October 3-9, 2016 / Vol 35, No 40 / Hawai`i Island, USA

29th Planetary Congress of ASE Brings Together Astronauts From Around the World


The Association of Space Explorers is hosting the 29th Planetary Congress ‘Born to Explore’ in Vienna, Austria October 3-7. The international forum of Astronauts from different countries facilitates professional exchange of experiences and information related to space operations, scientific research, mission development, astronaut training and national space agency developments. There are also unique opportunities for interaction between the international space community, government agencies and the public. Some of the Space Explorers attending public functions are John-David Bartoe, Bonnie J. Dunbar, Michael Lopez-Alegria, Sandra Magnus, Bruce McCandless II, and Dumitru-Dorin Prunariu. Prizes for a silent auction to support the education and scholarship programs of the ASE and the Austrian Space Forum include a tour of NASA JSC with Bonnie Dunbar, an aerial tour of Chartres Cathedral with Michel Tognini, and a golf and Napa Valley wine tour with Apollo Astronaut Rusty Schweickart. Out of a total 549 people who have been in space, ASE membership has included over 400 astronauts from 37 nations across four regional chapters: USA, Russia, Europe and Asia headed by Michael Lopez-Alegria, Alexander Alexandrov, Dorin Prunariu, and Sultan bin Salman al-Saud respectively. The ASE Planetary Congress coincides with the United Nations sanctioned World Space Week Oct 4-10, one of the largest public space events on Earth. Organizers hope to build on 2015 stats of 1,800+ events in 73 countries. (Image Credit: ASE, NASA, RSA)


star-grey Oct 3 — ISS, 330-435-km LEO: Expedition 49 three-member crew Rubins, Onishi, Ivanishin surveying acoustic environment inside station, performing pharmaceutical solubility study, testing life support systems, checking air and water quality, looking for mold and bacteria contamination, exploring new methods to detect and target landmarks on Earth.

star-grey Oct 3 — Tiangong-2, 393-km LEO: Systems and sub-systems report nominal status, 10-m robotic arm will be used for on-orbit repairs, POLAR experiment to study gamma ray bursts and cold atomic space clock are turned on, Banxing 2 micro satellite with ammonia propulsion system is planned to be deployed, orbit close to 10.4-m long Tiangong & capture images of China craft.

star-grey Oct 3 — Mars Orbiter Mission, Mars Orbit: India first-year of MOM long-term archival data now available to public, 5 instruments observing Red Planet for atmospheric studies, particle environment and surface imaging; proposals for MOM-2 Scientific Objectives being reviewed.

Oct 3 — Juno, Jupiter Orbit: Heading into Science Orbit Phase, NASA craft planned to collect 21st Century data & images from Jupiter System, could aid in development toward future crewed missions; Hubble observations suggest Europa erupts with high altitude water vapor plumes, may be able to sample ocean without drilling through ice.

circle-grey Oct 3 — Landspace Technology, Beijing, China: NewSpace company with CEO Zhang Changwu hopes to market commercial rockets internationally for small satellite launches with proven designs from China government (may be based on Long March 11), first orbital launch set June 2017, ultimate goal would be medium space launch vehicle for Human crewed use.

circle-full-grey Oct 3 — Sierra Nevada Corp., Sparks NV: Has agreement with UNOOSA for 1st ever UN space mission to provide opportunity for developing nation to fly microgravity payload in LEO 2021, payloads to be selected early 2018, UNOOSA will provide technical support to countries that lack expertise in microgravity payloads; SNC President Eren Ozmen.

circle-full-grey Oct 3 — BlackSky Global, Seattle WA: Pathfinder-1 satellite, built by Spaceflight Industries, reaches Sun Synchronous Orbit via India PSLV launch, will test technologies for planned 60-satellite Earth-observation constellation able to provide images in about 90 minutes for ~US$90.

oct-dec-2016 = 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 (WSW), Mars (SW), Saturn (SW); Morning Planets: Mercury (E), Uranus (E), Neptune (SE).

