February 12-18, 2018 / Vol 37, No 7 / Hawai`i Island, USA

China Ambitious 2018 Moon Focus with Chang’e-4, ILOA Galaxy Forum Hainan – International Human Moon Missions

China Spring Festival Lunar New Year, the Year of the Dog, commences February 16, 2018. This year, China hopes good fortune will aid its attempts at launching ~35 rockets, a return to flight of Long March 5, and the first-ever Lunar far side mission Chang’e-4 to explore geology of the South Pole / Aitken Basin. CE-4 orbiter in May-June, followed by lander and rover in October will both launch from Xichang Satellite Launch Center in Sichuan. The Wenchang Hilton with direct views of Wenchang Launch Center on Hainan Island will be host to Galaxy Forum China 2018 on December 4-7. Sponsored by International Lunar Observatory Association and co-sponsored by International Astronautical Federation, Chinese Society of Astronautics and NAOC, the session themes are ‘International Human Moon Missions’ and ‘Astronomy from the Moon’, with a special luncheon ‘1st Woman on the Moon’. The principal objective of GFC 2018 is to help realize Humans on the Moon as soon as reasonably possible. Malapert Mountain at the Moon South Pole will also be a focus. Confirmed speakers include Chinese Academy of Sciences Professor Ouyang Ziyuan, Vice Chairman of ShareSpace Andy Aldrin, ILOA Director Steve Durst, Canadensys CEO Chris Sallaberger and representatives from Moon Express. Other speakers and participants will be international leading lunar scientists, engineers, space agency experts and officials, commercial entrepreneurs space community professionals, explorers and enthusiasts. (Image Credit: ILOA, NASA, News.cn, Xinhuanet, Gunter’s Space Page)


Feb 12 — ISS, 405-km LEO: Expedition 54 six-member crew expecting arrival of Progress 69P resupply ship with 2,450 kg of cargo, preparing for USA EVA #48, working with Veggie-3 experiment; Astronaut Norishige Kanai performing in-flight educational activities with JAXA; Cosmonauts set Russia longest EVA record at 8 hours 13 minutes.

Feb 12 — NewSpace: SpaceX celebrates Falcon Heavy successful launch / 2 core return to Earth; Spire to receive £4 million from UK Space Agency to demonstrate cutting-edge space technology; Astro Live Experience (ALE) of Japan advancing human-made meteor shower plans.

Feb 12 — Solar System: Mars Curiosity produces panorama of 5-year journey across Mars; New Horizons team creates extended mission patch; JAXA Akatsuki science data being added to public archive.

Feb 12 — Galaxy: Trappist-1 system with 7 exoplanets, located 39.6 LY away, could likely be rich in water; University of Colorado – Boulder scientists research indicates orbiting stars could be flung into supermassive black holes and destroyed at a rate of 1 per year

Feb 12 — Global: Further Chandrayaan-2 landing site details: planned between Manzinus C and Simpelius N craters, latitude 70° S, 600 km from Lunar South Pole; China 1st shared education satellite ‘Young Pioneer’ reaches orbit; Russia sees launch success from Vostochny, in talks to build module NEM-2 to transport tourists to ISS ~2019.

Feb 12 — USA: Lockheed Martin is constructing Orion crew capsule for EM-2 mission; 3 major elements of James Webb Telescope arrive at Northrop Grumman for testing and integration.

Feb 12 — Hawai`i: Further TMT brief appeals to be presented over next month, telescope board decision still unclear about Mauna Kea development; Hawaii Technology Development Corp. approves US$4K sponsorship award for STARS (STem Aerospace Research Scholars program).

Feb 12 — Cornell University, Ithaca NY: Lecture: Insights into Titan’s Circulation and Hydrologic Cycle from Model-Data Comparisons; Juan Manuel Lora from UCLA.

= 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’).

Weekly Planet Watch – Evening Planets: Venus (WSW), Uranus (SW); Morning Planets: Mars (ESE), Jupiter (ESE), Saturn (SE).

Toronto Advances Satellite and Space Science at SmallSat Symposium and WPSE

The Canadian SmallSat Symposium will be held at Toronto Westin Prince Hotel on February 13-15 with theme “Responsible Revolution”. The Commercial Space 101 workshop will start the first day of the Symposium with (L-R) COPUOS chairman David Kendall, Michael Simpson from Secure World Foundation, and Canadian Space Agency flight operations manager Michel Doyon. The workshop will highlight revolutionary opportunities in various aspects of a growing, global commercial space sector. The symposium, sponsored by Canadian Space Commerce Association, expects over 80 speakers. It will focus on space sustainability, including solutions to issues such as LEO overcrowding, broadcasting interference, and increasing potential satellite collisions as numerous smallsats are slated for deployment. There are currently ~2,000 active satellites, the majority of those in LEO remain within 500 km of Earth, traveling at least ~28,000 km per hour. On February 17-18, WPSE (Women in Planetary Science and Exploration) inaugural conference will be at University of Toronto. Over 40 presenters and 7 keynote speakers include AZ State Space Tech and Science director Tanya Harrison and The Centers of Discovery in Earth & Space and Fossils & Evolution managing director Marianne Mader. The conference is an opportunity for scientists and engineers to showcase their recent findings while highlighting the achievements of women in related fields. (Image Credit: WPSE, National Space Society, Secure World Foundation, CSCA, NASA, CSA, Royal Ontario Museum)

Feb 12-16 — ESA, ESTEC, Noordwijk, The Netherlands: Workshop on Innovative Technologies for Space Optics.

Feb 12-16 — University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland: Workshop: Water During Planet Formation and Evolution.

Feb 12-16 — Keck Institute for Space Studies, Pasadena CA: Workshop: MarsX – Mars Subsurface Exploration.

