March 28 – April 3, 2011 / Vol 30, No 13 / Hawai`i Island, USA

European Geophysical Union General Assembly 2011 Slated for April 3-8

The Geosciences Union will hold its annual General Assembly 2011 (EGU 2011) meeting in Vienna, Austria on April 3-8. Now in its 7th year, the event will bring together over 10,000 geoscientists worldwide to discuss all disciplines of the Earth, Planetary and Space Sciences.  EGU 2011 will also feature over 24 different program groups containing over 700 sessions and more than 13,000 oral and poster presentations. ILEWG Executive Director Bernard Foing and geologist Harald Hiesinger (CR) will co-chair session PS2.2 on ‘Lunar Science and Exploration,’ which will feature presentations by the GRAIL  (C) Science Team as well as mission details for the upcoming September launch. Scientists Richard Elphic (BR) and Anthony Colaprete will also be on hand to discuss NASA’s Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) (TR). Union Symposium 3 will focus on ‘How Science Can Aid Society in Tackling Emerging Risks’ which relates to the recent tragic earthquakes that have occurred in Japan (B) and New Zealand.  Other sessions will cover Earth’s climatology, global warming and remote sensing satellite data. EGU 2011 will feature its 2nd photo competition, over 80 exhibition booths as well as a job and education market for young professionals. (Credit: EGU,, NASA, Willkommen Institute for Planetology,

Celestis Memorial Flight Set to Launch from Spaceport America

On April 1, Celestis will make its 10th Memorial Flight aboard a UP Aerospace SpaceLoft XL launch vehicle from Spaceport America in Las Cruces NM. Primary sponsor New Mexico Space Grant Consortium is providing matching funds for the mission to assist students launching their experiments into space. Standing 6m tall with a maximum diameter of 26.4cm, the suborbital SpaceLoft XL  rocket can carry up to 50kg of payloads and experiments to a nominal apogee of 115km. When carrying lower-mass payloads the rocket can be configured to reach up to 225km. This flight is being called ‘The Goddard Flight.’ As with previous Earth Rise Service Missions, Celestis will affordably launch a symbolic portion of cremated remains to space. After experiencing zero gravity environment, the capsules will be returned to the family or loved one as a keepsake. The standard service package includes launching 1 gram of cremated remains for US$695. Celestis also hosts families at the launch and memorial service, and provides a professionally produced DVD of the launch and a personalized online memorial. Pictured: Celestis President Charles Chafer (TL), UP Aerospace Cofounder Eric Knight (BL). (Credit:Celestis Memorial Spaceflight)

= 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 – Morning Planets: Venus (ESE) / Evening Planets: Mercury (W), Saturn (ESE), Jupiter (W).


Mar 28 — International Space Station, LEO: E-27 crew members unberth Kounotori-2 from Earth-facing port of the Harmony node today for a destructive re-entry in the Earth’s atmosphere.

Mar 28 — NASA Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), Lunar Orbit: All systems nominal in scientific phase of mission as LRO continues to make digital elevation and terrain maps that will be a fundamental reference for future human exploration.

Mar 28 — Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, Red Planet: NASA MRO continues to operate satisfactorily with science-data collecting and communications with Mars rover, Opportunity.

Mar 28 — Science and Technology Facilities Council, London, England:Cryogenics in UK Research Infrastructures and Space Science: A Networking Meeting.’

Mar 28-31 — California Space Authority, Washington DC: ‘2011 California Space Week Washington DC,’ participants will meet with Congressional members and staff to discuss significant issues for California space enterprise.

Mar 28 – Apr 8 — United Nations Office of Outer Space Affairs, Vienna, Austria:50th Session Legal Subcommittee Meeting.’

Mar 28Asteroid 2200 Pasadena: Closest Approach to Earth (1.051 AU).

Continued from . . .

Mar 27Goddard Space Flight Center, ESA, et al, Telluride CO: ‘4th Solar Orbiter Workshop,’ event organized around sessions addressing the mission’s main scientific objectives and the synergy with Solar Probe Plus and other space and ground-based observations; through Mar 31.


Mar 29-30 — The National Academies, Washington DC: ‘NASA Technology Roadmap: Robotics, Communications and Navigation Panel.’

Mar 29-30 — Ames Research Center, Mountain View CA: ‘1st Open Source Summit 2011.’

Mar 29-31 — American Astronautical Society, Greenbelt MD: ‘49th Robert Goddard Memorial Symposium.’

Mar 29-31 — American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, St Louis MO: ‘Infotech @ Aerospace 2011.’

Mar 29 – Apr 1 — Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral FL: Terminal Countdown Demonstration Test for Endeavour STS-134 Launch on Apr 19.

