March 21-27, 2016 / Vol 35, No 12 / Hawai`i Island, USA

Lunar and Planetary Science Conference Nearing 50 Years

Calendar Feature - LPSC 2016

The 47th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference will be held at The Woodlands, Texas on March 21-25, bringing together nearly 2,000 international specialists in petrology, geochemistry, geophysics, geology and astronomy to present the latest results of research in topical symposia and problem-oriented sessions. Conference Co-Chairs are Steve Mackwell of LPI and Eileen Stansbery of JSC, Program Committee Co-Chairs are David Draper of JSC and Walter Kiefer of LPI, with additional institutional support from the Universities Space Research Association. The extremely diverse program features separate Special Sessions on ‘New Horizons at Pluto and Ceres Unveiled: What We Have Learned from Dawn’ as well as a joint Special Session on ‘Dwarf-Age Daydream: Surface Ice Tectonics on Dwarf Planets Ceres and Pluto.’ There is a significant amount of Mars discussion, including sample return and human exploration considerations, as well as highlighted sessions on Jupiter, Venus, Titan Submarine: Goals and Payload, and Outer Planets Assessment Group. Various peripheral events exist around LPSC 2016 including SSERVI Microsymposium 57 on Polar Volatiles on the Moon and Mercury which occurs March 19-20 co-sponsored by Brown University, Vernadsky Institute and the Brown-MIT SSERVI Evolution and Environment of Exploration Destinations team. LPI is also gearing up for the New Views of the Moon 2 workshop that is to be held May 24-26, a first step towards publishing the follow up to the 2006 book with latest results and findings. (Image Credit: LPI, NASA, JSC, SwRI)



Mar 21 — ISS, LEO: Expedition 47 six-member crew expecting to facilitate Cygnus OA-6 capture on Saturday, finalizing Progress 62P resupply ship / filling with waste for departure on Sunday, continuing to study structural forces caused by craft docking / undocking, working with 3D printer, 48-hour electrocardiogram & circadian rhythms studies, will begin working with technology demonstrator Gecko Gripper.

Mar 21 — Juno, Jupiter Trajectory: Team analyzing JunoCam Jupiter telescopic images and data, craft traveling at 22.9 km/sec relative to Earth is now 106 days from Jupiter orbit insertion, trajectory being carefully monitored.

 Mar 21 — China Mars Program, Beijing, PRC: China announces plans to implement low-cost Mars orbiter, lander and sample return missions in “the near future” according to Bao Weimin, head of the Science and Technology Committee, CASTC; likely to mimic / build upon successful Lunar program.

 Mar 21 — Astrobotic Technology Inc., Pittsburgh PA: NewSpace company with Red Whittaker CFO, John Thornton CEO featured in 1st episode of Moon Shot GLXP documentary, working on Griffin Lander & Andy Rover to carry Team Hakuto, Team AngelicvM, multiple companies’ payloads to Moon surface – does not yet have verified launch contract.

 Mar 21 — Icarus Interstellar, Multiple locations: Non-profit research groups supporting 10 projects, 4 committees, public outreach and starflight academy; founded by Andreas Tziolas, Richard Obousy, Kelvin Long, Pat Galea, Adam Crowl.

 Mar 21 — Mars One, The Hague, The Netherlands: Continues public outreach, advocacy for permanent Mars settlement starting 2024, maintains active blog, news site and information on Paragon Space Development Corp. Surface Habitat Environmental Control and Life Support Systems design concept, recent Mars One books, short films; CEO Bas Lansdorp.

Mar 21-23 — The National Academies, Washington DC: Meeting: NASA Technology Roadmaps; at Keck Center.

Mar 21-24 — ESA, Noordwijk, The Netherlands: 3rd ESA Workshop on Advanced Flexible Telecom Payloads.

MARCH - MAY 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: Mars (S), Jupiter (ESE), Saturn (S); Morning Planets: Venus (ESE).

Paris Hosting IAF Spring Meetings,
UK Focusing on Human Spaceflight

IAF Spring Meetings 2016The annual IAF 2016 Spring Meetings are set for March 22-24 at the CAP-15 Conference Centre in Paris, France. Each year scientific and technical committees meet to prepare for the upcoming IAC organized by IAF, IAA and IISL – the 67th of which will be held in Mexico September 26-30. Spring Meetings will have over 40 sessions, Global Networking Forum’s panel discussion on “United Nations 21st Conference of Parties (COP21): Results and Impacts on Space Activities”, a presentation of the Moon Village Concept by ESA Director Johann-Dietrich Wörner (L) and an IAF video presentation on Diversity: Connecting all Space People. The IPC will also select abstracts to be presented from over 2,700 submissions. As IAC is well into its 67th successful year, the United Kingdom is experiencing a Space Renaissance with its Space and Human spaceflight activities. It is selecting an area to establish a spaceport by 2018, and funding the development of the Skylon spaceplane and SABRE engine. Tim Peake continues to inspire the nation from the ISS as its most recent, and first government-funded UK Astronaut. Active organizations and companies include UK Space Agency, British Interplanetary Society, Royal Astronomical Society, Space Innovation Congress, Clyde Space Ltd. and Pocket Spacecraft. (Image Credit: IAF, IAA, IISL, ESA) Also Pictured: IAF President Kiyoshi Higuchi (R).

