September 26 – October 2, 2016 / Vol 35, No 39 / Hawai`i Island, USA

67th IAC to Strengthen International Partnerships, Feature Technology Breakthroughs, Trends, Developments


The International Astronautical Federation, IAA, IISL and Mexican Space Agency (AEM) are hosting the 67th International Astronautical Congress with theme ‘Making Space Accessible and Affordable to All Countries’ September 26-30 in Guadalajara, Mexico. Guadalajara is the 2nd most populous metropolitan area in Mexico, after Mexico City. Expecting more than 3,000 participants, there will be 1,753 oral presentations and 377 interactive presentations from representatives of 74 countries, as well as 7 plenary sessions including Heads of Agency, various social events and four 1-hour-long highlight presentations: “Making Humans a Multiplanetary Species” (Elon Musk, SpaceX), “Mars Base Camp” (Wanda Sigur, Dominic Antonelli, Rob Chambers of Lockheed Martin), “The Exploration of Pluto by the New Horizons Mission” (Stamatios Krimigis, Ralph McNutt, Harold Weaver of JHU/APL) and “The Saturn System as a Natural Laboratory to Investigate the Emergence of Biology” (Brent Sherwood of JPL, Jonathan Lunine of Cornell). For the first time, all plenary events and the opening and closing ceremonies are planned to be broadcast live. Events held in conjunction with 67th IAC are the 2nd Mexican Congress in Space Medicine, UN/IAF Workshop, International Programme Committee General Meeting, IAA Academy Day, Educators Professional Development Workshop, IAC Hosts Summit, International Meetings for Members of Parliament, Cross-Cultural Workshop, YP IPMC Workshop and IAF-SUAC International Student Workshop. The 68th IAC will be held in Adelaide, Australia September 25-29, 2017. (Pictured: IAF President Kiyoshi Higuchi, IAF Incoming Director Jean-Yves Le Gall, AEM Director General Francisco Javier Mendieta-Jimenez; Image Credit: IAF, IAC, AEM, ESA, Astrobotic, Max Markwell)


star-grey Sep 26 — ISS, LEO: Expedition 49 three-member crew stay at station likely extended until after November 1 when Soyuz MS-02 electrical systems checks finalized and next crew can launch; transferring cargo from Progress 63P & 64P, monitoring BEAM habitat, will work on Group Combustion experiment to explore how flames fed by fuel droplets spread in microgravity.

star-grey Sep 26 — Cassini, Saturn System: Will perform 4 more near flybys of Titan and focus on lakes and seas in north before end of mission less than 1 year away; has discovered 10 moons, collected more than 600 GB of data, executed 2.4M commands, taken 379,300 images.

circle-grey Sep 26 — Korea Pathfinder Lunar Orbiter (KPLO), Daejeon, South Korea: KARI Moon craft planned to launch Dec 2018 and orbit at 100-km altitude for at least one year may have 4 science instruments (15 kg & US$15M total) sponsored by NASA aboard to search for / quantify lunar resources for increasing effectiveness, improving design of robotic and human space exploration missions.

circle-grey Sep 26 — Ripple Aerospace, Kristiansand, Norway: NewSpace company Sea Serpent booster with aerospike engine to be developed for Sea Launching satellites to LEO, GTO with potential 1st stage reusability in future; startup receiving funds from Innovation Norway, hoping to begin test flights Q1 2017.

circle-grey Sep 26 — Rocket Lab, Auckland, New Zealand: Receives approval from NZ government to start commercial space launches with Electron Rocket from Mahia Peninsula, bill to be proposed to parliament covering permanent regulations for launches; company planned to launch MX-1E Lunar lander in 2017 for Moon Express which received U.S. FAA approval for its private Moon mission. 

circle-full-grey Sep 26 — Planet, San Francisco CA: Working to have 100 Dove satellites in orbit by end of year (currently at 62) to acquire medium-resolution images of entire Earth every day, has offices in USA, Canada, Germany; in past 5 years, the number of operational satellites has risen 40%, current operating number of satellites is 1,419 (UCS Satellite Database).

Sep 26 — ISRO, Launch PSLV / ScatSat 1, Satish Dhawan Space Center, Sriharikota, India: Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, flying on the PSLV-C35 mission, to launch India 377-kg Scatsat-1 ocean and weather observation satellite with 7 secondary payloads into 2 different orbits: polar/sun-synchronous and polar orbit.

