March 18-24, 2013 / Vol 32, No 11 / Hawai`i Island, USA

Pacific Space Access: Versatile Offshore Launch Facilities to Moon, Mars, Islands Beyond

PSA - 3-19-2013Opportunities abound for 21st Century innovation and revitalization with proposals for Aloha Pacific Space Access in the Central Pacific, linking Asia, America North, America South, Antarctica and Australia in collaboration on the new frontier. Fully contained sea launch systems with non-toxic propellants towed to optimal offshore locations from home ports in Hilo, Hawai`i or Honolulu, Oahu would ensure minimal disruption to local environments. There is strong demand for high efficiency equatorial launch facilities, not just from Russia, Japan, Korea and China but also ambitious commercial / NewSpace organizations. This could provide the contract volume to ensure return on investment above and beyond the intrinsic benefits of high tech development, and direct continuation of the Hawaii legacy of launching great voyages of exploration. While the Hawaii legislature hears proposals for offshore space launch initiatives it is also actively seeking an FAA Spaceport license for horizontal takeoff suborbital space tourism flights. Another proposal by the Hawaii-based Pacific International Space Center for Exploration Systems (PISCES) is to develop sustainable basalt concrete utilization and 3D additive building techniques. This would provide Hawaii with a low-cost locally sourced alternative to imported concrete and facilitate analog experimentation for future Luna / Mars development. (Image Credit: ESA, Google Maps, NASA/APOD)

AAS 51st Goddard Memorial Symposium Encourages Collaboration and Forward Thinking

51st Goddard Symposium V2The American Astronautical Society will hold the ’51st Robert H. Goddard Memorial Symposium’ on March 19-21 at the Marriott Hotel in Greenbelt, Maryland, USA. Celebrating the Father of Modern Rocketry, AAS Executive VP Walt Faulconer and NASA GSFC Senior Scientist Harley Thronson will welcome about 400 attendees on Wednesday Mar 20 at 08:30 EDT and NASA Administrator Charles Bolden (BL) will give the keynote speech. This year’s theme is ‘Success through Interdependence.’ Eight NASA Centers will be discussed by correlating Directors / Deputy Directors during two panels on Mar 20 titled ‘NASA Centers: Uniqueness and Interdependence.’ On Mar 21 the panel on ‘The Future of Space Exploration’ will be moderated by Jeff Foust of the Space Review and ‘Success via International Partnerships’ will include Acting Director of the ISS Sam Scimemi (BC) and Head of ESA International Relations Frédéric Nordlund (BR). The National Space Club will bring together about 2,000 space community members on Mar 22 for the ‘56th Annual Robert H. Goddard Memorial Dinner’ at the Hilton Hotel in Washington, DC. The Federation of Galaxy Explorers will inspire ­youth with space science, engineering and rocketry during ‘National Girl Scout Day’ at the National Air & Space Museum in Chantilly, Virginia on Mar 23. (Image Credit: AAS, NASA, Bridges)


Digital Mar-May Medium = 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: Jupiter (SW), Saturn (SE).


MONDAY

Mar 18 — ISS, LEO: Expedition 35 crew transferring cargo into Dragon capsule, returns to Earth Mar 25; collecting data from radiation dosimeters; ground team Cassidy, Misurkin, Vinogradov travel to Kazakhstan on Mar 24 in preparation for Mar 29 launch.

Mar 18 — WISE, LEO: Ongoing AIIWISE project, to be completed late 2013, will combine data from 2 all-sky infrared maps to search for nearby stars, fainter / distant objects; recent data shows binary star system 6.5 LY away, 3rd closest to Sun.

Mar 18 — Herschel Space Observatory, Earth-Sun L2 Lagrange Point: Observatory, with 3.5-m mirror, exhausting supply of liquid helium which cools 3 spectrometers to -271° C; will propel itself into long-term stable Sun orbit early May.

Mar 18 — Sierra Nevada Corp., Edwards AFB CA: NewSpace company preparing for first 30-second drop-test of 7-passenger Dream Chaser spacecraft from 3.7-km altitude.

Mar 18 — Mars One, The Hague, The Netherlands: Contracting Paragon Corp. for conceptual design study of life support and space suit systems for proposed 2023 permanent human settlement on Mars.

Mar 18 — S3 (Swiss Space Systems), Payerne, Switzerland: Planning to use Airbus A300 jetliner to carry reusable spaceplane to 10-km altitude; spaceplane travels to 80-km, deploys expendable rocket to launch satellites into orbit; test flights 2017.

