May 19-25, 2014 / Vol 33, No 20 / Hawai`i Island, USA

Hawai`i Sea Launching Enterprise: Advantages and Opportunities

calendar feature - Hawaii Sea LaunchingSea Launch flight number 36 of the Zenit 3SL mission from the Odyssey Platform at the Equator 154°W is expected May 26 carrying the 5,967-kg Eutelsat 3B. This launch should remind everyone in the land of Aloha and around the Pacific Rim, of the advantages and opportunities of independent commercial sea launching operations homeported at Oahu. “Spaceport” initiatives are popping up across the USA and internationally, but very few, if any, can compete with the geographical and astronautical advantages of Hawaii. Clear equatorial and polar flight paths from USA southernmost latitude, could provide safer and more cost-effective access to primary commercial and exploration orbits. State of Hawaii leadership – political and cultural – may soon recognize the potential value of off-shore sea launching in terms of economic development, high tech jobs, 21st Century education and inspiration that would accrue as a result of establishing Hawaii as the central point of independent and commercial access to space across the Pacific. There is significant and long-standing interest in new lower-latitude launch capabilities from Korea, Japan, Russia, Canada, USA and other Pacific states which invest heavily in commercial and civilian space technologies and applications. (Image Credit: Sea Launch, Google, NASA)

India Focuses on Space Debris, GSLV, Mars Orbiter Mission and Chandrayaan-2

India Space Debris May 2014International and National efforts to track and minimize space debris are accelerating as the number of objects orbiting Earth rises every year – current estimates show 23,000 objects larger than 10 cm, 500,000 objects larger than 1 cm and millions of objects smaller than 1 cm. The National Conference on Space Debris Management and Mitigation Techniques organized by ISRO and Astronautical Society of India will be held May 20-21 at ISRO Headquarters in Bengaluru, India. There will be 8 Technical Sessions, 6 Invited Talks, a panel discussion and other presentations. Shri A S Ganeshan will chair the session on ‘Space Debris Modelling’ and Prof. G S Sachdeva will chair ‘Legal, Policy and Active Debris Removal.’ Topics discussed will include debris removal / recycle techniques, reentry predictions for the Phobos-Grunt satellite and spent stage of GSLV-D5 mission, and estimations of PSLV rocket body lifetimes in LEO. Looking to the future, human spaceflight safety and the need for “space in space” is of great concern as more countries, education centers and commercial customers gain access to LEO. ISRO is also working toward a July suborbital test flight of Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) Mk. 3 carrying a mock-up human crew module, expecting Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) to reach Mars September 24, and developing the 2016-17 Chandrayaan-2 orbiter / lander / rover Moon mission. (Image Credit: ISRO, BBC, NASA, ASI)

MAY-JUL = 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 (WNW), Mars (S), Jupiter (W), Saturn (SE); Morning Planets: Venus (E).


May 19 — ISS, LEO: Expedition 40 Cmdr Swanson, Flight Engineers Skvortsov, Artemyev operate Station as 3-person crew until May 28; ground teams calibrating externally-mounted Optical Payload for Lasercomm Science (OPALS) system.

May 19 — ISEE-3, Heliocentric Orbit: International Sun-Earth Explorer team to attempt initial contact with 36-year old spacecraft this week from Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico.

May 19 — Kepler Space Telescope, Heliocentric Orbit: Observing in the ecliptic plane, performing Campaign 0 engineering test, collecting data on ~8,000 targets (including open star cluster M35).

May 19 — Curiosity, The Kimberley waypoint, Mars: Analyzing sample from recent drilling of rock ‘Windjana’ to learn more about the wet process that turned sand deposits into sandstone.

 May 19 — Exos Aerospace, Mesquite TX: NewSpace company planning to develop suborbital and orbital rockets; purchased Armadillo Aerospace equipment and facility.

May 19 — Astroscale PTE. Ltd., Singapore: Plans to create space servicing system consisting of ‘Mother’ satellite releasing ‘satlets’ to deorbit defunct spacecraft.

May 19 — Swiss Space Systems (S3), Payerne, Switzerland: To construct spaceport on newly acquired land adjacent to Payerne airfield; inaugural launch planned for 2018 with CleanSpace One satellite.

 May 19 — ESA, Noordwijk, The Netherlands: European Space Components Coordination (ESCC) Training Course; at Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC).

 May 19 — Keck Institute for Space Studies, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Caltech/NASA, Pasadena CA: Short Course: Multifunctional Energy Projecting Systems for Planetary Exploration.

 May 19 — Glenn Research Center, NASA, Cleveland OH: National Lab Day; STEM event featuring facility tours, demonstrations, activities, Astronaut Douglas Wheelock.

May 19-21 — Lunar and Planetary Institute, Houston TX: Venus Exploration Targets Workshop.

May 19-21 — American Astronomical Society, Green Bank WV: 3rd China-U.S. Workshop on Radio Astronomy Science and Technology: Emerging Opportunities.

May 19-21 — Nederlandse Astronomenclub (Dutch Astronomy Club), Leiden Observatory, Noordwijkerhout, The Netherlands: 69th Dutch Astronomy Conference (NAC 2014).

May 19-22 — Space Foundation, Colorado Springs CO: 30th National Space Symposium; at Broadmoor Hotel.

May 19-23 — China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation, Integrity Testing Laboratory LLC, et al, Lijian, Yunnan, China: 11th International Conference on Protection of Materials and Structures from Space Environment (ICPMSE-11).

May 19-23 — Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, NASA, Titusville FL: 5th Annual NASA Robotic Mining Competition (formerly Lunabotics Mining Competition).

