September 2-8, 2013 / Vol 32, No 35 / Hawai`i Island, USA

Space Age Enterprises: OSC Launches LADEE, SpaceX Launches CASSIOPE

LADEE & CASSIOPEOrbital Sciences Corporation will debut the Minotaur V rocket on September 6 with its launch of Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) from Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia between 23:27 – 23:31 EDT. If successful, this launch will accomplish many firsts: 1st launch of Minotaur V rocket, 1st Moon / Planetary mission launched from Wallops, 1st 5-stage vehicle and 1st Moon mission launched by Orbital. Led by NASA Ames Research Center, LADEE will gather information about the structure and composition of the lunar atmosphere and dust while in a 50-km altitude orbit around the Moon’s equator. LADEE includes a dust detector, neutral mass spectrometer, ultraviolet-visible spectrometer and laser communications terminal. On Sep 10 SpaceX is scheduled to launch its Falcon 9 rocket with Canadian Space Agency’s Cascade, SmallSat and IOnospheric Polar Explorer (CASSIOPE) satellite from Vandenberg AFB in California. Falcon 9 is a 2-stage rocket which uses Merlin 1D engines and liquid oxygen / kerosene propellants. SpaceX is upgrading the Falcon 9 rocket along with the Dragon capsule to send humans into space under NASA’s CCiCAP. CASSIOPE has 8 science instruments which will observe Earth’s ionosphere and gather data on space weather. It also contains a technology demonstrator for a commercial digital broadband carrier. (Image Credit: NASA, OSC, SpaceX, CSA-ASC)

Europe Considers Future Space Exploration Opportunities

calendar feature - europe L2 L3The European Space Agency is hosting Presentation Meeting 2013 – L2 and L3 Science Themes at the Oceanographic Institute of Paris on September 3-4. The open meeting attended by interested parties from the scientific community, industry, national funding agencies and international partners will hear from scientists with various proposals and more than 30 white papers elaborating on science objectives, instrumentation and mission design concepts. Before the end of the year this meeting and subsequent procedures coordinated by Director of Science and Robotic Exploration Alvaro Giménez Cañete will decide the science themes to be explored by the next two L-class ESA missions. This category of large missions is restricted to no more than US$1.2B each. L2 and L3 are expected to launch in 2028 and 2034 respectively. ESA’s first L-class mission, the Jupiter Icy Moon Explorer (JUICE), passed final selection in May 2012 and is set to launch in 2022. The European Planetary Science Congress 2013 takes place at University College London on Sep 8-13. The Congress is designed as a platform for exchange and presentation of results, development of new ideas and networking. For the first time EPSC will include an Industry Day focused on associated companies and stakeholders that shape space policy. (Image Credit: ESA, EPSC)

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 (W), Saturn (W); Morning Planets: Mars (E), Jupiter (E).


Sep 2 — ISS, LEO: Expedition 36 continuing to work with Robonaut, making final preparations for HTV-4 undocking; Vinogradov, Misurkin, Cassidy readying for return to Earth set for Sep 10.

Sep 2 — Fermi, LEO: Gamma-ray telescope, now in extended mission phase, will continue studying sky in high-energy wavelengths; science team hopes for at least 5 more years of observations.

 Sep 2 — WISE, LEO: Spacecraft will be revived this month for 3-year mission to hunt for near-Earth objects within 45M km of Earth and support NASA Asteroid Initiative.

Sep 2 — Golden Spike Co., Boulder, Colorado: NewSpace company preparing to host Human Lunar Expeditions Workshop with about 70 presentations / posters on Oct 3-4 in Houston TX.

Sep 2 — SHIPinSPACE Ltd, London, United Kingdom: With US$7.78M in seed-funding, will begin developing fully-reusable, suborbital space tourism vehicle able to carry 48 people for US$60K each.

Sep 2 — Deep Space Industries, McLean VA: Selling merchandise and meteorites through retail division ‘Deep Space by Design’ to fund space projects.

Sep 2 — Johnson Space Center, NASA, Online / Houston TX: Last Day: ‘Name the Shuttle’ contest for Texas residents; contest to name Shuttle replica as part of new attraction under development.

Sep 2-5 — University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield, United Kingdom: Conference: Mind The Gap – Exoplanets and Brown Dwarfs.

Sep 2-8 — Centre for Planetary Science and Exploration, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada: 2013 Planetary Science Short Course; focusing on processes that shaped terrestrial planets, moons, asteroids with emphasis on our Moon and Mars.

Sep 2 — Moon: 6.4° S of Beehive Cluster, 06:00.

Continued from…

Jun 10 – Sep 2 — Johnson Space Center, NASA, Seattle WA: Destination Station exhibit; for public to learn about living in space aboard the ISS; at Pacific Science Center.

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

Aug 20 – Sep 10 — Goddard Space Flight Center, NASA, Online / Greenbelt MD: Request for Information: Extreme Environments Challenge; to determine level of interest in potential competition for developing technologies to operate in extreme environments.

 Aug 26 – Oct 10 — GLXP Team Puli, Online / Budapest, Hungary: IndieGoGo Campaign; requesting funds to send rover to Mauna Kea in Hawai`i to simulate Moon mission and test / control systems from 12,552 km away.


