January 9-15, 2017 / Vol 36, No 2 / Hawai`i Island, USA

AIAA 2017 SciTech Forum Comprised of 11 Conferences, Expects 4,000 Attendees

The 2017 AIAA SciTech meeting held in Grapevine TX January 9-13 includes the  55th AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting, 10th Symposium on Space Resource Utilization, 4th AIAA Spacecraft Structures Conference and 8 other technical meetings on aerospace research and technology. The overall theme is Addressing Full Spectrum Disruption Across the Global Aerospace Community. During plenaries and Forum 360 sessions, speakers and panelists will address aerospace technology developments, current frameworks, business models, policy issues and next-gen workforce. Highlighted speakers include Dave Bowles (NASA Langley Director), Carissa Christensen (Tauri Group Managing Partner), Mike Gazarik (Ball Aerospace VP of Engineering), Dava Newman (NASA Deputy Administrator), Robie Roy (Lockheed VP of Tech Strategy & Innovation), and George Whitesides (Virgin Galactic & Spaceship Company CEO). Space Resource Utilization meeting topics include human and robotic exploration of Moon, Mars, and NEOs, production of mission consumables (water, oxygen and fuel) from local materials, mining, construction and surface transportation. Spacecraft Structures will address large-scale, light weight manufacturing to reduce mass, launch volume, and lifecycle cost. Aerospace Sciences meeting will discuss aerospace applications and benefits to medicine, biotechnology, manufacturing, space solar power, energy storage, fuels cells, use of supercomputers and cryogenic applications. (Image Credit: AIAA, Northrop Grumman, Ball Aerospace, NASA, Pat Rawlings)


star-grey Jan 9 — ISS, 330-435-km LEO: Expedition 50 preparing for EVA scheduled Friday, finalizing Progress MS-3 and HTV-6 ships for undocking next week, will conduct in-flight interviews with ESA & Lovett School in Atlanta GA, deploying 40 CubeSats built by University Teams for QB50 mission early 2017.

star-grey Jan 9 — New Horizons, KBO 2014 MU69 Trajectory: Less than 2 years from reaching next exploration target in Kuiper Belt, flyby operations and observations of KBO begin July 2018, to come within 12,500 km or closer Jan 2019.

circle-full-grey Jan 9 — Proposed Lucy & Psyche Missions, Boulder CO: SwRI to lead NASA Discovery mission to study geology, surface composition, physical properties of 6 Trojan asteroids, which orbit in tandem with Jupiter – launch 2021, arrive 2027; Psyche mission lead by ASU will visit 210-km diameter metal asteroid in Main Asteroid Belt – launch 2023, arrive 2030.

circle-full-grey Jan 9 — Blue Origin, Kent WA: NewSpace company planning New Shepard flights this year with test subjects (suborbital flights are fully automated), could begin commercial operations 2018; founder Mark Bezos voicing support for U.S. / NASA to build superhighway in space.

circle-full-grey Jan 9 — Axiom Space, Houston TX: Working to build commercial space station, Module 1 contractor to be announced May / June, would be launched 2020 to connect to ISS, seeking NASA Space Act Agreement; CEO Michael Suffredini, Business Development manager Astronaut Michael Lopez-Alegria, VP of Operations Astronaut Brent Jett.

circle-full-grey Jan 9 — U.S. Near Earth Object Preparedness Strategies, Washington DC: Forthcoming Action Plan to address hazards, detection, characterization of NEOs will seek to enhance integration of existing national & international assets, add important capabilities that are currently lacking; 15,413 NEOs discovered so far, 1,763 classified as Potentially Hazardous Asteroids (PHA).

Jan 9 — SpaceX, Launch Falcon 9 / Iridium Next 1-10, Vandenberg AFB CA: SpaceX return to flight with attempted launch of 10 Iridium Next satellites aboard Falcon 9 for Iridium Communications Inc.

Jan 9-13 — AIAA, Grapevine TX: 2017 AIAA Science and Technology Forum and Exposition; 10th Symposium on Space Resource Utilization; 4th AIAA Spacecraft Structures Conference; at Gaylord Texan Resort and Convention Center.

= 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 (S), Uranus (S), Neptune (SW); Morning Planets: Mercury (SE), Saturn (SE).

ISU 2017 Southern Hemisphere Space Studies Program

The International Space University is organizing SH-SSP with University of South Australia Adelaide at the Mawson Lakes Campus on January 9 – February 10. This rigorous, five-week course is a live-in experience built around the international, intercultural and interdisciplinary educational philosophy that has been a key to the success of ISU. The syllabus covers key activities and areas of knowledge required of 21st Century space professionals, particularly in the areas of space science and exploration, space applications and services, human spaceflight and life sciences, space systems engineering and technologies, space policy and economics, space business and project management, and space law and regulatory issues. It is designed for professionals in industry, government and defense, graduate researchers, and undergraduate students in the final two years of their studies. Program Director Omar Hatamleh is the new Executive Director of SSP at ISU in Strasbourg, France and former Chief Innovation Officer, Engineering at NASA Johnson Space Center. Co Director Graziella Caprarelli is an Associate Professor in Space Science at UniSA. Public events include the International Astronaut Event, a talk and audience Q&A session by Soyeon Yi, South Korea’s first astronaut, with a focus on human factors invovled in spaceflight as humans prepare for longer duration interplanetary travel. (Image Credit: ISU, UniSA)

Jan 9 – Feb 10 — International Space University, Adelaide, Australia: 2017 Southern Hemisphere Space Studies Program; at Mawson Lakes Campus, University of South Australia.

