June 23-29, 2014 / Vol 33, No 25 / Hawai`i Island, USA

Russia Space Launch and Spaceflight Innovations

Calendar feature - russia launch 2014The Angara series of Russia rocket boosters, named after a Siberian river, is scheduled to attempt its maiden flight on June 27 from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in Mirny, Arkhangelsk Oblast, about 800 km north of Moscow. The Angara 1.2PP is set to launch on a suborbital demonstration flight to prove that this new generation of modular carrier rockets with economical and environmentally-friendly oxygen-kerosene engines is suitable for operational flights. The rocket family includes light, medium and heavy configurations capable of lifting payloads of 3.8 to 35 metric tons to low Earth orbit. The lead developer and manufacturer is Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center. The tried-and-true Soyuz rocket is set to launch the Meteor M2 satellite and several secondary payloads, including SkySat 2 for Skybox Imaging, from Baikonur Cosmodrome on July 8. Russia is currently working on plans with space tourism firm Space Adventures, to modify a Soyuz capsule for trips around the far side of the Moon and back to Earth. Tom Shelley, president of Space Adventures, says two independent customers have already paid deposits on the ~US$150M tickets for the 2 available passenger seats on the first mission NET 2017. (Image Credit: RSA, Space Adventures, Krasnaya Zvezda / RussianSpaceWeb.com)

Wallops Flight Facility and MARS Advancing Commercial, Educational Spaceflight

RockOn2014Launching June 26, two-stage Terrier-Orion sounding rockets built by three-person teams will attempt to reach Space from the NASA Wallops Flight Facility (WFF) in Virginia. Supported by the Virginia and Colorado Space Grant Consortia, the 2014 RockOn! Workshop is joined by more than 65 students and educators from around the country. The experiment payload is built from a hardware kit which may be used on future RocketSats and possibly CubeSat missions. It will measure acceleration, spin rate, radiation, humidity, pressure and temperature during its suborbital flight to ~117 km. WFF and the commercial Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS), launch site for the LADEE Moon Mission and Orbital Sciences Corp’s ISS Cygnus cargo freighters, offer ideal access to LEO including polar and sun-synchronous orbits. Located on the Eastern Shore of the USA at 37.94°N latitude, WFF has relatively population-free flight trajectories, but cannot compare to the safer and more cost-effective flights which could be offered by an off-shore Hawai`i Sea Launching enterprise operating at an equatorial site in the Pacific Ocean. WFF mobile range instrumentation (telemetry, radar, command and power systems) have been used to support rocket launches from locations in the Antarctic, Arctic, South America, Africa, Europe, Australia and at sea. (Image Credit: NASA, WFF, VSGC, CSGC, J. Houck)

JUN-AUG = 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), Mars (SW), Jupiter (WNW), Saturn (S); Morning Planets: Venus (E).


Jun 23 — ISS, LEO: Expedition 40 six-member crew continuing to transfer waste to Progress 55P, working with SPHERES-Slosh experiment & FASES (Fundamental and Applied Studies of Emulsion Stability) hardware.

Jun 23 — Hubble Space Telescope, LEO: Will scan sky in direction of constellation Sagittarius (toward Center of Milky Way) to try to identify Kuiper Belt Object for New Horizons to visit after its Pluto flyby July 2015.

 Jun 23 — MESSENGER, Mercury Orbit: First observation of hot flow anomaly (HFA) at Mercury revealed by spacecraft data, adds to knowledge of HFA size & space weather events.

 Jun 23 — Astrobotic Technology Inc., Pittsburgh PA: NewSpace company proposing to carry at least 4 other GLXP teams to Moon surface with its Griffin Lander & Red Rover mission to simultaneously start 500-meter race.

 Jun 23 — Copenhagen Suborbitals, Copenhagen, Denmark: Changing location for the LOX pressure sensor on HEAT 2X rocket engine & adding more; examining burst disk from latest test.

 Jun 23 — World View Enterprises Inc., Tucson AZ: Partnered with Paragon Space Development Corp., developing capsule & balloon technology to carry humans to ~30-km altitude starting 2016; landing may be as far as 482 km from launch site.

 Jun 23 — Australia Telescope National Facility, CSIRO, Sydney, AustraliaColloquium: The Fueling of Black Holes in Galaxies from Cosmic Noon Till Dusk; presented by Stephanie Juneau.

