March 13-19, 2017 / Vol 36, No 11 / Hawai`i Island, USA

2017 Disrupt Space Summit Fueling a Sustainable Space Economy

The 2017 Disrupt Space conference March 14-15 in Berlin, Germany will bring together space entrepreneurs, investors and executives to advance space technology for new applications, uses and markets. More than 300 attendees from 25 countries, 50 space startups and 35 speakers will participate in business meetings, keynotes, workshops and hands on activities. Featured speakers are (T-B) ESA Director General Johann-Dietrich Wörner, Space Angels Network CEO Chad Anderson, Earth2Orbit co-founder Amaresh Kollipara, Planet co-founder Robbie Schingler, Spaceflight Industries Director of Business Development Melissa Wuerl and co-founder Erika Ilves. Discussion areas cover commercial opportunities in space, launch services, space resources, corporate partnering, satellite constellations, and Earth observation. Five workshop topics focus on intellectual property, developing branding, and working with European Union start-up initiative, Airbus Ventures and Space Angels Network. Attending space startups include ispace which manages rovers for GLXP Team Hakuto; Space Nation aims to provide Astronaut training; O’Sol wants to develop autonomous deployable solar generators to rapidly build an electrical infrastructure on the Moon; and SEArch+ is working to develop human-supporting design concepts for living in and exploring space. (Image Credit: Disrupt Space, NASA, ESA, Planet, et al)


star-grey Mar 13 — ISS, 330-435-km LEO: Expedition 50 completing 2,490 kg cargo transfer from Dragon CRS-10, scheduled to facilitate craft’s release at end of week for return to Earth / landing in Pacific Ocean, preparing Stratospheric Aerosol & Gas Experiment III and Lightning Image Sensor for ISS external mounts, expecting Cygnus OA-7 arrival next Thursday.

star-grey Mar 13 — Tiangong-2, 393-km LEO: China second Space Lab to be visited by Tianzhou-1 uncrewed cargo craft next month and perform 3 automated rendezvous and docking tests over 2 month period, will spend another 3 months undocked and flying on its own.

 Mar 13 — Kepler / K2, Heliocentric Orbit: Observations of ultra-cool dwarf star, TRAPPIST-1 in constellation Aquarius (39 LY away), show 7 Earth-size planets that are likely rocky; astronomers working to refine measurements of 6 planets, determine orbital period / mass of 7th planet, magnetic activity of star TRAPPIST-1.

circle-full-grey Mar 13 — Blue Origin, Kent WA: NewSpace company founder Jeff Bezos announces first commercial customers – Eutelsat satellite launching on New Glenn rocket 2021 and OneWeb secures 5 launches; company working incrementally toward Moon South Pole, Human settlement, deep space missions.

 Mar 13 — Spire, Singapore, USA & Scotland: Building fleet of 50+ satellites to observe ¾ of Earth not covered by traditional remote sensing; named by Society of Satellite Professionals International as 1 of Rising 5 (NewSpace satellite enterprise that has made the most substantial progress over past year.)

 Mar 13 — zero2infinity S.L., Cerdanyola del Vallès, Spain: Working to qualify helium high-altitude Bloon for tourism by 2018, Bloostar / rockoon (sounding rocket carried by balloon) to launch nanosats to LEO, has conducted over 30 flights and 6 high-altitude tests to date; founder Jose Mariano López-Urdiales.

Mar 13 — Keck Institute for Space Studies, Caltech, JPL, Pasadena CA: Lecture: Hybrid Rocket Propulsion for a Low Temperature Mars Ascent Vehicle; Ashley C. Karp from JPL, 16:30.

= 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 (W), Venus (W), Mars (NW), Jupiter (E), Uranus (SW); Morning Planets: Saturn (SE).

Microsymposium 58 and 48th LPSC: Future, Present Solar System Science and Exploration

Microsymposium 58 is being held March 18-19 at Woodlands TX, preliminary to 48th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference (LPSC) on Mar 20-24. Co-sponsored by Brown University, Vernadsky Institute, Russia Space Research Institute (IKI), and SSERVI, Micro58 theme is Surface Exploration and Sample Return – A New Era in Planetary Sciences. The objectives are to define major science goals for the next half-century, chart exploration strategies, and discuss surface exploration, sample return, human exploration and outstanding scientific questions for Moon, Mars, Venus, Phobos, Deimos and asteroids. Co-conveners are James Head, Carle Pieters, Maria Zuber, Lev Zelenyi, Alexander Basilevsky, Harald Hiesinger and Long Xiao. Hosted by Lunar and Planetary Institute, USRI and NASA, LPSC 17,000 international attendees will highlight latest planetary science research and mission results. Eight sessions dedicated to lunar research are volcanism, magma ocean, regolith evolution, surface magnetization and  weathering, interior, petrology and geochemistry, impact cratering and crustal evolution. There are 13 Mars topics, and sessions on impacts, Ceres, Comet 67P, icy satellites, Venus, asteroids, meteorites and Mercury. Besides oral, poster and plenary sessions, peripheral team meetings, workshops, networking opportunities, and events for women in science and students are conducted. Every 10 years a Planetary Science Decadal Survey Briefing is held, the current survey is titled 2013–2022, Visions and Voyages for Planetary Science. (Image Credit: LPSC, NASA, SSERVI, Brown Univ., Vernadsky, MIT, et al)

Mar 13 — Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute (SSERVI), University of Central Florida, Online / Orlando FL: In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU): A Graduate Seminar.