Feb 12 — Moon: 1.8° N of Pluto, 10:00.

Continued from…

Dec 19, 2017 – Mar 6 — CNSA, Online / Beijing, China: CNSA collecting 20,000 digital messages from public to be stored in Chang’e-4 relay satellite launching May-June to Earth-Moon L2 Lagrange Point to support Moon South Pole missions.

Jan 15 – Feb 16 — International Space University, University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia: 2018 Southern Hemisphere Space Studies Program; intensive, five week, live-in experience designed around an international, intercultural and interdisciplinary educational philosophy.

Jan 16 – Feb 16 — NASA, Online / Chico CA: Kickstarter Campaign: First to the Moon – The Journey of Apollo 8; to create a feature documentary film about Commander Frank Borman, Jim Lovell, and Bill Anders and the Apollo 8 mission that brought back ‘Earthrise’ photo.

Feb 3 – Mar 19 — Johnson Space Center, NASA, Houston TX: Campaign 4: Mission 4 – Human Exploration Research Analog (HERA 2017); 45 day analog spaceflight / Moon / Mars mission.


Feb 13-14 — Institute for Radio Astronomy and Space Research, Auckland University of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand: Science for SKA Colloquium 2018.

Feb 13-15 — Canadian Space Commerce Association, Toronto, Ontario, Canada: 2018 Canadian SmallSat Symposium: SmallSat Responsible Revolution; and Commercial Space 101 workshop.

Feb 13 — Apollo Asteroid 2015 SY16: Near-Earth Flyby (0.053 AU).


Feb 14 — Goddard Space Flight Center, NASA, Greenbelt MD: Colloquium: The Supernova of the Century – SN 1987A at 31 YearsGeorge Sonneborn of GSFC.

Feb 14-15 — Boeing Co., Lockheed Martin, Corp. Orbital ATK, Aerojet Rocketdyne, Jacobs, Washington DC: 2018 SLS-Orion-EGS Suppliers Conference.


Feb 15 — ISS, U.S. Extra Vehicular Activity #47, 405-km LEO: Expedition 54 members Mark Vande Hei and Norishige Kanai to perform 6.5-hour spacewalk for Space Station Remote Manipulator System Canadarm2 Latching End Effector B Removal and Replacement; live coverage available starts 07:10 EST.

NET Feb 15 — Roscosmos State Corporation, Launch Proton / Blagovest No. 12L, Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan: Proton Rocket set to launch Blagovest No. 12L communications satellite.

Feb 15 — Cornell University, Ithaca NY: Lecture: A Magnetic Perspective on Giant Planet Interiors; Hao Cao from Harvard University.

 Feb 15 — Hawaii Supreme Court, Honolulu HI: Briefs due for appealing Thirty Meter Telescope building permit; brief answers by UH Hilo and Hawaii Board of Land and Natural Resources due by Mar 27.

Feb 15-16 — Institute for Radio Astronomy and Space Research, Auckland University of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand: Computing for SKA Colloquium 2018: Towards Construction.

Feb 15-17 — Secure World Foundation, Observer Research Foundation, New Delhi, India: 4th ORF Kalpana Chawla Annual Space Policy Dialogue.

Feb 15-19 — American Association of the Advancement of Science (AAAS), European Union Horizon 2020 Programme, University of Texas at Austin, Austin TX: AAAS Annual Meeting.

Feb 15 — Partial Eclipse of Sun: Visible in southern South America, including many locations in Argentina, Chile, Paraguay, Uruguay, and in Antarctica; also from some areas of Atlantic and Pacific Oceans; begins 08:56, maximum 10:15, ends 12:47.

Feb 15 — Moon: 1.1° NNW of Mercury, 08:00; New Moon, 11:06.

Feb 15 — Apollo Asteroid 2018 CB1: Near-Earth Flyby (0.024 AU).

Feb 15 — Apollo Asteroid 2018 CC1: Near-Earth Flyby (0.036 AU).


Feb 16 — China Lunar New Year, Zhong Guo / Worldwide: China Lunar New Year 2018 Spring Festival marks the Year of the Dog.

Feb 16 — Moon: 0.53° SSE of Venus, 07:00; 1.6° SSE of Neptune, 18:00.

Feb 16 — Apollo Asteroid 162882 (2001 FD58): Near-Earth Flyby (0.088 AU).

Feb 16 — Amor Asteroid 2018 CZ: Near-Earth Flyby (0.072 AU).


Feb 17 — Time History of Events and Macroscale Interactions during Substorms (THEMIS), LEO: Three satellites in magnetosphere (two in Moon orbit – now called ARTEMIS) begin 12th year in space today; launched 2007.

Feb 17 — SpaceX, Launch Falcon 9 / Paz, Vandenberg AFB CA: Falcon 9 to launch Paz satellite for Hisdesat of Madrid, Spain – built by Airbus Defense and Space.

Feb 17 — Space Center Houston, Houston TX: Lunch with an Astronaut, Jerry Ross, adult US$69.95, child $35.95.

Feb 17-18 — University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada: Women in Planetary Science and Exploration (WPSE) Conference 2018.

Feb 17 — Mercury: At superior conjunction with Sun, 1.384 AU from Earth, 02:00.


Feb 18-19 — JAXA, International Space Exploration Collaboration Group, Tokyo, Japan: Global Exploration Roadmap (GER) meeting focusing on Lunar South Pole and Human Mars exploration; open to public.

Feb 18-20 — UCLA, Los Angeles CA: Dark Matter Advanced Training Institute.

Feb 18 — Apollo Asteroid 2016 CA138: Near-Earth Flyby (0.056 AU).