August 28 – September 3, 2017 / Vol 36, No 35 / Hawai`i Island, USA

China Independent Commercial Space Forum Engaging International Participation

The 3rd China (International) Commercial Space Forum is being held 29-30 August in Wuhan, Hubei Province in Central China at the convergence of the Han river with the Yangtze. Around 700 industry leaders from over 200 organizations are in attendance with the goal of further promoting and facilitate cooperation projects for China commercial aerospace internationally while sharing in-depth ideas on technologies, business models, and management concepts. CCSF is organized with the support of Beijing Institute of Aerospace Information and leadership of China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation. CASIC is a large state-owned hi-tech enterprise chaired by Gao Hongwei, encompassing 7 academies, 2 scientific R&D bases, 6 public listed companies, 620 other companies / institutes, and 120,000 employees. Another Forum host China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) announced plans for commercial sea launch operations. NewSpace-style startups are also emerging in China with projections for the national commercial space sector to expand to US$120B by 2020. There are commercial launch companies LandSpace, ExPace and OneSpace, as well as other space related enterprises Commsat, Spacety, Zhejiang Lizhui Electronic Technology and Guangdong Kechuang Spaceflight. Strategic interest in space resources utilization is explored in detail in a 2015 study collaboration via the International Academy of Astronautics between Professor Zhenjun Zhang at China Institute of Space Law and prominent American space lawyer and Heinlein Prize Trustee Art Dula. (Image Credit: CASIC, OneSpace)


Aug 28 — ISS, 330-435-km LEO: Passing 6,856 days in orbit the only continuously crewed station currently in operation hosts crew of 6, evaluations taking place of new exercise gear, cosmic ray detector CREAM scanning space from the outside of Kibo lab module.

Aug 28 — Solar System: Orion spacecraft powered up for first time, in development for human deep space and Mars exploration; Colorado School of Mines to launch space mining graduate program focused on resources on Moon, Mars, asteroids and beyond.

 Aug 28 — Galaxy: Researchers at Heidelberg University discover very large, very faint galaxies in unexpected areas; Caltech astronomers observe 2 bursts from supermassive black hole of blazar galaxy J1415+1320 magnified by opportune gravitational lens caused by alignment of nearby stars.

Aug 28 — Global: Japan X-ray space telescope Hinode captured images of Great American Eclipse from 600km SSO; China Great Wall Industry Corp. expanding international satellite business with Indonesia and Thailand deals.

Aug 28 — NewSpace: Made In Space continues to advance in-orbit manufacturing Archinaut to build large structures in space; Breakthrough Starshot in radio contact with Sprite micro-spacecraft testing prototype single-circuit board design. 

Aug 28-30 — The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, Woods Hole MA: Meeting: Review of Progress Toward Implementing the Decadal Survey Vision and Voyages for Planetary Sciences.

= 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 (WSW), Saturn (SSW), Uranus (E), Neptune (SE); Morning Planets: Venus (E).

 United Nations Hosts Aerospace Symposium in Austria 

The 3rd ICAO/UNOOSA Aerospace Symposium (SPACE2017) is scheduled August 29-31 at the Vienna International Centre in Austria on the theme Emerging Space Activities and Civil Aviation Challenges and Opportunities. Participants gain perspectives on latest trends in aviation, space activities, commercial space transportation and suborbital operations; sustainability of aerospace activities; regulatory and practical perspectives for aerospace operations and cooperation and coordination with aerospace stakeholders; and air traffic management & future space traffic management. A diverse program includes representatives from across Europe as well as USA, Canada, Japan, China, UAE, and Lebanon. Welcoming remarks will be given by UNOOSA Director Simonetta Di Pippo, ICAO Air Navigation Commission President Hajime Yoshimura and UAE Space Agency Director General Mohammed Nasser Alahbabi. This is the culmination of a 3 part series of Aerospace Symposiums that started in Montréal, Canada in 2015, then Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates in 2016. International Civil Aviation Organization is a United Nations Specialized Agency formed in 1944 now working with 191 Member States focused on Standards and Recommended Practices to support safe, efficient, secure, economically sustainable and environmentally responsible civil aviation, and increasingly, space transportation. United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs works to promote international cooperation in the peaceful use and exploration of space, and in the utilization of space science and technology for sustainable economic and social development.    (Image Credit: ICAO, ESA, UNOOSA)

Aug 28 – Sep 1 — Moore-Sloan Data Science Environments at University of California Berkeley, New York University, University of Washington, Seattle WA: Astro Hack Week 2017; summer school, unconference and hackathon.

Aug 28 – Sep 1 — INAF, Arcetri Astrophysical Observatory, University of Florence, Florence, Italy: Conference: Unsolved Problems in Galaxy Formation.

Aug 28 — Moon: At first quarter, 22:13.

Aug 28 — Amor Asteroid 2015 RQ35: Near-Earth Flyby (0.098 AU).

Continued from…

Aug 5 – Sep 18 — Johnson Space Center, NASA, Houston TX: Campaign 4: Mission 2 – Human Exploration Research Analog; 45-day analog spaceflight / Moon / Mars mission.