Mar 13-16 — AASTMT University, URSI, IEEE, Port Said, Egypt: 34th National Radio Science Conference (NRSC2017).

Mar 13-17 — National Space Society, Washington DC: 2017 March Storm Washington DC Blitz; visits to Congress to voice support for a strong national space program.

Mar 13 — Apollo Asteroid 2017 EK: Near-Earth Flyby (0.013 AU).

Continued from…

Oct 15, 2016 – Sep 4 — Peabody Essex Museum, Salem MA: Lunar Attraction Exhibit; featuring 60 Apollo memorabilia, paintings, sculptures, photographs, books, movies, jewelry that illustrate our profound connection to the Moon.


NET Mar 14 — SpaceX, Launch Falcon 9 / EchoStar 23, LC-39A, Kennedy Space Center, Florida: SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket to launch EchoStar 23 communications satellite for EchoStar Corp to provide direct-to-home television broadcast services over Brazil.

Mar 14 — Cassini, Saturn Orbit: Epimetheus flyby scheduled at 38,000-km altitude, Pandora at 111,000 km.

Mar 14 — United Launch Alliance, Launch Delta 4 / WGS 9, Cape Canaveral AFS FL: ULA Delta 4 rocket to launch USAF ninth Wideband Global SATCOM spacecraft.

Mar 14 — NASA, Northrop Grumman Corporation, Space Telescope Science Institute, Austin TX: Panel: New Eyes on Our Home System: NASA’s Next Telescope; 12:30, during the South by Southwest (SXSW) Festival running Mar 10-19.

Mar 14 — SETI, Mountain View CA: Lecture: A Journey to Alpha Centauri; Christian Marois of University of Victoria, 12:00.

Mar 14 — Pi Day Org, Worldwide: Pi Day (3/14); celebrating STEM education with challenges and events, Greek letter “π” (Pi) is the symbol used in mathematics to represent a constant, the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter, approximately 3.14159.

Mar 14-15 — Airbus Ventures, Deutsche Ventures, Planet, European Commission, Catapult, Berlin, Germany: Disrupt Space Summit.

Mar 14-16 — Applied Technology Institute, Columbia MD: Space: Introduction; taught by Bruce A. Campbell, an Aerospace Engineering graduate of U.S. Naval Academy.

Mar 14-16 — Applied Technology Institute, Columbia MD: Satellite Laser Communications; taught by Dr. Hamid Hemmati, Director of Engineering for Telecom Infrastructure at Facebook Inc.

Mar 14 — Moon: 2.5° N of Jupiter, 10:04.

Mar 14 — Aten Asteroid 2005 ES70: Near-Earth Flyby (0.056 AU).


Mar 15 — JAXA, Launch H-2A / IGS Radar 5, Tanegashima Space Center, Japan: Japan H-2A rocket to launch Information Gathering Satellite with a radar reconnaissance payload for Japanese government.

Mar 15 — Foothill College, Los Altos Hills CA: Lecture: Is Anyone Out There Among the Stars: The Hundred-Million Dollar Breakthrough Listen Project; Dan Werthimer of UC Berkeley, 19:00.

Mar 15 — Australia Telescope National Facility, CSIRO, Sydney, Australia: Colloquium: Gas and Star Formation in Galaxies – The Role of Environment and (Almost) Dark Galaxies; Steven Janowiecki, University of Western Australia.

Mar 15-17 — University of St. Andrews, St. Andrews, United Kingdom: 4th UK Exoplanet Community Meeting.

Mar 15-18 — Astronomical Society of Japan, Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan: Astronomical Society of Japan – 2017 Spring Meeting.


Mar 16-24 — Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP), Asia Pacific Center for Theoretical Physics, INFN, Trieste, Italy: Spring School on Superstring Theory and Related Topics.

Mar 16 — Apollo Asteroid 1998 SL36: Near-Earth Flyby (0.021 AU).


Mar 17 — `Imiloa Astronomy Center, University of Hawai`i – Hilo, Hilo HI: Mauna Kea Skies Talk; astronomers from Mauna Kea observatories speak about recent discoveries; this session features HI-Seas; 19:00 HST, US$8-10.


Mar 18 — Perth Obsrvatory, Perth, Australia: Astrofest 2017; at Curtin Stadium and Edinburgh Oval.

Mar 18-19 — Brown University Planetary Geosciences Group, Vernadsky Institute, IKI, Brown-MIT NASA SSERVI, The Woodlands TX: Microsymposium 58: Surface Exploration and Sample Return – A New Era in Planetary Sciences; at Woodlands Waterway Marriott Hotel and Convention Center.

Mar 18-19 — British Interplanetary Society West Midlands branch and History group, Cosford, United Kingdom: 5th Cosford Conference; at Royal Air Force Museum Cosford.

Mar 18 — Moon: At apogee (distance 404,651 km), 07:25.


Mar 19 — United Launch Alliance, Launch Atlas 5 / OA-7, Cape Canaveral AFS FL: ULA Atlas 5 rocket to launch eighth Cygnus cargo freighter on seventh operational cargo delivery flight to ISS for Orbital ATK; carrying many secondary payloads including Mines ParisTech – SpaceCube, Space Laboratory / Herzliya Science Center of Israel – Hoopoe, Belgium Von Karman Institute – QARMAN; launch 22:56-23:26.

Mar 19-24 — URSI, IEEE, European Association on Antennas and Propagation, Telecom ParisTech, Paris, France: 11th European Conference on Antennas and Propagation.