July 18-24, 2016 / Vol 35, No 29 / Hawai`i Island, USA

Reclaiming Human Presence on Moon; The Greatest Advance in USA / Human History

Calendar feature -Spaceweek USA 2017

Human missions to the Moon for a sustainable, international and commercial presence on our closest celestial neighbor should be of high priority for the new 2017 USA administration. The technology and resources to achieve a permanently crewed lunar research station exist today. The justifications are valid, from science and education to innovation and economics, to the very survival of our civilization. Various experts have consistently projected that 2-4 astronauts could be on the Moon’s surface within 5-7 years for about US$10B. Spaceweek 2016 marks 47th observation of Apollo 11 and 1st Humans on Moon, as well as 40th observation of Viking 1 and 1st robotic landing on another planet. NASA Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute at Ames Research Center in Moffett Field CA is hosting the 3rd International Conference on the Exploration of Phobos and Deimos July 18-19 and the 8th Lunar & Small Bodies Graduate Conference Jul 19 ahead of the Exploration Science Forum (ESF 2016) Jul 20-22. Another ESF-adjacent event is the Lunar Commercialization Workshop (Moon Village) at Rainbow Mansion in Cupertino Jul 19. WayPaver Foundation is launching their 2017 granting program to foster sustainable Lunar Development at an event in nearby Palo Alto Jul 20. Kennedy Space Center Apollo 11 Anniversary Gala on Jul 23 features legendary Moon-walker Buzz Aldrin and other special guests. (Image Credit: NASA)


Jul 18 — ISS, LEO: Expedition 48 six-member crew scheduled to facilitate docking of 2 cargo ships, transfer cargo & take inventory, Astronaut Takuya Onishi working with JAXA on Tanabata ‘Star Festival’ Redesign Project, Kate Rubins to perform DNA sequencing of genes; researchers developing radio monitor to track thousands of radio-equipped animals in real time from ISS in 2017.

 Jul 18 — Astrosat, 650-km Equatorial LEO: India 5-instrument multi-wavelength observatory studying X-ray binaries, Milky Way center in visible (320–550 nanometer), near UV (200–300 nm), far UV (130–180 nm), soft X-ray (0.3–8 keV & 2–10 keV), hard X-ray (3–80 keV & 10–150 keV); 10 out 14 orbits per day are visible to ground station in Bengaluru allowing for full data download.

 Jul 18 — Cassini, Saturn Orbit: Traveling at ~35,400 kph relative to Saturn in a period of 23.9 days inclined 43° from planet’s equatorial plane, recent telemetry data downlinked & captured at rates up to 124,426 bits per second; Titan Winged Aerobot drone in early-stages of technology study; Saturn comprises 21% of Solar System planetary mass.

Jul 18 — SpaceX, Launch Falcon 9 / Dragon CRS 9, Cape Canaveral AFS FL: Falcon 9 rocket to launch 11th Dragon spacecraft on 9th operational cargo delivery mission to ISS 00:45 EDT; carrying JAXA animal experiments & IDA-2 docking adapter; rendezvous planned for Jul 20, will attempt to land 1st-stage at Cape Canaveral Landing Zone 1, second 1st-stage landing attempted on solid ground.

Jul 18 — Moon Express, Moffett Field CA: NewSpace company investing ~US$2M to upgrade KSC facilities to support low-altitude lander flight tests, expanding to Launch Complexes 17 & 18 (already operating at Complex 36), testing MX-1E micro-lander; FAA Lunar Mission Approval still pending.

 Jul 18 — Goonhilly Earth Station Ltd, Cornwall, United Kingdom: Partnering with Surrey Satellite Technology to build Lunar Pathfinder craft with payload capacity of 80 kg to carry customer CubeSats to Lunar orbit and set up relay link back to Earth via Goonhilly radiocommunication station; founder Ian Jones.

JULY - SEPT 2016 = 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 (WNW), Venus (WNW), Mars (SW), Jupiter (W), Saturn (S); Morning Planets: Uranus (SE), Neptune (S).