Mar 18 — NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt MD: Engineering Colloquium Series: NASA’s Scientific Visualization Studio; presented by Horace Mitchell, 15:30 EDT; free.

Mar 18-21 — Aerospace Corp., National Reconnaissance Office, NASA GSFC, JPL, Los Angeles CA: Ground System Architectures Workshop; for space-related ground system experts to discuss issues / solutions.

Mar 18-21 — Space Systems Loral, Eutelsat America Corp., SpaceX, et al, Washington DC: Satellite Conference 2013: Bridging the Gap between Today and Tomorrow; in Walter E. Washington Convention Center.

Mar 18-22 — Lunar and Planetary Institute, Universities Space Research Association, Houston TX: 44th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference; at Woodlands Waterway Marriott Hotel and Convention Center.

Mar 18-22 — NASA, Austin TX: 2013 Space Week Texas – Human Exploration: The Journey Continues; featuring educational / interactive exhibits, astronauts, 4B year old Moon rock.

Mar 18 — Moon: At apogee (distance 403,793 km), 17:00.

Mar 18 — Asteroid 2007 EO88: Near-Earth flyby (0.011 AU).

Mar 18 — Asteroid 2013 EA: Near-Earth flyby (0.076 AU).


Continued from…

Feb 13 – Apr 3 — Center for the Advancement of Science in Space, MassChallenge, Online: MassChallenge Startup Accelerator; accepting proposals for flight-ready ISS research projects; winners may receive up to US$100K in grant funding.

Feb 13 – Apr 24 — The Golden Spike Company, Online: GSC Indiegogo Crowdsourcing Campaign: Help Send Nations and People to the Moon.

Feb 14 – Jun 2, 2014 — NASA NSPIRES, Online: Research Opportunities in Space and Earth Sciences (ROSES) 2013; proposal and submission period for those interested in advancing research concepts and technologies for Space and Earth sciences.

Mar 9 – Apr 6 — DIYRockets Inc., Sunglass Co., Shapeways Inc., Online: Registration Period for 3D Printed Rocket Challenge; competition to design 3D printed rocket engine that could carry nano-satellites into space.

Mar 11 – Mar 14, 2014 — National Institute of Aerospace, Lockheed Martin, NASA, Online: Student Exploration Design Challenge: Space Radiation Shielding for Orion.

Mar 13-19 — W. M. Keck Observatory, Kamuela HI: Keck Week 2013; 20th anniversary of W. M. Keck Observatory; presentations of astronomical discoveries and innovations to come, tour of facility, demonstrations.

Mar 16-23 — Reuben H. Fleet Science Center, UC San Diego, BIOCOM Institute, San Diego CA: 2013 San Diego Festival of Science & Engineering.

Mar 17-20 — International Astronautical Federation, Paris, France: Spring Meetings 2013; at Cap 15 convention center.


TUESDAY

Mar 19 — NASA Johnson Space Center, Houston TX: Expedition 36/37 Crew News Conference; 13:00 CDT; Luca Parmitano of ESA, Karen Nyberg of NASA, Fyodor Yurchikhin of RSA, launching to ISS May 28.

Mar 19 — U.S. House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, Washington DC: Hearing: Threats from Space: A Review of U.S. Government Efforts to Track and Mitigate Asteroids and Meteors, Part 1.

Mar 19 — SETI Institute, Mountain View CA: Colloquium: A New Perspective on the Driver of Space Weather: The Sun’s Corona as a Globally Coupled System; presented by Karel Schryver of Lockheed Martin, 12:00 PDT.

Mar 19 — Women in Aerospace, International Astronautical Federation, Paris, France: 4th IAF/WIA-Europe Networking Coffee; at Cap 15 convention center room Beach 1, 07:30 – 09:00 CET.

Mar 19-20 — AIAA, Washington DC: 2013 Congressional Visits Day; for AIAA members to meet with national decision makers, discuss industry issues in civil aeronautics, civil astronautics, defense.

Mar 19-20 — Applied Technologies Institute, Columbia MD: Spacecraft Reliability, Quality Assurance, Integration and Testing Course; conducted by Eric Hoffman; US$1,140.

Mar 19-21 — American Astronautical Society, Greenbelt MD: 51st Robert H. Goddard Memorial Symposium; at Greenbelt Marriott Hotel.

