Himalaya Neighbors India and China Advance into 2015 with Clear Goals toward Moon, Mars and Beyond
Dec 29 — ISS, LEO: Expedition 42 crew with Commander Wilmore of NASA, and flight engineers Serova, Samokutyaev & Shkaplerov of Roscosmos, Virtis of NASA, Cristoforetti of ESA working with Neuromapping study & skin aging experiment; ATV-5 to perform ISS reboost Jan 22, undock with waste Feb 10.
Dec 29 — Tiangong-1, LEO: Orbiting Earth ~16 times a day verifying technologies & capturing large amount of data with Earth observation instruments including hyperspectral imager; has habitable volume of 15 cubic meters, last visited by humans Jun 2013.
Dec 29 — Curiosity, Mount Sharp, Mars Surface: Investigating ‘Murray formation’ low sedimentary layers ~150-meters high to help determine why layered 5-km tall Mount Sharp sits in a crater; Sample Analysis at Mars instrument shows evidence of organic matter.
Dec 29 — SpaceX, Hawthorne CA: NewSpace company designing Dragon crew capsule with automated piloting to send humans to LEO for NASA CCP; planning to launch CRS-5 on Jan 6, land Falcon 9 first stage on 90 x 35 meter floating platform.
Dec 29 — Bigleow Aerospace LLC, Las Vegas NV: Developing 3-meter diameter BEAM & 330-cubic meter volume BA 330 modules; planning for commercial space station Alpha Station & Moon habitats.
Dec 29 — Spaceport Colorado, Watkins CO: Working toward securing FAA license to become horizontal launch commercial spaceport; Swiss Space Systems (S3) plans to make location its N America HQ.
Dec 29 — Cassini OTM-399, Saturn Orbit: Spacecraft conducts Orbital Trim Maneuver #399 today.
Dec 29 – Jan 8 — Israeli Institute for Advanced Studies, The Hebrew University, et al, Jerusalem, Israel: 32nd Winter School in Theoretical Physics 100 Years to General Relativity: From Theory to Experiment and Back.
= 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 (SW), Mars (SW), Jupiter (ENE); Morning Planets: Saturn (ESE).
Considering 2015 New Horizons
Feb 1 – Dec 31 — Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA), Multiple Locations: Cycle 2 of science flights to observe universe consists of 47 science flights grouped into multi-week observing campaigns totaling about 350 research flight hours.
Dec 20 – Mar 15 — Cantor Arts Center, Stanford CA: Exhibition: Loose in Some Real Tropics: Robert Rauschenberg’s “Stoned Moon” Projects, 1969–70; 34 large-format lithographs with scenes of Apollo 11 astronauts, machinery, facilities.
Dec 30 — ISS, LEO: Expedition 42 In-Flight Interviews with BBC Radio and the CBS Radio Network; live coverage available, 17:55 UT.
Dec 30 — The Space Show, Online / Tiburon CA: Dr. David Livingston talks with Tom Olson about the Space Year in Review.
Dec 31 — International Astronomical Union, Online / Paris, France: IAU Commission Reform Expressions of Interest Due.
NET 2015 — RSA, Launch Zenit / New Generation Crew Transportation Vehicle, Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan: Robotic first flight of 4-person spacecraft that will replace Soyuz.
NET 2015 — SpaceX, Launch Falcon 9 / Dragon Mk 2 (DragonRider), Cape Canaveral AFS FL: Dragon spacecraft to carry humans to space for NASA CCiCap, first piloted test flight expected to occur before the end of this year.
NET 2015 — XCOR Aerospace, Cape Canaveral AFS FL: Company expects to begin suborbital test flights of Lynx spaceplane this year.
NET 2015 — SpaceX, Launch Falcon Heavy Demo Flight, Vandenberg AFB CA: Test launch of SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket.
NET 2015 — Launch BepiColombo, TBD: Launch of European Space Agency / JAXA Mercury Planetary Orbiter (MPO) and Mercury Magnetospheric Orbiter (MMO); expected to reach Mercury and achieve polar orbit in 2022; will map planet, investigate magnetosphere.
