April 4-10, 2016 / Vol 35, No 14 / Hawai`i Island, USA

Space Innovation, Disruption and Lunar Considerations Energizing Europe

calendar feature - europe innovation

The Space Innovation Congress in London, United Kingdom on April 7-8 showcases leading edge innovations related to space exploration with insight from over 80 speakers including 3 astronauts. There are dedicated tracks covering the entire Space exploration and Earth observatory ecosystems with satellites, big data, crop monitoring, space debris, maritime surveillance, space weather, biomedical, commercial space collaboration and telecoms. In one talk, Shaun Whitehead a space engineer with a focus in optics / sensors who has contributed to Spektr-RG, BepiColombo, XMM Newton, Beagle 2, SWIFT, Chandrayaan, Chang’e programs will talk about his new venture ThumbSat. The Start-Up Innovation Incubator will be overseen by James Shepherd (Space Angles Network), Adrian Braine (SETsquared), James Bruegger (Seraphim Capital) and Adrien Muller (Catapult). Disrupt Space summit in Bremen, Germany was founded by space professionals and ISU alumni Magni Jonannsson, Philippe Cyr, Izan Peris Marti to connect top entrepreneurs with decision makers to solve today’s industry and sustainability problems using space. The theme is “Turning the Solar System into our backyard. Let’s play!” Select speakers will provide participants with key perspectives and advice, including Director General of ESA Johann Wörner who is leading a resurgence of lunar mission development, and human Moon exploration considerations, VP at Airbus Bülent Altan, and President of the European Business Angels Network Candace Johnson. Downrange is the 4th European Lunar Symposium in Amsterdam, The Netherlands on  May 18-19. (Image Credit: SIC, DS)


Apr 4 — ISS, LEO: Expedition 47 preparing for Dragon CRS-8 berthing to Harmony node on Sunday, satellite deployment of STMSAT-1 from Kibo airlock & U.S. EVA-36 in April; unloading cargo from Progress 63P docked to Zvezda port and Cygnus OA-6 docked to Unity module, participating in international interactions study between crew members & ground controllers; ISS has been in orbit for 6,345 days.

Apr 4 — Tiangong 1, LEO: China space lab gradually descending into earth atmosphere over next few months for fiery disintegration in preparation for new space station to be completed by 2020; Tiangong-1 operated for more than 1,630 days.

 Apr 4 — Chang’e 5-T1, Moon Orbit: Service Module observing landing site and testing support systems needed to rendezvous & communicate with 2017 Chang’e-5 sample return mission (likely to land near Chang’e-3 site at Sinus Iridum / Bay of Rainbows); has been operating at Moon since Jan 2015.

 Apr 4 — Rosetta, Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko Orbit / Main Asteroid Belt: Spacecraft magnetometer detecting magnetic and magnetic-free areas around Comet, studying nucleus and solar wind interactions; comet mass estimated at slightly less than 10B tonnes (~11M ton); Philae lander on surface unlikely to send signal to Earth again.

Apr 4 — Cassini, Saturn Orbit: Titan flyby scheduled at 990-km altitude.

 Apr 4Planetary Resources, Bellevue WA: NewSpace company with Chris Lewicki as CEO, Founders Peter Diamandis & Eric Anderson, receives full patent for method, apparatus & system for asteroid prospecting and mining; Arkyd-6 Flight test system 6-unit CubeSat planned for completion this month.

Apr 4Bigleow Aerospace, Las Vegas NV: Long-awaited 1,360-kg, 16-m3 volume Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM) to arrive at ISS this week, will be prepared for attachment to Tranquility node (Node 3) to test and validate expandable habitat technology, determine radiation protection capabilities over next 2 years.

 Apr 4Earthrise Space Foundation, Orlando FL: Through Omega Envoy GLXP project & NASA Innovative Lunar Demonstrations Data contract, working to enhance student access & interest in space technology, reach the Moon surface with low-cost commercial products.

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: Jupiter (SE); Morning Planets: Mars (S), Saturn (SE).

