May 30 – June 5, 2016 / Vol 35, No 22 / Hawai`i Island, USA

Next-Gen Suborbital Researchers Reconvening in Colorado

Calendar feature - NSRC 16

Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) and Commercial Spaceflight Federation (CSF) are leading the 2016 Next-Generation Suborbital Researchers Conference (NSRC) June 2-4. The aim is to provide in-depth NASA, FAA and flight provider briefings and extensive networking opportunities for researchers and educators working to find solutions through access to high altitude, low gravity, near-space environments for testing and experimentation. Organizers like Alan Stern Associate VP at SwRI and Tommy Sanford Executive Director at CSF anticipate a new generation of space vehicles coming online 2016-2017 that will offer diverse and economical access to the edge of space, for payloads and for people. The program committee includes Sean Casey (SVSC), Steven Collicott (Purdue University), Joshua Colwell (University of Central Florida), March Cuttino (Orbital Medicine Inc), Makenzie Lystrup (Ball Aerospace), Khaki Rodway (Masten), Todd Smith (JHU-APL) and Charlie Walker (1st non-government Astronaut). Among the distinguished guest speakers are world record high altitude space diver Alan Eustace, Associate Administrator of NASA Space Technology Mission Directorate Steve Jurczyk, and Associate Administrator of FAA Office of Commercial Space Transportation George Nield. In addition to various tracks, pipelines and themed sessions, the program includes tours of Ball Aerospace and Sierra Nevada Corporation as well as a public talk by Jane Poynter of World View Enterprises. This is the 5th NSRC after a hiatus since 4 consecutive events were held 2010-2013. (Image Credit: SwRI, CSF, NASA)


May 30 — ISS, LEO: Expedition 47 six-member crew scheduled to enter BEAM June 2 and continue to monitor after its full expansion to 16-cubic meter volume & 80-hour leak check phase, working with Fine Motor Skills experiment, rodent research, veggie growth, Earth photography while orbiting at 27,600 kph.

May 30 — Tiangong 1, LEO: China space lab descending into Earth atmosphere over next couple months for fiery disintegration; core module “Tianhe-1” (Heavenly River-1) of new space station to launch 2018.

 May 30 — Fermi Gamma-ray Telescope, LEO: In 8th year of operations, observing Universe in highest-energy form of light at 8,000 electronvolts (8 keV) to 300+ billion electronvolts (300 GeV); adding data to theory that dark matter “is made of black holes formed during the first second of our Universe’s existence.”

 May 30 — 2016 ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter, Mars Trajectory: ESA craft to perform trajectory correction maneuver in July, enter Mars orbit Oct 19, with battery-powered Schiaparelli landing same day (expected to collect data on surface conditions for four Martian days / sols).

 May 30 — Orbital Access Ltd., Prestwick, United Kingdom: NewSpace company planning to lead the development of UK indigenously built horizontal take off space launch systems to take advantage of UK spaceport aiming to be functional by 2018; CEO Stuart McIntyre.

May 30 — Deep Space Industries, Moffett Field CA: Partnering with Luxembourg government to co-fund Prospector-X to test Comet-1 electrothermal thruster & other technologies for asteroid prospecting, will open 2nd office in Luxembourg, planning to launch Prospector in 2020 & 2nd craft in 2025; Chairman Rick Tumlinson.

May 30 — NanoRacks LLC, Houston TX: Allowing for CubeSat deployment from ISS with NanoRacks CubeSat Deployer (111 deployed so far), research experiments in & on ISS with NanoLab and External Platform, offering integration services on Blue Origin New Shepard space vehicle & cost-efficient hardware for LEO and beyond.

MAY - JULY 2016 = 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 (SE), Jupiter (S), Saturn (SW); Morning Planets: Neptune (ESE).

Vatican Observatory 2016 Biennial Summer School to Host 25 International Students

Vatican ObservatoryThe 2016 Vatican Observatory Summer School in Astrophysics will focus on Water in the Solar System and Beyond at the Vatican Observatory (VO) in Castel Gandolfo, Italy from May 29 to June 24. With 14 tuition-free summer schools since 1986, this year’s program will be led by VO Director Guy Consolmagno S.J., Meenakshi Wadhwa and Christopher Impey of Arizona State University, Robert Macke and Jean-Baptiste Kikwaya of VO, Athena Coustenis of Paris Observatory and Andrew Rivkin of JHU/APL. Consolmagno is the 1st religious brother to be awarded American Astronomical Society Carl Sagan Medal for Excellence in Public Communication in Planetary Science. The tie between Catholic religion beginnings and study of the Stars is evidenced back to the Early Middle Ages (5th-10th Century) with the modern version of the VO being established by Pope Leo XIII in 1891. VO in Castel Gandolfo has 4 historical telescopes (Zeiss Visual Refractor Telescope 1935, Zeiss Double Astrograph 1935, “Carte du Ciel” Telescope 1942, Schmidt Telescope 1957), a research library containing more than 22,000 volumes, and 1,100 samples of meteorites equaling ~150 kg. It operates the Vatican Advanced Technology Telescope (VATT) located at Mount Graham International Observatory in Arizona, USA since 1993. (Image Credit: Vatican Observatory, ASU, AAS)

