October 27 – November 2, 2014 / Vol 33, No 43 / Hawai`i Island, USA

OSC Commercial Resupply Mission 4 to Launch While Boeing and SpaceX CCtCap in Progress


The third Orbital Sciences Corp commercial resupply mission ORB-3 carrying ~2,290 kg of cargo and crew supplies to the International Space Station is set to launch October 27 at 18:44 EDT from Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS) Pad 0A at Wallops Flight Facility VA. Its rendezvous and berthing with grapple from Canadarm2, operated by Expedition 41 Reid Wiseman and Barry Wilmore, is planned for 04:58 EST on November 2. Cygnus will remain docked until December 3 when it will depart and burn up in Earth atmosphere filled with waste during reentry. At the end of the mission OSC will be halfway complete with its US$1.9B / 8-mission Commercial Resupply Contract (CRS) with NASA and will have delivered total of 6,078 kg of essential cargo / disposed of 6,097 kg of waste. Commercial Crew Transportation Capability (CCtCap) contracts have been awarded to Boeing Co ($4.2B) and SpaceX ($2.6B). Boeing is developing the CST-100 and SpaceX is working on Crew Dragon to enable safe and reliable access to and from LEO for Astronauts beginning in 2017. (Image Credit: NASA, OSC)


Oct 27 — ISS, LEO: Expedition 41 preparing for arrival of Progress 57 with ~2,700 kg of cargo, working with Zebrafish study, reviewing procedures for Cygnus grapple & berthing; mobility tests of Robonaut2 to begin in Nov.

Oct 27 — Tiangong-1, LEO: Operating in good condition with sufficient fuel, testing technologies for future space stations; now more than 3 years in orbit.

Oct 27 — Chang’e 5-T1, Moon Orbit: Chang’e-5 orbiter mission testing technologies for sample return, orbiting Moon, expected to return to Earth, land in inner Mongolia near Shenzhou landing zone with parachute assist Nov 1.

Oct 27 — MAVEN, Mars Orbit: Providing data on composition of gases & dust released by comet Siding Spring during flyby of Mars.

Oct 27 — Rosetta, Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko Orbit: Spacecraft continues to map & orbit comet; first ever attempt at soft touch down on a comet with Philae lander at site “J” planned for Nov 12.

Oct 27 — Cassini OTM-395, Saturn Orbit: Spacecraft conducts Orbital Trim Maneuver #395 today.

 Oct 27 — Moon Express Inc., Moffett Field CA: NewSpace company working on 600-kg MX-1 Moon lander and ILO-X telescope payload.

 Oct 27 — Tethers Unlimited, Bothell WA: Developing Nanosat Terminator Tape Deorbit Module for end-of-life disposal solution via Surrey Satellite Orbital Test Bed mission targeted for late 2016 launch. 

  Oct 27 — Copenhagen Suborbitals, Copenhagen, Denmark: Redesigning & refitting test stand, building infrastructure for developing Spica Rocket for small scale system for crewed spaceflight.

OCT - DEC = 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 (SW), Saturn (WSW); Morning Planets: Mercury (E), Jupiter (ENE).

Europe Space Hubs Strasbourg and Noordwijk Host Conferences

calendar feature - Europe Space Hubs

The Space Exploration International Conference takes place October 29-31 hosted by ASTech and ISU at the Park of Innovation in Strasbourg, France. The objective is to address technical, scientific and programmatic challenges of exploration at an international level, and review the Global Exploration Roadmap of the International Space Exploration Coordination Group. The Program Committee is lead by François Spiero of CNES and Bernhard Hufenbach of ESA with participation of representatives from Government, Industry and Academia including Alain Ouellet of CSA, Rodrigo da Costa of Airbus, and Walter Peeters of ISU. The 2014 IEEE International Conference on Wireless for Space and Extreme Environments is in Noordwijk, The Netherlands on Oct 30-31 organized by ESA / ESTEC in cooperation with CSA and NASA. This represents an effort to understand and solve the emerging problems facing wireless sensing and communication in space and related extreme environments: extreme hot or cold locations, extreme high- or low-pressure enclosures, critical control loops, high-speed rotating equipment and other diverse challenges. A Keynote speaker at this event is Don Cornwell, Director of the Technology and Optical Communications Division within the Space Communications and Navigation (SCaN) program at NASA HQ. (Image Credit: ASTech, ISU, ISECG, Park of Innovation, WiSEE, SCAN, ESA, NASA)

Oct 27 — Orbital Sciences Corp., Launch Antares / Orb-3 (Cygnus 4), Wallops Island VA: OSC Antares rocket to launch 4th Cygnus cargo freighter on 3rd operational flight to the ISS, 18:44 EDT, live coverage available.

Oct 27 — ISS, Undocking Progress 56P, Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan: Russia 56th Progress cargo ship to undock from ISS, 05:30 UT, live coverage available; will burn up in Earth atmosphere with waste.

