March 23-29, 2015 / Vol 34, No 12 / Hawai`i Island, USA

Launch Expedition 43/44 Crew, Kelly and Kornienko to Begin 1-Year Mission on ISS

Exp 43-44

International Space Station Expedition 43/44 Gennady Padalka (RSA), Mikhail Kornienko (RSA) and Scott Kelly (NASA) prepare for their launch from Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan on March 27 on Soyuz TMA-16M. They will join Commander Terry Virts of NASA, Anton Shkaplerov of RSA and Samantha Cristoforetti of ESA. Kornienko and Kelly are scheduled to remain in Space until Mar 2016, which will set them near the 3rd place record for longest continuous spaceflight currently held by Vladimir Titov and Musa Manarov of the Soviet Union at 365 days, 22 hours, 39 minutes; 1st place record is Valeri Polyakov of RSA at 437 days, 17 hours, 58 minutes.  Key studies of the 1-year mission are functionality tests, behavioral health, visual impairment, metabolic activities, physical performance, microbial changes and “human factors” (fine motor performance, ISS habitability, training retention). The ‘Twins Study’ is composed of 10 separate investigations to be conducted with identical twin astronauts Scott and Mark Kelly (who will remain on Earth). The six-member Expedition 43 crew is planned to facilitate the capture and berthing of SpaceX Dragon CRS-6, and the arrival of Progress 59P. During their extended stay Kelly and Kornienko will be part of Expeditions 43-46 and are scheduled to help with four Dragon CRS (7-10) crafts, Cygnus Orb 4, JAXA HTV-5, three Progress ships (60-62P), the Sarah Brightman ISS tourist mission, as well as at least 2 EVAs. (Image Credit: NASA, Roscosmos, ESA, JAXA)


Mar 23 — ISS, LEO: Expedition 43 ready to welcome 3 crew members on Mar 27, conducting experiments / investigations on cognition, ISS airway monitoring, food acceptability (Astro Palate), biochemical profile, biological markers of oxidative & inflammatory stress (Cardio Ox), neuromapping, microbiomes.

Mar 23 — Tiangong-1, LEO: China first space station, 10.4 meters long with main diameter of 3.35 meters, testing technologies for Tiangong-2 & -3, and additional Space Station to be completed by 2020 to establish permanent human presence in LEO.

 Mar 23 — MAVEN, Mars Orbit: Monitoring unexpected high-altitude (150-300 km) dust cloud of unknown source & composition, observing solar activities, mapping ozone layer in lower atmosphere.

 Mar 23 — New Horizons, Pluto Trajectory: In spin mode (an efficient mode for sending data to Earth) until April 4, spacecraft is now ~4.8B km from Earth & ~140M km from Pluto.

Mar 23 — Flexure Engineering, Seattle WA: NewSpace company hosting 5th Lunar Surface Applications Workshop Apr 14-17 featuring Astronaut Cady Coleman, Moon Express, Astrobotic, Masten, Part-Time Scientists, Interorbital Systems.

 Mar 23 — Clyde Space Ltd, Glasgow, Scotland: In a partnership with UK Space Agency, will develop 3 smallsats for £1M (~US$1.47M) for Outernet Inc. of New York; also working on Picasso CubeSat for ESA & a platform for the National University of Singapore.

 Mar 23 — Dhruva Space, Bengaluru, India: Developing ~30-kg technology demonstrator satellite & satellite for India branch of Amateur Radio Operators, global non-profit that promotes the launch of radio satellites.

Mar 23 — Secure World Foundation, Washington DC: International Law and Military Activities in Space; at George Washington University, Elliott School of International Affairs.

Mar 23 — Cornell University, Ithaca NY:  Lecture: The General Circulation of Pluto; presented by Peter Gierasch.

Mar 23 — Research Corporation for Science Advancement, Lowell Observatory, NRAO, University of Arizona, Oracle AZ: Star and Planet Formation in the Southwest.

MAR - MAY 2015 = 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: Venus (W), Mars (W), Jupiter (SE); Morning Planets: Saturn (S).

Secure World Foundation Panel Discussion at George Washington University

calendar feature - Secure World Foundation

The Secure World Foundation and the George Washington Military Law Society host a luncheon panel discussion from 12:00-14:00 on Monday, March 23, 2015 at the GWU Campus in Washington DC. SWF works with governments, industry, international organizations and civil society to develop and promote ideas and actions for international collaboration that achieve the secure, sustainable and peaceful uses of outer space. This panel discussion focuses on the relationship between international law and military activities in space. The panel is moderated by Brian Weeden, Technical Advisor at SWF and the speakers are: Wing Commander Duncan Blake, Royal Australian Air Force; Gary Brown, Head of Communications, Washington Delegation, International Committee of the Red Cross; Cassandra Steer, Executive Director, Centre of Research in Air and Space Law, McGill University; Peter Hays, Adjunct Professor, George Washington University. SWF is based in Broomfield CO, USA and also maintains an office in Washington, DC. It is lead by Executive Director Dr. Michael Simpson, who is a prominent figure in the space community as former President of the International Space University among other roles. In addition to Space Sustainability, Space Law and Policy, and Human and Environmental Security, SWF is intensely focused on Planetary Defense from the threat of NEOs and asteroids. (Image Credit: SWF, GWU, NASA)


Mar 23-24 — AIAA, Aerospace States Association (ASA), Sacramento CA: 4th Annual California Aerospace Week: Innovation Ignited.

