November 4-10, 2013 / Vol 32, No 44 / Hawai`i Island, USA

India 1st Mars Mission & USA MAVEN Spacecraft Ready to Launch, Collaborate

MOM, MAVENImportant steps toward advancing humanity as a multi world species are being taken as the 1st India Mars mission is ready to launch aboard a PSLV rocket from the Satish Dhawan Space Center in Sriharikota, India at 14:38 on November 5. Known as Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) or Mangalyaan (Mars craft), the 1,350-kg craft is foremost a space technology development venture tasked with providing data on orbit maneuvers, deep-space communication and autonomous capabilities. It will also explore the morphology, mineralogy and atmosphere of Mars using 5 indigenous instruments including a Lyman-Alpha Photometer and Methane Sensor. After 25 days in highly-elliptical Earth orbit, an engine burn will send MOM toward Mars where it is expected to enter orbit September 24, 2014 and spend its 6-10 month operational life. NASA is set to launch Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (Maven) on Nov 18 from Kennedy Space Center in Florida. It is scheduled to arrive at Mars 2 days before MOM. Deep Space Network will provide support services for Maven and MOM, and the 2 mission science teams plan to collaborate on overlapping objectives. The US$671M, 8-instrument Maven is expected to spend at least 1 year studying the Mars atmosphere from a 150-km altitude to determine how / why Mars lost 90% of its atmosphere and what effect it had on climate and habitability. MOM and Maven will join ESA’s Mars Express orbiter, marking the 1st time 3 nations have spacecraft simultaneously at Mars. Pictured: ISRO Chairman K. Radhakrishnan (R), Maven P.I. Bruce Jakosky (L). (Image Credit: ISRO, K. Kremer, NASA, GSFC)

Work on Lunar Ice, Dust, Communications to Support Future Moon Development

Calendar feature - Lunar Ice and DustThe Keck Institute for Space Studies at California Institute of Technology with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory is hosting the second in a series of workshops on ‘New Approaches to Lunar Ice Detection and Mapping’ on November 4-7. The study will innovate low-cost mission concepts for detecting and mapping ice deposits on the Moon’s South and North poles. The first workshop hosted by KISS July 22-25 assessed key measurements needed to advance understanding of distribution and abundance of lunar ices. Now in this session, the sub-team studies on specific concepts and technologies are down selected to 2-3 efficient and affordable mission concepts and focused architectures with high potential of realization in the near future. Study Co-Leads Paul Hayne of JPL, Andy Ingersoll of Caltech and David Paige of UCLA emphasize that identifying deposits at small (~100 m) spatial scales will facilitate future extraction, sample analysis and in-situ resource utilization. Future development of the Moon as an extension of Human civilization will also be enhanced by data returns of the current LADEE mission to study the lunar atmosphere and dust environment. LADEE has also experimentally proven the concept of high bandwidth super fast laser communications links between Earth and Moon. This technology could enable the internet to go interplanetary. (Image Credit: KISS, Caltech, UCLA, NASA)

Nov - Jan 2014 = 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 (SW); Morning Planets: Mars (E), Jupiter (ENE).


Nov 4 — ISS, LEO: Expedition 37 reviewing procedures / preparing for arrival of 3-member crew Nov 7, Russia EVA set for Nov 9, departure of 3-member crew and change of command ceremony Nov 10.

Nov 4 — WISE, LEO: Spacecraft expected to identify 150 previously unknown NEOs and characterize size, albedo thermal properties of about 2,000 others within 45M km of Earth in 3-year period.

Nov 4 — Curiosity, Cooperstown Trajectory, Mars: Will have 3rd software update uploaded to advance capabilities for using robotic arm while parked on slopes, storing information overnight / resuming autonomous driving the next day.

 Nov 4 — Interorbital Systems Corp., Mojave CA: NewSpace company preparing for low-altitude launch of Common Propulsion Module Test Vehicle (CPM-TV) with 4 payloads aboard.

 Nov 4 — Masten Space Systems Inc., Mojave CA: Flight testing Xombie technology demonstration rocket Nov 11-22 to mature Autonomous Guidance, Navigation and Control (AGC) precision landing technology.

Nov 4 — Terminal Velocity Aerospace LLC, Moffett Field CA: Will begin arc-jet and other ground testing of newly-developed thermal protection system (TPS) materials at Ames Research Center.

Nov 4 — Ames Research Center, NASA, Online / Moffett Field CAMedia Briefing To Discuss Kepler Results; live coverage available, 10:15 PST.

Nov 4-5 — The National Academies Space Studies Board & Board on Physics and Astronomy, Washington DC: Committee on Astronomy and Physics; at Keck Center.

Nov 4-6 — Launchspace Inc., Cocoa Beach FL: Launch Vehicle Systems Design and Engineering Course; US$1,595.

Nov 4-7 — Keck Institute for Space Studies, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Caltech/NASA, Pasadena CAWorkshop: New Approaches to Lunar Ice Detection and Mapping – Part II.

Nov 4-8 — Ames Research Center, NASA, Moffett Field CA: Kepler Science Conference II.

Continued from…

Oct 30 – Dec 30 — Wallops Flight Facility, NASA, Louisiana Space Consortium (LaSPACE), Online / Wallops VA: Applications being accepted for student science experiments to fly on 37-km altitude balloon in fall 2014.

Oct 30 – Jan 17, 2014 — Lunar and Planetary Institute, Houston TX: Applications being accepted for LPI Summer Intern Program in Planetary Science.

