October 3-9, 2011 / Vol 30, No 40 / Hawai`i Island, USA

IAC, Galaxy Forum Make 1st Visits to Africa during World Space Week

Every Year the International Astronautical Federation (IAF), the International Academy of Astronautics and the International Institute of Space Law hold the International Astronautical Congress in one of the world’s premier cities. This year the IAC is coming to Africa for the 1st time. It will be held in Cape Town, South Africa from October 3-7. Recognized as the preeminent global space conference, the event is attended by the agency heads and senior executives of the world’s space agencies along with academics, researchers, industry and commerce executives, students and young professionals. With the theme ‘African Astronaissance’, IAC 2011 will highlight the benefit of space science for both Africa and the world. The expansive event will include 154 sessions covering 28 themes, a large exhibition, the 21st UN / IAF Workshop and a celebration of the 60th anniversary of the IAF. The International Lunar Observatory Association, a new member of the IAF,  is also bringing its successful Galaxy Forum program to the African Continent for the 1st time this week. ‘Galaxy Forum 2011 Africa – Cape Town’ will be held at the South African Astronomical Observatory on Friday, Oct 7. Speakers include Petri Vaisanen (BC) of SALT / SAAO, Thebe Madupe (BL) of Astronomy Africa and Steve Durst of ILOA. October 4-10 is also celebrated as World Space Week. The international celebration of science and technology is coordinated by the United Nations, and features events in over 55 nations every year. (Credit: IAC, WSP, GalaxyForum.org)

Sierra Nevada Corp, Ames Research Center Help USA Space Initiatives

USA space enterprise is advancing in  October as NewSpace company Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) works towards completing its Commercial Crew Development 2 (CCDev2) performance objectives for the Dream Chaser spacecraft (TL)- a reusable, piloted, lifting-body spacecraft that will launch vertically on an expendable rocket and land horizontally on a conventional runway.  After receiving US$80M from NASA, the Sparks NV based company has successfully met each monthly CCDev2 criterion, with 5 more objectives to complete in the next 7 months. This month, SNC will conduct a System Definition Review and present a briefing of the proposed Dream Chaser Space System architecture and design.  On Oct 3,  AIAA-SF and NASA will sponsor a discussion on ‘PhoneSat: Android in Space’ in Mountain View CA.  Presenters Michael Safyan (BR) and Chris Boshuizen (CR) will discuss the feasibility of using commercial smartphone technology in small satellites and discuss the PhoneSat (BL) currently being developed at Ames Research Center which integrates a Google Nexus One phone. (Credit: AIAA-SF, SNC)

= 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 – Morning Planets: Mercury (E), Mars (E), Jupiter (S) / Evening Planets: Venus (W), Jupiter (ENE), Saturn (W).


Oct 3 — International Space Station, LEO: E-29 crew members continue with maintenance and science experiments after last weeks successful maneuver to raise the orbiting laboratory’s altitude by 4.7km to avoid space debris.

Oct 3 — NASA Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), Lunar Orbit: All 7 instruments onboard LRO operating nominally, delivering more than 192 terabytes of data, images and maps in the scientific phase of mission.

Oct 3 — Mars Express, Red Planet: Scientists continue to analyze data sent back by the SPICAM onboard ESA Mars Express spacecraft which reveals for the first time that Mars atmosphere is supersaturated with water vapor.

Oct 3 — New Horizons Spacecraft, Deep Space: NASA New Horizons spacecraft continues successful trek to Pluto; Spacecraft currently 21AU from Earth and 11AU from Pluto.

Oct 3 — American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics – San Francisco Section, Ames Research Center, Hacker Dojo, Mountain View CA:PhoneSat: Android in Space,’ Michael Safyan and Chris Boshuizen.

Oct 3 — Lunar and Planetary Institute, The Woodlands TX: Special sessions deadline for ‘43rd Lunar and Planetary Science Conference.’

Oct 3-7 — International Astronautical Federation, Cape Town, South Africa:62nd International Astronautical Congress.’

Oct 3-7 — Center for Space and Remote Sensing Research National Central University, Taipei, Taiwan:32nd Asian Conference on Remote Sensing: Sensing for Green Asia.’

Oct 3-7 — American Astronomical Society – Division for Planetary Sciences, University of Nantes, et al, Nantes, France:European Planetary Science Congress – DPS Joint Meeting 2011.’

Oct 3 — Moon: At First Quarter; 17:15.

Continued from . . .

Sep 25 — NASA, Santa Rosa CA: ‘Green Flight Challenge,’ as part of the NASA Centennial Challenges competition; through Oct 3.

Oct 2 — American Astronomical Society Division for Planetary Sciences, Copernicus Meetings, et al, Nantes, France:43rd Annual Meeting of the DPS;’ through Oct 7.


Oct 4 — Women in Aerospace, SpaceX, et al, Washington DC:National Security Space Keynote Event,’ featuring Undersecretary of the Air Force Erin Conaton.

Oct 4-10 — World Space Week Association, Global:World Space Week 2011.’

Oct 4 — Cassini OTM-294, Saturn Orbit: Spacecraft conducts Orbital Trim Maneuver #294 today.

Oct 4 — Venus: 2.9° NNE of Spica; 01:00.

Oct 4 — Asteroid (Near-Earth Flyby): 2011 HC36 (0.098 AU); 2011 SC25 (0.099 AU).


Oct 5The SETI Institute, Mountain View CA: Colloquium Series Lecture: ‘Detecting Circumbinary Planets,’ Laurance Doyle.

Oct 5-6 — American Astronautical Society, National Optical Astronomy Observatory, et al, Exton PA:Decoupling Civil Timekeeping from Earth Rotation.’

Oct 5-8 — American Association of Variable Star Observers, Cambridge; Woburn MA:100th Annual Meeting of the American Association of Variable Star Observers.’


Oct 6 — Mercury: 1.7° SSW of Saturn; 11:00.

Oct 6 — Asteroid 2011 QE38: Near-Earth Flyby (0.062 AU).


Oct 7 — International Lunar Observatory Association, Space Age Publishing Company, Cape Town, South Africa: ‘Galaxy Forum Africa 2011, Cape Town: Galaxy Education in the 21st Century.’

Oct 7 — Venus: 1.9° SSW of Asteroid 44 Nysa; 06:00.

Oct 7 — Asteroid 2005 TQ45: Near-Earth Flyby (0.092 AU).


Oct 8 — International Observe the Moon Night Organization, Global: ‘International Observe the Moon Night 2011.’

Oct 8 — Zero Gravity Corporation, Las Vegas NV: Commercial weightless flight aboard G-Force One.


Oct 9-12 — Geological Society of America, Minneapolis MN:2011 GSA Annual Meeting.’

Oct 9 — Cassini OTM-295, Saturn Orbit: Spacecraft conducts Orbital Trim Maneuver #295 today.

Oct 9 — Draconids Meteor Shower Peak: This shower appears to radiate from Constellation Draco and is best viewed in the Northern hemisphere; Earlier in the year, an astronomer predicted this meteor shower will produce approximately 1000 meteors in a single hour but sightings will be poor due to interference from a large waxing gibbous Moon.

Oct 9 — Mercury: 2.3° NNE of Spica; 10:00.

Oct 9 — Asteroid (Near-Earth Flyby): 2000 AB6 (0.072 AU); 1998 SD9 (0.072 AU).

Oct 9 — Asteroid (Closest Approach to Earth): 230785 Greeley (0.737 AU); 1224 Fantasia (0.872 AU).

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