October 19-25, 2015 / Vol 34, No 42 / Hawai`i Island, USA

Lunar Exploration and Planetary Caves Meetings Showcase Solar System Priorities

Calendar feature -- LEAG 2015The 2015 Annual Meeting of the Lunar Exploration Analysis Group (LEAG) to be held October 20-22 at the Universities Space Research Association (USRA) Headquarters in Columbia MD. Scientists, engineers and commercial sector entrepreneurs will be working on issues involving science, exploration, and utilization of the Moon to create a sustained human space-faring capability — advancing exploration of the Solar System. Institutional support also comes from NASA and Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI). Clive Neal of University of Notre Dame and Steve Mackwell of LPI are the Conveners with a distinguished Science Organizing Committee that includes Program Chair Samuel Lawrence (L) of Arizona State University, James Carpenter of ESA-ESTEC, Noah Petro of NASA/GSFC, Jeffrey Plescia of JHU/APL, Bob Richards of Moon Express, Greg Schmidt of NASA Ames and Charles Shearer of University of New Mexico. The 2nd International Planetary Caves Conference, at the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff AZ on Oct. 20-23, highlights themes such as Extraterrestrial Cave Properties, Astrobiology and Biological Signatures, Cave Microclimates, Cave Detection, Robotic Exploration / Mapping and Human Habitation / Related Technologies. The program convened by J. Judson Wynne (R) includes a full day of excursions to local caves, and is supported by LPI, NASA/JPL, New Mexico Institute of Mining & Technology, Northern Arizona University, The Explorers Club, The SETI Institute (Carl Sagan Center), USRA, University of North Dakota (Grand Forks) and U.S. Geological Survey. (Image credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech, Arizona State University, ESA)



Oct 19 — ISS, LEO: Expedition 45 reviewing procedures for upcoming EVA, working on spacesuits, participating in in-flight events with public, preparing coffee in specially designs cups for Capillary Beverage experiment, doing research to improve design and strength of buildings & bridges on Earth, maintaining ISS water supply system, exercise equipment & computers.

 Oct 19 — Venus Climate Orbiter (Akatsuki), Heliocentric Orbit: JAXA US$300M spacecraft continuing to be monitored as trajectories for attempting Venus orbit in December & plans for observing Venus are being finalized.

Oct 19 — Rosetta, Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko Orbit: About 216M km from Sun & 270M km from Earth, ESA craft mapping surface, studying water cycle & comet’s interaction with solar wind; layers of material reveal that comet’s “duck” shape is result of a low-speed collision between 2 separate comets in past.

Oct 19 — Cassini OTM-426, Saturn Orbit: Spacecraft conducts Orbital Trim Maneuver #426 today.

Oct 19 — Bigelow Aerospace LLC, Las Vegas NV: NewSpace company 330-cubic meter volume “Bigelow Expandable Activity Module” to be delivered to ISS in Jan 2016 aboard SpaceX Falcon 9, planning to adapt modules for private space station and lunar surface.

 Oct 19 — MoonSpike Limited, London, United Kingdom: Raising funds through KickStarter Campaign, aiming to build rocket to launch probe to Moon surface; team will be lead by Kristian von Bengtson (co-founder of Copenhagen Suborbital) and space entrepreneur Chris Larmour.

Oct 19 — Uwingu, Boulder CO: Founded by Alan Stern, company lets public nominate names for exoplanets & craters of Mars; working toward Nov 28 “Beam Me to Mars” message transmission to be sent through Universal Space Network at a rate of 1M bits per second.

Oct 19 — Canadian Space Society, Toronto, Ontario, Canada: Canadian Space Society, Toronto Chapter Meeting: Colonizing Venus with Cloud Cities – The Venus Society; presented by Eric Boyd.

OCT - DEC 2015 = 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: Saturn (SW), Uranus (SE), Neptune (S); Morning Planets: Mercury (E), Venus (E), Mars (E), Jupiter (E).

JUICE Industry Day Keeps Europe Jupiter Mission on Track for 2022 Launch

JUICE 2015

A two-day JUICE Industry Day themed Exploring the Emergence of Habitable Worlds Around Gas Giants is set to take place at ESA European Space Research and Technology Centre in Noordwijk, The Netherlands October 27-28. JUICE (JUpiter ICy moons Explorer) spacecraft prime contractor is Airbus Defence and Space SAS. This industry day will allow for competitive procurement to complete the building of the spacecraft, harmonizing and standardizing components, minimizing cost and meeting quality requirements. The 5,000-kg JUICE is intended to spend at least 3.5 years observing the gas giant’s atmosphere and plasma environment, and the surface and interior of the 3 largest icy moons, Ganymede, Europa and Callisto beginning in 2030. Ten science instruments will include radar to study subsurface structures, a magnetometer to characterize subsurface oceans on moons and Jupiter magnetic field, and a camera to image geology on moons, and Jupiter clouds, lightning and rings. Spectral-imaging from ultraviolet to sub-millimeter wavelengths will record temperatures, Jupiter aurorae, exospheres, atmospheres, and characterize ices / minerals. JUICE will look for signs of alien life, help to answer unknowns about the Jupiter system / the Solar System, and complement data found during the Juno mission. (Image Credit: ESA, NASA, JPL, Caltech)

Oct 19 — The Space Show, Online / Tiburon CA: Dr. David Livingston talks with Ben Haldeman from Planet Labs.