Nov 1-8 — Johnson Space Center, NASA, Houston TX: Launch of 14 undergraduate student teams’ microgravity experiments as part of Minority University Research and Education Project (MUREP) and Reduced Gravity Education Flight Project.

Nov 3-8 — American Society for Gravitational and Space Research, Lockheed Martin Corp., et al, Orlando FL: 29th American Society for Gravitational and Space Research; 5th International Symposium for Physical Sciences in Space.


Nov 5 — Juno, Jupiter Trajectory: Inner Cruise 3 phase ends today, spacecraft begins 791-day Quiet Cruise phase.

Nov 5 — ISRO, Launch PSLV / Mars Orbiter Mission (Mangalyaan), Satish Dhawan Space Center, Sriharikota, India: Augmented version of 4-stage Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle set to launch Mangalyaan at 14:38 local time; will probe Mars atmosphere, look for methane hotspots and indications of water; launch window Oct 28 – Nov 19.

Nov 5 — NASA HQ, Online / Washington DC: Teleconference: Meeting – Planetary Science Subcommittee of the NASA Advisory Council; 11:00 – 16:00 EST.

Nov 5-10 — European Commission, Munich, Germany: Space Tech Expo; to show how space and its applications provide benefits to Europe’s citizens; at Cathedral Square.

Nov 5 — Moon: 7.4° N of Antares, 02:00; at perigee (364,930 km), 23:00.


Nov 6-7 — ESA, Noordwijk, The Netherlands: 2nd ESA Workshop on Stress Corrosion Cracking (SCC) in Space Applications; at European Space Research and Technology Centre.

Nov 6 — Moon: 8.0° N of Venus, 14:00.


Nov 7 — RSA, Launch Soyuz TMA-11M / ISS 37S, Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan: An RSA Soyuz rocket set to launch members of Expedition 38/39: Richard Mastracchio of NASA, Mikhail Tyurin of RSA, Koichi Wakata of JAXA (will become 1st Japan ISS Commander); will also deliver Olympic torch for 2014 Winter Olympics and UrtheCast Corp.’s Earth observation cameras; 10:14 local time.

Nov 7 — Canadian Space Commerce Association, Toronto, Ontario, Canada: CSCA Meeting; at Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP.

Nov 7 — SETI Institute, Mountain View CA: Cosmic Explorations: A Speaker Series: The Hazards of Near-Earth Asteroid Impacts; presented by Dr. David Kring from LPI.

Nov 7 — Husson University, Bangor ME: NASA Astronaut Christopher Cassidy to speak at Husson University about his time aboard ISS, education, inspiring youth.

Nov 7, 8 — Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Caltech/NASA, Pasadena CA: The von Kármán Lecture Series: From IRAS to Spitzer and Beyond – 30 years of Space-Based Infrared Astronomy; presented by Dr. Luisa Rebull of Caltech.

Nov 7-10 — SEDS, SpaceX, Orbital Sciences Corp., Moog Inc., et al, Phoenix AZ: SpaceVision 2013; at Arizona State University.

Nov 7 — Asteroid 2013 UE1: Near-Earth flyby (0.019 AU).

Nov 7 — Asteroid 2013 RM43: Near-Earth flyby (0.079 AU).


Nov 8 — Royal Astronomical Society, London, United Kingdom: Science Enabled by the Global Exploration Roadmap Meeting; Teaching, Learning and Outreach in Astronomy Meeting; Royal Astronomical Society Meeting; at Burlington House.

 Nov 8 — Peninsula Astronomical SocietyLos Altos Hills CA: Lecture: Origins of the Universe; presented by Karto Keating from UC Berkeley.

 Nov 8 — Johnson Space Center, NASA, Houston TX: Lunch with an Astronaut, John-David Bartoe; US$49.95 adult.

Nov 8 — Asteroid 2012 UV136: Near-Earth flyby (0.048 AU).

Nov 8 — Asteroid 2013 RV9: Near-Earth flyby (0.069 AU).


Nov 9 — ISS, Russia EVA-36, LEO: Olympic torch to be taken on EVA by Kotov, Ryanzansky as part of the torch relay for 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

Nov 9 — Space Tourism Society, Los Angeles CA: Seminar: Space Experience Economy (SEE); presented by STS founder / president John Spencer and other guests; US$175.

Nov 9 — Broward College, Coconut Creek FL: 5th Annual Carl Sagan Day: Past, Present and Future.

Nov 9-10 — Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, NASA, Titusville FL: 6th Annual Astronaut Autograph and Memorabilia Show Weekend; all proceeds from ticket sales benefit the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation; US$20-1,200.

Nov 9 — Moon: At first quarter, 19:58.

Nov 9 — Asteroid 2013 TN69: Near-Earth flyby (0.083 AU).


Nov 10 — ISS, Undocking of Soyuz TMA-09M, LEO: Expedition 37 members Yurchikhin, Nyberg, Parmitano return to Earth; Oleg Kotov becomes commander of ISS; undocking scheduled 23:26 UT, live coverage available; will land near Dzhezkazgan, Kazakhstan about 3 hours 24 minutes later.

Nov 10 — International Academy of Astronautics, Bangkok, Thailand: IAA Regional Meeting.

Nov 10 — PlayLab, X Prize Foundation, Galactic Unite, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada: Student Rocket Workshop; children grades 4-7 design, build and test rockets at Northstar Montessori Private School.

Nov 10 — The Space Show, Online / Tiburon CA: Host Dr. David Livingston talks with Chris Stone, senior space policy analyst and strategist.