NET 2015 — HISPASAT, Orbital Sciences Corp., Launch Amazonas 4B, South America: Launch of Amazonas 4B satellite to meet growing demand for satellite television platforms in Latin America.
NET 2015 — RSA, Amur Oblast, Russia: RSA Vostochny Cosmodrome in Amur Oblast, Russia to be completed / fully operational this year to launch crews to space.
NET 2015 — Mars One, The Hague, The Netherlands: First group of astronauts to begin training for one-way mission to Mars planned for 2022.
NET 2015 — University of Hawaii, NASA, TBD: Asteroid Terrestrial-impact Last Alert System (ATLAS) consisting of 8 small telescopes housed at 1 or 2 locations in Hawaiian islands to be fully operational by end of this year; developed with US$5M NASA grant.
NET Jan — Open Space Society, Launch Small Commercial Payload, TBD: Company expects to launch first Small Commercial Payload this month.
NET Jan — Sandia National Laboratories, University of Hawaii Space Flight Laboratory, et al, Launch SPARK / HawaiiSat-1 (ORS-4 Mission), USN Pacific Missile Range Facility, Barking Sands, Kauai HI: Space-borne Payload Assist Rocket (SPARK) or ‘Super Strypi’ 3-stage vehicle to launch Earth observation HawaiiSat-1; will take off using rail launch structure.
NET Jan — Thirty Meter Telescope Observatory Corp., Mauna Kea HI: Projected date for construction start of TMT on Mauna Kea; will be second largest telescope after E-ELT; designed for observations from near-ultraviolet to mid-infrared.
NET Jan — International Lunar Observatory Association, Space Age Publishing Co., Antarctica: Galaxy Forum Antarctica 2015: Galaxy Education and Galaxy Enterprise in the 21st Century.
Jan 1 — Deep Space, Jupiter Trajectory: Juno spacecraft in excellent health is now 565M km from Earth with a one-way radio signal travel time of ~31.4 minutes, traveling at 44,421 kph relative to Earth; has about 430M km before entering Jupiter orbit in July 2016.
Jan 1 — Moon: 7.6° S of Pleiades, 07:00.
Jan 2 — Space Center Houston, Houston TX: Lunch with an Astronaut, Jerry Ross; US$49.95 adult.
Jan 2 — Moon: 1.4° N of Aldebaran, 02:00.
Jan 2 — Asteroid 2005 YQ96: Near-Earth flyby (0.026 AU).
Jan 3-4 — Exoplanet Exploration Program Analysis Group, NASA Seattle WA: 11th Exoplanet Exploration Program Analysis Group (ExoPAG) Meeting; at Washington State Convention & Trade Center.
Jan 3-7 — Indian Science Research Organization Association, University of Mumbai, Mumbai, India: 102nd Indian Science Congress: Science and Technology for Human Development; thousands of delegates analyze, interact on matters of science; held at University of Calcutta.
Jan 3 — Earth: At perihelion (distance 0.98328 AU / 147,096,594 km from Sun), 21:00.
Jan 3 — Moon: 5.8° S of M35, 19:00.
Jan 3 — Quandrantids Meteor Shower Peak: Appearing to radiate from constellation Quadrans Muralis; can produce up to 60-200 meteors per hour; visibility unfavorable due to Full Moon; peak 16:00.
Jan 3 — Pluto: At conjunction with Sun, 09:00.
Jan 4 — The Space Show, Online / Tiburon CA: Dr. David Livingston talks with Chris Carberry of Explore Mars, Inc.
Jan 4-8 — American Astronomical Society, Seattle WA: 225th Meeting of the AAS; at Washington State Convention Center.
Jan 4-8 — American Meteorological Society, Phoenix AZ: 95th AMS Annual Meeting.
Jan 4 — Moon: Full (Wolf Moon), 18:53.