Hawaii Capitol Focuses on Aerospace Developments and Benefits Statewide


The 2016 Hawaii Aerospace Summit is being held at the State Capitol Building in Honolulu October 4-5. Expecting over 200 participants, the large exhibit hall will feature displays during Aerospace Week in Hawaii Oct 2-7. Hawaii State legislators, Administration officials, and leaders from commercial aerospace companies, University of Hawaii, PISCES, HI-SEAS and DoD will discuss aerospace-related activities in Hawaii, public-private and international partnerships, and expanding Hawaii economic development, through aerospace high tech jobs, 21st Century education and inspiration. Hawaii Governor David Ige, Senator Will Espero and Representative Angus McKelvey will give welcome remarks. Space Transportation Panel will be moderated by Jacqui Hoover and include Mike Jacobs (Orbital ATK), Jason Hundley (Zero Point Frontiers), Craig Campbell (Alaska Aerospace Corp) and Luke Flynn (Hawaii Space Flight Lab). Planetary Sustainability and the Space Economy Panel will have Dan Rasky and Bruce Pittman of NASA. Aerospace Education and Training Panel will feature Karen Meech (IfA), Liane Kim (Challenger Center Hawaii), Tristan Bassingthwaighte (HI-SEAS) and Shauna Tonkin (Pacific Aviation Museum). There will be Breakout Session Focus Groups and Recommendations, and a lunch presentation by Rick Rogers (Hawaii Spaceport Planning Lead). The proposed Spaceport for Kona, Hawaii Island would feature suborbital tourism and horizontal take off and landing vehicles. Hawaii is also considered an ideal location for Pacific Space Access, offshore / sea launching, and orbital launches due to its optimal population-free equatorial and polar flight paths. (Image Credit: Hawaii Office of Aerospace Development, PISCES, NASA, PAM, hawaii.gov, Google)

Oct 3 — University of Arizona Department of Astronomy, Steward Observatory, Tucson AZ: Lecture: The Cosmic Tango of Binary Stars; Maxwell Moe of Steward Observatory.

Oct 3 — Cornell University, Ithaca NY: Lecture: Albedos and Colors of Solar System Bodies as Exoplanets; Jack Madden of Cornell, 12:30.

Oct 3-4 — Government of Canada, Polar Knowledge Canada (POLAR), Ottawa, Ontario, Canada: Canadian Antarctic Research Workshop.

Oct 3-7 — Association of Space Explorers, Vienna, Austria: 29th Planetary Congress of the ASE: Born to Explore.

Oct 3-7 — International Astronomical Union, National University of Columbia, Cartagena de Indias, Colombia: 15th Latin American Regional IAU Meeting.

Oct 3-7 — ESA, Thessaloniki, Greece: 11th European Space Power Conference.

Oct 3 — Moon: 4.9° NNE of Venus, 10:00.

Continued from…

NET Q4 — Interorbital Systems Corp., Launch Neptune 5 (5 CPM) vehicle / 30 Nanosats, Mojave CA: Planning to launch Neptune 5 Common Propulsion Module (CPM) to loft 30 nanosats to LEO, including payloads for GLXP teams Team Synergy Moon, Part-Time Scientists, Plan B & EuroLuna.

Oct 1-5 — Polar Suborbital Science in the Upper Mesosphere (PoSSUM), Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Dayton Beach FL: PoSSUM Scientist-Astronaut Class 1602.

Oct 2-7 — State of Hawai`i, Hawaii Office of Aerospace Development (OAD), Honolulu HI: 2016 Aerospace Week in Hawaii; Governor David Ige to speak Oct 4; at Hawaii State Capitol Auditorium and Walkway.


Oct 4 — Cassini OTM-462, Saturn Orbit: Spacecraft conducts Orbital Trim Maneuver #462 today.

Oct 4 — Arianespace, Launch Ariane 5 / Sky Muster 2 & GSAT 18, Kourou, French Guiana: Ariane 5 ECA rocket, designated VA231, to launch Sky Muster 2 (NBN Co 1B) and ISRO GSAT 18 communications satellites.

Oct 4 — Blue Origin, Van Horn TX: Abort system test on suborbital New Shepard vehicle scheduled for today; 45 seconds into flight the crew capsule abort will fire, capsule will then parachute to landing.

Oct 4 — Lockheed Martin Corp., Online / Littleton CO: Global Virtual Field Trip for Middle School Classrooms; students around the World to be introduced to STEM Careers in Deep Space Exploration.

Oct 4 — Princeton Architectural Press, Online / New York NY: Release of Observer’s Notebook: Astronomy; including images from Hubble & ESA space telescopes, 8 full-color pages of astronomy facts, constellations, rotation and orbits of planets, phases of Moon, sizes of the planets.

