October 28 – November 3, 2013 / Vol 32, No 43 / Hawai`i Island, USA

Ethiopia Is Newest Source of Rising Africa Space Ambitions

Ethiopia and Africa 2013The first phase of a space exploration program has been launched by the Ethiopian Space Science Society (ESSS), consisting of a US$3.4M observatory funded by business tycoon Mohammed Alamoudi. Located 3,200 meters above sea level in the Entoto Mountains, the dual 1-meter telescopes are the largest in East Africa and are intended to promote astronomy research in the region. Observatory director Solomon Belay believes science is a key to development. ESSS is planning a second observatory at 4,200 meters in Lalibela and hopes to launch Ethiopia’s first satellite within the next 3 years. Africa-wide spending on space sciences is estimated at US$212M by Nithaya Chetty of SANRF. With South Africa a clear leader, Nigeria, Egypt, Algeria, Kenya, Tunisia, Morocco, Ghana, Uganda and others all have operational or fledgling space focused projects and programs. The 54-member African Union continues to discuss establishing an African Space Agency similar to ESA in Europe. Over 50% of Africa’s population is under 30 years of age and its combined economy is the fastest growing of any continent. Education, governance, IT, infrastructure and health factors are improving. There is an expanding and strengthening sense of opportunity and imperative for Africa to lead a new wave of exploration in space, especially to advance science based social development on Earth. (Image Credit: SSTL, SKAA)

ISC 2013 Summit to Advance Exchange of Commercial Space & Technology Information

ISC 2013 SummitThe International Space Commerce 2013 Summit will bring representatives from space agencies, commercial space businesses, governments and companies to the Radisson Blu hotel in London, United Kingdom on October 29-30. It is organized by International Research Networks, sponsored by Oklahoma Space Industry Development Authority, SHIPinSPACE and Satec, and has a US$2,336 delegate registration fee. ISC 2013 will allow commercial operators to give updates on their latest projects and needs, and encourage further discussion / understanding of the commercial space sector and its technologies, legalities, policies and investment opportunities / lessons. Notable speakers include: Yan Tang of CNSA, Alan Brunstrom of ESA, Catherine Mealing-Jones of UK Space Agency (TL), Gerd Gruppe of DLR, Jan Kolar of Czech Space Office (BL), Nazzareno Mandolesi of ASI, Andrew Nelson of XCOR, Rick Tumlinson of Deep Space Industries (TR), Bas Lansdorp of Mars One, Karin Nilsdotter of Spaceport Sweden (BR), Barry Matsumori of SpaceX and John Thornton of Astrobotic. The ‘Human Spaceflight and Infrastructure’ Section on day two will cover support networks, challenges of insuring a high-net industry and the direction of market growth, safety measures to ensure minimal risk, and benefits of space tourism. (Image Credit: IRN, IAF, gssforum, ISPCS, DSI)

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: Venus (SW); Morning Planets: Mars (E), Jupiter (ENE).


Oct 28 — ISS, LEO: Expedition 37 Nyberg, Hopkins troubleshooting U.S. spacesuit water leak, preparing to replace fan pump separator; Commander Yurchikhin participating in experiment to study veins in lower extremities.

Oct 28 — ISS, Undocking of ATV-4 (Albert Einstein), LEO: ATV-4 set to undock 08:59 UT, live coverage available, and burn up upon reentry to Earth atmosphere Nov 2 with up to 6,500 kg of waste.

Oct 28 — Tiangong-1, LEO: China continuing to collect data, monitor engineering / space technologies of orbiting space station to apply toward Tiangong-2 launching NET 2015.

Oct 28 — LADEE, Moon Orbit: In 250-km orbit around Moon, performing high-altitude science checkouts, preparing for science mission phase at 50-150-km altitude around Nov 11.

Oct 28 — Cassini, Saturn Orbit: Continuing visual and infrared mapping of Titan North pole, obtaining new pictures of liquid methane / ethane seas and lakes.

Oct 28 — Reaction Engines Ltd, Oxfordshire, England: NewSpace company making full scale version of SABRE (Synergistic Air-Breathing Rocket Engine) for use in developing Skylon space plane.

Oct 28 — SpaceX, Stennis Space Center MS: Will test Raptor methane-fueled rocket engine in 2014 on test stand upgraded through Mississippi state (US$500K), NASA (US$600K) funding.

Oct 28 — World View Enterprises Inc., Tucson AZ: Developing helium balloon to carry 8 passengers at a time to 30-km altitude for US$75K each starting 2016; will ascend for 1.5 hours, spend 2 hours afloat, glide back to Earth surface.

Oct 28 — NASA HQ, Online / Washington DC: NASA Preproposal Conference for the Mars 2020 Investigations Announcement of Opportunity; 11:30 – 15:00 EDT.

Oct 28 — NASA HQ, Online / Washington DC: TV news briefing on MAVEN – upcoming Mars mission; 14:00 EDT, live coverage available.

Oct 28-30 — Penn State University, Middletown PA: Swift Science Planning Meeting; at Penn State University; US$160-200.

Oct 28 – Nov 1 — Yukawa Institute for Theoretical Physics, Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan: Workshop: Supernovae and Gamma-Ray Bursts.

Oct 28 — Moon: 5.4° SSW of Regulus, 17:00.

