August 4-10, 2014 / Vol 33, No 31 / Hawai`i Island, USA

Solar System Exploration: In Theory and In Action

Calendar feature - Solar System ExplorationIn preparation for publication of the Cambridge University Book “Saturn in the 21st Century,” a Saturn Science Conference is taking place at the Pyle Center, University of Wisconsin, USA on August 4-7. The meeting organizer is Kevin Baines of UW-Madison and JPL-Caltech. The program includes 17 experts making hour-long presentations with time for Q&A, 16 poster sessions and a Panel Discussion. The focus will be on latest findings related to Saturn, jewel of our Solar System, and its 62 moons. Titan is the only natural satellite known to have a dense atmosphere and is the second largest moon in the Solar System. Enceladus has recently been found by NASA Cassini orbiter to host at least 101 distinct geysers or cryovolcanoes. The 17th Annual International Mars Society Convention takes place Aug 7-10 at League City, Texas. Plenary Speakers include veteran space scientist at the NASA Ames Astrobiology and Space Research Directorate William Borucki, Program Manager of NASA Orion Mark Geyer, former NASA administrator Mike Griffin, first American space tourist Dennis Tito, and Founder / President of the Mars Society Dr. Robert Zubrin. It is also an interesting week of action in Solar System exploration. The Rosetta spacecraft carrying the Philae Lander achieves orbit around Comet 67P / Churyumov-Gerasimenko on Aug 6. The Juno mission, which is currently cruising at 17 km/sec on course for July 4, 2016 Jupiter rendezvous, enters solar conjunction on Aug 10. Also, the recently revived ISEE-3 probe is expected to conduct a Moon flyby at 50-km altitude by Aug 10. (Image Credit: NASA, JPL-Caltech, SSI)

AIAA SPACE 2014 Hosts Experts on Space Exploration Programs and Technologies

AIAA SPACE 2014The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics is holding SPACE 2014 and parallel conferences in San Diego CA at the Manchester Grand Hyatt on August 4-7. Themed Connecting, Protecting, and Enhancing a Global Society the conference will focus on the advances Space exploration brings to technology, innovation, Earth monitoring, education and connectedness. There will be 5 plenary sessions including ‘Space in Our World’ (moderated by Frank Slazer – L) and ‘From Earth Dependent to Mars Ready’ (co-moderated by Michael Gazarik and Greg Williams). Some of the speakers are Michele Gates (NASA, Asteroid Redirect Mission), Larry Price (Lockheed Martin, Orion Program – R), Richard Zurek (JPL/Caltech, Mars Exploration Program Chief Scientist), Dan Berkenstock (Skybox Imaging) and Sarah Ryker (USGS, Climate & Land Use Change). The ‘Forum 360’ panels cover topics ranging from commercial spaceports, launch vehicles and human spaceflight to satellites, space cybersecurity and astronomy in space 30 years in the future. AIAA continues to sponsor conferences year-round and has ~35,000 individual members and 100 corporate members. (Image Credit: AIAA, NSCFL, P. Spudis)

AUG-OCT = 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: Mars (SW), Saturn (SW); Morning Planets: Mercury (ENE), Venus (ENE), Jupiter (ENE).


Aug 4 — ISS, LEO: Expedition 40 crew using ‘Xsens ForceShoe’ special exercise shoes, performing spacesuit maintenance, preparing for upcoming EVAs Aug 18 & 21, transferring cargo from Progress 56 & Cygnus Orb-2.

 Aug 4 — Kepler Space Telescope, Heliocentric Orbit: Helping to precisely determine size of exoplanets by observing them transit host Stars while also tracking dimming of Star caused by seismic waves moving within its interior.

 Aug 4 — Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, Moon Orbit: In low 50-km polar mapping orbit, now more than 5 years into 6 year approved mission; produced most accurate topographic map of Moon to date, including lunar pits, mountains, volatiles, Apollo sites.

Aug 4 — Blue Origin LLC, Kent WA: NewSpace company may be planning to develop Sea platform system to recover rocket booster after launch; patent application details available.

 Aug 4 — Rocket Lab Ltd., Auckland, New Zealand: Building first carbon-composite launch vehicle ‘Electron’ capable of launching 100-kg payloads to LEO for less than US$5M per launch; expecting first launch 2015.

Aug 4 — CubeCab, Mountain View CA: Startup company working to develop system to launch 1-3U CubeSats to LEO; won US$20K ‘Lightning Pitch Competition’ grand prize at NewSpace 2014 conference.

Aug 4 — NASA HQ, Online / Washington DC: Europa Instrument Investigations Pre-proposal Conference; 11:00 – 14:00 EDT.

