May 10-16, 2010 / Vol 29, No 19

Atlantis STS-132 Last Flight Set to Deliver Russia MRM-1

scimage10_may101The final flight of Space Shuttle Atlantis is ready to embark to the International Space Station (ISS) on May 14th from Cape Canaveral FL.  STS-132 marks the 1st USA Spaceflight since STS-97 to be flown only by veteran astronauts Cmdr. Kenneth Ham, Pilot Dominic Antonelli and Mission Specialists Garrett Reisman, Michael Good, Stephen Bowen and Piers Sellers. STS-132 will deliver the Russia Mini-Research Module 1 (MRM1) (CR) which will attach to the Zarya module of the Station as well as other cargo and science hardware weighing almost 2 tons. Other payloads on board Atlantis include the Integrated Cargo Carrier-Vertical Light Deployable (ICC-VLD)(C), a temporary platform, video and power grapple fixtures, 6 new batteries for the Enhanced Orbital Replacement Unit and spare parts for the Canada Dextre robotic arm extension. 3 spacewalks are planned and will be carried out by mission specialists Reisman, Bowen and Good to replace batteries, install new tool platforms on Dextre and install the ICC-VLD Ku-band antenna. On May 13-14, over 150 people from around the world are expected to attend a NASA tweet-up covering the launch of STS-132. Tweet-up participants will have the chance to meet shuttle technicians, engineers and astronauts. (Credit: NASA)

America NewMoon Enterprises

With USA government lunar plans uncertain, NewMoon initiatives may be America’s most promising means of keeping up with emerging space powers and establishing a presence on Earth’s nearest celestial neighbor. At the forefront of this movement is the International Lunar Observatory Association (ILOA). ILOA plans to land an astronomical observatory / communications node on the South Pole of the Moon by 2013. The Hawaii-based company also is collaborating with Google Lunar X Prize (GLXP) team Odyssey Moon to place a precursor instrument on its M1 lunar rover bound for the equatorial region of the Moon NET late 2012. 20 teams are currently vying for the US$30M GLXP and the winnings team(s) will be in prime position to revolutionize 21st Century lunar access and development. On May 15, the X Prize foundation will hold a gala in San Francisco, CA to celebrate X Prize’s accomplishments and unveil its vision of the future. Initiatives of the Moon Society, Lunar Economic Development Authority, Space Frontier Foundation, National Space Society and Northrop Grumman (sponsor of the recent Lunar Lander Challenge) could also make important contributions to ensure America remains involved in the next phase of human exploration of the Moon. (Credit: ILOA, Odyssey Moon, SFF, Moon Society, X Prize)


= 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: Jupiter (E) / Evening Planets: Venus (WNW), Mars (W), Saturn (S).


MONDAY

May 10 — International Space Station, LEO: E-23 crew members  busy with preparations for upcoming STS-132 mission as well as scientific research and experiments; Progress 36 cargo ship to be undocked.

May 10 — NASA Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), Lunar Orbit: Instruments aboard LRO continue to work nominally as they return detailed information of lunar imagery, topography and temperature measurements.

May 10 — Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), Red Planet: MRO continues to capture diverse imagery of the Martian landscape, recently adding 750 new images to NASA’s Planetary Data System website; database now holds over 1.4 million image products from more than 14,200 observations.

May 10-12ESA, Noordwijk, The Netherlands: ‘Microwave Technology and Techniques Workshop 2010: Targeting for the Future.’

May 10-12University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison WI: ‘2010 Phenomenology 2010,’ cover the latest topics in particle phenomenology and theory plus related issues in astrophysics and cosmology.

May 10-14Chinese Academy of Sciences, National Natural Science Foundation of China, Beijing, China: ‘The 14th International Conference on Calorimetry in High Energy Physics (Calor 2010)‘.

May 10-14 — Lockheed Martin, NASA / Florida Space Grant Consortium, Cape Canaveral FL: 5-day undergraduate program to offer building blocks necessary to advance education goals and to assist students entering the space / science workplace.

