April 6-12, 2015 / Vol 34, No 14 / Hawai`i Island, USA

ISU SpaceUp at Central Campus in Strasbourg

Calendar feature - SpaceUp ISUInternational Space University is now organizing one of the popular SpaceUp series of unconferences on April 11-12, at the ISU Central Campus in Strasbourg, France, after having supported numerous SpaceUp events around Europe in recent years. The SpaceUp ISU organizing team is a diverse group of faculty and students, including  prominent leaders from the university, such as Professor Chris Welch (Masters Director), Nassim Bovet (Head of Admissions and Alumni Affairs) and Geraldine Moser (Head of Business Development). The event has gained support from the European Satellite Navigation Competition and Copernicus Masters, international innovation competitions in the fields of satellite navigation and earth observation respectively. A major highlight of the event is participation of Astronaut Dr. Helen Sharman (BL), who became the first female in space from an ESA member state after flying to Mir aboard Soyuz TM-12 in 1991 under Project Juno. As the event coincides with Yuri’s Night, the unconference will end with a true space party under the famous ISU statue of Yuri Gagarin. As an unconference, SpaceUp does not have a set program and the participants decide the topics and schedule of the sessions. The main theme of Space can be explored through various dimensions of technology, policy, science, exploration, art, culture, education or even cooking. (Image Credit: ISU, SpaceUp, ESA, J. Huart, Kingston University London)



Apr 6 — ISS, LEO: Expedition 43 Samantha Cristoforetti & Terry Virts practicing with Canadarm-2 for upcoming Dragon CRS 6 grapple, Kelly & Kornienko will return to Earth Mar 2016 with Expedition 46 after 342 days in space, 2 Soyuz craft & 2 Progress resupply vehicles currently attached to ISS.

 Apr 6 — Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, Moon Orbit: Funding for NASA Moon mission, with 7 functioning instruments & 21 data set releases, still undetermined for FY16.

Apr 6 — MESSENGER OCM-15, Mercury Orbit: Spacecraft to perform Orbital Correction Maneuver #15 today; expected to impact surface this month / end mission; launched Aug 2004.

Apr 6 — Cassini, Saturn Orbit: Of Saturn’s 62 moons, craft will have 2 close encounters with Titan, 2 with Dione, 3 with Enceladus, 1 with Epimetheus, 1 with Prometheus, 1 with Aegeon this year; will remain in nearly equatorial orbit for rest of 2015.

Apr 6 — Ad Astra Rocket Company, Webster TX: NewSpace company with Next Space Technologies for Exploration Partnerships (NextSTEP) contract, US$10M over 3 years, will continue to develop VASIMR engine & perform 100-hour continuous test of VX-200-SS prototype.

 Apr 6 — AstroScale, Singapore: Working on space debris removal satellite system “Mothership & Boy” to be launched 2017 with US$7.48M funds raised, and Lunar Dream Capsule Project to travel to Moon surface aboard Astrobotic Griffin Lander.

Apr 6 — Made in Space, Moffett Field CA: 3D printer at ISS manufacturing various objects in space, printable 3D model files made public for home use.

Apr 6 — RSA, Launch Proton / Express AM8, Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan: Russian Proton rocket to launch Express AM8 satellite for Russian Satellite Communications Co.

Apr 6 – May 8 — Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics China, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, ChinaWorkshop: The Next Detectors for Gravitational Wave Astronomy.

Apr 6 — Uranus: At conjunction with Sun, 04:00.

Apr 6 — Asteroid 2015 FN33: Near-Earth flyby (0.025 AU).

APR - JUN 2015 = 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: Venus (W), Mars (W), Jupiter (S); Morning Planets: Saturn (S).

Kansas Ad Astra State Hosts Science and Space Events

AAKThe Ad Astra per Aspera (To the Stars through Difficulties) State of Kansas is advancing science and Space education with initiatives including the Kansas Association of Teachers of Science (KATS) conference on April 9-11 and the Ad Astra Kansas Day 2015 Space Celebration Apr 25. Held at Rock Springs in Junction City, KATS aims to promote science and identify skills students should master in order to prepare for 21st century careers. This year the event will include National Science Teachers Association President–Elect Dr. Carolyn Hayes (BL), Author MK Mueller (BR), eight Break Out Sessions and two General Sessions. The Ad Astra Kansas Foundation (AAKF) hosts the 13th Annual Space Celebration themed To Pluto and Beyond in Topeka on Apr 25, one day after the 25th anniversary of the deployment of Hubble Space Telescope by Kansas Astronaut Steven Hawley and the STS-31 crew on Space Shuttle Discovery. It will feature a presentation by Barbara Anthony-Twarog from Kansas University on “Target Pluto: A Preview of the New Horizons Spacecraft Encounter,” planetarium shows, astronomy and space suit displays, Dream Rocket project and robotics demonstrations. AAKF will hold its Board of Directors meeting prior to the event, and the “Interstellar University” for Research and Development, proposed by Space Age Publishing Company, will be under consideration. (Image Credit: KATS, AAKF, NASA, ESA, NSTA, MK Muller)

