March 10-16, 2014 / Vol 33, No 10 / Hawai`i Island, USA

SpaceX to Launch Dragon to ISS, Deploy Satellites, Test Falcon 9 Landing Legs

SpaceX CRS3Space Exploration Technologies Corporation (SpaceX) is set to launch its Dragon spacecraft on the 3rd ISS cargo delivery mission (CRS 3) aboard the upgraded Falcon 9 v1.1 rocket on March 16 at 04:41 EDT from Cape Canaveral Space Launch Complex 40. Working toward full reusability, CEO Elon Musk announced that this launch will test 4 landing legs attached to the first stage. After separation from the second stage and payload, 3 engines in first stage will relight for a supersonic retropropulsion burn during reentry. Then it will perform a landing burn to stabilize and decelerate the stage over the ocean and ~10 seconds later deploy the landing legs. There is a 30-40% chance of recovering the first stage. The Dragon spacecraft is expected to reach ISS on Mar 18. It will deliver 2,254 kg of cargo, an Extravehicular Mobility Unit (spacesuit) and the OPALS system for JPL, Caltech/NASA which will perform 100-second laser communications between LEO and Optical Communications Telescope Laboratory in Wrightwood CA. The launch will also deploy 5 CubeSats including the KickSat CubeSat which will further deploy 250 picosatellites. SpaceX is set to launch at least 2 additional Dragon CRS missions this year, and continues upgrading Dragon to carry humans into space – first piloted test flight expected before the end of 2015. (Image Credit: SpaceX, E. Musk, M. Johnson/Wonderful Machine, B. Bishop, NASA/JPL/Caltech)

2014 CSCA National Conference in Toronto

Calendar feature - CSCA 2014The Canadian Space Commerce Association hosts its National Conference ‘New Manufacturing for NewSpace,’ on March 13 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. This full-day business forum focuses on technologies, opportunities and funding methodologies in the area of Space manufacturing, i.e. the production of manufactured goods in an environment outside a planetary atmosphere. There are potential advantages of the micro-gravity and vacuum environment that allow industrial processes not easily reproduced on Earth. New leading-edge techniques are developing in Canada with computer-aided design, solid free form fabrication (incld. 3D printing), selective laser sintering and more, which promise to revolutionize space exploration and enterprise. Confirmed speakers include Lou van Amelsvoort – president of Space 1 Systems Inc and formerly of Canadian Arrow, Mark Barfoot – managing Director of Hyphen Services and key member of the Additive Manufacturing Users Group, Dr. Yaroslav Pustovyi – backup payload specialist for STS-87 and Peter Visscher – the space and robotics manager for Ontario Drive and Gear developer of Artemis Jr. lunar rover. The 140 companies and organizations listed in the Canadian Space Directory generated over US$3B in revenues and employed over 8,000 Canadians in 2010. Over the last five years, total revenues generated by the Canadian space sector have increased by 38%. One of the latest entities to emerge is Canadensys Aerospace Corporation led by well-known space industry veteran Chris Sallaberger. Canada can and should be a leader in the next wave of commercial space exploration and enterprise, expanding human civilization to the Moon. (Image Credit: CSCA)

MAR-MAY = 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: Mars (S), Jupiter (E), Saturn (S); Morning Planets: Mercury (ESE) Venus (SE).


Mar 10 — ISS, Undocking of Soyuz TMA-10M, LEO: Expedition 37/38 members Kotov, Ryazansky, Hopkins scheduled to return to Earth; hatch closure 20:40 UT, undocking 00:02 Mar 11, landing in Kazakhstan 03:26 Mar 11, live coverage available.

Mar 10 — ISS, LEO: Expedition 39 with Koichi Wakata as 1st Japan ISS Commander working on Fluid Physics Experiment Facility for Marangoni convection experiment, downloading data from Seismoprognoz earthquake-monitoring experiment.

Mar 10 — Chandra X-ray Observatory, HEO: Observations being paired with XMM-Newton data to provide direct measurement of spin rate of black hole 6B light years from Earth.