Oct 27-29 — Aerospace Division of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), Missouri University of Science and Technology, St. Louis MO: 14th ASCE International Conference on Engineering, Science, Construction and Operations in Challenging Environments (Earth & Space 2014).

Oct 27-30 — American Astronautical Society, University of Alabama, Huntsville AL: 7th Wernher von Braun Memorial Symposium: Moving Forward in Exploration; at University of Alabama.

Oct 27-31 — Asia Association on Remote Sensing (AARS), Nay Pyl Taw, Myanmar: 35th Asian Conference on Remote Sensing (ACRS): Sensing for Reintegration of Societies.

Oct 27-31 —The University of Pau, Pau, France: 24th Earth Sciences Meeting.

Oct 27 — Moon: 1.8° N of C/2013 A1 Siding Spring, 15:00.

Oct 27 — Asteroid 2009 TD8: Near-Earth flyby (0.027 AU).

Continued from…

Oct 20 – Dec 12 — American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Space Frontier Foundation, Online: Commercial Space Executive Leadership Training Course; with instructors Dan Rasky and Bruce Pittman.


Oct 28 — Kennedy Space Center, NASA, Canaveral Port Authority, USAF 45th Space Wing, Houston TX: NASA KSC Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) Industry Day and Expo 2014.

Oct 28 — Hawaii TechWorks, Hilo HI: TechTuesday; featuring Rodrigo Romo speaking about Pacific International Space Center for Exploration System (PISCES), 17:30 HST.

Oct 28-29 — ESA, Noordwijk, The Netherlands: Workshop on Additive Manufacturing for Space Application.

Oct 28-30 — Chinese Institute of Communications, Beijing, China: China Satellite 2014 Conference; at Hotel Nikko New Century.

Oct 28 — Moon: 6.5° N of Mars, 02:00.

Oct 28 — Asteroid 2014 UG5: Near-Earth flyby (0.074 AU).


Oct 29 — RSA, Launch Soyuz / Progress 57P, Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan: An RSA Soyuz rocket set to launch 57th Progress cargo ship to ISS, 13:08 local time; live coverage available.

Oct 29 — United Launch Alliance, Launch Atlas 5 / GPS 2F-8, Cape Canaveral ASF FL: ULA Atlas 5 to launch eigth Black 2F navigation satellite for Global Positioning System, 13:21 – 13:39 EDT.

Oct 29-31 — ASTech, International Space University, DLR, CNES, Strasbourg, France: Space Exploration International Conference.


Oct 30 — Cornell University, Ithaca NY: Lecture: Where are the circumbinary planets? Survival of planets around shrinking binaries; presented by Diego Munoz.

Oct 30 — U.S. Library of Congress, Washington DC: Lecture: How the Discovery of Life Beyond Earth Will Transform Our Thinking; presented by Stephen Dick.

Oct 30-31 — Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, ESA, Canadian Space Agency, NASA, Noordwijk, The Netherlands: 2014 IEEE International Conference on Wireless for Space and Extreme Environments; at Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC).

Oct 30-31 — International Union of Radio Science, Ruse, Bulgaria: 4th International Symposium on Radio Systems and Space Plasma.

Oct 30 — Moon: At first quarter, 16:48.


Oct 31 — Space Center Houston, Houston TX: Lunch with an Astronaut, Ken Cameron; US$49.95 adult.


NET Nov — United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs, Beijing, China: United Nations/China Workshop on Space Law.

Nov 1 — Chang’e 5-T1, Earth Trajectory: Chang’e-5 orbiter mission testing technologies for sample return expected to reenter Earth atmosphere, land in inner Mongolia near Shenzhou landing zone with parachute assist today.

Nov 1 — Deep Space: Juno spacecraft traveling at 49,782 kph, relaying signals back to Earth with 40-minute one-way radio communication, has traveled more than 2.338B km since launch.  

Nov 1 — Universities Space Research Association (USRA), Lunar and Planetary Institute, Micromatlab Hungary Kft, Sopron, Hungary: Workshop on Analytical Methods Applied to Earth and Planetary Sciences; at the Liszt Ferenc Conference Center.

Nov 1-2 — University of Arizona College of Science, Tucson AZ: Arizona Science & Astronomy Expo; at Tucson Convention Center.

Nov 1 — Asteroid 2014 TL17: Near-Earth flyby (0.050 AU).


 Nov 2 — ISS, Cygnus 4 Rendezvous, Grapple & Berthing, LEO: Cygnus 4 to be grappled by Canadarm2 and berthed with ISS, 04:58 EST, live coverage available.

Nov 2 — Standard Time (USA): Change clocks back 1 hour from Daylight Saving to Standard Time; does not include Hawai’i, American Samoa or Arizona (except the Navajo Reservation).

Nov 2 — Moon: At perigee (distance 367,479 km), 14:35.