May 19 — Asteroid 2014 HF184: Near-Earth flyby (0.077 AU).

May 19 — Asteroid 2014 GD50: Near-Earth flyby (0.099 AU).

Continued from…

Mar 28 – Jul 28 — NASA, University of Hawaii, Mauna Loa HI: Hawai‘i Space Exploration Analog and Simulation (HI-SEAS) Mission 2; six-member crew live in habitat on slopes of Mauna Loa at 2,500-meter elevation to simulate long-duration Mars mission.

Apr 28 – Jun 30 — Goddard Space Flight Center, NASA, Online / Greenbelt MD: Request For Information: Evolving ISS into a LEO Commercial Market.

Apr 28 – May 30 — Goddard Space Flight Center, NASA, Online / Greenbelt MD: Request For Information: Europa Mission Concepts Costing Less Than US$1 Billion.

May 18-19 — Space Generation Advisory Council, Space Foundation, Colorado Springs CO: Space Generation Fusion Forum 2014; at Broadmoor Hotel.

May 18-23 — Chinese Academy of Sciences, Max Planck Society, Xian, Shaanxi, China: 10th Sino-German Workshop on Galaxy Formation and Cosmology: From Dark Matter to Galaxies.


May 20 — ISS, LEO: Expedition 40 In-Flight Interview with CNN’s Original Video Division; live coverage available, 15:10 UT.

May 20 — Silicon Valley Space Center, Santa Clara CASpace Entrepreneurship Series: Competition and Intellectual property (IP); presented by Dr. Sean Casey.

May 20 — SETI Institute, Mountain View CA: SETI Talks: Microgravity, the future of innovation; presented by Ioana Cozmuta of Science and Technology Corp., 12:00 PDT.

May 20 — W. M. Keck Observatory, Kamuela HI: Astronomy Talk: Zooming into the Center of our Galaxy with Keck Observatory; presented by Dr. Leo Meyer; at Kahilu Theatre, 19:00 HST, free.

May 20-21 — Astronautical Society of India, Indian Space Research Organisation, Bengaluru, India: National Conference on Space Debris Management and Mitigation Techniques.

May 20-21 — Arab Satellite Communications Organization, Yahsat Communications Company, SES, Thales Alenia Space, et al, Johannesburg, South Africa: SatCom2014; at Sandton Convention Centre.

May 20-21 — NewSat, Sydney, Australia: Australasia Satellite Forum 2014; at Westin Hotel.

May 20-22 — ESA, Noordwijk, The Netherlands: 5th Electronic Materials, Processes and Packaging for Space (EMPPS) Workshop; at European Space Research and Technology Centre.

May 20-24 — Citizens for Space Exploration, Washington DC: CSE 2014 Washington DC Trip; to meet with members of Congress or their staff to discuss benefits of space exploration.

May 20 — Asteroid 242708 (2005 UK1): Near-Earth flyby (0.094 AU).


May 21 — Cassini OTM-380, Saturn Orbit: Spacecraft conducts Orbital Trim Maneuver #380 today.

May 21 — British Interplanetary Society, London, United Kingdom: Lecture: Virgin Spaceman; presented by Nigel Henbest, future Virgin Galactic space tourist No. 245.

May 21 — Moon: At last quarter, 02:59.

May 21 — Asteroid 2011 JR13: Near-Earth flyby (0.051 AU).


May 22, 23 — Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Caltech/NASA, Pasadena CA: Lecture Series: Putting the ‘P’ in ‘JPL’ – The Past, Present, and Future of Propulsion at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory; presented by Todd Barber, Cassini Propulsion Lead Engineer.


May 23 — JAXA, Launch H-2A / ALOS 2, Tanegashima Space Center, Japan: H-2A rocket to launch Advanced Land Observing Satellite (ALOS 2) for JAXA.

May 23 — NASA HQ, Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute, Online / Washington DC: Asteroid Grand Challenge: Virtual Seminar Series; Dan Mazanek (Langley Research Center) speaks on NEA deflection strategies, 11:00 EDT.

May 23 — International Space Life Sciences Working Group, Online / International Locations: Proposals Due: Research in Space Life Sciences at the International Space Station – ILSRA-2014.

May 23 — Asteroid 2013 WF108: Near-Earth flyby (0.029 AU).

May 23 — Asteroid 2014 FA44: Near-Earth flyby (0.038 AU).

May 23 — Asteroid 2014 HT190: Near-Earth flyby (0.074 AU).

May 23 — Asteroid 2014 HR124: Near-Earth flyby (0.077 AU).


May 24 — Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum, Denver CO: Mission to Mars event; featuring Buzz Aldrin, Leonard David; 19:00 – 21:00 MDT.


May 25 — RSA, Launch Rockot / Rodnik, Plesetsk Cosmodrome, Russia: Rockot vehicle to launch 3 Rodnik communications satellites for Russia military.

May 25 — The Space Show, Tiburon CA / Online: Dr. David Livingston hosts a Webinar with Joe Carroll, Dr. John Jurist and Dr. Jim Logan.

May 25-29 — International Astronomical Union, Lisbon, Portugal: IAU Symposium 306: Statistical Challenges in 21st Century Cosmology.

May 25 – Jun 15 — Aspen Center for Physics, Aspen CO: Summer Program: Dwarf Galaxies as Cosmological Probes.

May 25 — Moon: 2.2° NNW of Venus, 05:00.

May 25 — Asteroid 2014 JW24: Near-Earth flyby (0.040 AU).