May 15-21, 2017 / Vol 36, No 20 / Hawai`i Island, USA

5th IAA Planetary Defense Conference Convenes in Tokyo

International Academy of Astronautics is holding its 5th bi-annual Planetary Defense Conference at the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation (Miraikan) in Tokyo, Japan on 15-19 May. Bringing together experts from around the world with the theme Gathering for Impact the event seeks to evaluate and mitigate the threat to Earth posed by asteroids and comets. Areas of focus for the program include Key International and Political Developments, Advancements in NEO Discovery, New NEO Characterization Results, Deflection & Disruption Modeling and Testing, Mission & Campaign Design, Impact Consequences, Disaster Response, Impact Risk Assessment and Decision to Act, and Public Education and Communication. Program Committee Co-Chairs are William Ailor of The Aerospace Corporation, Brent Barbee of NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and Gerhard Drolshagen of ESA. There will be Monday morning Keynote presentations by Saku Tsuneta, Director of Institute of Space and Astronautical Science (Japan) and Johann-Dietrich Woerner, Director General of ESA. Another feature of the event is the hypothetical NEO/Earth impact emergency response scenario. Participants will be responding to an imagined asteroid about 100-250 meters with the potential to cross paths with Earth on July 21, 2027. (Image Credit: IAA, NASA, ESA, ISAS, Miraikan)


May 15 — ISS, 330-435-km LEO: Expedition 51 with Commander Peggy Whitson, 2 NASA and 2 Russia Flight Engineers transferring cargo from Cygnus OA-7 and Progress 66P, planning to welcome CRS 11 beginning of June, harvesting vegetables and freezing for future research, working on studies involving DNA, bone density, drug interactions, combustion in Space; ISS surpasses 200th EVA.

May 15  — Solar System: Curiosity scans 360° view of Ogunquit Beach dunes on Mars; Juno detailed images of Jupiter reveal dozens of oval storms behaving in unanticipated patterns; Scientists planning next Pluto / Kuiper Belt mission; ESTCube-2 prototype for lunar cubesat missions being tested by Estonia, could launch 2019.

May 15 — Galaxy: James Webb Telescope update on final vacuum testing at JSC; NASA / ESA Hubble telescope recent image shows Galaxy Cluster Abell 370 located 6 billion light years away; NuStar telescope data of 52 galaxies indicate colliding galaxies become covered in a cocoon of gas & dust

May 15 — Global: Draper proposes collaboration with NASA / ASU to build Mars atmosphere / climate research smallsat Aeolus; NASA infographic on how space affects men & women; UAE details Mars 2117 settlement & Hope probe 2020; Lomonosov Moscow State University discusses ‘cosmic patrol’ plan for satellites to protect Earth from radiation / NEOs; Ye Peijian of CAST talks about China asteroid mining in future; JAXA testing H-III engines.

May 15 — NewSpace: Mars Institute Pascal Lee estimates cost to travel to Mars ~US$1 Trillion over next 25 years, noting Moon is much closer / cheaper; data being reviewed from SpaceX first static-fire test of Falcon Heavy 27-Merlin engine core; Scotland Clyde Space building new SeaHawk smallsat designed to monitor ocean color & transmit data at 40 mbps; Made in Space displays video of Archinaut system to produce / assemble large equipment in orbit.

May 15 — SpaceX, Launch Falcon 9 / Inmarsat 5 F4, Cape Canaveral AFS FL: SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket to launch Inmarsat 5 F4 communications satellite for Inmarsat of London.

= 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 (W), Jupiter (SE); Morning Planets: Venus (E), Saturn (S).

Return to Deep Space Event Features Expert Speakers; NASA Proposes Deep Space Gateway

The Atlantic Magazine is hosting a four-hour event in Washington DC at Knight Conference Center May 16 titled ‘On the Launchpad – Return to Deep Space.’ It features acting administrator for NASA Robert Lightfoot, Executive Director for Coalition for Deep Space Mary Lynne Dittmar, CEO Explore Mars Chris Carberry, Founder of Mars Society Robert Zubrin, Former NASA scientist Ellen Stofan, Senator Ted Cruz, HI SEAS 4 participant Sheyna Gifford and representatives from George Washington University School of Medicine, Hewlett Packard Labs  and The Atlantic. A lively discussion will highlight public and private companies’ next-gen technologies for human Space travel and Red Planet goals. The journey to the Moon, Venus, Mars, Asteroids, and Beyond may utilize an international Deep Space Gateway in cislunar space at Earth-Moon L1 providing a refueling / resource station for craft and crew as the first step into the Solar System. The NASA proposed concept would launch a power bus on Orion / SLS flight ~2021 with additional component assembly finishing 2026. Missions to Moon surface could be conducted from this location, as well as lunar research and lunar robotics. Crews could refresh at the Gateway and prepare for 2-year duration Mars missions, perhaps as early as 2033. (Image Credit: NASA, The Atlantic)



May 15 — The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP), Space Applications For Environment (SAFE), JAXA, Bangkok, Thailand: APRSAF/SAFE-UNESCAP 2017.

