May 22-28, 2017 / Vol 36, No 21 / Hawai`i Island, USA

NSS 36th ISDC Looks to Space Settlement, Women and Men on the Moon

The 2017 National Space Society International Space Development Conference is holding its 36th annual meeting May 25-29 in St. Louis MO at Union Station Hotel. A wide variety of Astronauts, space leaders, entrepreneurs and scientists include Thomas Stafford, Linda Godwin, William Gerstenmaier, Johann-Dietrich Wörner, Andrew Aldrin, Loretta Whitesides, Madhu Thangavelu, Pete Swan, Rob Kelso, Peter Kohk, Bruce Pittman, David Schrunk, Clive Neal and Ben Bussey. Main topics are Back to the Moon, Integrated Space Plan, Mars Exploration and Settlement, Space Elevator, Transportation, Business and Medicine. Other activities include Messaging Extraterrestrial Intelligence (METI) Special, NewSpace Business Pitch Competition, and Fight for Space film screening and debate. While exploring the “Many Roads to Space” the overarching theme is how technology of today will transform the future of space exploration. Space settlement could begin with the inspiring initiative to put the First Woman on the Moon. Only 60 of the 553 space travelers have been women. Only 12 men have been to the surface of the Moon. As companies, countries and individuals advance concepts to transport people to Space and to live off-world permanently, a challenging, next-gen, international and parallel goal of Women and Men pioneering the new frontier at the Moon South Pole could secure Humanity’s Multi World Species existence, while serving as a stepping stone into deeper Space and the Galaxy. (Image Credit: NSS, ISDC, NASA)


May 22 — ISS, 330-435-km LEO: Expedition 51 Whitson, Pesquet, Fischer, Yurchikhin, Novitskiy deploying CubeSats, working on fluid shifts studies, performing interviews with Fox News, Bloomberg TV, French Media / ESA, Reuters Video News, Denver TV, “O” Oprah Magazine; Novitskiy & Pesquet doing lower body / negative pressure exercises & packing Soyuz for return to Earth next week.

May 22 — Solar System: Kepler / K2 finds 3,486 confirmed exoplanets, 4,496 candidates, 581 multi-planet systems so far, new K2 Science Director Jeffrey Coughlin takes post July 1; ESA / JAXA dual orbiter BepiColombo mission being built and tested, planned to launch Oct 2018; Cassini in 4th dive out of 22 planned at Saturn before impact; ESA considering 4 proposals for Lunar CubeSat.

May 22 — Galaxy: Separate German & China studies of ISS Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS-02) data could support theory that dark matter exists & is self-interacting; 2 Australia observatories provide observations of magnetic field associated with Magellanic Bridge, a filament of gas stretching 75,000 LY between Large & Small Magellanic Clouds (MWG nearest galactic neighbors); Green Banks Observatory survey on silicon mixing in MWG.

May 22 — Global: India planning Chandrayaan-2 Lunar lander / orbiter / rover to launch 2018, second Mars mission, Venus orbiter, Jupiter mission, advancing GSLV Mk 3; NASA confirms that it will not aim to send human on 1st SLS / Orion flight, which has slipped to 2019; China Long March 5 heavy-lift launch vehicle being assembled at Hainan for launch of DFH-5 satellite to GO (launch mass could be 6,500-9,000 kg).

May 22 — NewSpace: Spaceflight industries purchases Rocket Lab Electron rocket for dedicated rideshare mission; Blue Origin undergoes minor set back, loses a set of powerpack test hardware during BE-4 engine fire at West TX site; SpaceX Falcon 9 to carry Star 2 first ever Elysium memorial mission, date TBD; Generation Orbit hiring full time positions and 2017 interns.

 May 22 — Rocket Lab, Launch Electron Rocket, Mahia Peninsula, New Zealand: Ten-day launch window opens for inaugural test flight of Rocket Lab commercial rocket dubbed “It’s a Test”, expected to perform 3 tests before rocket is deemed operational.

= 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: Mars (WNW), Jupiter (S); Morning Planets: Mercury (S), Venus (E), Saturn (S), Neptune (ESE).

Rocket Lab Electron Small-Satellite Launcher Opens Window for Maiden Test Flight

A 10-day launch window for the first test flight of Electron by Rocket Lab starts May 21. The two-stage 10,500-kg, 1.2-m diameter launch vehicle is now licensed to fly by the FAA and projected to be able to carry a 150 kg payload to 500 km Sun Synchronous Orbit. Constructed almost entirely of composite materials and with a price point of US$4.9M the USA-based New Zealand affiliated company intends to capitalize on the booming CubeSat expansion by quickly ramping up to a hundred launches per year. The maiden flight, dubbed It’s a Test is set to carry an experimental payload to elliptical orbit of 300-500 km at 83° inclination from Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1 on the Mahia Peninsula of North Island, New Zealand, 39°S 178° E. The site is licensed to launch rockets every 72 hours for 30 years. This is the first of three planned test flights before commercial operations begin. If successful it could mark the world’s first orbital launch from an entirely private launch facility. According to Founder and CEO Peter Beck, “Our number one priority is to gather enough data and experience to prepare for a commercial phase. Only then can we can start delivering on our mission to make space more accessible.” Other new independent launchers coming online in the near future include Launcher 1 by Virgin Galactic, Vector-R by Vector Space Systems, Xephyr by Masten, Falcon Heavy by SpaceX, and New Shepard by Blue Origin. (Image Credit: Rocket Lab)



May 22 — AsiaSat, Boeing, ILS, SES, SSL, JSat, Newtec, Measat, Singapore: CASBAA Satellite Industry Forum.

