May 11-17, 2015 / Vol 34, No 19 / Hawai`i Island, USA

3rd European Lunar Science Forum Launches in Italy

Calendar feature -- ELS 2015

This pan-European lunar science and exploration meeting is being organized by the Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute (SSERVI) of NASA and the National Institute of Nuclear Physics (INFN) in Frascati, Italy on May 12-14. Primary interests highlighted by the European Lunar Science Forum (ELS) program based on the current global surge of lunar exploration include astronomy, astrophysics, geology, commerce, resource utilization, and outpost for future human exploration of the Solar System. The oral and poster presentations are divided into four broad themes of: Science of the Moon, Science on the Moon, Science from the Moon and Future Lunar Missions. Notable presentations include Cosmology from the Moon by Jack Burns (R) from University of Colorado Boulder, Lunar polar sample return by James Carpenter (C) of ESA, The International Lunar Decade by Vidvuds Beldavs (L) of FOTONIKA-LV, and Development and simulations for a lunar habitat energy provision system using matlab / simulink by Aidan Cowley of European Astronaut Centre. Directly after ELS, on Friday May 15th, is a Global Exploration Roadmap workshop held in concert with the International Space Exploration Coordination Group. The presenters and moderators at this event include Ben Bussey, Jean-Claude Worms, Clive Neal, Juergen Hill, Francois Spiero, Tim McCoy, Gordon Osinski and Masaki Fujimoto. (Image Credit: SSERVI, INFN, ESA, IET)



May 11 — ISS, LEO: Expedition 43 preparing for change of command (Gennady Padalka becomes commander) & departure of three crew members, working with muscle, bone, eye, bodily fluid tests; Meteor Composition Determination investigation is making 1st space-based observations of meteors entering Earth atmosphere to determine physical & chemical properties.

 May 11 — Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, Moon Orbit: Craft in lowest orbit ever, will make more detailed / higher-resolution measurements of Moon South Pole at 20-km altitude & North Pole at 165 km; can function in this orbit for years, 2 instruments greatly benefiting from closer altitude are LOLA & Diviner.

 May 11 — Juno, Jupiter Trajectory: Less than 2 AU from Jupiter insertion, on schedule to arrive at planet Jul 4, 2016; contains 1st radiation shielded electronics vault due to heavy radiation environment of planet.

May 11 — Cassini, Saturn Orbit: Spacecraft conducts Orbital Trim Maneuver #410 today.

 May 11 — SpaceX, Multiple Locations: NewSpace company analyzing results from recent Crew Dragon capsule abort test, eventually a high-altitude abort test & uncrewed mission to ISS will follow; preparing for CRS-6 return to Earth scheduled May 21 & CRS-7 launch Jun 19.

 May 11 — B612 Foundation, Mountain View CA: Working on Sentinel infrared space telescope designed for 6.5-year mission to detect more than 500,000 NEOs, planning to finalize engineering requirements for craft this year & launch in 2019.

 May 11 — Astrotecture, Palo Alto CA: Providing space architecture designs for interplanetary & interstellar craft, planet / Lunar / moon bases; developing 3D food printing from Algae & Spirulina, anti-bounce impact lander for low-cost missions to small bodies.

May 11 — W. M. Keck Observatory, Rob & Terry Ryan Foundation, Kamuela HI: Astronomy Talk: Lecture: What Wonderful Worlds – Exploring our Solar System; presented by Imke de Pater of UC – Berkeley, at Kahilu Theater 19:00 – 20:00.

May 11-13 — ESA, Noordwijk, the Netherlands: 13th Symposium on Advanced Space Technologies in Robotics and Automation (ASTRA 2015); at European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC).

MAY - JUL 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: Mercury (W), Venus (W), Jupiter (SW); Morning Planets: Saturn (S), Uranus (E), Neptune (ESE).

International Conferences Focus on Human and Robotic Space Exploration Missions

Humans & Robots 2015The ‘Robots and Astronauts: Partners in Exploration’ conference hosted by JPL, Caltech, NASA and the American Astronautical Society is being held May 12-13 at the Theodore von Kármán Auditorium in Pasadena CA.  AAS President Lyn Wigbels (BL) and JPL Director Charles Elachi (BC) will make welcome remarks. Updates will be given on NASA Science Program, Human Exploration and Operations Program, and science discoveries in planetary science, astrophysics, Earth science, heliophysics and exoplanets. There will be a panel titled ‘Integration of Robotic and Human Exploration’ moderated by Scott Hubbard (BR) from Stanford University Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics. Representatives from the Mars Program Team, Dawn Team, Lockheed Martin Co., SpaceX, Boeing, Orbital ATK, and Northrop Grumman will also be present. The final session on ‘Future Missions: Confirmed or Nearing Confirmation’ will highlight the Europa, Exoplanet Technology Demonstration and Solar Probe missions. The 13th Symposium on Advanced Technologies in Robotics and Automation (ASTRA 2015), held every two years, will be hosted at the European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC) in Noordwijk, the Netherlands on May 11-13. During 86+ talks ESA, DLR, CSA, CNES, NASA, and robotic / space industry and academia will discuss human-robot interfacing, temperature- and environment-withstanding technologies for landers / rovers / drills, Mars Curiosity, Rosetta / Philae, operating at the Lunar South Pole, and proposed missions: 2016 ExoMars rover, 2022 Mars Phobos sample return (PHOOTPRINT) and Cleanspace active debris removal mission. (Image Credit: ESA, NASA, AAS, JPL/Caltech)

May 11-14 — British Interplanetary Society, Imperial College London, NASA, Airbus, RAL Space, London, United Kingdom: Science from an Operational Mission: An L5 Consortium Meeting.