Sep 3 — SETI Institute, Mountain View CA: Mapping the Surface of a Rocky Extrasolar Planet: Kepler-10b; presented by Jason Rowe from SETI, 12:00 PDT.

Sep 3 — NASA HQ, Washington DC: NASA International Space Station Advisory Committee Meeting.

Sep 3 — The Space Show, Online / Tiburon CA: Host Dr. David Livingston talks with Anatoly Zak about his book Russia in Space: The Past Explained – The Future Explored.

Sep 3-4 — ESA, Paris, France: Presentation Meeting 2013: L2 and L3 Science Themes; to discuss L2 and L3 missions expected to launch in 2028 and 2034; at Paris Institute of Oceanography.

Sep 3-7 — National Taiwan University, National Central University, Taipei, Taiwan: 2013 Asia-Pacific Radio Science Conference (AP-RASC); at Howard International House; US$250-651 (NTD 7,500-19,500).

Sep 3 — Asteroid 2013 PD39: Near-Earth flyby (0.076 AU).


Sep 4 — ISS, Undocking of HTV-4, LEO: The 4th H-2 transfer vehicle, now filled with ISS waste including NASA engineering experiment module STP-H3, scheduled to undock 16:00 UT, live coverage available; will burn up upon Earth atmospheric reentry Sep 7.

Sep 4 — Marshall Space Flight Center, NASA, Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce, Mobile AL: NASA Business to Business Forum; at Arthur R. Outlaw Convention Center.

Sep 4 — Commercial Spaceflight Federation, Johnson Space Center, NASA, Houston TX: All-Astronaut Panel featuring Christopher J. Ferguson, Jim Voss, Garrett Reisman, Jeff Ashby, Rick Searfoss; at Space Center Houston, 17:00 CDT, free.

Sep 4 — Johnson Space Center, NASA, Online / Houston TX: NASA news conference to preview Orbital Sciences Corporation’s Cygnus spacecraft test flight to ISS, 15:00 CDT.

Sep 4 — Kennedy Space Center, NASA, Titusville FL: Canada in Space – NASA’s Enduring Partner; Canada Astronaut Dave Williams to welcome attendees to official exhibit opening, 18:00 – 20:00 EDT.

Sep 4 — Florida Space Institute, Orlando FL: Seminar: Clumps, Waves and Ghosts in Saturn’s Rings; presented by Josh Colwell from University of Central Florida, 11:00 EDT.

Sep 4 — Moon: 5.2° SSW of Regulus, 01:00.


Sep 5 — Florida Space Institute, Orlando FL: FSI Space Tech 1.0; at Rosen School of Hospitality Management; US$150-200, free for students / faculty.

Sep 5 — Moon: New Moon, 01:35.


Sep 6 — Orbital Sciences Corp., Launch Minotaur V / Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE), Wallops Island VA: Moon mission of 160 days to study Moon atmosphere and dust; will transmit laser signals to NASA stations in California and New Mexico as well as ESA’s Optical Ground Station in Tenerife, Spain; 23:27 – 23:31 EDT; alternate launch days Sep 7-10.

Sep 6 — Lunar and Planetary Institute, Houston TX: LPI Seminar Series: Conditions of Basalt Genesis in Mars from Basalts in Gusev Crater and Meridiani Planum, Compared with the Martian Meteorites; presented by Justin Filiberto from Southern Illinois University Carbondale; 15:30 CDT.

Sep 6 — Kennedy Space Center, NASA, Online / KSC FL: Last Day: Request for Information on KSC Mobile Launch Platforms; requesting traditional / non-traditional ideas to reuse or dispose of Apollo and Space Shuttle Mobile Launch Platforms.

Sep 6 — Johnson Space Center, NASA, Houston TX: Lunch with an Astronaut, Leroy Chiao; US$49.95 adult.

Sep 6 – Dec 4 — Johnson Space Center, NASA, Seattle WA: Destination Station exhibit; for public to learn about living in space aboard the ISS; at Museum of Flight.

Sep 6 — Moon: 4.5° SSW of Mercury, 00:00.


Sep 7 — British Interplanetary Society, London, United Kingdom: 68th Annual General Meeting of the British Interplanetary Society; at BIS.

Sep 7 — Glenn Research Center, NASA, Cleveland OH: Free 1-hour tour of Aero-Acoustic Propulsion Laboratory; first tour starts 10:00 EDT.

Sep 7 — Virgin Galactic, The Spaceship Company, Mojave CA: Career Fair; at Mojave Air and Spaceport, 08:00 – 11:00 PDT.

Sep 7 — Onizuka Center for International Astronomy Visitor Information Station, Mauna Kea HI: The Universe Tonight: W. M. Keck Observatory; at 2,800-meter altitude on Mauna Kea, 18:00 HST.


Sep 8 — Cassini OTM-358, Saturn Orbit: Spacecraft conducts Orbital Trim Maneuver #358 today.

Sep 8-12 — European Solar Physics Division, European Physical Society, European Astronomical Society, Dublin, Ireland: 14th European Solar Physics Meeting; at Trinity College.

Sep 8-13 — European Planetary Science Congress, Europlanet, et al, London, United Kingdom: European Planetary Science Congress 2013; at University College London; US$64-507 (€50-395).

Sep 8 — Moon: 1.1° ENE of Spica, 06:00; 0.76° SE of Venus, 12:00.