September 16-22, 2013 / Vol 32, No 37 / Hawai`i Island, USA

Orbital Sciences Corp To Launch 1st Resupply Mission To ISS

AntaresCygnus0913The 1st Cygnus cargo freighter is set to launch aboard an Antares rocket at 11:16 EDT on September 17 from launch pad 0A of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.  The 40m-high Antares will release the Cygnus craft from its 4m-diameter payload fairing 10 minutes after launch. Cygnus will then extend its solar arrays, activate its propulsion, and test several of its systems and capabilities as it journeys toward a Sep 22 rendezvous with the ISS. Astronaut Luca Parmitano will use the Station’s Canadarm2 to grapple Cygnus and move it to a berthing port on the bottom of the Harmony module. As this is its first demonstration mission, Cygnus will be carrying a light load (589 kg) of low-priority supplies such as food and clothing. After a 30-day stay at the ISS the freighter, filled with trash, will burn up during reentry into Earth atmosphere. If all goes well with this mission, Orbital Sciences is scheduled to make 8 more flights to the ISS over the next 4 years.  Executive VP / General Manager of Orbital’s advanced programs group Frank Culbertson has reported the Cygnus spacecraft cost about US$300M to develop. (Image Credit: OSC)

IAC Partner Events Focus on Human Spaceflight and Technology Development

IAC Partner EventsSignificant spaceflight conferences center around the 64th International Astronautical Congress in Beijing, China, on September 23-27. The UN / China Workshop on Human Space Technology sponsored by UNOOSA and the China Manned Space Agency on Sep 16-20 will highlight recent developments and future plans of Human spaceflight / space exploration, and commemorate the 10th anniversary of 1st China Human spaceflight October 2003 when Yang Liwei flew aboard Shenzhou 5. The International Lunar Observatory Association with collaborators  NAOC, CSA, Beijing Planetarium, IAF and CNSA host Galaxy Forum China 2013 ‘Human Moon Missions: Giant Steps into the Galaxy’ Sep 22. The conference will preview Human Moon mission intentions of major spacefaring nations including China (Prof. Ziyuan Ouyang) and Japan (Tatsuhiro Nozue), of aspiring spacefarers Korea (Dr. Joo-Jin Lee) and Brazil (Dr. José Monserrat), and American Lunar enterprises Golden Spike Co. (Dr. Alan Stern), ILOA (Steve Durst), Shackleton Energy Co. (Jim Keravala) and Moon Express (Bob Richards). UNOOSA and IAF are holding the 23rd UN / IAF Workshop ‘Space Technology for Economic Development’ Sep 20-22. The Space Generation Advisory Council’s 12th Annual Space Generation Congress will be on Sep 19-21. Seeking to better develop and empower the next-generation workforce, the International Project Management Committee of the IAF hosts 2013 IPMC Young Professionals Workshop Sep 20. The Sep 22 Academy Day of the IAA welcome address will be given by G. Madhavan Nair, former chairman of ISRO. (Image Credit: IAF, UNOOSA, CNSA, NAOC, CSA, AEB, ILOA, GSC, ME, ISRO, IAF, IAA, KARI, SEC)

Sep - Nov = 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), Saturn (WSW); Morning Planets: Mars (E), Jupiter (ESE).


Sep 16 — ISS, LEO: Expedition 37 three-member crew with Yurchikhin as Commander preparing for arrival of Cygnus-1, pre-packing gear to stow inside capsule, reviewing Canadarm2 capture / berthing procedures.

Sep 16 — LADEE, LEO / Moon Trajectory: Will continue with 2 more elliptical orbits around Earth until it performs Lunar Orbit Insertion (LOI-1) burn on Oct 6 to achieve Moon orbit.

Sep 16 — Kepler, Heliocentric Orbit: Team considering missions for re-purposing spacecraft; would be able to search for near Earth-sized planets with orbits of less than 1 day.

Sep 16 — Reaction Engines Ltd, Oxfordshire, England: NewSpace company estimating it will need US$3.6B to complete Synergistic Air-Breathing Rocket Engine (SABRE) which could be ready for flight tests in 4 years.

