October 30 – November 5, 2017 / Vol 36, No 44 / Hawai`i Island, USA

Beginning 18th Year of Continuous, Peaceful International Human Presence at ISS

On November 2 ISS will celebrate 17 full years of Humans living and working in LEO. With the 53rd Expedition on board, 228 individuals from 18 different nations have made 396 spaceflights to ISS, 7 being tourists and only 34 being women. Crew members have conducted 205 EVAs and spent a total of 53 days, 6 hours and 25 minutes working outside the station. Michael López-Alegría holds the record for most ISS EVAs (10 for 67 hours 40 minutes) with Peggy Whitson in second (10 at 60 hours 21 minutes). Both Scott Kelly and Mikhail Kornienko spent the most consecutive time, 340 days, at ISS. NASA Space Shuttle Endeavour delivered 7 people to ISS in 2009 which made a total of 13 people – the most at one time. Advancing human research, space medicine, life sciences, physical sciences, astronomy, meteorology and technology, there are ~200 experiments ongoing at any given time, with an estimated 2,000 experiments from researchers in more than 95 countries being hosted so far. The US$100B, 16-country project weighs 419,600 kg, is 109-meters long, has 15 pressurized modules and travels 7.7 km per second at ~400 km altitude. The distance ISS covers in 24 hours is about the same as traveling from Earth to the Moon and back. The station makes between 15.5 to 15.9 revolutions per day depending on its altitude, and it surpassed 4.25B km and 100,000 orbits May 16, 2016. (Image Credit: NASA, Roscosmos, ESA)


Oct 30 — ISS, 330-435-km LEO: Expedition 53 six member crew exercising daily, logging food & drink consumption, preparing for in-flight interviews with ESA, Fox & Friends, KARE-TV Minneapolis and high schools from Cleveland & Santa Monica; next cargo arrival to be Orbital ATK OA-8 next week.

Oct 30 — NewSpace: Sandy Magnus to end 5-year term at AIAA in Apr 2018 with Dan Dumbacher taking over as Executive Director January 4; Pacific Spaceflight designing spacesuits with focus on Moon, Mars and Interstellar travel, cofounder Cameron Smith.  

Oct 30 — Solar System: Mars Curiosity rover going through new string of software / hardware procedures to potentially get drill working again; first  global geologic map of Europa released.

Oct 30 — Galaxy: Astronomers studying potential of exomoon at exoplanet Kepler-1625 b located 4,000 LY from Earth; ESA Gaia telescope mapping 1 billions stars in Milky Way, second data release planned for Apr 2018, third mid-2020, final late 2022.

Oct 30 — Global: India Chandrayaan-2 to deploy orbiter and attempt Moon South Pole landing with lander & rover Q1 2018; China planning to launch 2 Mars, 1 asteroid, 1 Jupiter mission by 2030 and reach Uranus by 2047.

Oct 30 — USA: Crew Access Arm for Space Launch System being delivered, EM-1 could occur December 2019 – May 2020; NASA Human spaceflight Twins Study to be published 2018.

Oct 30 — Hawai`i: Upcoming Galaxy Forum to highlight Future of Astronomy in Hawaii; TMT permit approved for Mauna Kea, board weighing options for construction; Haleakala Pan-STARRS 1 telescope spots asteroid or comet that could be an interstellar object originating outside Solar System.

Oct 30 — SpaceX, Launch Falcon 9 / Koreasat 5A, Cape Canaveral AFS CA: Falcon 9 rocket to launch Koreasat 5A communications satellite for KTsat based in South Korea.

= 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).

SpaceX to Launch Falcon Heavy on Demo Flight in November

The world’s most powerful rocket is expected to roar on to the world stage this coming month. A specific date is yet to be announced, but all indications are go from Kennedy Space Center launch pad 39A. Falcon Heavy offers the potential for human mission to the Moon and Mars with the capability of lifting over 54 tons into orbit, which doubles the payload of the next closest operational vehicle Delta IV Heavy at less than one-quarter the cost, or US$90M. The in-house fabricated composite fairing is 13.1 meters high and 5.2 meters wide. Generating 22,819 kilonewtons of thrust at liftoff the first stage is composed of 27 Merlin engines arranged in 3 cores. Elon Musk tweeted earlier this year that considerations were being made to perform a powered return and landing of the upper stage during the demo flight. Another demonstration flight is scheduled for 2018 carrying a USAF payload. The first commercial GTO mission is Arabsat, also scheduled for 2018. The 70-m tall rocket with mass of over 1.4M kg is rated to carry a 3,500 kg payload to Pluto. (Image Credit: SpaceX)

Oct 30-31 — Northwestern Polytechnical University, “Belt and Road” Aerospace Innovation Alliance (BRAIA), Qingdao, Shandong, China: Young Elites Aerospace Innovation Forum of BRAIA.

Oct 30 – Nov 2 — United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs, Samara University, Samara, Russia: UN/Russian Federation Workshop on Capacity-Building in Space Science and Technology for Sustainable Social and Economic Development.

Oct 30 — Moon: 0.84° SSE of Neptune, 11:00.