Aug 4 — Federation of Galaxy Explorers, Greenbelt MD: Moon Base Camp; Rockets & Payloads Camp.

Aug 4-7 — AIAA, San Diego CA: AIAA Space & Astronautics Forum (SPACE 2014); 32nd AIAA International Communications Satellite Systems Conference; AIAA/AAS Astrodynamics Specialist Conference; at Manchester Grand Hyatt.

Aug 4-7 — University of Wisconsin – Madison, Cambridge University Press, Madison WI: Saturn Science Conference: Saturn in the 21st Century; at Pyle Center.

Aug 4-7 — National Radio Astronomy Observatory, National Science Foundation, Associated Universities Inc., Charlottesville VA: Workshop: Transformation Science in the ALMA Era – Multi-Wavelength Studies of Galaxy Evolution.

Aug 4-8 — Osaka Sangyo University, Japan Society for Promotion of Space Science, Osaka, Japan: 7th Meeting on Cosmic Dust.

Aug 4 — Moon: 0.13° WSW of Saturn, 01:00.

Continued from…

NET Jul 28 — ISRO, Launch GSLV Mk. 3 / Atmospheric Test Flight, Satish Dhawan Space Center, Sriharikota, India: Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mk.3 to launch on suborbital test flight, will carry mock-up human crew module.

Aug 2-6 — Astronomical Society of the Pacific, Burlingame CA: ASP 2014 Annual Meeting.

Aug 2-7 — AIAA, Utah State University, Logan UT: 28th Small Satellite Conference: The Commerce of Small Satellites.

Aug 2-10 — Committee on Space Research, Moscow, Russia: 40th Scientific Assembly of Committee on Space Research (COSPAR).

Aug 3-7 — National Radio Astronomy Observatory, National Science Foundation, Charlottesville VA: Workshop: Transformation Science in the ALMA Era – Multi-Wavelength Studies of Galaxy Evolution.

Aug 3-9 — Rencontres du Vietnam, UNESCO, Quy Nhon, Vietnam: 10th Rencontres du Vietnam: Very High Energy Phenomena in the Universe.


NET Aug 5 — SpaceX, Launch Falcon 9 / AsiaSat 8, Cape Canaveral AFS FL: SpaceX Falcon 9 to launch AsiaSat 8 communications satellite.

Aug 5 — SETI Institute, Mountain View CA: SETI Weekly Colloquium: Our Galactic Center; presented by Reinhard Genzel from UC Berkeley, 12:00 PDT.

Aug 5 — Moon: 8.3° N of Antares, 17:00.


Aug 6 — Rosetta, Comet 67P / Churyumov-Gerasimenko Orbit: Rosetta to achieve orbit at 4-km wide comet today; will begin mapping this month and identify good landing site for Philae lander.

Aug 6-8 — U.S. Geological Survey, Flagstaff AZ: 5th Planetary Crater Consortium Meeting.

Aug 6 — Asteroid 2014 MD6: Near-Earth flyby (0.024 AU).


Aug 7 — Huntsville Alabama L5 Society – NSS Chapter, Huntsville AL: Regular Meeting of the HAL5 Society.

Aug 7-10 — The Mars Society, League City TX: 17th Annual International Mars Society Convention; at South Shore Harbour Resort.


Aug 8 — ATV-5 (Georges Lemaitre), LEO: Spacecraft to fly ~6.3 km under ISS to test new Laser InfraRed Imaging Sensors (LIRIS) demonstrator; set to dock to ISS Aug 12.

Aug 8 — Federation of Galaxy Explorers, Greenbelt MD: Galaxy Ball 2014.


Aug 9 — Cassini OTM-387, Saturn Orbit: Spacecraft conducts Orbital Trim Maneuver #387 today.


Aug 10 — ISEE-3, Earth Trajectory: International Sun-Earth Explorer to fly by Moon at 50-km altitude today.

Aug 10 — Juno, Jupiter Trajectory: In solar conjunction, spacecraft is on opposite side of Sun as seen from Earth, communications will be limited.

Aug 10 — The Space Show, Tiburon CA / Online: Dr. David Livingston talks with Dr. William Rowe.

Aug 10-22 — Stellar Astrophysics Centre (SAC), Danish National Research Foundation, Aarhus, Denmark: SAC Summer School: Stars, Planets and Life in the Universe.

Aug 10 — Moon: At perigee (distance 356,521 km), 07:48; Full / Super Moon (Sturgeon Moon), 08:10.

Aug 10 — Asteroid 2000 PN8: Near-Earth flyby (0.080 AU).