May 28 – June 3, 2012 / Vol 31, No 22 / Hawai`i Island, USA

Sea Launch Zenit Rocket Set to Orbit Intelsat 19 Communications Satellite

From the equatorial Odyssey Launch Platform in the Pacific Ocean, a Zenit-3SL rocket with a Block DM-SL upper stage is set to launch the 5,600-kg Intelsat 19 to a geosynchronous orbit at 166°E. Liftoff is expected at 22:23 PDT on May 31st. With this, the first of 3 launches scheduled for 2012 and only the second attempt after reorganization in 2010, Sea Launch hopes to remain on the path to commercial success, profitability. A joint business plan released by RSC Energia the operator of Sea Launch and Roscosmos indicated that 3-4 successful launches per year would be required to keep the project afloat. Intelsat 19 is based on Space System / Loral’s 1300E high-power platform and has a projected lifetime of 15+ years. It will provide Ku and C-band service to customers in the Pacific Rim, including Southeast Asia, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and the USA west cost. Extensive satellite, teleport and fiber infrastructure makes Intelsat a leading service provider in the content delivery sector. The company carries 1 of every 4 television channels transmitted over fixed satellites and provides communications services to 99 percent of the world’s populated regions. (Image Credit: Sea Launch, Intelsat, SSL)

ISU Begins 25th Space Studies Program in Melbourne FL

The International Space University will commemorate its 25th Annual Space Studies Program at the Florida Institute of Technology and the Kennedy Space Center on June 4 – August 3. With over 3200 alumni from 100 countries, the ISU has established itself as a unique interdisciplinary space university which promotes international and intercultural cooperation in space activities. This year, a record 143 participants from 30 countries will attend the 9-week intensive program. The curriculum includes a wide variety of activities such as lectures by renowned experts, hands-on activities / projects, team work exercises and professional visits from Space industry leaders. Former ISU President Michael Simpson (T) notes, “Few places on Earth symbolize both the history of space flight and the exciting transition to new missions and methods for its future as well as Central Florida.” Participants will be able to attend a TEDxISU event on July 6. Invited speakers include ISU Co-Founder Peter Diamandis (C), ISU Alumnus Michael Potter and Brian Rishikof, and NASA Astronaut Ron Garan. On July 11, NASA KSC will host an Astronaut Panel with Ken Bowersox, Nicole Stott (B), Jim Voss, Winston Scott, Garrett Reisman, Kent Rominger, and JAXA astronaut Chiaki Mukai. The ISU Space Studies Program 2013 will take place in São José dos Campos, Brazil, June 17 – Aug 13. (Image Credit: ISU, TEDx, NASA,,,

= 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: Venus (WNW), Mars (SSW), Saturn (S).


May 28 — International Space Station, LEO: E-31 crew members continue scientific experiments and station maintenance after successful capture and berthing of Dragon with the Canadarm2; Dragon set to return to Earth on May 31 for retrieval.

May 28 — Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), Lunar Orbit: NASA LRO functioning nominally in its 50±15 km near-circular orbit as it makes digital elevation and surface maps that will be fundamental references for future human exploration.

May 28 — Mars Rover Opportunity, Red Planet:  Opportunity positioning to use its robotic arm instruments to investigate a patch of dust at Endeavour Crater; Dust patch could possibly determine the origin of its chemical signature; Total odometry: 4,380.58 meters.

May 28 — Jupiter Juno Mission, Jupiter Trajectory: Juno spacecraft in excellent health and operating nominally; Spacecraft has now traveled 624 million km since launch and is currently traveling at a velocity of 60,800 km per hour relative to the Sun.

May 28-30 — University of Glasgow, Tobermory, Glasgow, United Kingdom:Gravitational Wave Bursts 2012.’

May 28-31 — Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel:Workshop: The Physics and Evolution of Active Black Holes.’

May 28-31 — University of Warsaw, Republic of Poland – Ministry of Science and Higher Education, et al, Warsaw, Poland:PLANCK 2012 Conference: From the Planck Scale to the Electroweak Scale.’

May 28 — Moon: At First Quarter, 10:15; 6.5° SSW of Mars, 11:00.

May 28 — Mercury: 6.2° NNW of Aldebaran; 09:00.

Continued from…

May 20 — Aspen Center for Physics, Aspen CO: Aspen Summer Meeting 2012: ‘A Window to the Formation of the Milky Way;’ through June 9.

May 24 — National Space Society, Washington DC:31st International Space Development Conference 2012;’ through May 28.