Continued from…

Oct 3-31 — National Geographic, Multiple Locations USA: NASA Astronaut Terry Virts tours 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 31 — 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 31 — Dark Matter Day 2017, Global: On and around this date local events planned by institutions and individuals will engage the public in discussions about dark matter, current and future experiments that seek to solve its mysteries.

Oct 31 — American Astronautical Society, Online: Due date for submissions for AAS Awards to recognize accomplishments by individuals or teams in the space community.

Oct 31 — Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, University of Arizona, Tucson AZ: Colloquium: Characterizing the Diversity of Extrasolar Atmospheres – From Planets to Brown Dwarfs; Michael Line, Assistant Professor at ASU.

Oct 31 – Nov 1 — Johnson Space Center, NASA, Lunar and Planetary Institute, Houston TX: Second Hands-on Training in Handling and Manipulation of Small Extraterrestrial Samples.

Oct 31 – Nov 3 — Keck Institute for Space Studies, Caltech, Pasadena CA: Workshop: Cryogenic Comet (and Centaur) Sample Return – Compelling New Science vs. Technological Challenges – Part II.

Oct 31 — Apollo Asteroid 2017 UO2: Near-Earth Flyby (0.028 AU).

Oct 31 — Apollo Asteroid 2003 UV11: Near-Earth Flyby (0.038 AU).

Oct 31 — Apollo Asteroid 2017 TZ4: Near-Earth Flyby (0.049 AU).

Oct 31 — Amor Asteroid 2017 UO1: Near-Earth Flyby (0.066 AU).


NET Nov — SpaceX, Launch Falcon Heavy Demo, Cape Canaveral AFS FL: SpaceX maiden falcon heavy to launch this month; rocket consists of standard Falcon 9 rocket core with two additional strap-on boosters (total of 27 Merlin engines).

NET Nov – Apr 2018 — CNSA, Tiangong-1 Earth Atmosphere Reentry, LEO: China 1st Space Lab to be disintegrated during Earth atmosphere reentry after slow orbit decay beginning March 16, 2016; predicted to reenter between 43°N and 43°S latitudes during this time frame.

Nov 1 — Deep Space, Kuiper Belt Trajectory: New Horizons spacecraft heading to 2014 MU69 is highlighted in 4-minute video including Pluto flyby; update on distance to KBO, mission elapse time and days until encounter.

Nov 1 — Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, University of Arizona, Tucson AZ: Lecture: Are There Unseen Planets Lurking in the Kuiper Belt? by Kathryn Volk of LPL.

Nov 1-2 — Lunar and Planetary Institute, USRA, Houston TX: The Europa Deep Dive 1: Ice-Shell Exchange Processes Workshop; first in a series of workshops to examine Europa geology, ocean, interior, ice shell, composition, space environment, astrobiological potential.

Nov 1-2 — Space Studies Board of the National Academies, Irvine CA: Space Studies Board Meeting.

Nov 1-3 — Canadian Science Policy Centre, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada: 9th Canadian Science Policy Conference 2017.


Nov 2 — International Space Station, LEO: Today marks beginning of 18th year of continuous Human occupation of ISS; first component launched Nov 20, 1998, occupation began Nov 2, 2000.

Nov 2 — Library of Congress Science, Technology and Business Division, Washington DC: Lecture: To Explore Strange New Worlds…NASA’s Small Steps and Giant Leaps in Understanding Worlds Beyond; Padi Boyd, NASA.

Nov 2 — Moon: 4.0° SSE of Uranus, 17:00.

Nov 2 — Venus: 3.5° NNE of Spica, 08:00.

Nov 2 — Apollo Asteroid 496816 (1989 UP): Near-Earth Flyby (0.055 AU).


Nov 3 — National Radio Astronomy Observatory, Associated Universities Inc., Socorro NM: 2017 Jansky Lecturer: Dr. Bernard Fanaroff speaks on Observing the Universe from Africa: Linking Radio Astronomy and Development.

Nov 3 — Space Center Houston, Houston TX: Lunch with an Astronaut, John-David Bartoe, adult US$69.95.

Nov 3-4 — Adler Planetarium, Chicago IL: Kavli Fulldome Lecture Series: Are we Alone in the Universe?; presented by Lisa Kaltenegger, Director of the Carl Sagan Institute at Cornell University.

Nov 3 — Moon: Full (Beaver / Super Moon), 19:23.

Nov 3 — Aten Asteroid 2009 UZ87: Near-Earth Flyby (0.070 AU).

Nov 3 — Apollo Asteroid 2015 WA2: Near-Earth Flyby (0.093 AU).


Nov 4 — Science of Laws Institute, San Diego chapter of International Council on Systems Engineering, San Diego CA: 4th Annual Science of Laws Conference.

Nov 4 — Mauna Kea Astronomy Outreach Committee, Mauna Kea Observatories, Kailua Kona HI: AstroDay West Hawai`i 2017; at the Kona Commons Shopping Center, 11:00.

Nov 4 — Aten Asteroid 365424 (2010 KX7): Near-Earth Flyby (0.096 AU).


Nov 5 — The Space Show, Online / Tiburon CA: Dr. David Livingston talks with Yalda Mousavinia of Space Cooperative.

Nov 5 — 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 5 — Moon: 9.0° SSE of Pleiades, 01:00; at perigee (distance 361,483 km), 14:21; 0.75° NNW of Aldebaran, 16:00.