Mar 29-Apr 13 — Planetary Decadal Steering Group, NASA, Boulder CO; Tucson AZ; New York NY; Orlando FL; St Louis MO; Pasadena CA; Chicago IL: Town hall meetings to present details of  upcoming planetary exploration for the decade 2013 – 2022.

Mar 29Asteroid 2011 ED41: Near Earth Flyby (0.070 AU).


NET Mar 30 — Arianespace, Launch Ariane 5 / Yahsat 1A & Intelsat New Dawn, Kourou, French Guiana: Arianespace flight 201 set to use an Ariane 5 ECA rocket to launch the Yahsat 1A and Intelsat New Dawn communications satellites for the Middle East, Africa, Europe and Southwest Asia.

Mar 30 — The SETI Institute, Mountain View CA: Colloquium Series Lecture: ‘Exchanging Information with the Stars: Wide – Area Communication Writ Large,’ David Messerschmitt.

Mar 30 — Lunar and Planetary Institute, Houston TX: LPI Seminar Series: ‘The Greatest Show on Earth – The Search for the Apollo 11 Tapes,’ John Sarkissian.

Mar 30Moon: 5.5° NNW of Venus; 21:00.


Mar 31 — Space Angels Network, Palo Alto CA: ‘Space Angels Network Silicon Valley Venture Forum.’

Mar 31 – Apr 2 — The Large Binocular Telescope Observatory, Tucson AZ: ‘Star Formation Across Space and Time Frontier Science with the Large Binocular TElescope and Other Large Telescopes.’

Mar 31Asteroid 2011 BO59: Near Earth Flyby (0.040 AU).


Apr 1Deep Space, Kuiper Belt: Scientists for NASA New Horizons spacecraft begin searching for potential flyby targets in the Kuiper Belt after the probe successfully passes through Uranus’ orbit traveling nearly 3 billion kilometers from Earth.

Apr 1-30 — Space Tourism Month, Global: Space Tourism Society and other space groups designate April to be ‘Space Tourism Month,’ celebrating the 10th commemoration of Tito’s liftoff, 15th year of the founding of STS, 30th commemoration of 1st US Space Shuttle flight and Apr 12 50th commemoration of the 1st human to orbit Earth in 1961.

Apr 1 — Celestis Memorial Spaceflight, Launch SpaceLoft XL / Celestis 10, Las Cruces NM: UP Aerospace Spaceloft XL launch vehicle to assist in ‘The Goddard Flight,’ an Earth Rise mission to launch cremated remains into space.

Apr 1 — Lunar and Planetary Institute, Houston TX: LPI Seminar Series: ‘Geology of the Mg-Spinel Lithology and Other Puzzles from the Lunar Farside,’ Peter Isaacson.

Apr 1 — National Space Club, Washington DC: ‘54th Annual Goddard Memorial Dinner.’

Apr 1-2 — Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville AL: ‘2011 Great Moonbuggy Race.’

Apr 1-2 — NASA Astrobiology Institute, Moffett Field CA: ‘19th Annual Suddath Symposium: The Ribosome – Structure, Function & Evolution.’

Apr 1Moon: 1.6° SE of Asteroid 15 Eunomia, 12:00; At Apogee (Distance 63.76 Earth-radii), 23:00.


Apr 2 — Montana State University, Bozeman MT: ‘2011 Astronomy Day,’ featuring astronaut Richard Arnold, NASA Solar System Ambassador Shirley Greene and Scientist Robert Leamon.

Apr 2 — Alamogordo Chamber of Commerce, Alamogordo NM: ‘Trinity Site Tour.’

Apr 2Moon: 5.9° NNW of Mars; 02:00.

Apr 2Comet C / 2011 A2: Closest Approach to Earth (0.930 AU).

Apr 2Asteroid 2009 UD: Near-Earth Flyby (0.096 AU).


Apr 3-8 — European Geosciences Union (EGU), Vienna, Austria: ‘EGU General Assembly 2011.’

Apr 3-8 — Oukaimeden International School of Astrophysics, Oukaimeden, Morocco: ‘Exoplanets: Detection and Characterization.’

Apr 3-9 — Swiss Academy of Sciences, Swiss Society for Astrophysics, Villars-sur-Ollon, Switzerland: ‘From Planets to Life,’ course covers the most important and critical events essential for the emergence and development of intelligent life on Earth and present the subject from different viewpoints: (1) astrophysics, (2) Earth geology and climatology and (3) biology.

Apr 3Moon: New Moon (Beginning of Lunation 1092), 04:32; 5.8° NNW of Jupiter, 10:00; 1.4° NW of Mercury, 23:00.

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