Galaxy Forum Architecture:
Dec 28 — ISS, LEO: Expedition 46 transferring cargo from Cygnus OA-4, Progress 61P and 62P, working on experiments for ocular & cardiovascular health; maintaining exercise equipment, computers, air / water / waste filters; keeping sleep logs to monitor alertness & ambient light exposure and journals for behavioral & station habitability studies; ISS now 6,247 days in orbit, human EVAs total 1,195 hours & 20 minutes.
Dec 28 — ISS, LEO: Expedition 46 In-Flight Interviews, live coverage 15:30 UT.
Dec 28 — Tiangong-1, LEO: Now in its 5th year of operations, China laboratory collecting data via internal cameras on crystal growth experiment; selling time / data from hyperspectral imaging device to commercial customers.
Dec 28 — Chang’e-3 Lander, Guan Han Gong, Sinus Iridum / Mare Imbrium, 44.12°N 19.51°W, Moon Surface: Only craft operating on Moon, expected to receive funding to continue LUT observations / science through 2016; China Chang’e-5T1 remains in lunar orbit testing maneuvers for future lunar missions.
Dec 28 — Juno, Jupiter Trajectory: Will begin Jupiter Approach activities, instrument check outs and trajectory corrections as craft is less than 7 months (190 days) from reaching the largest planet in the Solar System with the most known moons.
Dec 28 — SpaceX, Cape Canaveral AFS FL: Examining used Falcon 9 first stage booster that successfully returned to a vertical powered landing after launching 11 commercial satellites into orbit; recovery, servicing & re-use of first stage could substantially reduce ~$60M cost of the rocket, allowing cheaper access to Moon, Mars, Deep Space; expecting 12+ launches in 2016.
Dec 28 — Google Lunar XPrize Teams, Multiple Locations: Remaining 16 commercial teams from 13 countries are working to reach Moon surface, only 2 teams possess verified launch contracts – SpaceIL of Israel & Moon Express of USA (both launching 2017); Astrobotic carrying team Hakuto & team AngelicvM plan for SpaceX rideshare, Synergy Moon announce Interorbital launch.
Dec 28 — Virgin Galactic, Multiple Locations: Preparing for projected Feb 2016 roll-out of new SpaceShipTwo, with tests to follow, as part of its ‘Spaceline for Earth’ with goal of democratizing access to space for the benefit of life on Earth; increased competition and challenges with Blue Origin racing ahead to the boundary of space.
= 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: Mercury (SW), Uranus (S), Neptune (S); Morning Planets: Venus (SE), Mars (SE), Jupiter (SE), Saturn (S).
| Dec 28 — Space Center Houston, Houston TX: Lunch with an Astronaut; featuring Mike Foreman.
Dec 28 – Jan 3 — Space Center Houston, Houston TX: Meet an Astronaut.
Dec 28 – Jan 8 — Israeli Institute for Advanced Studies, Jerusalem, Israel: 33rd Jerusalem Winter School on Exoplanets.
Aug 28 – 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.
Dec 26-31 — Virginia Living Museum, E&S Spitz, Newport News VA: Star of Wonder: Mystery of the Christmas Star.
Dec 29 — Cassini, Saturn Orbit: Spacecraft conducts Orbital Trim Maneuver #435 today.
Dec 29 — RSA, Launch Soyuz / Glonass M, Plesetsk Cosmodrome, Russia: Russia government Soyuz rocket to launch a Glonass M navigation satellite.
Dec 29 — Moon: 2.7° S of Regulus, 11:00.
Dec 29 — Apollo Asteroid 294739 (2008 CM): Near-Earth flyby (0.058 AU).
Dec 30 — Space Center Houston, Houston TX: Last day to view Orion back-shell tile panel that protected Orion capsule during its first high orbital flight test.
Dec 30 — Apollo Asteroid 2015 XC352: Near-Earth flyby (0.013 AU).
Dec 31 — Cassini, Saturn Orbit: Flyby of Rhea (24,000 km) planned for today.
Dec 31 – Jan 4 — American Mathematical Society, Yau Mathematical Sciences Center of Tsinghua University, Sanya, Hainan, China: String-Math Conference 2015.
Dec 31 — Moon: 1.7° SSE of Jupiter, 09:00.
Dec 31 — Apollo Asteroid 2011 YE40: Near-Earth flyby (0.041 AU).
Dec 31 — Apollo Asteroid 2015 YD2: Near-Earth flyby (0.056 AU).
FRIDAY / JANUARY 1, 2016
NET 2016 — CNSA, Launch Tiangong-2 Space Lab, TBD, China: Core module of China Space Station (Tiangong-2) expected to launch to LEO this year (orbit between 350-450 km).
NET 2016 — CNSA, Launch Long March 7, Wenchang Satellite Launch Center, Hainan, China: China expects to conduct maiden flight of Long March 7 rocket intended to launch cargo / fuel to China future space station.
NET 2016 — Orbital Technologies Ltd., LEO: Originally planned year for Commercial Space Station / Orbiting Hotel to begin operations for this Russia commercial aerospace firm, collaborating with RSC Energia; proposed at US$800K for flight, $160K for 5-days of accommodation.
NET 2016 — Mars One, Launch of Mars Demonstration Mission & Communication Satellite, TBD: Company hopes to launch Demonstration Mission to test technologies for human mission, and place satellite in Mars orbit enabling 24/7 communication this year.
NET 2016 — NASA, TBD: Asteroid selection to occur this year as part of Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM); 500,000-kg asteroid to be captured 2019, relocated to Moon orbit, visited by Humans via Space Launch System 2021.
NET Q1 2016 — Interorbital Systems Corp., Mojave CA: Planning test flight of Neptune rocket Q1 2016 up to ~9,150 meters with 8 commercial payloads this quarter.