 Sep 16 — S3 (Swiss Space Systems), Payerne, Switzerland: Investing US$16M in CleanSpace One satellite to clean up space debris by holding onto ‘space junk,’ thrusting it into atmosphere; planning to launch satellite into orbit in 2018.

 Sep 16 — Mars One, The Hague, The Netherlands: Selection Committee screening applications from those interested in living on Mars; by 2015, six to ten teams of 4 individuals will be selected for 7 years of full-time training.

Sep 16 — MIT Enterprise Forum Northwest, Economic Development Council of Seattle, Seattle WA: Space: Are We There Yet? Tourists, Entrepreneurs and Miners in Orbit; featuring Will Pomerantz, Chris Lewicki, Joe Landon; at Museum of Flight, US$30-60.

Sep 16 — The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS), Online / Exploration Park FL: Last Day: CASIS Contest for Ideas – Your Idea in Space, What Would You Send to the ISS?; US$10K grand prize.

Sep 16 — The Space Show, Online / Tiburon CA: Host Dr. David Livingston talks with Dr. Paul Davies about Starship Century.

Sep 16-18 — Paris Observatory, CNES, French National Centre for Scientific Research, Meudon, France: Conference: Uranus Beyond Voyager 2 – From Recent Advances to Future Missions; at Observatory of Paris.

Sep 16-18 — United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs, Government of Austria, ESA, Graz, Austria: UN/Austria Symposium on Space Weather Data, Instruments and Models: Looking Beyond the International Space Weather Initiative (ISWI).

Sep 16-20 — United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs, China Manned Space Agency, International Academy of Astronautics, Beijing, China: UN/China Workshop on Human Space Technology; at Beijing Landmark Convention Center.

Sep 16-27 — Canadian Space Agency, ESA, Sardinia, Italy: CSA Astronaut Jeremy Hansen and international Astronaut crew live / work in underground caves for 6 days for Cooperative Adventure for Valuing and Exercising human behavior and performance Skills (CAVES) training.

Sep 16 — Asteroid 2001 SQ263: Near-Earth flyby (0.056 AU).

Continued from…

Feb 14 – Dec 31 — NASA, Online: Accepting Responses for High-Impact National Strategic STEM Educational Partnerships; NASA requests information from organizations interested in helping the Agency achieve its strategic goals for education.

Aug 16 – Mar 15, 2014 — Mars Society, Online / Lakewood CO: International Student Design Competition: Concepts for Inspiration Mars Mission; for students to design 2-person Mars flyby mission for 2018 as cheaply, safely, simply as possible; US$10K grand prize.

Aug 27 – Sep 16 — JAXA, Launch Epsilon-1 / SPRINT-A (EXCEED), Uchinoura Space Center, Japan: A Japan Epsilon rocket set to launch SPRINT-A/EXCEED satellite with small space telescope to observe planets; satellite will also carry out experiments on solar and lithium-ion batteries.

Sep 14 – Sep 22 — SpaceX, Launch Falcon 9 / CASSIOPE, Vandenberg AFB CA: SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket set to launch Canadian Space Agency CASSIOPE (CAscade, SmallSat and IOnospheric Polar Explorer) satellite containing communications payload and instrument to observe Earth ionosphere.

Sep 15-20 — Goddard Space Flight Center, NASA, Astronomical Institute Anton Pannekoek, Santorini, Greece: Swift/Fermi/NuSTAR Conference: Explosive Transients – Lighthouses of the Universe; at Petros M. Nomikos Conference Center; US$289-475 (€225-370).


Sep 17 — Orbital Sciences Corp., Launch Antares / Cygnus 1, Wallops Island VA: OSC Antares rocket to launch 1st Cygnus cargo freighter on test flight to ISS, 11:16 EDT; will deliver Flock-1 (28 Earth observation nanosatellites) to LEO for Planet Labs Inc; live coverage available.

Sep 17 — Long Now Foundation, San Francisco CA: The Starships ARE Coming; presented Peter Schwartz; at SF Jazz Center, 19:30 PDT.