Aug 27 – Sep 1 — International Association of Geomagnetism and Aeronomy, International Association for the Physical Sciences of Oceans, Cape Town, South Africa: Conference: Good Hope for Earth Sciences.

Aug 27 – Sep 17 — Aspen Center for Physics, Aspen CO: Workshop: Vorticity in the Universe – From Superfluids to Weather and Climate, to the Universe; Workshop: Developing New Tools for Dark Matter Searches.


Aug 29 — NASA, NASA HQ, Washington DC / Online: Cassini End-of-Mission media teleconference to overview science and operations activities of final orbits; led by Curt Niebur, Cassini program scientist.

Aug 29 — JPL, Pasadena CA / Online: Voting for #MessageToVoyager campaign ends today at 14:00; winning entry to be beamed to interstellar space on September 5.

Aug 29-30 — China Aerospace Science & Industry Corporation (CASIC) China Aerospace Science & Technology Corporation (CASC), China Electronic Technology Group Corporation (CETC), China Space Foundation (CSF), Chinese Society of Astronautics (CSA), Wuhan, Hubei, China: 3rd China (International) Commercial Space Forum.

Aug 29-31 — International Civil Aviation Organization, United Nations Office of Outer Space Affairs, Vienna, Austria: ICAO/UNOOSA Aerospace Symposium (SPACE 2017).

Aug 29 — Moon: 9.6° N. of Antares, 06:00.


Aug 30 — ISS, 330-435-km LEO: Record-breaking Astronaut Peggy Whitson hosts news conference from orbit ahead of her return to Earth; airing live on NASA TV, 07:00.

Aug 30 — Van Allen Probes, LEO: Spacecraft begin 6th year in space today, launched 2012; adding to the understanding of Earth radiation belt environment and its variability.

Aug 30 – Sep 1 — Lund University, Lund, Sweden: Meeting: The Science of Gaia and Future Challenges.

Aug 30 – Sep 2 — UCLA, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Jamia Millia Islamia University, Lanzhou, China: Conference: Shedding Light on the Dark Universe with Extremely Large Telescopes.

Aug 30 — Moon: At apogee (distance 404,307 km), 01:25;  3.6° N of Saturn, 04:23.


Aug 31 — ISRO, Launch PSLV / IRNSS 1H, Satish Dhawan Space Center, Sriharikota, India: ISRO Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, flying on PSLV-C39 mission, to launch 8th spacecraft in the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System.

Aug 31 – Sep 1 — University of Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands: Fundamentals of Life in the Universe Symposium.

Aug 31 – Sep 2 — Greece Ministry of Environment and Energy, Prince Sultan Bin Abdulaziz International Prize for Water, Rhodes, Greece: 15th International Conference on Environmental Science and Technology.

Aug 31 — Moon: 0.28° S.S.W. of comet 41P Tuttle-Giacobini-Kresak, 16:00.

Aug 31 — Venus: 1.4° S of Beehive Cluster, 20:08.

Aug 31 — Apollo Asteroid 2017 PQ24: Near-Earth Flyby (0.088 AU).


NET Sep — ISRO, Launch GSLV Mk. 2 / GSAT-6A, Satish Dhawan Space Center, Sriharikota, India: India Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mk. 2 to launch GSAT 6A communications satellite.

Sep 1 — Deep Space:  Scientists combine data from 10 deep space craft to study progression of a single Coronal Mass Ejection: Venus Express, Stereo-A travelling ahead of Earth in its orbit, Mars Express, Mars Odyssey, Maven, Curiosity Rover, Rosetta at Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko, Cassini at Saturn, New Horizons in the Kuiper Belt and Voyager 2 travelling through interstellar space.

Sep 1 — Juno, Jupiter Orbit: In 53-day orbital period, 8th close flyby (4,100 km) of Jupiter scheduled today.

Sep 1 — European Southern Observatory, Garching, Germany: New Director General of ESO, Xavier Barcons, to take office today as Tim de Zeeuw completes his mandate.

Sep 1 — Amor Asteroid 3122 Florence: Near-Earth Flyby (0.047 AU); at 4-9 km diameter the largest known asteroid to flyby this close to Earth since first NEO observations by Carl Gustav Witt (Germany) and Auguste Charlois (France) of 433 Eros in 1898.


Sep 2-5 — University of Cape Town, International Commission on the Middle Atmosphere (ICMA), Cape Town, South Africa: Training School on Stratosphere-Troposphere Interactions.


Sep 3 — ISS, Soyuz MS-04 Undocking / Expedition 52 Departure, LEO: Yurchikhin, Fischer and Whitson to return to Earth, live coverage available; Whitson holds all time record for cumulative time in Space for any USA Astronaut.

Sep 3-7 — UNOOSA, ESA, DLR, Joanneum Research, NPOC Space Law University of Vienna, Graz University of Technology, Austrospace, Municipality of Graz, Graz, Austria: United Nations / Austria Symposium on Access to Space: Holistic Capacity-Building for the 21st Century.

Sep 3-9 — University of Rome, University of Pisa, Viterbo, Italy: 7th Meeting on Celestial Mechanics.

Sep 3 — Moon: 1.5° S.S.E. of comet Schwassmann-Wachmann 1, 22:00.