Protecting Society from High-Impact Space Weather: Prediction, Response, Recovery

Space Weather 2016

The Secure World Foundation is hosting “Space Weather as a Global Challenge” in Washington DC April 4. Experts including (L-R) Victoria Samson (Secure World), Steven Clarke (NASA), Mark Gibbs (United Kingdom Met Office) and Jérôme Lafeuille (World Meteorological Organization) will introduce international leaders to the 2015 U.S. National Space Weather Strategy while increasing collaboration on space weather preparedness initiatives. Solar wind, geomagnetic storms and coronal mass ejections can threaten lives of Astronauts in Space and on the Moon, and damage electronics in spacecraft, satellites, airlines and infrastructure on Earth that are vital for security, economic stability and daily life. National Research Council estimates the potential economic damage from a large geomagnetic storm at US$1-2 Trillion with 4-10 years of recovery time. The Center for Nonlinear Studies and Los Alamos National Laboratory “2016 SHIELDS Workshop: Shielding Society from Space Weather” is being held Apr 4-8 at Santa Fe, New Mexico. The 5 days will be spent addressing the question “How far are we from predictive capabilities for space weather?” and assess the space and plasma physics research, computational science and engineering critical for fulfilling that need. Active missions studying the Sun and space weather include Hinode (JAXA), PICARD (CNES), and NASA’s Advanced Composition Explorer, Solar Dynamics Observatory, Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory, and Solar & Heliospheric Observatory. Long-duration observations from the Moon are also being planned to study Earth and Space dynamics. Image Credit: Center for Nonlinear Studies, Los Alamos National Laboratory, NASA, JAXA, CNES, Merco Press, WMO)

Apr 4 — Secure World Foundation, Washington DC: Space Weather as a Global Challenge; at George C. Marshall Conference Center, U.S. Department of State.

Apr 4 — Cornell University, Ithaca NY: Lecture: Lunar and Planetary Science Conference Recap.

Apr 4-7 — National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO), North American ALMA Science Center (NAASC), Charlottesville VA: 2016 NAASC Workshop on Molecular Gas in Galactic Environments; at Omni Charlottesville Hotel.

Apr 4-8 — ESA, Oxford University, EuroVenus, Oxford, United Kingdom: International Venus Conference 2016.

Apr 4-8 — ESA, Noordwijk, The Netherlands: Spacecraft Charging Technology Conference (SCTC); focusing on the science and technology of electrical charging of spacecraft by the space environment.

Apr 4-8 — Center for Nonlinear Studies, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Santa Fe NM: 2016 SHIELDS Workshop: Shielding Society from Space Weather; at Drury Plaza Hotel.

Apr 4-16 — United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs, Vienna, Austria: 55th Session of the Legal Subcommittee of the UNOOSA.

Apr 4 — Moon: 1.8° NNW of Neptune, 14:00.

Continued from…

Aug 28, 2015 – Aug 28, 2016 — NASA, University of Hawai`i at Mānoa, Mauna Loa HI: Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation (HI-SEAS) Mission 4; at 2,440-meter altitude.

Feb 26 — Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum, Washington DC: Exhibit Open: A New Moon Rises – New Views from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera.


Apr 5 — SETI Institute, Mountain View CA: Lecture: Moon Express 2017 – A Private Lunar Mission Enabling Science & Commerce; Bob Richards, 12:00.

Apr 5-7 — Reed Exhibitions Limited, Hamburg, Germany: Aircraft Interiors Expo 2016.

Apr 5-10 — SciCo, British Council, Technopolis, OTE, Coca Cola, Ethniki Bank, Microsoft, Epson, Athens, Greece: Athens Science Festival 2016; annual science festival where academics, researchers and others present scientific material on various subjects to general public.

Apr 5 — Moon: 0.66° NNW of Venus, 22:00.

Apr 5 — Mercury: At perihelion (distance 0.3075 AU from Sun), 07:00.


Apr 6 — Foothill College, Los Altos Hills CA: 16th annual Silicon Valley Astronomy Lecture Series: How Things in the Universe Came About & How They Ended Up Within Us; Dr. Tom Abel of Stanford, 19:00.

Apr 6 — Cornell University, Ithaca NY: Lecture: 100 Years of Relativity – From the Big Bang to Black Holes, Gravitational Waves and Interstellar; Kip Thorne from California Institute of Technology, 17:00.

Apr 6-8 — National Aerospace Educational Center of Youth of Ukraine, National Space Agency of Ukraine, National Academy of Science of Ukraine, Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine, Ministry of Industrial Policy of Ukraine, IAF, Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine: 18th International Youth Scientific and Practical Conference: Human and Space.

Apr 6-9 — University of Florida, Gainesville FL: Conference: From Stars to Massive Stars.

Apr 6 — Apollo Asteroid 2016 EV27: Near-Earth flyby (0.039 AU).


Apr 7 — Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, University of Arizona, Tucson AZ: Colloquium: New Perspectives Big and Small of the Kuiper Belt; Dr. Megan Schwamb, 15:45 in Kuiper Space Sciences: Room 312.