May 10-23NASA, CSA, Key Largo FL: ‘14th NASA Extreme Environment Mission Objectives (NEEMO) Undersea Mission;’ led by CSA astronaut Chris Hadfield to test exploration concepts at underwater facility Aquarius for 13 days.


Continued from . . .

Jan 30 — Museum of Science and Industry, Confucius Institute / University of Manchester, Manchester, United Kingdom: Exhibition: From Gunpowder to Space Rockets – The China Space Program,’ includes models of ancient rockets, recent satellites, rockets, space ships and a lunar rover; through Aug 7.

May 9European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST), Boppard, Germany: ‘The Chemical Cosmos: Understanding Chemistry in Astronomical Environments;’ through May 12.


TUESDAY

May 11 — National Space Society Florida Chapter, Cape Canaveral FL: ‘National Space Club Luncheon: Florida’s Future in Space.’

May 11 — International Institution of Space Law, Washington DC: ‘Space Law and Policy 2010.’

May 11 — NASA Lunar Science Institute, Moffett Field CA: ‘NLSI Executive Council Meeting.’

May 11-12 — American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Washington DC: ‘AIAA Fellows Dinner’ / ‘Inside Aerospace: An International Forum for Aviation and Space Leaders.’

May 11-12 — Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore MD: ‘Workshop: Nix and Hydra – 5 Years After Discovery.’

May 11 — Cassini OTM-246, Saturn Orbit: Spacecraft conducts Orbital Trim Maneuver #246 today.

May 11 — Asteroid 2005 JR5: Near-Earth Flyby (0.061 AU).


WEDNESDAY

May 12The SETI Institute, Mountain View CA: Colloquium Series Lecture: ‘Kepler: Are There Any Good World’s Out There?‘ John Jenkins.

May 12 — American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Washington DC: ‘2010 Aerospace Spotlight Awards Gala.’

May 12 — Intech Science Center and Planetarium, Winchester, United Kingdom: ‘The Science and Beauty of Nebulae,’ Carolin Crawford.

May 12Moon: 7.4° NNW of Mercury; 02:00.


THURSDAY

May 13-14 — American Astronautical Society, Boulder CO: ‘George H. Born Symposium.’

May 13 — Moon: New Moon; 15:05.


FRIDAY

May 14 — NASA, Launch Atlantis STS-132 / 19A, Cape Canaveral FL: USA mission to the International Space Station to carry integrated cargo to deliver maintenance and assembly hardware 2nd pressurized components for Russia and a Mini Research Module to be attached to bottom port of Zarya Module.

May 14 — Moon: .77° SE of Pleiades, 04:00; 8.3° N of Aldebaran, 21:00.


SATURDAY

May 15 — X Prize Foundation, San Francisco CA: ‘A Radical Benefit for Humanity: Making the Impossible Possible, One Prize at a Time,’ event hosted by James Cameron, Larry Page, Sergey Brin, Lucasfilm’s Letterman Digital Arts Center.

May 15 — Zero Gravity Corporation, Las Vegas NV: Commercial weightless flight onboard G Force One.

May 15 — NASA, Washington DC / Online: Final entry deadline for 2010 NASA Moon Work Contest.

May 15-16 — NASA Jet propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena CA: ‘2010 NASA JPL Open House,’ celebrates JPL’s accomplishments with exhibits and demonstrations about the Laboratory’s ongoing research and space exploration.

May 15 — Moon: .62° W of Venus; 23:00.

May 15 — Cassini OTM-247, Saturn Orbit: Spacecraft conducts Orbital Trim Maneuver #247 today.


SUNDAY

May 16 — Moon Society Phoenix Chapter, Phoenix AZ: ‘Moon Society Phoenix Meeting.’

May 16 Quasarchile, Santiago, Chile: Amateur astronomy adventure tour departure date.

May 16 — May Arietid Meteors: One of the strongest daytime meteor showers radiating from Constellation Aries.

May 16 — Comet P / 2010 A5: Closest Approach to Earth (0.738 AU).

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