Jan 5-9 — AIAA, Kissimmee FL: AIAA Science and Technology Forum and Exposition (SciTech 2015); 8th Symposium on Space Resource Utilization; AIAA Spacecraft Structures Conference; AIAA et al.
Jan 5 — Moon: 11.6° S of Pollux, 13:00.
Jan 5 — Asteroid 85990 (1999 JV6): Near-Earth flyby (0.083 AU).
Jan 6 — SpaceX, Launch Falcon 9 / CRS 5, Cape Canaveral AFS FL: SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket set to launch 7th Dragon spacecraft on 5th operational cargo delivery mission to ISS; will also carry Cloud-Aerosol Transport System, AggieSat4 / Bevo-2, SERPENS; rocket will attempt soft landing on ocean platform.
Jan 6 — SETI Institute, Mountain View CA: SETI Weekly Colloquium: Accreting Planets in the Habitable Zones of M-Dwarfs are too hot to retain liquid water; presented by Ramses Ramirez from Cornell University, 12:00 PST.
Jan 6-7 — Small Bodies Assessment Group, NASA, Phoenix AZ: 12th Meeting of the NASA Small Bodies Assessment Group (SBAG).
Jan 6 — Moon: 5.9° SSW of Beehive Cluster, 16:00.
Jan 7 — International Academy of Astronautics, Online: Abstracts Due: 4th Planetary Defense Conference; to be held Apr 13-17.
Jan 7-8 — Ames Research Center, NASA, Moffett Field CA: Cube Quest Challenge Summit; US$5 million to teams that design, build, deliver flight-qualified, small satellites capable of advanced operations near & beyond Moon.
Jan 7 — Moon: 4.9° SSW of Jupiter, 20:00.
Jan 8 — Cassini OTM-400, Saturn Orbit: Spacecraft conducts Orbital Trim Maneuver #400 today.
Jan 8 — ISS, Dragon CRS 5 Rendezvous & Grapple, LEO: Dragon set to arrive at ISS, live coverage available.
Jan 8-9 — Aryavarta Space Organization, Amity University, Noida, India: 2nd International Space Conference 2015 (ISC 2015).
Jan 8-10 — Lunar and Planetary Institute, Tempe AZ: AstroRecon 2015: Conference on Spacecraft Reconnaissance of Asteroid and Comet Interiors.
Jan 8 — Moon: 34.9° SSW of Regulus, 14:00.
Jan 8 — Asteroid 2010 AN61: Near-Earth flyby (0.075 AU).
Jan 9 — Royal Astronomical Society, London, United Kingdom: RAS Ordinary Meeting; Meeting: The Kinematics of Star Formation – Theory and Observation in the Gaia Era; Meeting: The Dynamical Chromosphere and its Role in Energy Transfer through the Solar Atmosphere – Results from IRIS.
Jan 9 — Peninsula Astronomical Society, Los Altos Hills CA: Lecture: SLS: Our Next Ride; presented by Faride Khalaf at Foothill College.
Jan 9 — Lunar and Planetary Institute, Online / Houston TX: Applications Due: 2015 LPI Summer Intern Program in Planetary Science.
Jan 9 — Space Center Houston, Houston TX: Lunch with an Astronaut, Clay Anderson; US$49.95 adult.
Jan 9 — Moon: At apogee (distance 404,940 km), 08:00.
Jan 9 — Asteroid 2014 YZ8: Near-Earth flyby (0.077 AU).
Jan 10 — Mercury: 0.65° W of Venus, 20:00.
Jan 10 — Mars: Winter solstice, 22:00.
Jan 11 — Cassini, Saturn Orbit: Titan flyby scheduled at 970-km altitude.
Jan 11-15 — American Astronautical Society, AIAA, Williamsburg VA: 25th AAS/AIAA Space Flight Mechanics.
Jan 11-15 — Zewail City of Science and Technology, Giza, Egypt: International Conference on Quantum Gravity, Cosmology and String Theory.