Oct 4-6 — Asia-Pacific Satellite Communications Council (APSCC), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: APSCC 2016 Satellite Conference & Exhibition.

Oct 4-7 — International Astronomical Union, Heidelberg University, Heidelberg, Germany: IAU Symposium 326: Research in Astronomy Education – Far Reaching Impacts and Future Directions; Canceled.

Oct 4-10 — World Space Week Association, Global: World Space Week 2016; to celebrate international contributions of space science and technology to the betterment of the human condition; Oct 4 is 59th observation of 1st Space mission Sputnik One launched by Soviet Union 1957; Oct 10 is 49th observation of Outer Space Treaty going into effect 1967.

Oct 4 — Moon: At apogee (distance 405,641 km), 01:00.


Oct 5 — Association of Space Explorers, Vienna, Austria: ASE Explorers Dinner and Auction.

Oct 5 — ESA Thermal Division Analysis and Verification Section, Noordwijk, The Netherlands: 30th Annual European Space Thermal Analysis Workshop; at ESTEC.

Oct 5 — Australia Telescope National Facility, CSIRO, Sydney, Australia: The Australia Telescope National Facility Colloquium: The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence; Ron Ekers of ATNF.

Oct 5-6 — The Breakthrough Listen Project, Green Bank Observatory, Green Bank WV: Breakthrough Listen North American Community Workshop; to explore science opportunities and the search for extraterrestrial intelligence in the modern era.

Oct 5-6 — The National Academies, Washington DC: Meeting: Large Strategic NASA Science Missions – Science Value and Role in a Balanced Portfolio.

Oct 5-7 — ESA, Technical University of Madrid (UPM), Madrid, Spain: 7th International Systems & Concurrent Engineering for Space Applications Conference.

Oct 5 — Moon: 9.8° N of Antares, 19:00; 3.8° N of Saturn, 23:00.


Oct 6 — Mars Exploration Program Analysis Group, Online / Washington DC: Mars Exploration Program Analysis Group (MEPAG) Online Meeting.

Oct 6 — Apollo Asteroid 462959 (2011 DU): Near-Earth flyby (0.039 AU).

Oct 6 — Apollo Asteroid 2005 UO: Near-Earth flyby (0.088 AU).


Oct 7 — Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institute, British Interplanetary Society, Bath, United Kingdom: Lecture: Designing Against Space Flight Disaster; Keith Wright.

Oct 7 — Caltech, Pasadena CA: Caltech Astronomy Public Lectures: Cosmic Explosions Through the Ages – Supernovae Seen with the Naked Eye; Jacob Jencson, 20:00.

Oct 7 — Space Foundation, Denver CO: Colorado Space Heroes Hall of Fame; first honorees to be inducted: Ronald Sega, Alan Stern, General James Hartinger, Peter Teets; at Mile High Stadium.

Oct 7 — Apollo Asteroid 2016 SR2: Near-Earth flyby (0.010 AU).

Oct 7 — Apollo Asteroid 2016 LB9: Near-Earth flyby (0.098 AU).


Oct 8 — Draconids Meteor Shower Peak: Appearing to radiate from constellation Draco, Draconids offer slow moving (20 km/s) meteors which are faint and fragment easily, about 10-20 per hour (have reached up to 400 per hour); peak 20:00.

Oct 8 — International Observe the Moon Night Organization, Global: International Observe the Moon Night 2016; 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 8 — The Astronomical League, Global: Fall Astronomy Day 2016; astronomical societies, planetariums, museums, observatories sponsoring public viewing sessions, presentations, workshops.

Oct 8 — Moon: 7.0° N of Mars, 02:00; 3.2° N of Pluto, 16:00; at first quarter, 18:33.


Oct 9 — Orbital ATK, Launch Antares / OA-5, Wallops Island VA: Upgraded Antares rocket to launch 7th Cygnus cargo freighter (dubbed S.S. Alan G. Poindexter) on 6th operational flight to the ISS with 2,400 kg of cargo; launch window Oct 9-13.

Oct 9-13 — International Astronomical Union, Cartagena de Indias, Colombia: IAU Symposium 327: Fine Structure and Dynamics of the Solar Atmosphere.

Oct 9 — Apollo Asteroid 2012 SL50: Near-Earth flyby (0.085 AU).