Mar 10 — Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, Moon Orbit: Collecting data with 7 instruments while in 30 x 200-km orbit with periapsis over Moon South Pole; next data release set for Mar 15; continuing to image Chang’e-3 Lander & Yutu Rover.

Mar 10 — Cassini OTM-374, Saturn Orbit: Spacecraft conducts Orbital Trim Maneuver #374 today.

Mar 10 Golden Spike Company, Boulder CO: NewSpace company in engineering and development phase, plans to start selling expeditions by 2016, complete flight tests for Human Moon missions by 2020.

Mar 10 Terminal Velocity Aerospace, LLC, Atlanta GA: Developing small payload return capsule prototype under NASA Space Technology Mission Directorate contract to demonstrate communications technologies, parachute recovery system.

Mar 10 — Mars One, The Hague, The Netherlands: Partnering with Uwingu to generate funding for Mars missions through public naming of 500,000 craters on Mars; all company missions will use Uwingu’s Mars maps.

Mar 10 — National Air and Space Museum, Washington DC: Space Policy and History Forum; featuring Anatoly Zak & his book Russia in Space, 16:00 – 17:30 EDT.

Mar 10 — Australia Telescope National Facility, CSIRO, Sydney, Australia: Colloquium: Mapping the Structure of the Galactic Magnetic Field with Planck; presented by Marta Alves.

Mar 10-13 — SES, Thales Alenia Space, Eutelsat America, Hughes, et al, Washington DC: Satellite 2014 Conference; at Walter E. Washington Convention Center.

Mar 10-14 — European Southern Observatory, RadioNet, Garching, Germany: Conference: Gas and Stars in Galaxies – A Multi-Wavelength 3D Perspective (3D2014).

Mar 10-14 — Pontifical Catholic University of Valparaíso, Chile National Commission for Scientific and Technological Research, et al, Valparaíso, Chile: Meeting on the Horizon; at Pontifical Catholic University.

Mar 10 — Moon: 5.1° S of Jupiter, 00:00.

Continued from…

Jan 15 – Sep 30 — The Planetary Society, Goddard Space Flight Center, NASA, Online / Pasadena CA: Submit your name to be sent to asteroid 101955 Bennu in 2016.

Jan 16 – Mar 17 — Goddard Space Flight Center, NASA, Online / Greenbelt MD: Lunar Cargo Transportation and Landing by Soft Touchdown (Lunar CATALYST) initiative; seeking proposals from U.S. private sector that would lead to 1 or more no-funds exchanged Space Act Agreements.


Mar 11 — SETI Institute, Mountain View CA: SETI Talks: Pardon our Dust: Infrared Spectroscopy and Interstellar Dust; presented by Jean Chiar of SETI, 12:00 PDT.

Mar 11-13 — Kennedy Space Center, NASA, KSC FL: Course: Planetary Protection – Policies and Practices.

Mar 11-13 — Dubai World Trade Centre, Viacom International Media Networks, et al, Dubai, United Arab Emirates: CABSAT 2014 Conference.

Mar 11 — Moon: 11.8° S of Pollux, 03:00; at apogee (distance 404,940 km), 10:00.

Mar 11 — Asteroid 275677 (2000 RS11): Near-Earth flyby (0.035 AU).


Mar 12 — AIAA, Washington DC: Congressional Visits Day 2014; to meet with national decision makers to discuss critical industry issues in civil astronautics & aeronautics, defense.

Mar 12 — Space Florida, SpaceX, Boeing Company, ULA, Lockheed Martin, et al, Tallahassee FL: Florida Space Day 2014; to educate Florida legislators on significance of aerospace industry, impact on Florida economy.

Mar 12 — NASA HQ, Washington DC: NASA Advisory Council Science Committee – Planetary Science Subcommittee Meeting.

Mar 12 — Moon: 6.4° SSW of Beehive Cluster, 08:00.