Jupiter, Saturn, Solar System Complete: Human Exploration Missions in the 21st Century


Robotic exploration, research and preparation are necessary steps for exploring a celestial body, but the greatest progress and most exciting opportunities are led by Human missions with in-situ critical thinking, flexibility and problem-solving abilities. The technologies and engineering crucial to successful and safe crewed missions beyond the Inner Solar System / Main Asteroid Belt (2.2-3.2 AU) will rocket humans toward 21st Century scientific and social achievements on Earth and Beyond. Many international space programs are focusing on Mars (1.38 AU) for the 2030s, perhaps with Lunar missions and outposts in the 2020s. More catalytic might be a prioritized path to Jupiter (5.2 AU) around the 2040s, Saturn (9.6 AU) and the Kuiper Belt (30-50 AU) before the end of this Century. Jupiter constitutes more than 70% of the SS planetary mass and is orbited by moon Io, the most geologically active object in the SS (400 active volcanoes). Europa, Ganymede, Callisto, Enceladus and Titan are teeming with potential for unique chemistry and insights into SS and biological evolution. Callisto is one of the oldest and most heavily cratered surfaces in the SS, tidally locked and orbits outside of Jupiter’s main radiation belt (~1,883,000 km). Nine missions are contributing to the data for Jupiter, 4 for Saturn, 2 for interstellar space, and only 1 for Uranus, Neptune, Pluto and Kuiper Belt. Two additional missions JUICE and Europa Clipper are planning to launch in 2022 with possible nanosats / impactors / landers. (Image Credit: NASA, JPL, Caltech, SSI, J. Major, University of Arizona, kosmoved.ru, Kapteyn Astronomical Institute, Westerkamp & Loenen, Tim Trott)

Jul 18 — Breakthrough Initiatives, International Locations: Breakthrough Starshot US$100M project developing micro-memory chip sized craft with sensors, data transmission laser & camera to fly to Alpha Centauri at 20% of the speed of light (215M kph); Breakthrough Listen $100M project aims to identify ET communications; founded by Yuri Milner & Stephen Hawking.

Jul 18-19 — SSERVI, NASA, SETI Institute, Mars Institute, Moffett Field CA: 3rd International Conference on the Exploration of Phobos and Deimos: The Science, Robotic Reconnaissance, and Human Exploration of the Two Moons of Mars.

Jul 18-21— Republican National Convention, Cleveland OH: 2016 Republican National Convention will feature a speech Jul 20 from NASA Astronaut Eileen Collins, the 1st woman to command a space shuttle mission.

Jul 18-22 — NASA Exoplanet Science Institute, Caltech, JPL, Pasadena CA: 2016 Sagan Exoplanet Summer Workshop: Looking for Planets in Astronomical Data; in Beckman Institute Auditorium.

Jul 18-22 — Institute of Space Sciences and Astronomy – University of Malta, Malta: Conference: Signals from the Deep Past – Unveiling Early Cosmic Structures.

Jul 18-22 — Italy National Institute for Astrophysics, Sexten, Italy: Conference: Industrial Revolution in Galactic Astronomy.

Jul 18-22 — Centre for Extragalactic Theory, Kruger Park, South Africa: Workshop: Massive Beasts of the Cosmos; at Protea Hotel Kruger Gate.

Jul 18-22 — International Astronomical Union, Cairns, Australia: IAUS 322: The Multi-Messenger Astrophysics of the Galactic Centre; Conference: Diving into the Dark – Bridging Cosmological Theory & Observation.

Jul 18 — Moon: 3.0° N of Pluto, 16:00.

Jul 18 — Amor Asteroid 2016 MK: Near-Earth flyby (0.044 AU).

Continued from…

Jun 17 – Aug 15 — Canadian Space Agency, Longueuil, Quebec, Canada: 4th Astronaut recruitment campaign for CSA; expects to announce selected candidates in Summer 2017.

Jun 27 – Aug 5 — Mavericks Lab, NASA, SETI, Moffett Field CA: Mavericks Lab Applied Research Accelerator: Asteroid Grand Challenge.

Jul 12-19 — NASA, Kilauea Volcano & Mauna Loa HI: 2016 NASA Planetary Volcanology Workshop; to study volcanic features analogous to those on Mars recently imaged by Mars orbiters, landers, instruments.

Jul 12 – Sep 1 — International Space University, Technion Institute, Israel Space Agency, Haifa, Israel: ISU 29th Space Studies Program (SSP 2016).

Jul 17-27 — Institute of Astrophysics and Space Sciences (IA), University of Porto, Azores Islands, Portugal: 4th Azores International Advanced School: Asteroseismology and Exoplanets – Listening to the Stars and Searching for New Worlds.


Jul 19 — ISS, Progress 64P (MS-03) Docking, LEO: Russia Progress 64P resupply ship set to arrive at ISS 00:22 UT, live coverage available.

Jul 19 — Ames Research Center, NASA, Moffett Field CA: 8th Annual Lunar and Small Bodies Graduate Conference (LunGradCon 2016); held in conjunction with NASA Exploration Science Forum at NASA Ames.