Mar 21-25 — Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI), Johnson Space Center, NASA, The Woodlands TX: 47th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference (LPSC); at Woodlands Waterway Marriott Hotel & Convention Center.

Mar 21 — Moon: 2.0° SSW of Jupiter, 17:00.

Mar 21 — Comet 252P / LINEAR: Nearest to Earth (distance 5,086,327 km), 09:00.

Continued from…

Aug 28 – Aug 28, 2016 — NASA, University of Hawai`i at Mānoa, Mauna Loa HI: Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation (HI-SEAS) Mission 4; at 2,440-meter altitude.

Mar 19-26 — France National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS), LPNHE, Belgian Science Policy, et al, La Thuile, Italy: Rencontres de Moriond: Cosmology 2016.


Mar 22 — ULA, Launch Atlas 5 / Cygnus OA-6, Cape Canaveral AFS FL: United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket to launch 6th Cygnus cargo freighter on 5th operational flight to the ISS for Orbital ATK.

Mar 22 — International Astronautical Federation, IAA, IISL, Paris, France: IAF Spring Meetings 2016; at CAP-15 Conference Center.

Mar 22 — SETI Institute, Mountain View CA: Lecture: From Perchlorate in breast milk to Perchlorate on Mars; Sandy Dasgupta.

Mar 22 — Penumbral Eclipse of Moon: First contact of Moon with Earth shadow 23:37, ends 03:57 on March 23.

Mar 22 — Comet P/2016 BA14 (PANSTARRS): Near-Earth flyby (0.024 AU).


Mar 23 — Goddard Space Flight Center, NASA, Greenbelt MD: Colloquium: Hipparcos, Hubble Space Telescope, and Gaia – A Golden Age of Astrometry; G. Fritz Benedict.

Mar 23 — Rotary Club of North Hawai`i, Kamuela HI: Rotary Club of North Hawaii Meeting; guest speaker Steve Durst of International Lunar Observatory Association, at Anna Ranch, 12:00.

Mar 23 — Moon: Full Lenten / Worm / Sap Moon, 02:01.

Mar 23 — Mercury: At superior conjunction with Sun (distance 1.347 AU), 10:00.

Mar 23 — Apollo Asteroid 2016 CY135: Near-Earth flyby (0.036 AU).

Mar 23 — Apollo Asteroid 2016 EF86: Near-Earth flyby (0.047 AU).


Mar 24 — Cornell University, Ithaca NY: Lecture: What Makes a Starburst Tick? Alberto Bolatto.

Mar 24 — Outer Planets Assessment Group, The Woodlands TX: Outer Planets Assessment Group (OPAG) Town Hall.

Mar 24, 25 — SETI Institute, Pasadena CA: von Kármán Lecture Series: In the Blink of the Eye – What 10 Years at Mars Can Tell Us About the Planet; featuring MRO project scientist Dr. Rich Zurek, and MRO deputy project scientist Dr. Leslie Tamppari.

Mar 24 — Moon: 4.9° NNE of Spica, 19:00.

Mar 24 — Apollo Asteroid 2016 EQ1: Near-Earth flyby (0.021 AU).


Mar 25 — Cassini OTM-444, Saturn Orbit: Spacecraft conducts Orbital Trim Maneuver #444 today.

Mar 25 — IAA, Paris, France: 1st Symposium on Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math: STEM/STEAM in Space.

Mar 25 — Moon: At apogee (distance 405,705 km), 04:00.

Mar 25 — Apollo Asteroid 1994 UG: Near-Earth flyby (0.044 AU).

Mar 25 — Amor Asteroid 2016 CB30: Near-Earth flyby (0.090 AU).


 Mar 26 — ISS, Cygnus OA-6 Rendezvous, Capture & Berthing, LEO: Cygnus freighter to rendezvous with ISS 10:40 UT and be berthed, live coverage available.

Mar 26 — Mauna Kea Astronomy Outreach Committee, Kamuela HI, Mauna Kea 2,800-meter levelMalalo o ka Po Lani; presentation covering cultural components that surround Mauna O Wakea, 18:00 followed by stargazing program, at Mauna Kea Visitor Information Center.

Mar 26 — Apollo Asteroid 2016 ED28: Near-Earth flyby (0.086 AU).

Mar 26 — Apollo Asteroid 2016 EC28: Near-Earth flyby (0.090 AU).


Mar 27 — Daylight Saving Time (Europe): Change clocks forward 1 hour, from Standard Time to Summer Time.

Mar 27 — Aten Asteroid 325102 (2008 EY5): Near-Earth flyby (0.098 AU).