May 30 — CNSA, Launch Long March 4B / Ziyuan 3, Taiyuan, China: Long March 4B rocket to launch Ziyuan 3 land survey satellite and ÑuSat 1 & ÑuSat 2 commercial high-resolution Earth observation microsatellites for Satellogic of Argentina.

May 30 – Jun 2 — Canadian Astronomical Society, University of Manitoba, CFHT, Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, et al, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada: Annual Meeting of the Canadian Astronomical Society (CASCA).

May 30 – Jun 2 — Hermann Minkowski Institute for Foundational Studies, Varna, Bulgaria: 4th International Conference on the Nature and Ontology of Spacetime; at Hotel Lilia.

May 30 – Jun 3 — European Global Navigation Satellite Systems Agency, The Hague, The Netherlands: 2016 European Space Solutions Conference.

May 30 – Jun 1 — AIAA, IEE, Central Scientific Research Institute Elektropribor, St. Petersburg, Russia: 23rd St. Petersburg International Conference on Integrated Navigation Systems.

May 30 — Moon: 1.4° SSE of asteroid 18 Melpomene, 11:00.

May 30 — Mars: Nearest to Earth (75 million km) 11:00, will appear extra bright in sky during opposition until June 3, as distance begins to increase; next opposition July 27, 2018 at 57.6 million km; next record-breaking opposition August 29, 2287 at 55.69 million km.

May 30 — Amor Asteroid 2016 JT: Near-Earth flyby (0.077 AU).

Continued from…

May 3-31 — SETI Institute, Mountain View CA / Online: US$50,000 fundraising campaign to fund work in education, public outreach, SETI searches.

May 23 – Jul 29 — The Lunar and Planetary Institute, Johnson Space Center, NASA, Houston TX: Exploration Science Summer Intern Program.

May 27-30 — Chinese Academy of Sciences, National Natural Science Foundation of China, University of Exeter, Beijing, China: 4th Beijing Earth and Planetary Interiors Symposium (BEPIS).

May 29 – Jun 12 — Aspen Center for Physics, Aspen CO: Workshop: New Frontiers in Far-infrared and Sub-millimeter Astronomy.

May 29 – Jun 19 — Aspen Center for Physics, Aspen CO: Workshop: Light-matter Interaction and Quantum Control In Many-body Systems.

May 29 – Jun 24 — Vatican Observatory, Castel Gandolfo, Italy: 2016 Summer School in Astrophysics: Water in the Solar System and Beyond.


May 31 — Juno, Jupiter Trajectory: Spacecraft to perform trajectory correction maneuver today.

May 31 — SETI Institute, Mountain View CA: Lecture: Sniffing Alien Atmospheres – Exoplanet Spectrophotometry; Daniel Angerhausen from GSFC, 12:00.

May 31 – Jun 3 — National Solar Observatory, Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, National Science Foundation, Boulder CO: 2016 Solar Physics Division (SPD) Meeting.

May 31 — Apollo Asteroid 2016 JG17: Near-Earth flyby (0.041 AU).

May 31 — Amor Asteroid 2016 HQ19: Near-Earth flyby (0.061 AU).

May 31 — Apollo Asteroid 2015 YU1: Near-Earth flyby (0.072 AU).


NET Jun — Gaia, Sun-Earth L2 Lagrange Point: Gaia spacecraft first set of data to be released this month; spacecraft mapping more than 1B stars in Milky Way Galaxy.

NET Jun — Dawn, Ceres Orbit: End of scheduled primary mission, craft expected to gather science data from increasingly closer orbits to Ceres, future mission plans to be determined; to avoid contamination, craft will not impact surface.

NET Jun — Rocket Lab, Mahia Peninsula, New Zealand: Company planning to begin test launches of 16-meter Electron rocket this month from new commercial site on Mahia Peninsula.

Jun 1 — Deep Space, Jupiter Trajectory: Juno traveling at 22,590 kph is now 33 days from Jupiter orbit insertion, collecting data on Jupiter gravity influences and refining trajectory; will spend 20 months at Jupiter, launched Aug 5, 2011.