Mar 19-21 — ESA, Noordwijk, The Netherlands: 19th Spacecraft Plasma Interactions Network in Europe (SPINE) Meeting; at European Space Research and Technology Centre.

Mar 19-21 — Innoecho, Syrobo, Korea Association of Robotic Industry, et al, Lyon, France: Innorobo 2013; showcasing service robotics and innovations in sectors including space exploration, transportation, medical / health.

Mar 19-22 — Astrophysics Institute of the Canary Islands, Tenerife, Spain: 11th CoRoT Week; to discuss mission results, future plans for Convection, Rotation and Transits space mission for exoplanet detection, launched in 2006.

Mar 19 — Moon: At first quarter, 07:26.

WEDNESDAY

Mar 20 — Iranian Space Agency, Tehran, Iran: Imam Khomeini spaceport expected to begin operations for launching domestically made satellites into space.

Mar 20 — U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Science and Space, Washington DC: Hearing: Assessing the Risks, Impacts, and Solutions for Space Threats.

Mar 20 — Australia Telescope National Facility, Sydney, Australia: Colloquium: Roving the Hills of Mars; presented by Shoshanna Cole from Cornell University; at Marsfield Lecture Theater, 15:00 – 16:00 local time.

Mar 20-21 — ESA, Noordwijk, The Netherlands: Technical Interchange Meeting (TIM) on Fracture Control of Spacecraft, Launchers and their Payloads and Experiments.

Mar 20-23 — Astronomical Society of Japan, Saitama, Japan: Astronomical Society of Japan 2013 Spring Meeting; at Saitama University.

Mar 20Spring / Vernal Equinox: The Sun rises exactly in east traveling through sky for 12 hours, sets exactly in west; every place on Earth experiences a 12-hour day; 01:01.

Mar 20 — Asteroid 2010 SE: Near-Earth flyby (0.073 AU).

Mar 20 — Asteroid 325102 (2008 EY5): Near-Earth flyby (0.083 AU).

Mar 20 — Asteroid 2006 GX2: Near-Earth flyby (0.096 AU).

THURSDAY

Mar 21 — Federal Aviation Administration, Online: COMSTAC Systems Working Group Public Teleconference; to assist FAA in developing guidelines for occupant safety in commercial suborbital and orbital spacecraft.

Mar 21 — ESA, Paris, France: ESA to release first all-sky map of Cosmic Microwave Background radiation generated by Planck spacecraft.

Mar 21 — NASA, Washington DC: News Conference: Planck Cosmology Findings; 11:00 EDT; live streaming available.

Mar 21 — The British Interplanetary Society, London, United Kingdom: Lecture: The Great Space Debate – Man Versus Machines; with speakers Chris Welch and Stuart Eves.

Mar 21 — Moon: 11.4° S of Pollux, 08:00.

FRIDAY

Mar 22 — National Space Club, Washington DC: 56th Annual Robert H. Goddard Memorial Dinner.

Mar 22 — Space Center Houston, Houston TX: Lunch with an Astronaut, David Hilmers; US$49.95 adult.

Mar 22-23 — Utah State University, AIAA, Park City UT: Space Weather Community Operations Workshop.

Mar 22 — Moon: 6.4° SSW of Beehive Cluster, 12:00.

Mar 22 — Asteroid 2013 ES11: Near-Earth flyby (0.016 AU).

Mar 22 — Asteroid 2008 SE85: Near-Earth flyby (0.062 AU).

Mar 22 — Asteroid 2012 FK15: Near-Earth flyby (0.082 AU).

SATURDAY

Mar 23 — Federation of Galaxy Explorers, Chantilly VA: FoGE at National Girl Scout Day; at National Air & Space Museum – Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, 10:00 – 15:00 EDT.

Mar 23-24 — SpaceUp, San Diego CA: SpaceUp San Diego; the “unconference” where participants decide space issues / topics to discuss, schedule and structure of event; in McMillin Event Center at Liberty Station.

Mar 23 — Asteroid 2003 FY6: Near-Earth flyby (0.054 AU).

Mar 23 — Asteroid 2012 FM35: Near-Earth flyby (0.089 AU).

SUNDAY

Mar 24 — University of Utah Department of Physics and Astronomy, Snowbird UT: SnowCLUSTER 2013 Workshop: Physics of Galaxy Clusters.

Mar 24 — Moon: 5.5° SSW of Regulus, 07:00.

Mar 24 — Asteroid 2013 EB34: Near-Earth flyby (0.058 AU).

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