May 22 — The Space Show, Online / Tiburon CA: Dr. David Livingston talks with Alexandra (Alex) Hall about New Space Conference.

May 22-23 — Committee on Space Research (COSPAR), United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA), Vienna, Austria: COSPAR-UNOOSA Coordination Meeting on COSPAR’s contributions to UNISPACE+50.

May 22-24 — University of Cambridge – Institute of Astronomy, Cambridge, United Kingdom: Conference: The Migration Issue – From Protoplanets to Supermassive Black Holes.

May 22-26 — International Institute for Advanced Scientific Studies (IIASS), University of Salerno, MPIA, Salerno, Italy: 2nd Advanced School on Exoplanetary Science.

May 22 — Moon: 2.4° S of Venus, 02:32.

Continued from…

May 5 – Jun 19 — Johnson Space Center, NASA, Houston TX: Campaign 4: Human Exploration Research Analog (HERA 2017); 45 day analog spaceflight / Moon / Mars mission.

May 20-25 — Japan Geoscience Union, American Geophysical Union, Chiba, Japan: Japan Geoscience Union (JpGU) / American Geophysical Union (AGU) Joint Meeting; at Makuhari Messe.

May 20-27 — Beijing National Palace of Culture, Beijing, China: 2017 National Science and Technology Week; celebrating science, technology and space, and featuring Chang’e-5 lunar sample return mission and Mars virtual reality experience.


May 23 — Senate Subcommittee on Space, Science & Competitiveness, Washington DC: Hearing: Reopening the American Frontier: Exploring How the Outer Space Treaty Will Impact American Commerce and Settlement in Space; convened by U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), 14:30.

May 23 — Space Telescope Science Institute, NASA, ESA, CSA, Baltimore MD: Lecture: Astropy and James Webb Space Telescope.

May 23-24 — ESA, Noordwijk, The Netherlands: Space Engineering and Technology Final Presentation Days.

May 23-25 — Smartershows, SatNews, Cryogenic Society of America, Commercial Spaceflight Federation, et al, Pasadena CA: Space Tech Expo 2017.

May 23-25 — National Academies of Science, Engineering, Medicine, Washington DC: Review of Planetary Protection Policy Development Processes .

May 23-26 — International Academy of Astronautics, Yuzhnoye SDO, Dnipro, Ukraine: 6th International Conference on Space Technology: Present and Future.

May 23 — Moon: 1.6° S of Mercury, 15:20.

May 23 — Apollo Asteroid 2015 VX105: Near-Earth Flyby (0.072 AU).

May 23 — Amor Asteroid 2017 HO49: Near-Earth Flyby (0.083 AU).


May 24 — Goddard Space Flight Center, NASA, Greenbelt MD: Colloquium: The Exploration of Pluto by NASA’s New Horizons; by Alan Stern of SwRI, 15:30.


May 25 — ISRO, Launch PSLV / EKS 2E, Satish Dhawan Space Center, Sriharikota, India: Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, flying on PSLV-C38 mission, to launch ISRO satellite 2E of the Cartosat series, the current generation of Indian remote sensing satellites.

May 25 — Roscosmos State Corporation, Launch Soyuz / EKS 2, Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan: Russia government Soyuz rocket to launch EKS 1 early warning satellite for Russia military.

May 25-29 — National Space Society, St. Louis MO: 36th annual International Space Development Conference (ISDC 2017): In the Spirit of Exploration and Discovery.

May 25 — Moon: New Moon, 09:44; at perigee (distance 357,210 km), 15:23.


May 26 — NASA, Online / Washington DC: Media teleconference to discuss science investigations launching on SpaceX CRS-11 ISS resupply mission scheduled June 1; 10:00 am.

May 26 — The National Academies, Online / Washington DC: A Midterm Assessment of Implementation of the Decadal Survey on Life and Physical Sciences Research at NASA.

May 26 — The Space Show, Online / Tiburon CA: Dr. David Livingston talks with Scott Pace, Director Space Policy Institute, Elliott School of International Affairs, George Washington University.

May 26, 27 — Space Center Houston, Houston TX: Lunch with an Astronaut, Ken Cameron, adult US$69.95.

May 26 — Comet 73P-AI/Schwassmann-Wachmann: Near-Earth Flyby (0.023 AU).


May 27 — Apollo Asteroid 2017 HP49: Near-Earth Flyby (0.063 AU).

May 27 — Aten Asteroid 2016 GK135: Near-Earth Flyby (0.074 AU).

May 27 — Apollo Asteroid 6063 Jason: Near-Earth Flyby (0.099 AU).


May 28-31 — National Institute for Space Research – INPE, SELPER Brazil – Latin American Association on Remote Sensing, Santos, Brazil: 18th Brazilian Remote Sensing Symposium.

May 28 – Jun 18 — Aspen Center for Physics, Aspen CO: Workshop: Quantum Gravity and New Moonshines; and Workshop: After Inflation.