Jun 1 — NASA, Bethesda MD: Technology Workshop for the New Frontiers Program 4th Announcement of Opportunity; at Bethesda North Marriott Hotel and Conference Center.

Jun 1 — United Launch Alliance, Online / Centennial CO: Applications due for University students to compete for free CubeSat rides on Atlas V rockets.

Jun 1-2 — The Royal Society, Buckinghamshire, United Kingdom: Conference: Bridging the Gap – From Massive Stars to Supernovae.

Jun 1-3 — Society for Planetary Impact Studies, Brainerd MN: 1st Annual Meeting of the Society for Planetary Impact Studies.

Jun 1-5 — National Science Foundation, NYC NY: 2016 World Science Festival; 2016 Kavli Prize Laureates to be announced Jun 2 from Oslo, Norway.

Jun 1-8 — National Radio Astronomy Observatory, ALMA, Associated Universities Inc., National Science Foundation, New Mexico Tech, The University of New Mexico, Socorro NM: 15th Synthesis Imaging Workshop.

Jun 1 — Moon: 2.3° SSE of Uranus, 05:00.

Jun 1 — Venus: 5.2° N of Aldebaran, 00:00.


Jun 2 — Woman in Aerospace – Europe, Berlin, Germany: WIA-E Panel discussion Innovation for Exploration! A Bridge for the Future at Berlin Air Show ILA 2016.

Jun 2 — Lunar and Planetary Institute, Houston TX: Lecture: Mars Science Laboratory Mission Update; Dr. Allan Treiman of LPI.

Jun 2-4 — Southwest Research Institute, Commercial Spaceflight Federation, Suborbital Applications Researchers Group, Broomfield CO: Next-Generation Suborbital Researchers Conference 2016; at Omni Interlocken Resort.

Jun 2-5 — The National Academies, Irvine CA: Meeting: Decadal Survey for Earth Science and Applications from Space – Jamboree #1.

Jun 2-5 — University of Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland: Warsaw Workshop on Non-Standard Dark Matter: Multicomponent Scenarios and Beyond.

Jun 2 — Saturn: At opposition, 21:00.

Jun 2 — Amor Asteroid 2016 HR6: Near-Earth flyby (0.084 AU).


Jun 3 — Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy, Karlsruhe, Germany: 2016 Meeting of the German Square Kilometer Array (SKA) Community.

Jun 3-4 — King’s College London, SpaceUp, London, United Kingdom: SpaceUp: UK; space unconference, where participants decide the topics, schedule, and structure of the event.

Jun 3 — Moon: 0.73° S of Mercury, 00:00; at perigee (distance 360,726 km), 00:56; 8.8° S of Pleiades, 17:00.

Jun 3 — Apollo Asteroid 2016 JK34: Near-Earth flyby (0.064 AU).

Jun 3 — Apollo Asteroid 2016 KD: Near-Earth flyby (0.074 AU).


Jun 4 — Cassini OTM-451, Saturn Orbit: Spacecraft conducts Orbital Trim Maneuver #451 today.

Jun 4 — United Launch Alliance, Launch Delta 4-Heavy / NROL-37, Cape Canaveral AFS FL: ULA Delta 4-Heavy rocket to launch classified spy satellite cargo for U.S. National Reconnaissance Office.

Jun 4 — Roscosmos, Launch Rockot / GEO-IK 2, Plesetsk Cosmodrome, Russia: Rockot to launch GEO-IK 2 spacecraft to measure variations in the gravitational field and other geodetic features of Earth.

Jun 4 — Mauna Kea Astronomy Outreach Committee, Kamuela HI, Mauna Kea 2,800-meter level: The Universe Tonight; presentation on current research & discoveries occurring on Mauna Kea 18:00, followed by stargazing program, at Mauna Kea Visitor Information Center.

Jun 4-5 — JPL, Caltech/NASA, Pasadena CA: Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) Open House.

Jun 4 — Moon: 4.9° S of Venus, 16:00; New Moon, 17:00.

Jun 4 — Apollo Asteroid 2016 JB29: Near-Earth flyby (0.031 AU).


Jun 5-10 — ESA, International Society for Gravitational Physiology, CNES, Toulouse, France: ESA/ISGP/CNES Joint Life Sciences Meeting 2016: Life in Space for Life on Earth.

Jun 5-18 — Science Center Pedro Pascual, Benasque, Spain: Astro-GR@Benasque: Dense Stellar Environments as a Probe of Astrophysics and General Relativity.

Jun 5 — Moon: 5.7° S of M35 cluster, 16:00.