October 23-29, 2017 / Vol 36, No 43 / Hawai`i Island, USA

Solar System Orbiter Encounters at the Moon, Sun, Mars, Jupiter

Precursor to China’s first lunar sample return mission, Chang’e-5 T1 ‘service module’ celebrates 3 full years in space October 23 and 2.75 years in Moon orbit. The satellite is 7.6 m³ and reaches a span of 18 meters with three-panel arrays. It will likely continue collecting data on surface features in a 200-km altitude, 127-minute polar orbit into 2018 when CE-4 orbiter, lander, rover and CE-5 missions take place. In Heliocentric Orbit, the Stereo A and B spacecraft are entering their 12th year in space Oct 26, having launched in 2006. They primarily monitor the far side of the Sun for coronal mass ejections; data has also been used to discover 122 eclipsing binaries and hundreds more variable stars. The record-holding longest serving spacecraft at Mars, Mars Odyssey will begin its 17th year in orbit Oct 24. Spectrometers and a thermal imager collect information on planet geology and radiation environment, potential water / ice, and the craft also works as a communication relay for Mars landers. On Oct 24 Juno is set to make its 8th close science flyby of giant Jupiter during Perijove 9 at ~3,500 km altitude above of cloud tops. Besides providing stunning images of the planet, moons, aurora and ring system, Juno is measuring radiation, gravity, magnetic fields and atmospheric composition. (Image Credit: CAST, NASA, JPL-Caltech, SwRI, MSSS, Photojournal, R. DaMann, R. Tkachenko)


Oct 23 — ISS, 330-435-km LEO: Expedition 53 six member crew with Commander Randy Bresnik stowing equipment / wrapping up tasks after 3 recent EVAs, transferring cargo from Progress 67P and 68P, Japan Kibo laboratory module being rearranged for new science gear.

Oct 23 — NewSpace: Bigelow and ULA plan to launch B330 module on Vulcan to Low Lunar Orbit by end of 2022; startup SpaceFab of CA working to build Earth / Astronomy satellite for 2019, plans for future asteroid mining & space manufacturing; SpaceQ provides updates for Canada / other space activities.

Oct 23 — Solar System: JAXA Kaguya orbiter data reveals potential 50-km underground lava tube; news on Tiangong-1 Earth atmosphere disintegration / reentry over next ~4 months; future Mars mission InSight campaign to ‘send your name to Mars’ ongoing.

Oct 23 — Galaxy: Record-breaking measurements of radio emissions on Far Side of Milky Way Galaxy help astronomers’ mapping efforts; Queen’s University scientists prove neutron star mergers cause gravitational waves; China FAST detects pulsar candidates “almost every night” states NAOC scientist Di Li.

Oct 23 — Global: Australia National Space Agency developing, government signs Space Tracking Treaty with U.S.;  China Great Wall Industry Corp. Executive VP talks on Long March rocket family; Russia launch manifest compiled to 2031.

Oct 23 — USA: International Space Exploration Coordination Group hosting Global Exploration Roadmap Workshop at NASA in Nov; Four companies participating at LEAG meetings – Moon Express, Astrobotic, Masten, Bigelow – propose strategies to work with NASA for Return to Moon.

Oct 23 — Hawai`i: Astronomers using W. M. Keck Observatory data discuss 5,600 star survey; researchers use Subaru Telescope to refine search for Solar System Planet Nine; Imiloa offering show on “Maunakea; Between Earth and Sky“.

= 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 (E), Neptune (SE); Morning Planets: Mars (E), Venus (E).

British Interplanetary Society Advancing Space Exploration Development

BIS hosts the 15th Reinventing Space Conference on October 24-26 in Glasgow, Scotland, highlighting trends that will define space enterprise a decade from now. The diverse program covers novel applications where improvements in space technology increase commercial viability, such as space tugs, space tourism, satellite refueling, debris removal, debris exploitation, manufacturing in orbit, real-time video from space, space mining, etc. Confirmed keynote speakers include Professor in the Department of Aerospace Engineering at University of Texas at Austin Moriba Jah, ‎Lead of Satellite Communications at Innovate UK Maria Kalama, Vice President of Space Systems at Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems Wallis Laughrey, Vice President for Global Engagement at Planetary Resources Peter Marquez, Director at Scottish Centre of Excellence in Satellite Applications Malcolm Macdonald, President of International Institute of Space Law Kai-Uwe Schrogl, and VP Strategy and Business Development for Lockheed Martin Space Systems Kay Sears. The concluding conference dinner Thursday Oct 26 at Glasgow City Chambers on George Square celebrates the 100th anniversary of the birth of Sir Arthur C Clarke. On Saturday Oct 28 the 4th BIS Belgium Annual Space Symposium opens in Ghent, Belgium at the Armand Pien Observatory. Lieven Roesems presents on Blue Origin, Bart Hendrickx provides a Planetary Exploration Update, Elizaveta Orlova offers an Extraterrestrial Life Challenge, and Philip Corneille overviews Spacefarers’ Wristwatches 1961-2021. (Image Credit: BIS)