Mar 12 — Asteroid 2014 DJ23: Near-Earth flyby (0.042 AU).


Mar 13 — ISS Altitude Reboost, LEO: Scheduled firing of Progress engine to reboost ISS altitude by 1.5 km for arrival of Soyuz TMA-12M and 3-member crew; 218-second engine burn will begin 03:54 UT.

Mar 13 — ISS, LEO: ISS Expedition 39 In-Flight Event for JAXA, 10:15 UT; In-Flight Event with U.S. Senate Youth Group and NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden, 14:00; live coverage available.

Mar 13 — Canadian Space Commerce Association, Toronto, Ontario, Canada: 2014 CSCA National Conference: New Manufacturing for NewSpace; at Hyatt Regency Toronto.

Mar 13, 14 — Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Caltech/NASA, Pasadena CA: Lecture Series: The Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 and ISS-RapidScat; presented by Dr. David Crisp.

Mar 13-14 — Applied Technology Institute, Columbia MD: Spacecraft Reliability, Quality Assurance, Integration and Testing course; instructor Eric Hoffman, US$1,140.

Mar 13 — Asteroid 2014 CU13: Near-Earth flyby (0.022 AU).


Mar 14 — Yutu Rover, Sinus Iridum / Mare Imbrium, 44.12°N 19.51°W, Moon Surface: Rover reaches 3 months on Moon; may exceed 3-month operational lifetime and continue operations; Chang’e-3 Lander expected to continue past 1 full year.

Mar 14 — ISS, Johnson Space Center, NASA, National Geographic, LEO / Television Broadcast: ‘Live from Space’ two-hour television event from ISS & Mission Control in Houston TX; Astronauts Mastracchio & Wakata give ISS tour, conduct experiments in microgravity.

Mar 14 — Royal Astronomical Society, London, United Kingdom: Royal Astronomical Society Ordinary Meeting; at Burlington House.

Mar 14 — NASA HQ, Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute, Online / Washington DC: Asteroid Grand Challenge: Virtual Seminar Series; Paul Chodas speaks on NEA discovery, orbit calculation and impact probability assessment, 11:00 EDT.

Mar 14 — Space Center Houston, Houston TX: Lunch with an Astronaut, Brian Duffy; US$49.95 adult.

Mar 14-16 — Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, NASA, Titusville FL: Robot Rocket Rally; festival celebrating the latest in robotic technology from NASA, industry leaders, universities.

Mar 14 — Moon: 4.9° SSW of Regulus, 05:00.

Mar 14 — Asteroid 2014 DU22: Near-Earth flyby (0.019 AU).


Mar 15 — RSA, Launch Proton / Express AT1 & AT2, Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan: Proton rocket to deploy Express AT1 & AT2 communications satellites for Russian Satellite Communications Co.

Mar 15 — Asteroid 2014 DM23: Near-Earth flyby (0.080 AU).


Mar 16 — SpaceX, Launch Falcon 9 / CRS 3, Cape Canaveral AFS FL: SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket set to launch 5th Dragon spacecraft on 3rd operational cargo delivery mission to ISS, will deliver Optical PAyload for Lasercomm Science (OPALS), deploy 5 CubeSats; 04:41 EDT, live coverage available; backup date for launch Mar 17.

Mar 16 — The Select Investor, Houston TX: 1st International Workshop on Scientific Opportunities in Cislunar Space (SOCS): Lunar Science Illuminating the Universe; held in conjunction with 45th (LPSC).

Mar 16 — University of Texas Institute of Geophysics, The Woodlands TX: SHARAD/MARSIS Data Users’ Workshop: Mars Geology – The 3rd Dimension.

Mar 16 — The Space Show, Online / Tiburon CA: Host Dr. David Livingston talks with Dr. Doug Plata about Cis-Lunar One concept.

Mar 16-22 — Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Sheffield Space Systems, Ein Bokek, Israel: Meeting: Dynamical Processes in Space Plasmas.

Mar 16 — Moon: Full (Worm Moon), 07:10.