May 11-15 — Georgia State University, Atlanta GA: IAU Symposium 314: Young Stars & Planets Near the Sun.

May 11 — Moon: At last quarter, 00:36.

May 11 — Asteroid 2012 VU76: Near-Earth flyby (0.055 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.

May 1 – Jun 30 — Johnson Space Center, NASA, National Space Grant Foundation, Houston TX: 2015 eXploration Habitat (X-Hab); university-level students’ designs for functional space habitat subsystems prototypes to be submitted & evaluated.

May 9-13 — PTMSS/SRR, CIM, Montreal, Quebec, Canada: 6th Planetary & Terrestrial Mining Sciences Symposium and Space Resources Roundtable; Canadian Institute of Mining (CIM) 2015 Convention.

May 10-16 — Institute of Cybernetics, Mathematics and Physics (ICIMAF), Varadero Beach, Cuba: 4th International Symposium on Strong Electromagnetic Fields and Neutron Stars.


May 12 — SETI Institute, Mountain View CA: SETI Weekly Colloquium: Lakes, Fans, Deltas and Streams: Geomorphic Constraints on the Hydrologic History of Gale Crater, Mars; presented by Marisa Palucis from UCB, 12:00.

May 12-13 — American Astronautical Society, JPL, Caltech/NASA, Pasadena CA: Conference: Robots and Astronauts: Partners in Exploration.

May 12-13 — Corinium Global Intelligence, Hyattsville MD: Space Situational Awareness 2015; to discuss political & technical issues of monitoring satellites and space debris.

May 12-14 — Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute (SSERVI), NASA, National Institute for Nuclear Physics (INFN), ASI, ESA, DLR, Frascati, Italy: 3rd European Lunar Symposium.

May 12-22 — Centre for Planetary Science and Exploration (CPSX), The University of Western Ontario, Various Locations AZ & UT: Planetary Surfaces Processes Field School.

May 12 — Moon: 3.7° SSE of Pleiades, 01:00; 3.3° NNW of Neptune, 10:00.

May 12 — Asteroid 2011 AX22: Near-Earth flyby (0.052 AU).

May 12 — Asteroid 2013 VO13: Near-Earth flyby (0.100 AU).


May 13 — ISS, Undocking of Soyuz TMA-15M, LEO: Expedition 42/43 members Samantha Cristoforetti (ESA), Anton Shkaplerov (RSA), Terry Virts (NASA) return to Earth; undocking scheduled at 23:15 UT, live coverage available.

May 13 — Silicon Valley Space Center, Mountain View CA: SVSC TechTalk: The Last Crossroads: Alternate Histories of Spaceflight; presented by Alex Saltman.

May 13 — University of Arizona Department of Astronomy, Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, Planetary Science Institute, NOAO, Tucson AZ: Lecture: Radar Love: Recent Asteroid and Comet Results from Arecibo Observatory Planetary Radar.

May 13-14 — SMi Group Ltd. O3b Networks, Airbus, Singapore: MilSatCom Asia-Pacific.

May 13 — Asteroid 2015 HS1: Near-Earth flyby (0.070 AU).


May 14 — Swansea Astronomical Society, Swansea University, Wales, United Kingdom: Lecture: Saturn Lord of the Rings.

May 14-16 — Stanford University, Stanford CA: Reading of Bertolt Brecht’s Life of Galileo presented by Department of Theater & Performance Studies.

May 14 — Moon: At perigee (distance 365,631 km), 14:13.

May 14 — Asteroid 285331 (1999 FN53): Near-Earth flyby (0.068 AU).


May 15 — RSA, Launch Soyuz / Kobalt MPlesetsk Cosmodrome, Russia: RSA Soyuz rocket to launch Kobalt M reconnaissance satellite for Russia military.

May 15-17 — CSIRO Australia Telescope National Facility, Parkes, Australia: 2015 Astronomy From the Ground Up Teacher Workshop.

May 15 — Moon: 0.21° SSE of Uranus, 02:00.

May 15 — Asteroid 2015 HR1: Near-Earth flyby (0.075 AU).


May 16-17 — Space Studies Board of U.S. National Academy of Sciences’ National Research Council, National Space Science Center of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Irvine CA: 2015-16 Forum for New Leaders in Space Science.

May 16-17 — Stanford University, Stanford CA: Stanford Symphony Orchestra presents Gasser’s Cosmic Reflection.

May 16 — Asteroid 2015 HV11: Near-Earth flyby (0.060 AU).

May 16 — Asteroid 2015 GC14: Near-Earth flyby (0.076 AU).


May 17 — Moon: New Moon, 18:13; 8.0° S of Pleiades, 23:00.