Oct 23 — Chang’e-5T1 Service Module, Lunar Orbit: China module collecting data on Lunar surface for future Moon missions reaches 3 full years in Space today, launched 2014.

Oct 23-24 — National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, Boulder CO: Meeting: Committee on Earth Sciences and Applications from Space.

Oct 23-27 — Mexico Institute of Astronomy (UNAM), Puebla, Mexico: Conference: The Cosmic Feast of the Elements.

Oct 23-27 — ESA, NASA, Leiden, The Netherlands: Workshop: Physical Characterization of Galaxies with a View for JWST – The Unique Value of Rest-Frame UV Spectroscopy.

Oct 23-27 — Indian Institute of Remote Sensing, Centre for Space Science and Technology Education in Asia and the Pacific, New Delhi, India: 38th Asian Conference on Remote Sensing (ACRS-2017).

Oct 23 — Apollo Asteroid 2017 ST17: Near-Earth Flyby (0.076 AU).

Oct 23 — Apollo Asteroid 2008 GH110: Near-Earth Flyby (0.087 AU).

Continued from…

Oct 3-31 — National Geographic, Multiple Locations USA: NASA Astronaut Terry Virts tour from NY to CA for book signing “View from Above” featuring foreword by Buzz Aldrin and 300 photographs.

Oct 21 – Dec 4 — Johnson Space Center, NASA, Houston TX: Campaign 4: Mission 3 – Human Exploration Research Analog (HERA 2017); 45 day analog spaceflight / Moon / Mars mission.

Oct 22-25 — Geological Society of America, Seattle WA: Geological Society of America (GSA) Annual Meeting.


Oct 24 — Mars Odyssey, Mars Orbit: NASA spacecraft begins 17th year in orbit around Mars today, holds record for longest-surviving continually active spacecraft in orbit around a planet other than Earth; launched 2001.

Oct 24 — Juno, Perijove 9 / 8th Science Close Flyby, Jupiter Orbit: NASA craft in 53-day orbit to come within ~3,500 km of Jupiter cloud tops during Perijove 9, its 9th close flyby of Jupiter and 8th science flyby with instruments turned on.

Oct 24 — Kennedy Space Center, NASA, Cape Canaveral FL: NASA Kennedy Space Center Business Opportunities Expo 2017.

Oct 24 — National Radio Astronomy Observatory, Associated Universities Inc., Charlottesville VA: 2017 Jansky Lecturer: Dr. Bernard Fanaroff speaks on Observing the Universe from Africa: Linking Radio Astronomy and Development.

Oct 24 — The Space Show, Online / Tiburon CA: Dr. David Livingston talks with Paddy Neumann of Neumann Space Australia.

Oct 24-25 — University of Texas at Austin Department of Astronomy, McDonald Observatory, Austin TX: Frank N. Bash Symposium 2017: New Horizons in Astronomy.

Oct 24-26 — RISpace, British Interplanetary Society, Glasgow, United Kingdom: 15th Reinventing Space Conference; at Strathclyde University Technology & Innovation Centre.

Oct 24-26 — American Astronautical Society, Huntsville AL: 10th Wernher von Braun Memorial Symposium (2017): Gateways in Space: Exploration, Security, and Commerce.

Oct 24-26 — DLR, OHB, Airbus Defence & Space, Bremen Invest, ESA, NASA Tech Briefs, et al, Bremen, Germany: Space Tech Expo Europe 2017.

Oct 24 — Moon: 3.2° N of Saturn, 02:00; at apogee (distance 405,151 km), 16:00.

Oct 24 — Aten Asteroid 2016 GK135: Near-Earth Flyby (0.077 AU).