Oct 19-23 — DLR German Space Operations Center (GSOC), ESA European Space Operations Centre (ESOC), Munich, Germany: 25th International Symposium on Space Flight Dynamics (ISSFD).

Oct 19-23 — NASA, Caltech/JPL, Pasadena CA: Cassini Project Science Group Meeting: Magnetospheric IMaging Instrument (MIMI) #67.

Oct 19-23 — Asian Association on Remote Sensing, Philippine Geosciences and Remote Sensing Society, Manila, Philippines: 36th Asian Conference on Remote Sensing (ACRS).

Oct 19 — Moon: 3.4° N of Pluto, 09:00.

Continued from…

Aug 11 – Oct 31 — International Astronomical Union Office for Astronomy Outreach, Online: NameExoWorlds Contest; public voting for 15 stars and 32 exoplanets.

Aug 28 – Aug 28, 2016 — NASA, University of Hawai`i at Mānoa, Mauna Loa HI: Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation (HI-SEAS) Mission 4; at 2,440-meter altitude.

Sep 14 – Dec 7 — SSERVI, NASA, Online: SSERVI teams at University of Central FL (CLASS) and Brown University/MIT (SEEED) give 13 lectures on Planetary Evolution: Phobos and Deimos, every Monday; live coverage available.

Sep 28 – Nov 27 — Charles Miller, SpaceNews, Online / Alexandria VA: Commercial Space Executive Training course.

Oct 12-20 — International Centre for Theoretical Sciences (ICTS) of Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Bengaluru, India: Program: Extragalactic Relativistic Jets – Cause and Effect.


Oct 20-22 — SETI Institute, Mountain View CA: Lecture: Are Old Galaxies Really Red and Dead? presented by Leo Blitz from UC Berkeley.

Oct 20-22 — Lunar Exploration Analysis Group, NASA, USRA, LPI, Columbia MD: Lunar Exploration Analysis Group (LEAG) Meeting; with a focus on lunar resources & understanding the dynamic Moon; at Universities Space Research Association headquarters.

Oct 20-23 Lowell Observatory, Flagstaff AZ: 2nd International Planetary Caves Conference; with particular focus on Moon and Mars caves for human & robotic missions.

Oct 20 — Moon: At first quarter, 10:31.


Oct 21-23 The National Academies, Washington DC: Meeting: Extreme Weather Events and Climate Change Attribution.

Oct 21 — Orionids Meteor Shower Peak: The 2nd of 2 showers that occur each year as a result of Earth passing through dust released by Halley’s Comet, Orionids appear to radiate from Constellation Orion, are swift (68 km/sec), can be bright & leave persistent trains; can produce between 20-70 meteors per hour.


Oct 22 — Perton Library, Wolverhampton, United Kingdom: Presentation: Out of the Darkness – Pluto & The Outer Worlds.

Oct 22 — Cornell University, Ithaca NY: Lecture: Atmospheric Circulation and Collapse on Tidally Locked Exoplanets; presented by Robin Wordsworth of Harvard University.

Oct 22 Space Frontier Foundation, NewSpace NYC, New York City NY: First of five regional qualifying NewSpace Business Plan Competitions to be held.

Oct 22-23 The National Academies, Washington DC: Meeting: Achieving Science Goals with CubeSats.

Oct 22 — Aten Asteroid 2006 UY64: Near-Earth flyby (0.061 AU).


Oct 23 Stanford on the Moon, Stanford CA: 2015 Conference: Stanford On The Moon: Sustaining and Realizing the Vision: the Next 50 – 75 Years, Lunar Property Rights; featuring Steve Durst, Jim Keravala and a member of the Stanford Student Space Initiative.

Oct 23 — Moon: 3.1° N of Neptune, 09:00.


Oct 24 — Mars Odyssey, Mars Orbit: NASA spacecraft enters 15th year in orbit around Mars today, holds record for longest-surviving continually active spacecraft in orbit around a planet other than Earth.

Oct 24 — Cassini OTM-427, Saturn Orbit: Spacecraft conducts Orbital Trim Maneuver #427 today.

Oct 24 Jet Propulsion Laboratory, NASA/Caltech, Pasadena CA: Workshop: Toys in Space and Mass vs. Weight; for educators of grades 2-8.

Oct 24-25 University of Rome, SpaceUp, Rome, Italy: SpaceUp Rome.


Oct 25-30 ARC Centre of Excellence for All-sky Astrophysics (CAASTRO), Sydney, Australia: 25th Annual Astronomical Data Analysis Software and Systems (ADASS) Conference.

Oct 25 — Standard Time (Europe): Change clocks back 1 hour, from Summer Time to Standard Time.

Oct 25 — Moon: 0.88° S of Uranus, 00:00.

Oct 25 — Venus: 1.0° SSW of Jupiter, 14:00; with Mars & Jupiter within circle diameter of 3.35° while 45° W of Sun.

Oct 25 — Apollo Asteroid 1998 XN2: Near-Earth flyby (0.078 AU).