Jan 9 — Moon: 0.4° N of Aldebaran, 04:07; at perigee (distance 363,242 km), 20:07.

Continued from…

NET Jan – Nov — ExoMars 2016 Orbiter, Mars Orbit: ESA Trace Gas Orbiter scheduled to enter Aerobraking phase from Jan-Nov to enter 400-km orbit; set to adjust orbit inclination to 74° on Jan 17.

NET Jan — Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation (HI-SEAS), 2,500-meter Elevation, Mauna Loa HI: HI-SEAS 5 six-member ‘Lavanaut’ crew to begin 8-month space mission simulation.

NET Jan 8 — SpaceX, Launch Falcon 9 / EchoStar 23, Cape Canaveral AFS FL: SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket to launch EchoStar 23 communications satellite for EchoStar Corp to provide direct-to-home television broadcast services over Brazil.

Jan 8-27 — National Autonomous University of Mexico, Puebla, Mexico: Latin American School of Astronomical Observations.


Jan 10 — JAXA, Launch SS-520-4 / TRICOM 1, Uchinoura Space Center, Japan: Japan’s SS-520-4 rocket, a modified sounding rocket with an added third stage, will launch on an experimental demonstration flight with the TRICOM 1 spacecraft, a 3U CubeSat with a store and forward communications system and an imaging camera.

Jan 10 — Lunar and Planetary Institute, Universities Space Research Association, NASA, Online / The Woodlands TX: Abstracts Due: 48th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference (LPSC); to be held Mar 20-24.

Jan 10 — SETI Institute, Mountain View CA: Weekly Colloquium: The Late Veneer and Earth’s Habitability; Norm Sleep, Professor of Geophysics at Stanford University, 12:00.

Jan 10-11 — National Space Society, Santa Monica CA: Space Settlement Summit; to bring together leading people, companies, organizations that are making space settlement a reality; participation is by invitation only.


Jan 11-12 — International Space Science Institute, Beijing, China: Lunar and Planetary Seismology meeting.

Jan 11-13 — NASA Small Bodies Assessment Group, Tucson AZ: 16th Meeting of the NASA Small Bodies Assessment Group (SBAG).

Jan 11-13 — Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute (SSERVI), Institute for Modeling Plasma, Atmospheres, and Cosmic Dust (IMPACT), Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP), University of Colorado, Boulder CO: Dust, Atmosphere and Plasma environment of the Moon and Small Bodies (DAP-2017) workshop.

Jan 11-13 — Earth Life Science Institute, Tokyo, Japan: ELSI 5th International Symposium & Young Researchers Day.

Jan 11 — Apollo Asteroid 2017 AF3: Near-Earth Flyby (0.039 AU).


Jan 12 — University of California – Riverside, Riverside CA: Lecture: Alternate Earths – How Earth’s Past Guides NASA’s Search for Life; Tim Lyons, Professor of Biogeochemistry and Director, Alternative Earths Astrobiology Center, UC Riverside.

Jan 12, 13 — JPL/Caltech, NASA, Pasadena CA: von Kármán Lecture Series 2017: Lecture: Exoplanets – The Quest for Strange New Worlds; Eric Mamajek, Deputy Program Chief Scientist, NASA Exoplanet Exploration Program, JPL.

Jan 12 — Moon: Full (Wolf / Old Moon), 20:07.


Jan 13 — ISS, Expedition 50 U.S. EVA 39, LEO: Commander Shane Kimbrough and crewmate Thomas Pesquet to perform second of two scheduled Extravehicular Activities to perform battery installation (+4 Contingency EVAs), starts 05:30 EST lasting ~6.5 hours.

Jan 13 — Chang’e-5T1 Service Module, Lunar Orbit: China module collecting data on Lunar surface for future Moon missions begins 3rd year in Lunar orbit today; launched Oct 2014, reached Moon Jan 2015.

Jan 13 — Royal Astronomical Society, London, United Kingdom: Meeting: The Ultra-low Surface Brightness Universe.

Jan 13 — Peninsula Astronomical Society, Foothill College, Los Altos Hills CA: How to Observe the Great American Solar Eclipse; Rob Hawley of PAS and Fremont Peak Observatory.

Jan 13 — NASA Astrobiology Institute, Online / Mountain View CA: Webinar: Paleo-Rock-Hosted Life Biosignature Detection and Characterization.

Jan 13 — Moon: 3.9° S of Beehive Cluster, 03:59.

Jan 13 — Apollo Asteroid 2013 AS76: Near-Earth Flyby (0.086 AU).


Jan 14-18 — Obergurgl University, Obergurgl, Austria: Conference: Dawn of Galaxies.

Jan 14 — Moon: 0.9° S of Regulus, 18:07.

Jan 14 — Apollo Asteroid 438955 (2010 LN14): Near-Earth Flyby (0.060 AU).

Jan 14 — Apollo Asteroid 2017 AY3: Near-Earth Flyby (0.075 AU).


Jan 15-18 — Pacific Telecommunications Council, Honolulu HI: PTC (Pacific Telecommunications Council) 2017: Changing Realities.

Jan 15 — Apollo Asteroid 265482 (2005 EE): Near-Earth Flyby (0.068 AU).