Oct 24 — Aten Asteroid 2008 TC4: Near-Earth Flyby (0.086 AU).


Oct 25 — NASA HQ, Washington DC: Lecture: Pale Rainbow Dots – The Search for Other Earths; Giada Arney and Shawn Domagal-Goldman from GSFC.

Oct 25-26 — The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, Washington DC: 14th Group on Earth Observations (GEO) Plenary Meeting; will highlight and promote the role, applications and opportunities to use Earth observations.

Oct 25-27 — Japan External Trade Organization, Space Florida, Enterprise Florida, Orlando & Cape Canaveral FL: Florida-Japan Aerospace and Aviation Summit; JAXA, Japan Aerospace Corporation and ~30 manufactures to visit Florida and learn about commercial space opportunities.

Oct 25 — Apollo Asteroid 2017 TL4: Near-Earth Flyby (0.038 AU).

Oct 25 — Aten Asteroid 2013 UR5: Near-Earth Flyby (0.085 AU).

Oct 25 — Apollo Asteroid 2017 FT102: Near-Earth Flyby (0.100 AU).


NET Oct 26 — Orbital ATK, Launch Minotaur-C / SkySat, Vandenberg AFB CA: Orbital ATK Minotaur-C rocket to launch 6 SkySat Earth observation satellites for Planet and several CubeSat secondary payloads for university and corporate customers.

Oct 26 — STEREO (Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory) A & B, Heliocentric Orbit: NASA craft imaging Sun and solar phenomena enter 12th year in space today.

Oct 26 — British Interplanetary Society, Arthur C. Clarke Foundation, Glasgow, United Kingdom: Sir Arthur C. Clarke 100th anniversary dinner; following Reinventing Space Conference.

Oct 26 — SETI Institute, Menlo Park CA: The Anthropocene: What Now?; David Grinspoon from Planetary Science Institute, followed by Seth Shostak of SETI.

Oct 26 — Moon: 2.3° N of Pluto, 01:00; 1.9° N of comet 41P Tuttle-Giacobini-Kresak, 19:00.

Oct 26 — Jupiter: At conjunction with the Sun, 08:00.

Oct 26 — Apollo Asteroid 2017 SC14: Near-Earth Flyby (0.079 AU).

Oct 26 — Apollo Asteroid 2017 QV34: Near-Earth Flyby (0.083 AU).


Oct 27 — National Radio Astronomy Observatory, Associated Universities Inc., Green Bank WV: 2017 Jansky Lecturer: Dr. Bernard Fanaroff speaks on Observing the Universe from Africa: Linking Radio Astronomy and Development.

Oct 27 — Space Center Houston, Houston TX: Lunch with an Astronaut, Jerry Ross, adult US$69.95.

Oct 27-28 — MIT Management Executive Education, NYU Stern, Ivy, Shapr, NYC NY: Synergy Global Forum; featuring Sir Richard Branson, at Madison Square Garden.

Oct 27-29 — Maker Faire, Westercon 71, Denver CO: MileHiCon 2017; combining science fiction, astronomy, space.

Oct 27 — Moon: At first quarter, 12:22.

Oct 26 — Amor Asteroid 2017 TW4: Near-Earth Flyby (0.070 AU).


Oct 28 — International Observe the Moon Night Organization, Global: International Observe the Moon Night 2017; encouraging observation, appreciation, understanding of the Moon and its connection to planetary science & exploration; 1st quarter Moon is considered the best time to observe the Moon due to shallow angle of sunlight hitting surface and illuminating details.

Oct 28 — CFHT, W. K. Observatory, UH Institute for Astronomy, Kamuela HI: Solar System Walk 2017; community opportunity to talk with staff from the some of the world’s most productive telescopes and explore the Solar System with Astronomers.

Oct 28 — British Interplanetary Society, Ghent, Belgium: 4th British Interplanetary Society (BIS) Belgium Annual Space Symposium; Lieven Roesems will talk about Blue Origin, Bart Hendrickx will give a Planetary Exploration Update, Extraterrestrial life challenge by Elizaveta Orlova, Philip Corneille presents on Spacefarers’ wristwatches 1961-2021.


Oct 29 — Standard Time (Europe): Change clocks back 1 hour, from Summer Time to Standard Time.

Oct 29 — Mercury: At aphelion, 0.4667 AU from the Sun, 02:00.