Sep 26 — NASA, Online / Washington DC: Teleconference on new Europa findings from Hubble Space Telescope; featuring Paul Hertz, William Sparks, Britney Schmidt, Jennifer Wiseman; 14:00.

SEP - NOV 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 (S); Morning Planets: Mercury (E), Uranus (E), Neptune (SE).

The Moon, Mars and a Multi World Species calendar-feature-mmmws

As Earth’s closest neighbor, the Moon is and will continue to be the first stop on our expansion into the Solar System complete, sustaining humanity as a Multi World Species. It is the 5th largest major-planet satellite in the Solar System, and the largest relative to its primary. Luna with gravitational influence, steady cycles and visual prominence in the sky has always been a central theme in human culture. It is also almost 600 times closer to Earth than Mars on average. The next generation of sustainable Human Moon Missions will establish a critical permanent toehold on the ‘8th Continent’ from which to reach further out, to Mars, Jupiter, Saturn systems and beyond. Projections indicate astronauts could be on the lunar surface within 5-7 years for a cost of about US$10B, leading to a permanent industrial base of 4 private-sector astronauts providing 200 metric tons of propellant per year into lunar orbit within another 10-12 years for about $40B. The asset rich Moon South Pole new frontier is the most logical location for future development on the Moon and is already a priority destination for most serious Moon exploration and development initiatives. (Image Credit: Space Age Publishing Company / ILOA, NASA, CNSA, ESA, SpaceX, ISRO, Bigelow)

Sep 26 — Cornell University, Ithaca NY: Lecture: Comet 67P/C-G: Morphology and Evolution; Sam Birch of Cornell University, 12:30.

Sep 26 – Oct 2— Flexure Engineering, The Select Investor, Seattle WA: LunarScene 2016; Canceled.

Sep 26-28 — ESA, Madrid, Spain: ESAC 2016 JWST Workshop: Mastering the Science Instruments and the Observing Modes of JWST.

Sep 26-30 — International Astronautical Federation, IAA, International Institute of Space Law (IISL), Mexican Space Agency (AEM), Guadalajara, Mexico: 67th International Astronautical Congress (IAC 2016) Making Space Accessible and Affordable to All Countries; multidisciplinary congress that covers all space sectors and topics.

Sep 26-30 — Seoul National University, Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute, Seoul, South Korea: 10th East Asian Meeting on Astronomy (EAMA10).

Sep 26-30 — ASI, Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas, Rome, Italy: Conference: The Milky Way as a Star Formation Engine – Towards a predictive Galaxy-scale Model of the Star Formation Life-Cycle (VIALACTEA 2016).

Continued from…

Sep 15-28 — Mars City Foundation, Mars City Design LLC, University of Southern California, Los Angeles CA: Mars City PowerLab Workshop 2016; two-week Science Retreat for participants to begin tangibly building technology and tools for living on Mars; with Apollo 11 Buzz Aldrin, James Erickson, Madhu Thangavelu, more.

Sep 25-28 — Geological Society of America, Denver CO: Geological Society of America (GSA) Meeting.


Sep 27 — Dawn, Ceres Orbit: NASA spacecraft enters 10th year in space today, launched Sep 27, 2007; entered orbit around 4 Vesta Jul 16, 2011, reached Ceres orbit March 6, 2015.

Sep 27 — SpaceX, Guadalajara, Mexico: Elon Musk to discuss reveal Mars settlement plans during a keynote entitled “Making Humans a Multiplanetary Species” at 67th IAC, 13:30-14:30.

Sep 27 — SETI Institute, Mountain View CA: Lecture: Methane on Mars – Potential Origin and Seepage; Giuseppe Etiope from National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology, Rome.

Sep 27-30 — ESA, DLR, CNES, Toulouse, France: 14th European Conference on Spacecraft Structures, Materials and Environmental Testing (ECSSMET).

Sep 27-30 — European Astrobiology Network Association (EANA), Athens, Greece: 16th EANA Astrobiology Conference; at the Eugenides Foundation.

Sep 27 – Oct 2 — European Planetary Science Congress, Nantes, France: European Planetary Science Congress 2016 / Division for Planetary Sciences.

Sep 27 — Moon: 1.6° SSW of Regulus, 12:00.

Sep 27 — Amor Asteroid 2016 QB2: Near-Earth flyby (0.081 AU).

