prepare for upcoming Apr 6 arrival of Aleksandr Samokutyayev, Andrey Borisenko and Ronald Garan.

Apr 4 — 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 that will be a fundamental reference for future human exploration.

Apr 4 — Mars Rover Opportunity, Red Planet: Opportunity successfully travels over 27 km on the Red Planet and continues trek towards Endeavour Crater. 

NET Apr 4 — RSA, Launch Soyuz / ISS 26S, Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan: A Russian government Soyuz rocket set to launch the Soyuz TMA-21 spacecraft to the International Space Station with members of the next Expedition crew.

Apr 4-6 — American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, The Planetary Society, American Astronautical Society, et al, College Station TX: ‘International Symposium on Asteroid Mitigation and Exploration,’ featuring keynote speakers Pete Worden and Bruce Betts.

Apr 4-6 — National Institute for Astrophysics, Milano, Italy: ‘Narrow-Line Seyfert 1 Galaxies and their Place in the Universe.’

Apr 4-8 — International Academy of Astronautics, Berlin, Germany / Online: ‘8th IAA Symposium on Small Satellite for Earth Observation.’

Apr 4-8 — The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, Australian Government Department of Climate Change, Queensland Government, Acton, Canberra, Australia: ‘Greenhouse 2011: The Science of Climate Change.’

Apr 4Comet C / 2011 A2: Closest Approach to Earth (0.886 AU).

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 3 — European Geosciences Union (EGU), Vienna, Austria: ‘EGU General Assembly 2011;’ through Apr 8.

Apr 3 — Oukaimeden International School of Astrophysics, Oukaimeden, Morocco: ‘Exoplanets: Detection and Characterization;’ through Apr 8.

Apr 3 — Swiss Academy of Sciences, Swiss Society for Astrophysics, Villars-sur-Ollon, Switzerland: ‘From Planets to Life,’ course covers the most important and critical events essential for the emergence and development of intelligent life on Earth and present the subject from different viewpoints: (1) astrophysics, (2) Earth geology and climatology and (3) biology; through Apr 9.


Apr 5 — SpaceX, Hawthorne CA: SpaceX to announce big news today.

Apr 5-6 — AIAA Space Operations and Support Technical Committee, Boulder CO: ‘2011 Improving Space Operations Workshop.’

Apr 5-7 — Applied Technology Institute, Beltsville MD: ‘Communications Payload Design – Satellite System Architecture.’

Apr 5Asteroid 2010 TK55: Near-Earth Flyby (0.069 AU).


NET Apr 6 — Orbital Sciences Corporation, Launch Minotaur 1 / ORS 1, Wallops Island VA: The Air Force Minotaur 1 rocket will launch the Operationally Responsive Space 1, or ORS 1, satellite.

Apr 6 — The SETI Institute, Mountain View CA: Colloquium Series Lecture: ‘The Organism / Organics Exposure to Orbital Stresses NanoSatellite Mission,’ Richard Quinn.

Apr 6 — The National Academies, Telecon: ‘Teleconference: Human Spaceflight Crew Operations.’

Apr 6 — Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, Washington DC: ‘The 50th Anniversary of the First Human in Space, Yuri Gagarin,’ Cathleen Lewis.

Apr 6-7 — Explore Mars Inc, Washington DC: ‘The International Space Station and Mars,’ event to focus extensively on how the International Space Station can be used to advance exploration beyond Low Earth Orbit – specifically to Mars.

Apr 6-7 — European Southern Observatory, Garching, Germany: ‘ALMA Community Days 2011: Towards Early Science.’

Apr 6Comet C / 2011 C3: Closest Approach to Earth (0.810 AU).

Apr 6Asteroid 2009 HE60: Near-Earth Flyby (0.081 AU).


Apr 7 — California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco CA: ‘Yuri’s Night at NightLife.’

Apr 7-9 — Space Access Society, Phoenix AZ: ‘Space Access ’11.’

Apr 7Moon: 1.9° S of Pleiades, 01:00; 6.8° N of Aldebaran, 21:00.


Apr 8-9 — American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics – San Francisco, San Francisco CA: ‘Yuri’s Night Bay Area 2011,’ featuring interactive education day for kids on Apr 8 and festival on Apr 9.

Apr 8-10 — The Universities Space Research Association’s Division of Space Life Sciences, Houston TX: ‘8th Symposium on the Role of the Vestibular Organs in Space Exploration.’


Apr 9 — Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Columbia Memorial Space Center, Downey CA: ‘NASA / JPL Teacher Workshop: Physics of Sounds.’

Apr 9 — Ames Research Center, Mountain View CA: ‘Yuri’s Day / Night 2011,’ join 8,000-10,000 space enthusiasts, scientists, educators, students and entrepreneurs for the 50th commemoration of humankind’s 1st expedition into space.

Apr 9 — Pima Air and Space Museum, Tucson AZ: ‘Yuri’s Night 2011,’ event to focus on hand-on activities and historical connections to human space flight with lectures from Sy Liebergot and other demonstrations by local science educators.

Apr 9 — Lunar Reclamation Society Inc, Milwaukee WI: ‘LRS Meeting.’

Apr 9 — HR MacMillan Space Center, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada: ‘Yuri’s Night HR MacMillan Space Center Fundraiser.’

Apr 9 — Museum of Natural History, Mainz, Germany: ‘Yuri’s Night Celebration.’


Apr 10 — International Lunar Observatory Association, Space Age Publishing Company, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada: ‘Galaxy Forum 2011 Canada: Galaxy 21st Century Education.’

Apr 10 — The Manitoba Museum, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada: ‘Yuri’s Night Celebration,’ day time programs and night-time party, including family friendly activities.

Apr 10 — The Grad Club, London, Ontario, Canada: ‘Yuri’s Night Celebration.’

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

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

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

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