Mar 23-27 — European Southern Observatory, Santiago, Chile: Workshop: Dissecting Galaxies Near and Far.

Mar 23 — Asteroid 2015 EF7: Near-Earth flyby (0.016 AU).

Mar 23 — Asteroid 2015 FM: Near-Earth flyby (0.040 AU).

Continued from…

Oct 16, 2014 – Jun 11 — NASA, University of Hawai`i, Mauna Loa HI: Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation (HI-SEAS) Mission 3.

Mar 1 – Jan 1, 2016 — Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA), Multiple Locations: Cycle 3 of science flights to observe universe consists of science flights grouped into multi-week observing campaigns totaling about 450 research flight hours.

Mar 22-27 — Institute of Astrophysics and Space Sciences (Instituto de Astrofísica e Ciências do Espaço – IASTRO), Porto, Portugal: Conference: Habitability in the Universe – From the Early Earth to Exoplanets.


Mar 24 — Mars Orbiter Mission (Mangalyaan), Mars Orbit: India ISRO orbiter reaches end of planned 6-month science mission today, will continue to investigate Mars climate, seasons.

Mar 24 — UK Space Agency, Knowledge Transfer Network, British Interplanetary Society, Warwickshire, United Kingdom: Event: Materials Advances in Space.

Mar 24 — The Space Show, Online / Tiburon CA: Dr. David Livingston talks with Bob Zimmerman.

Mar 24-26 — International Astronautical Federation, Paris, France: IAF Spring Meetings 2015; at CAP 15 Conference Centre.

Mar 24-26 — Ames Research Center, NASA, SETI Institute, Moffett Field CA: Planetary Protection Knowledge Gaps for Human Extraterrestrial Missions; focusing on microbial & human health monitoring, technology & operations for contamination control, natural transport of contamination on Mars.

Mar 24-26 — ESA, Noordwijk, The Netherlands: Workshop: Simulation & Electrical Ground Support Equipment Facilities for Space Programmes.

Mar 24 — Moon: 8.1° S of Pleiades, 03:00; 1.3° NW of Aldebaran, 21:00.


Mar 25 — ULA, Launch Delta 4 / GPS 2F-9, Cape Canaveral AFS FL: United Launch Alliance Delta 4 rocket to launch U.S. Air Force ninth Block 2F navigation satellite for Global Positioning System.

Mar 25 — Space Florida, Tallahassee FL: Florida Space Day; to educate & bring awareness to Florida legislators on significance of aerospace industry & its impact on Florida economy.

Mar 25 — American Astronautical Society, American Meteorological Society, Northrop Grumman, Online: Google Hangout: Women in Weather; 12:00 EDT.


Mar 26 — JAXA, Launch H-2A / IGS Optical 5, Tanegashima Space Center, Japan: JAXA to launch information gathering satellite with an optical reconnaissance payload for Japan government.

Mar 26 — RSA, Launch Dnepr / KOMPSat 3A, Yasny Cosmodrome, Dombarovsky, Russia: An ISC Kosmotras Dnepr rocket to launch Kompsat 3A Earth observation satellite for Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI).

Mar 26, 27 — Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Caltech/NASA, Pasadena CA: von Kármán Lecture Series: Adventures From the Field – (Down and Dirty) Stories of Pursuing JPL Science from the Ground up to Space; presented by Mark Helmlinger of JPL.

Mar 26 — Moon: 6.2° S of M35, 14:00; at first quarter, 21:43.

Mar 26 — Asteroid 2015 FC: Near-Earth flyby (0.007 AU).

Mar 26 — Asteroid 325102 (2008 EY5): Near-Earth flyby (0.082 AU).


Mar 27 — RSA, Launch Soyuz TMA-16M / ISS 42S, Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan: An RSA Soyuz rocket set to launch members of Expedition 43/44: Gennady Padalka of RSA, Mikhail Kornienko of RSA, Scott Kelly of NASA; Kornienko and Kelly will begin 1 full year mission aboard ISS.

Mar 27 — Arianespace, Launch Soyuz / Galileo FOC-2, Kourou, French Guiana: Arianespace Soyuz rocket, designated VS11, to launch 2 Galileo satellites for Europe Galileo navigation constellation.

Mar 27 — Asteroid 2014 YB35: Near-Earth flyby (0.030 AU).


Mar 28 — Federation of Galaxy Explorers, Chapel Hill NC: Battle of the Rockets 2015; at Battle Park.

Mar 28-29 — AIAA, University of Nevada, Reno NV: 2015 AIAA Region VI Student Conference.

Mar 28 — Moon: 11.8° S of Pollux, 07:00.

Mar 28 — Asteroid 2015 FP: Near-Earth flyby (0.025 AU).


Mar 29 — Israel Society for Astrobiology and the Study of the Origin of Life (ILASOL), Beersheva, Israel: 28th Annual Meeting of the ILASOL; at Ben-Gurion University

Mar 29 — Daylight Saving Time (Europe): Change clocks forward 1 hour, from Standard Time to Summer Time.

Mar 29 — Moon: 5.4° SSW of Jupiter, 22:00.