Sep 27 — Comet 73P-BH / Schwassmann-Wachmann: At perihelion (distance 1.005 AU).


Sep 28 — Astrosat, 650-km LEO: ISRO first dedicated multi-wavelength space observatory enters 2nd year in space today.

Sep 28-29 — Aethon, Fetch Robotics, Harmonic Drive, Nanotec, et al, San Jose CA: RoboBusiness 2016; including Johnson Space Center Robotics Engineer Kimberly Hambuchen speaking about NASA Space Robotics Challenge.

Sep 28-30 ESA, Romanian Space Agency (ROSA), National Institute for Marine Research and Development “Grigore Antipa”, Constanta, Romania: Black Sea from Space Workshop.

Sep 28 — Mercury: At perihelion (distance 0.3075 AU from Sun), 05:00; at greatest elongation west, 17.9° from Sun, 09:00.


Sep 29 — Library of Congress Science, Technology and Business Division, Washington DC: Lecture: A Space Weather Report – Preparing Space Explorers for Bad Weather throughout the Solar System; C. Alex Young, 11:30.

Sep 29 IAF Global Networking Forum, Guadalajara, Mexico: CELSS Integration Experiment and Manned Deep Space Exploration; with Fengyuan Zhuang, Yinghui Li, Rupert Gerzer, Nick Kanas, Jeffrey Sutton, Yixian Qin, 10:30-11:30 during 67th IAC.

Sep 29 — Galactic Tick Day, Global / San Francisco CA & Ottawa, Canada: Galactic Tick Day; to acknowledge the Sun’s motion, our progress around the Galaxy, and to celebrate humanity’s knowledge of this motion; Galactic Tick happens every 633.7 days.

Sep 29 — Cornell University, Ithaca NY: Lecture: Evolution of Massive Black Hole Binaries in Rotating Stellar Nuclei and its Implications for Gravitational Wave Detection; Alexander Rasskazov of Rochester Institute of Technology, 16:00.

Sep 29 — Moon: 0.67° S of Mercury, 00:00.

Sep 29 — Comet 9P Tempel 1: 0.74° SSW of Antares, 12:00.


Sep 30 — Rosetta, Comet 67P / Churyumov-Gerasimenko Orbit: Mission extension ends today, craft will orbit closer to Comet surface and crash land into Ma’at region containing active pits on the smaller of 67P’s 2 lobes.

Sep 30 — Cassini OTM-461, Saturn Orbit: Spacecraft conducts Orbital Trim Maneuver #461 today.

Sep 30 — Lichfield Movie Makers, Lichfield, United Kingdom: Odyssey Dramatic Presentation: Saturn Lord of the Rings; at Martin Heath Hall, 19:45.

Sep 30 – Oct 1 — Space Foundation, San Francisco CA: Space Technology & Investment Forum; at Hilton San Francisco Financial District.

Sep 30 — Moon: 0.86° NNE of Jupiter, 07:00; New Moon, 14:11.

Sep 30 — Aten Asteroid 2009 UG: Near-Earth flyby (0.019 AU).

Sep 30 — Apollo Asteroid 2015 SO2: Near-Earth flyby (0.045 AU).

Sep 30 — Apollo Asteroid 2016 RQ1: Near-Earth flyby (0.065 AU).


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 — Deep Space, Interstellar Space & Heliosheath: Farthest spacecraft from Earth, Voyager 1 (136 AU) and Voyager 2 (112 AU) continue 40th year in space, are healthy and collecting / sending data; new Kickstarter campaign aiming to Release NASA Voyager Golden Record for the First Time.

Oct 1 — Baylor College of Medicine, NASA, Houston TX: NASA Transitional Research Institute to launch today; NASA awarded Baylor College of Medicine up to US$246M for discovering new approaches to astronaut health for long-duration space flight.

Oct 1 — Spaceport America, Las Cruces NM: Spaceport America Open House; free and open to the public.

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

Oct 1 — Moon: 5.5° NNE of Spica, 21:00; New Moon, 14:11.


Oct 2 — ESA, Noordwijk, The Netherlands: ESA-ESTEC Open Day 2016; at ESTEC; held during Netherlands’ national Weekend of Science.

Oct 2 — Seattle Astronomical Society, Museum of Flight, Seattle WA: Astronomy Day at the Museum of Flight, 17:00-19:00.

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