Continued from…

Oct 16, 2014 – Jun 11 — NASA, University of Hawai`i, Mauna Loa HI: Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation (HI-SEAS) Mission 3.

Mar 1 – Jan 1, 2016 — Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA), Multiple Locations: Cycle 3 of science flights to observe universe consists of science flights grouped into multi-week observing campaigns totaling about 450 research flight hours.


Apr 7 — The Space Show, Online / Tiburon CA: Dr. David Livingston talks with Chris Carberry of Explore Mars.

Apr 7-8 — Secure World Foundation, Central American Association for Aeronautics and Space (ACAE), San José, Costa Rica: Regional Workshop on the Long-Term Sustainability of Space Activities.

Apr 7-8 — Venus Exploration Analysis Group, NASA, Hampton VA: Workshop: Venus Science Priorities for Laboratory Measurements and Instrument Definition.


Apr 8 — ISS, LEO: Expedition 43 In-flight event with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and ESA; 09:20 EDT, live coverage available

Apr 8 — Goddard Space Flight Center, NASA, Greenbelt MD: Goddard Scientific Colloquium: Measuring the Universe; presented by Charles Lawrence.

Apr 8 — Foothill College, Los Altos Hills CA: Lecture: Encountering the First Dwarf Planet: The Dawn Mission to Ceres; presented by Marc Rayman, mission director for NASA Dawn spacecraft.

Apr 8 — Moon: 2.1° N of Saturn, 03:00; 9.1° N of Antares, 13:00.

Apr 8 — Mercury: 0.46° SSE of Uranus, 03:00.


Apr 9 — Venus Exploration Analysis Group, NASA, Hampton VA: VEXAG Meeting #12; at the National Institute of Aerospace.

Apr 9 — Lunar and Planetary Institute, Houston TX: LPI Speaker Series: The Europa Report: A Report; presented by Dr. Britney Schmidt, Georgia Institute of Technology.

Apr 9-11 — Kansas Association of Teachers of Science (KATS), Junction City KS: 2015 KATS Kamp; at Rock Springs.

Apr 8 — Mercury: At superior conjunction with Sun, 18:00


Apr 10 — Royal Astronomical Society, London, United Kingdom: RAS Ordinary Meeting; Meeting: Spectroscopy of Airless Bodies in Wavelengths from the Visible to the Microwave – Orbital, Telescopic and/or Laboratory Measurements relevant to Mercury, the Moon and Asteroids.

Apr 10-12 — NASA, Global: International Space Apps Challenge; events across all 7 continents and in space; participants develop mobile applications, software, hardware that could contribute to space exploration missions, help improve life on Earth.


Apr 11-12 — International Space University, SpaceUp, Strasbourg, France: SpaceUpISU; at ISU central campus.

Apr 11 — Moon: 3.3° N of Pluto, 08:00; at last quarter, 17:44.

Apr 11 — Venus: 2.6° SSW of Pleiades, 12:00.

Apr 11 — Asteroid 2015 FL: Near-Earth flyby (0.051 AU).


Apr 12 — New Horizons, Pluto Trajectory: Spacecraft to begin Pluto closest encounter operations today (closest approach Jul 14).

Apr 12 — Yuri’s Night Celebrations, Global: Yuri’s Night 2015; annual worldwide party to celebrate Yuri Gagarin’s 1st flight into space and promote space exploration.

Apr 12 — Space Foundation, Colorado Springs CO: Space Foundation Yuri’s Night; prior to 31st Space Symposium.

Apr 12-17 — European Geosciences Union, Vienna, Austria: European Geosciences Union General Assembly 2015.

Apr 12 — Asteroid 2005 KA: Near-Earth flyby (0.033 AU).

Apr 12 — Asteroid 2015 FQ: Near-Earth flyby (0.072 AU).

Apr 12 — Asteroid 2015 EL7: Near-Earth flyby (0.086 AU).