May 15-16 — SMi Group, Ciena, Hughes, SES, Eutelsat, Singapore: MilSatCom Asia Pacific Conference: Enhancing MilSatCom Capabilities and Assets in the Asia-Pacific Region.

May 15-17 — Lund University, Lund Observatory, Lund, Sweden: Meeting: Impacts in Planetary Systems.

May 15-18 — Space Telescope Science Institute, NASA, ESA, CSA, Baltimore MD: Meeting: JWST Proposal and Planning Workshop.

May 15-19 — University of Colorado, ESA, NASA, Boulder CO: International Conference on Mars Aeronomy 2017; discussing Mars missions and all aspects of Mars aeronomy, including pertinent observations, analyses, theoretical models and results.

May 15-19 — International Academy of Astronautics, Tokyo, Japan: 2017 IAA Planetary Defense Conference; at National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation (Miraikan).

May 15-19 — Green Bank Observatory, National Science Foundation, Green Bank WV: Green Bank Observatory’s Observer training school; an introduction to general radio astronomical techniques as well as onsite training for GBT observers.

May 15 — Apollo Asteroid 2017 JM2: Near-Earth Flyby (0.013 AU).

May 15 — Apollo Asteroid 2017 HL1: Near-Earth Flyby (0.054 AU).

Continued from…

Apr 13 – May 16 — NASA, Canadian Nuclear Laboratories, Deep River, Ontario, Canada: Eyes on the Universe; interactive exhibit in Deep River Town Hall.

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 14-20 — Michigan State University, East Lansing MI: 2nd Nuclear Science Summer School (NS3)


May 16 — The Atlantic, Washington DC: Event: On the Launchpad – Return to Deep Space; at Knight Conference Center.

May 16-19 — Dixie State University, St. George UT: 5th International Planetary Dunes Workshop.

May 16 — Apollo Asteroid 2012 EC: Near-Earth Flyby (0.050 AU).


May 17 — Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI), Daejeon, S Korea: Workshop for graduate and undergraduate students in Korea who are interested in participating in the National CubeSat Contest.

May 17-18 — National Science Museum Thailand, JAXA, Pathum Thani, Thailand: Seminar on Space Education for Educators.

May 17 — Mercury: At greatest elongation, 25.8° W, 13:00.


May 18 — Arianespace, Launch Soyuz / SES 15, Kourou, French Guiana: Arianespace Soyuz rocket, designated VS17, to launch SES 15 communications satellite for SES of Luxembourg.

May 18 — Frontiers of Flight Museum, Dallas TX: 2017 Gala with Jim Lovell, Commander of Apollo 13.

May 18 — Moon: At last quarter, 14:33.


May 19 — Juno, Jupiter Orbit: In 53-day orbital period, 6th close flyby (4,100 km) of Jupiter scheduled today.

May 19 — Kennedy Space Center, KSC FL: 2017 U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame Induction; Michael Foale and Ellen Ochoa will officially be inducted into the United States Astronaut Hall of Fame.

May 19 — Eventide Visuals Inc., Gravitas Ventures, Broadcast: Fight for Space; in theaters and on demand, featuring Neil DeGrasse Tyson, Jim Lovell, Story Musgrave, Rick Tumlinson, James Muncy, Marcia Smith, Bill Nye, John Logsdon, Gene Kranz, Jeff Greason.

May 19 — `Imiloa Astronomy Center, University of Hawai`i – Hilo, Hilo HI: Mauna Kea Skies Talk; astronomers from Mauna Kea observatories speak about recent discoveries; this session features Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA); 19:00 HST, US$8-10.

May 19 — Heritage Auctions, Dallas TX: Space Exploration Signature Auction including Apollo Flown and Historic Soviet Items, materials from private collections of several Astronauts.

May 19-20 — Astronaut Scholarship Foundation, Kennedy Space Center, NASA, Delaware North, KSC FL: 2017 U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony & Gala.


May 20 — Akatsuki, Venus Orbit: JAXA first successful planetary orbiter imaging Venus atmosphere, monitoring weather changes reaches 7 full years in space today.

May 20 — Oregon L5 Society – NSS Chapter, Vancouver WA: Oregon L5 Society monthly meeting; 14:00 at Pearson Air Museum.

May 20-21 — Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Caltech/NASA, Pasadena CA: Jet Propulsion Laboratory Event: Explore JPL.

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 — Apollo Asteroid 2017 JO2: Near-Earth Flyby (0.062 AU).


May 21 — Cassini, Saturn Orbit: Flyby of Atlas scheduled at 88,000-km altitude, Janus at 107,000-km, Aegaeon at 120,000-km.

May 21 — Smithsonian Channel, Broadcast: America’s Secret Space Heroes; featuring men and women who took America to the Moon and beyond, 21:00.