Continued from…

Jan 22 – May 30, 2014 — NASA, USA: Phase 1 Certification Products Contracts; Boeing Co. receives about US$10M, Sierra Nevada Corp. $10M, SpaceX $9.6M to work with NASA CCP to develop systems for launching astronauts from American soil.

Feb 14 – Jun 2, 2014 — NASA HQ, Online / Washington DC: Research Opportunities in Space and Earth Sciences (ROSES) 2013; proposal and submission period for those interested in advancing research concepts and technologies for Space and Earth sciences.

Sep 24 – Dec 23 — NASA HQ, Online / Washington DC: Announcement of Opportunity: Mars 2020 Investigations; accepting proposals for investigations for Mars rover mission to be launched Jul / Aug 2020.


Oct 29 — Women in Aerospace, Arlington VA: 28th Annual WIA Awards Dinner and Ceremony; at Ritz Carlton Pentagon City; 18:30 EDT.

Oct 29 — Silicon Valley Space Center, AIAA, Mountain View CA: SVSC/AIAA Payload Seminar – STK for Cubesats; at Hacker Dojo, 18:00 – 21:00 PDT.

Oct 29 — The Space Show, Online / Tiburon CA: Host Dr. David Livingston talks with Dr. Mike Griffin, former NASA Administrator.

Oct 29-30 — International Research Networks Ltd, London, United Kingdom: International Space Commerce 2013 Summit; senior-level summit to map the way forward for commercial companies operating in space sector.

Oct 29-30 — The National Academies, Washington DC: Meeting: Standing Committee on Earth Science and Applications from Space (CESAS).

Oct 29 — Moon: 6.1° SSW of Mars, 11:00.


Oct 30-31 — JAXA, Tokyo, Japan: 1st International Space Exploration Symposium in Japan: Space Exploration for Humanity and the Future; to deepen understanding of future human space exploration through panel discussions, presentations, question-and-answer sessions.

Oct 30-31 — Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Australia Telescope National Facility, Sydney, Australia: Australian ALMA Community Workshop.


Oct 31 – Nov 1 — The National Academies, Washington DC: Committee on Solar and Space Physics Meeting.

Oct 30 – Nov 1 — Institute of Physics (IOP), London, United Kingdom: Topical Research Meeting: The Violent Universe.


NET Nov — Boeing Company, Chicago IL: Developing CST-100 7-person spacecraft for NASA CCiCap, Service Module Propulsion System Critical Design Review and Certification Plan Review to occur this month.

NET Nov — Sierra Nevada Corp., Louisville CO: Developing 7-person Dream Chaser suborbital / orbital vertical-takeoff, horizontal-landing spaceplane for NASA CCiCap, Certification Plan Review to occur this month.

NET Nov — SpaceX, Cape Canaveral AFS FL: Upgrading Dragon spacecraft to carry humans to space for NASA CCiCap, Safety Review to occur this month.

NET Nov — Stennis Space Center, NASA, Stennis Space Center MS: The 3,517-kg thrust frame adapter for A-1 Test Stand, to enable Space Launch System engine testing, scheduled to be completed and installed this month.

Nov 1 — ISS, Soyuz TMA-09M Relocation, LEO: Soyuz spacecraft to be relocated from Rassvet to Zvezda module in preparation of Soyuz TMA-11M launch, docking.

Nov 1 — Deep Space, Comet 67P / Churyumov-Gerasimenko Trajectory: Science team preparing to wake Rosetta from hibernation Jan 20, 2014 and begin systems checks before comet rendezvous in May 2014.

Nov 1 — Johnson Space Center, NASA, Houston TX: Lunch with an Astronaut, Leroy Chiao; US$49.95 adult.

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 1 — Moon: 1.4° NW of Spica, 19:00.


Nov 2 — Cassini OTM-363, Saturn Orbit: Spacecraft performs Orbital Trim Maneuver #363 today.

Nov 2 — Onizuka Center for International Astronomy Visitor Information Station, Mauna Kea HI: The Universe Tonight: Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope; at 2,800-meter altitude on Mauna Kea, 18:00 HST.

Nov 2 — Silicon Valley Information Business Alliance, Santa Clara CA: 2013 Silicon Valley Technology Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum; at Santa Clara Convention Center.

Nov 2 — Scott Carpenter Family, Murphy and Associates, Boulder CO: Astronaut Scott Carpenter Funeral; fellow Mercury 7 Astronaut John Glenn to deliver eulogy; open to public, St. John’s Episcopal Church 11:00 MST.

Nov 2 — Moon: 1.3° WNW of Mercury, 19:00.

Nov 2 — Asteroid 3200 Phaethon: Near-Earth flyby (0.643 AU).


Nov 3 — Goddard Space Flight Center, NASA, Greenbelt MD: Model Rocket Launches; up to 609-meter altitude; 13:00 – 14:00 EDT.

Nov 3 — 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 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 3 — 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 3 — Total Solar Eclipse: Confined mainly to Northern Hemisphere, visible in parts of Europe, Asia, Africa, N & S America; 10:04 – 15:28 UT.

Nov 3 — Moon: New Moon, 02:48; 1.9° SE of Saturn, 09:00.

Nov 3 — Asteroid 3753 Cruithne: Near-Earth flyby (0.465 AU).