Jul 19 — Members of International Lunar Exploration Working Group, Deep Space Industries, Stanford Sustainable Banking Initiative, Cupertino CA: Lunar Commercialization Workshop (Moon Village); at Rainbow Mansion.

Jul 19 — SETI Institute, Mountain View CA: SETI Institute Weekly Colloquium: Exoplanets: Under a Microscope, and Through a Wide-field Lens; Sarah Ballard from MIT, 12:00.

Jul 19, 20 — Langley Research Center, NASA, Hampton VA: Viking 40th anniversary media events: Viking 1 history discussion 14:00 EDT Jul 19 (live coverage available), and Viking Symposium “NASA’s First Soft Landing to Humans on Mars” with 20 speakers including Andy Weir & Steve Jurczyk, 08:00-17:00 Jul 20 at Langley.

Jul 19 — Moon: Full (Buck / Thunder Moon), 12:57.


 Jul 20 — ISS, Dragon CRS 9 Rendezvous & Docking, LEO: SpaceX Dragon spacecraft to arrive at ISS at 11:00 UT, live coverage available.

Jul 20 — Apollo 11 47th Observation, Nationwide USA / Global: First Human mission to land on Moon in 1969; 1st steps by humans on another world taken by Commander Neil Armstrong and Lunar Module Pilot Buzz Aldrin.

Jul 20 — Viking 1 Mars Lander 40th Observation, Nationwide USA / Global: First spacecraft to successfully land on another planet; originally scheduled for July 4, landing was delayed until this day in 1976 due to rough landing site.

Jul 20 — WayPaver Foundation, Online / Palo Alto CA: WayPaver Foundation livestream announcement 09:45 PDT; grant program supports technologies to improve life on Earth and enable ultimate goal of sustainable Lunar Settlement.

Jul 20-22 — Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute (SSERVI), NASA, Moffett Field CA: 3rd Exploration Science Forum (ESF 2016); at Ames Research Center.

Jul 20-24 — Paris Institute of Astrophysics (IAP), Paris, France: Conference: Cosmic Dawn of Galaxy Formation – Linking Observations and Theory with New-Generation Spectral Models.

Jul 20 — Amor Asteroid 2016 NS: Near-Earth flyby (0.022 AU).


Jul 21 — Canadian Space Commerce Association, Toronto, Ontario, Canada: CSCA Bi-monthly Meeting; Postponed to Jul 28.

Jul 21-23 — British Interplanetary Society, Reaction Engines, Commercial Technologies, Airborne Engineering, Surrey Satellite Technology, Godalming, United Kingdom: British Interplanetary Society Conference; with more than 30 speakers including Richard Varvill, Mark Sims, Ian Wright, Kelvin Long.

Jul 21 — Aten Asteroid 2014 BT8: Near-Earth flyby (0.048 AU).


Jul 22 — Cassini OTM-454, Saturn Orbit: Spacecraft conducts Orbital Trim Maneuver #454 today.

Jul 22 — Technion Israel Institute of Technology, International Space University, SpaceUp, Haifa, Israel: SpaceUp Haifa; space unconference, where participants decide the topics, schedule, and structure of the event; held during ISU SSP 2016.

Jul 22 — The Space Show, Online / Tiburon CA: Dr. David Livingston talks with Richard Rocket of NewSpace Global.

Jul 22 — ESA, CNES, Institute of Research in Astrophysics and Planetology (IRAP), Online / Toulouse, France: Abstracts Due: Symposium: Comets 2016 – A new vision after Rosetta/Philae; to be held on Nov 14-18.

Jul 22-24 — Institute for Modeling Plasma, Atmospheres and Cosmic Dust, Boulder CO: 2016 Dusty Visions Workshop; focusing on current and future cosmic dust research.

Jul 22 — Moon: 1.0° NNW of Neptune, 19:00.

Jul 22 — Amor Asteroid 154244 (2002 KL6): Near-Earth flyby (0.068 AU).


Jul 23 — Kennedy Space Center, NASA, KSC FL: Apollo 11 Anniversary Gala; featuring Buzz Aldrin, George Takei, Nichelle Nichols.

Jul 23 — Apollo Asteroid 2016 LY48: Near-Earth flyby (0.072 AU).


Jul 24-30 — Institute of Astronomy at University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom: Meeting: Binary Stars @ Cambridge.

Jul 24-30 — Sichuan University Center for Theoretical Physics, Chengdu, China: School and Workshop on String Phenomenology and String Cosmology 2016.