Jun 23-26 — U.S. DoD, DoE, FAA, NASA, Boeing Co., ATK, et al, Huntsville AL: 2014 National Space and Missile Materials Symposium (NSMMS) & Commercial and Government Responsive Access to Space Technology Exchange (CRASTE).

Jun 23-26 — Royal Astronomical Society, University of Portsmouth Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation, London, United Kingdom: RAS National Astronomy Meeting.

Jun 23-26 — Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore MD: Science Results from Pan-STARRS1.

Jun 23-27 — NASA Astrobiology Institute, Spanish National University (UIMP), ESA, Santander, Spain: 2014 Santander Summer School: Habitable Environments in the Universe.

Jun 23-27 — International Astronomical Union, University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland: IAU Symposium: New Windows on Massive Stars – Asteroseismology, Interferometry and Spectropolarimetry.

Continued from…

Mar 28 – Jul 28 — NASA, University of Hawaii, Mauna Loa HI: Hawai‘i Space Exploration Analog and Simulation (HI-SEAS) Mission 2; six-member crew live in habitat on slopes of Mauna Loa at 2,500-meter elevation to simulate long-duration Mars mission.

Jun 18 – Jul 11 — Venus Express, Venus Orbit: ESA spacecraft to perform “experimental aerobraking” maneuvers to reach ~130-km altitude; if survives this phase, will raise orbit for few months before making final plunge into atmosphere.

Jun 21-26 — Virginia Space Grant Consortium, Wallops Flight Facility, NASA, Colorado Space Grant Consortium, Wallops Island VA: RockOn! 2014: The Next How-To Workshop.

Jun 22-27 — International Association for Probabilistic Safety Assessment and Management, Honolulu HI: Probabilistic Safety Assessment & Management Conference (PSAM 12); at Sheraton Waikiki.


Jun 24 — SETI Institute, Mountain View CA: SETI Weekly Colloquium: Red Dragon: Low Cost Access to the Surface of Mars using Commercial Capabilities; presented by Larry Lemke from Ames Research Center, 12:00 PDT.

Jun 24-27 — France National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS), Montpellier II University of Science and Technology, Montpellier, France: Conference: Cosmic Rays and their Interstellar Environment (CRISM 2014).

Jun 24 — Moon: 6.9° S of Pleiades, 01:00; 1.3° S of Venus, 03:00; 2.2° NNW of Aldebaran, 19:00.


Jun 25 — British Interplanetary Society, London, United Kingdom: Lecture: The Columbia Shuttle Rescue Plan; presented by David Baker.

Jun 25 — Asteroid 2007 WU3: Near-Earth flyby (0.095 AU).


Jun 26 — ISRO, Launch PSLV / Spot 7, Satish Dhawan Space Center, Sriharikota, India: India Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle flying on PSLV-C23 mission to launch Spot 7 remote sensing satellite for Astrium Services and other payloads.

Jun 26 — Library of Congress Science, Technology and Business Division, Washington DC: Saturn’s Moon Titan: A Future Abode for Life?; presented by Dr. Carrie Anderson.

Jun 26-29 — Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada: 54th General Assembly of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada.

Jun 26 — Moon: 0.27° N of Mercury, 02:00; New Moon, 22:09.

Jun 26 — Asteroid 2010 NY65: Near-Earth flyby (0.067 AU).


Jun 27 — RSA, Launch Angara-1.2PP, Plesetsk Cosmodrome, Russia: Angara rocket developed by Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center to launch on a suborbital test flight; will be maiden flight of Angara.

Jun 27 — Lunar and Planetary Institute, USRA, Houston TX: LPI Seminar Series: Deformation on Enceladus – Implications for Ice Shell Properties; presented by Amanda Nahm from University of Idaho.

Jun 27 — The Space Show, Tiburon CA / Online: Dr. David Livingston talks with Greg Cecil, former KSC employee who worked on Space Shuttle fleet.


Jun 28 — British Interplanetary Society, Liverpool, United Kingdom: British Interplanetary Society North Meeting: Perspectives on Space Enterprise; at World Museum.

Jun 28 — Space Tourism Society, Los Angeles CA: Seminar: Space Experience Economy (SEE); presented by STS founder / president John Spencer and other guests; US$175.

Jun 28 — Moon: 5.4° S of Jupiter, 15:00.

Jun 28 — Asteroid 1994 CJ1: Near-Earth flyby (0.091 AU).


Jun 29 — Moon: 6.2° SSW of Beehive, 14:00.

Jun 29 — Asteroid 2011 UZ255: Near-Earth flyby (0.079 AU).