Sep 17-22 — European Commission, Vilnius, Lithuania: Space Tech Expo; to show how space and its applications provide benefits to citizens of Europe; at Cathedral Square.


Sep 18-21 — AIAA – San Francisco, San Francisco / Southern California: Southern California Aerospace Tour; featuring SpaceX, JPL, Mojave Air & Space Port; US$200.

Sep 18-21 — Volkswagen Foundation, Helmholtz International Center for FAIR, Republic of Armenia Ministry of Education and Science, Yerevan, Armenia: The Modern Physics of Compact Stars and Relativistic Gravity.


Sep 19 — Thirty Meter Telescope Observatory Corp., Mauna Kea HI: Prospective bidders prequalification conference for TMT site rough grading, access road, underground utility conduits; at Hale Pohaku 2,743 meters above sea level.

Sep 19 — Marshall Space Flight Center, NASA, Huntsville AL: Marshall Small Business Alliance Meeting; at Davidson Center.

Sep 19-21 — Space Generation Advisory Council, Beihang University, Beijing, China: 12th Annual Space Generation Congress; at Beihang University.

Sep 19-22 — Ames Research Center, NASA, DARPA, Houston TX: 100 Year Starship 2013 Public Symposium; at Hyatt Regency Houston Hotel.

Sep 19 — Moon: Full (Harvest Moon), 01:12.


Sep 20 — International Astronautical Federation – International Project Management Committee, Beijing, China: 2013 IPMC Young Professionals Workshop.

Sep 20 — `Imiloa Astronomy Center, University of Hawai`i – Hilo, Hilo HI: Mauna Kea Skies Talk; Dr. Glen Petitpas from Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory Submillimeter Array (SMA) speaks about recent discoveries; 19:00 HST, US$8-10.

Sep 20 — Lunar and Planetary Institute, Houston TX: LPI Seminar Series: Hunting Intraterrestrials in the Deep Subsurface: Earth’s Last Great Biosphere Frontier; presented by Heath Mills from Texas A&M; 15:30 CDT.

Sep 20 — Johnson Space Center, NASA, Houston TX: Lunch with an Astronaut, Ken Cameron; US$49.95 adult.

Sep 20-21 — University of Alberta Institute of Space Science, Exploration and Technology (ISSET), Calgary, Alberta, Canada: 10th Annual Space Symposium; with keynote speakers Bob Richards CEO of Moon Express, Paul Mahaffy Principal Investigator of Mars Curiosity Mission.

Sep 20-22 — United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs, International Astronautical Federation, ESA, International Academy of Astronautics, Committee on Space Research (COSPAR), Beijing, China: 23rd UN/IAF Workshop: Space Technology for Economic Development.


Sep 21 — International Academy of Astronautics, Beijing, China: IAA Board of Trustees Meeting.

Sep 21 — Onizuka Center for International Astronomy Visitor Information Station – Malalo o ka Po Lani Program, Mauna Kea HI: Waiau – The Swirling Water of Mauna Kea; presented by Emma Yuen; at 2,800-meter altitude on Mauna Kea, 18:00 HST.


 Sep 22 — ISS, Rendezvous, Grapple & Berthing Cygnus 1, LEO: Cygnus cargo freighter on test flight scheduled to rendezvous with ISS 11:15 UT; live coverage available.

Sep 22 — International Academy of Astronautics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China: Academy Day of the IAA.

Sep 22 — International Lunar Observatory Association, Space Age Publishing Co., NAOC, CSA, Beijing Planetarium, IAF, CNSA, Beijing, China: Galaxy Forum China 2013: Human Moon Missions: Giant Steps into the Galaxy; at China National Convention Center, room 308; RSVP.

Sep 22 — DLR, Cologne, Germany: German Space Day.

Sep 22-26 — Association of Brazilian Planetariums, Santo Andre, Brazil: XVIII Annual Meeting of the Association of Brazilian Planetariums.

Sep 22 Fall / Autumn Equinox: The Sun, appearing to travel along the ecliptic, reaches the point where it crosses the equator into the southern hemisphere; 03:49.

Sep 22 — Asteroid 2013 QN1: Near-Earth flyby (0.035 AU).