NET Jan — ISRO, Launch PSLV / IRNSS 1E, Satish Dhawan Space Center, Sriharikota, India: India Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, flying on PSLV-C31 mission, to launch Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System IRNSS 1E navigation satellite.
NET Jan — Green Bank Observatory, Parkes Observatory, West Virginia, USA & New South Wales, United Kingdom: Breakthrough Listen campaign to search for life signals around nearest million stars & 100 nearest galaxies to begin this month with US$100M funding given by Yuri Milner of Russia and expert team including Stephen Hawking, Lord Martin Rees, Geoff Marcy, Frank Drake.
Jan 1 — Deep Space, Kuiper Belt Trajectory: New Horizons, first mission to Pluto system and Kuiper Belt, continues in “departure science” phase, downloading data at 2 kilobits per second to Earth while looking back at Pluto & surrounding environment, doing various experiments; Pluto Encounter officially ends this month.
Jan 1 — Cassini, Saturn Orbit: Flyby of Methone (28,000 km), Tethys (39,000 km), Aegaeon (94,000 km), Pan (97,000 km), Pandora (110,000 km) planned for today.
Jan 1 — Apollo Asteroid 2015 LV24: Near-Earth flyby (0.076 AU).
Jan 2 — Earth: At perihelion (distance 147,054,706.898 km / 0.983 AU from Sun), 13:00.
Jan 2 — Apollo Asteroid 2011 YP10: Near-Earth flyby (0.074 AU).
Jan 3-4 — American Astronomical Society, Kissimmee FL: Early-Career Astronomers Workshop for effective outreach.
Jan 3-7 — Indian Science Congress Association, Mysore, Karnataka, India: 103rd Indian Science Congress: Science and Technology for Indigenous Development in India; thousands of delegates analyze, interact on matters of science; held at University of Mysore.
Jan 3 — Apollo Asteroid 2015 XM128: Near-Earth flyby (0.051 AU).
Jan 4 — National Radio Astronomy Observatory, Kissimmee FL: Next Generation Very Large Array Workshop.
Jan 4-8 — American Astronomical Society, Kissimmee FL: 227th Meeting of the AAS; at Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center.
Jan 4-8 — AIAA, San Diego CA: 2016 AIAA Science and Technology Forum and Exposition; 3rd AIAA Spacecraft Structures Conference; AIAA Modeling and Simulation Technologies Conference; 8th Symposium on Space Resource Utilization; at Manchester Grand Hyatt.
Jan 5 — ISS, LEO: Expedition 46 In-Flight Interview with BBC World Service Radio and ISS Commander Scott Kelly, Flight Engineer Mikhail Kornienko, live coverage 14:30 UT.
Jan 5 — Juno, Jupiter Trajectory: Spacecraft begins Jupiter Approach phase, will last 178 days.
Jan 5 — University of Hawaii at Hilo, Hilo HI: Lecture: Lunar Laser Ranging Retroreflector Array for the 21st Century; Doug Currie from University of Maryland.
Jan 5 — SETI Institute, Mountain View CA: Lecture: Finding Amazing Structures Hidden in Big, Complex, Dense, Raw Data; Marvin Weinstein.
Jan 5-9 — American Mathematical Society, Yau Mathematical Sciences Center of Tsinghua University, Sanya, Hainan, China: Conference on General Relativity.
Jan 5 — Apollo Asteroid 2015 XT: Near-Earth flyby (0.080 AU).
Jan 5 — Apollo Asteroid 2015 XT: Near-Earth flyby (0.095 AU).
Jan 6-9 — U.S. National Committee of the International Union of Radio Science (URSI), IEEE Antennas & Propagation Society (APS), Boulder CO: 2016 National Radio Science Meeting.
Jan 6-12 — Federico Santa María Technical University, Valparaiso, Chile: 6th International Workshop on High Energy Physics in the LHC Era.
Jan 6 — Apollo Asteroid 85990 (1999 JV6): Near-Earth flyby (0.032 AU).
Jan 6 — Aten Asteroid 2001 BB16: Near-Earth flyby (0.045 AU).
Jan 6 — Apollo Asteroid 2013 BC70: Near-Earth flyby (0.087 AU).
Jan 7-8 — Imperial College London, London, United Kingdom: Strings, Cosmology and Gravity Student Conference.
Jan 7-9 — University of Hawai`i at Mānoa, Honolulu HI: 9th International Workshop on Very High Energy Particle Astronomy (VHEPA).
Jan 8 — The Royal Astronomical Society, London, United Kingdom: Royal Astronomical Society Ordinary Meeting; Modern Data Analysis in Solar Physics – Progress in the Automated Analysis of Solar Features and their Dynamics Meeting; Multiwavelength Surveys for Extragalactic Astrophysics Meeting.
Jan 8 — Lunar and Planetary Institute, Houston TX: Lecture: Evolving Worlds: A Story of Planetary Evolution and Bi-Stability; Matthew Weller from Rice University.
Jan 8 — Apollo Asteroid 2015 WE2: Near-Earth flyby (0.058 AU).
Jan 9 — Amor Asteroid 2015 XW351: Near-Earth flyby (0.083 AU).
Jan 10 — The Space Show, Online / Tiburon CA: Host Dr. David Livingston talks with Dr. Doug Plata and John Strickland about Cis Lunar Debate.
Jan 10-14 — American Meteorological Society (AMS), New Orleans LA: 96th Annual Meeting of the American Meteorological Society (AMS): Earth System Science in Service to Society.
Jan 10-16 — Carnegie Mellon University, Advanced Institute of Cosmology of Mexico (Instituto Avanzado de Cosmologia), Cancun, Mexico: Workshop: Essential Cosmology for Next Generation 2016.