May 27 — Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel:Planetary Origins and Frontiers of Exploration;’ Jun 3.


May 29 — NASA Lunar Science Institute, Moffett Field CA: ‘Webinar: The Moon as a Touchstone for Solar System Science,’ James Head.

May 29 — ESA, Noordwijk, The Netherlands:Consultation with Industry 2012: Concluding Conference.’

May 29 — ESA, Noordwijk, The Netherlands; Online:SpaceTweetup with Andre Kuipers: Ask @Astro_Andre.’

May 29-30 — Cornell University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, et al, Cambridge MA: ‘1st Interplanetary CubeSat Workshop.’

May 29 – Jun 1 — Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society, Montreal, Quebec, Canada:46th Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society Congress.’

May 29 – Jun 1 — ESA, Noordwijk, The Netherlands:5th International Conference on Astrodynamics Tools and Techniques: Astrodynamics at the Fingertips.’

May 29 – Jun 5 — National Radio Astronomy Observatory, New Mexico Consortium, et al, Socorro NM: ‘13th Synthesis Imaging Workshop.’

May 29 — Cassini OTM-324, Saturn Orbit: Spacecraft conducts Orbital Trim Maneuver #324 today.


May 30 — NASA Headquarters, Washington DC: News conference to discuss the upcoming launch of the Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR), a mission to hunt for black holes at 13:00 EDT; NuSTAR launch date NET Jun 13.

May 30 — International Academy of Astronautics, Ukraine, Kiev:IAA Regional Meeting.’

May 30-31 — Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt MD: ‘2nd International Workshop on On-Orbit Satellite Servicing.’

May 30 – Jun 1 — Australian Academy of Science, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Organization, Sydney, Australia:Meeting: Exploring the Radio Continuum Universe with SKA Pathfinders.’

May 30 — Asteroid 2001 CQ36: Near-Earth Flyby (0.026 AU).


NET May 31 — Sea Launch, Launch Zenit 3SL / Intelsat 19, Odyssey Platform, Pacific Ocean: A Sea Launch Zenit 3SL rocket set to deliver the Intelsat 19 communications satellite into orbit providing C-band and Ku-band communications services to the Asia-Pacific region.

May 31 — NASA Headquarters, Washington DC: Science update to discuss new Hubble Space Telescope observations that allow astronomers to predict with certainty the next major cosmic event to affect our entire Galaxy, Sun, and Solar System at 13:00 EDT.

May 31 – Jun 7 — NASA Living with a Star Program, Boulder CO: ‘Heliophysics Summer School 2012.’

May 31 — Moon: 6.2° SSW of Saturn, 15:00; 1.6° SW of Spica, 16:00.

May 31 — Asteroid 6790 Pingouin: Closest Approach to Earth (0.1001 AU).


Jun 1 —New Horizons Mission, Pluto Trajectory: NASA New Horizons spacecraft on course to Pluto and operating nominally; Spacecraft to undergo extensive diagnostics of all systems before its next hibernation from early July into early January 2013.

Jun 1 — NASA Headquarters, Washington DC: Proposal deadline for formal and informal education organizations to host live in-flight interactive conversations between the next generation of explorers and astronauts aboard the ISS.

Jun 1 — Women In Aerospace, Arlington VA:Aerospace 2012: ‘Leading the Way,’ featuring NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver.

Jun 1 — Venus: 0.26° SSW of Mercury; 12:00.


Jun 2 — Bunker Hill Community College, Boston MA:BHCC 38th Commencement,’ featuring 1st female Cmdr of a NASA Space Shuttle / retired US Air Force Colonel Eileen Collins.

Jun 2 — Asteroid 2007 LE: Near-Earth Flyby (0.048 AU).

Jun 2 — Asteroid 3169 Ostro: Closest Approach to Earth (0.974 AU).


Jun 3-5 — Women in Technology International (WITI), Santa Clara CA:WITI Women Powering Technology Summit: Technology Powering Change.’

Jun 3-6 — Institute for Astronomy Maui Maikalani/ATRC, Maui HI:Transiting Planets in the House of the Sun: A Workshop on M Dwarf Stars and Their Planets.’

Jun 3-7 — Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel:Workshop: Applications of Gauge – Gravity Duality.’

Jun 3 — Cassini OTM-325, Saturn Orbit: Spacecraft conducts Orbital Trim Maneuver #325 today.

Jun 3 — Moon: At Perigee (Distance 358,482 km), 03:00; 5.0° N of Antares, 17:00.

Leave a Reply