Apr 7-8 — Space Innovation Congress, London, United Kingdom: Space Innovation Congress 2016; focusing on latest innovations in space technology; featuring CSA Astronaut Dr. Robert Thirsk, Dr. Jill Stuart (LSE), Dr. David Kendall (UN COPUOS), Magali Vaissiere (ESA), Dr. Phil Diamond (SKA).

Apr 7-8 — Disrupt Space, European Union, Bremen Invest, Bremen, Germany: Disrupt Space; challenging 125 top entrepreneurs to work with investors, government officials, corporate representatives to solve problems using space.

Apr 7-9 — Space Access Society, Phoenix AZ: Space Access 2016 Conference; discussing business, technology, and politics of radically cheaper access to space; at Radisson Hotel Phoenix North.

Apr 7 — Moon: New Moon, 01:24; 1.9° SSE of Uranus, 05:00; at perigee (distance 356,776 km), 07:29.


Apr 8 — SpaceX, Launch Falcon 9 / CRS 8 & BEAM, Cape Canaveral AFS FL: SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket set to launch 10th Dragon spacecraft on 8th operational cargo delivery mission to ISS; will also carry Bigelow Expandable Activity Module, Planet Labs Flock 2D 1-8, Bevo2, LONESTAR 2, AggieSat 4.

Apr 8 — The Royal Astronomical Society, London, United Kingdom: Royal Astronomical Society Ordinary Meeting; Specialist Meeting: High-redshift Galaxies and their Low-redshift Analogues; Specialist Meeting: The Use of Extraterrestrial Resources to Help Facilitate Space Science and Exploration.

Apr 8 — Lunar and Planetary Institute, USRA, Houston TX: LPI Seminar Series: Proximal Volcanic Deposits and an Evolving LROC-Perspective of a Dynamic Moon; Julie Stopar from Arizona State University, 15:30.

Apr 8 — European Nodes of Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute (SSERVI), Amsterdam, The Netherlands: Abstracts Due: 4th European Lunar Symposium; to be held May 18-19.

Apr 8-10 — SETI, Ames Research Center, Goddard Space Flight Center, JPL, NASA Astrobiology Institute, National Park Service, Death Valley Natural History Association, Death Valley CA: Celestial Centennial and MarsFest Symposium 2016; to learn about Earth, Mars, Solar System; held in Death Valley National Park.

Apr 8-14 — Polar Suborbital Science in the Upper Mesosphere (PoSSUM), Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Dayton Beach FL: PoSSUM Scientist-Astronaut Class 1601.

Apr 8 — Moon: 5.0° SSE of Mercury, 03:00; 0.12° W of Vesta, 17:00.

Apr 8 — Amor Asteroid 2016 EF85: Near-Earth flyby (0.085 AU).


Apr 9 — Polar Suborbital Science in the Upper Mesosphere (PoSSUM), Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Dayton Beach FL: Project PoSSUM and the Art of Science Communication forum; featuring Astronaut Nicole Stott, Astronaut Don Pettit, Project PoSSUM Executive Director Jason Reimuller, artist & explorer Sarah Jane Pell, neuroscientist & SciArt Exchange Executive Director Jancy McPhee.

Apr 9 — The W Foundation, Novato CA: Yuri’s Night at The Space Station Museum; celebrating The Year of Gagarin and human’s first entry into space, live Skype with Astronaut Alfred Merrill “Al” Worden of Apollo 15; 12:00-16:00.

Apr 9 — MIT Office of the Dean for Graduate Education, Light Speed Innovations, MIT Sloan Astropreneurship and Space Industry Club, Cambridge MA: New Space Age Conference: The Emerging Space Economy Forum.

Apr 9 — NASA Discovery and New Frontiers Programs, Multiple Locations: Workshop: The Impact of Discovery; learn about what it takes to design missions exploring the Solar System, held at Pasadena CA, Denver CO, Houston TX, Laurel MD.

Apr 9 — Moon: 8.9° S of Pleiades, 20:00.

Apr 9 — Uranus: At conjunction with Sun, 11:00.


Apr 10 — National Space Society of North Texas, Irving TX: NSS North Texas Monthly Meeting; Spring Creek BBQ, 15:30-18:30.

Apr 10 — Moon: 0.35° S of Aldebaran, 13:00.

Apr 10 — Comet 321P/SOHO: Near-Earth flyby (0.046 AU).

Apr 10 — Apollo Asteroid 2016 FV6: Near-Earth flyby (0.050 AU).

Apr 10 — Apollo Asteroid 2016 EH157: Near-Earth flyby (0.068 AU).

Apr 10 — Apollo Asteroid 2016 ED158: Near-Earth flyby (0.074 AU).

Apr 10 — Apollo Asteroid 406952 (2009 KJ): Near-Earth flyby (0.097 AU).