September 28 – October 4, 2015 / Vol 34, No 39 / Hawai`i Island, USA

Launch of Astrosat Multi Wavelength Observatory Furthering Ambitious India Space Goals

SC-Feature-92820152Pioneering indigenous Astrosat mission to lift-off September 28 from Satish Dhawan Space Center, Sriharikota, India on Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) C30, which will also host 6 small satellites – 4 from USA, 1 Indonesia and 1 Canada. The ability of Astrosat to make simultaneous multi wavelength observations in ultraviolet, visible light, and high / low energy x-rays should advance India space science and technology to new heights. The optical mirror is ~30 cm and encompasses 5 major components: Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope (UVIT), Soft X-ray Telescope (SXT), Scanning Sky Monitor (SSM), Cadmium Zinc Telluride Imager (CZTI), and 3 Large Area Xenon Proportional Counters (LAXPC). At just under 15% of the mass of Hubble, the 1,513-kg miniature craft is expected to perform observations from a planned 650-km altitude near-equatorial orbit for 5 years, gathering data on black holes, pulsars, quasars and in particular the supermassive black hole thought to be at the center of the Milky Way Galaxy. With an impetus to progress national space objectives, India Space Research Organization (ISRO) chairman A. S. Kiran Kumar states ISRO plans for “up to 30 launches, including ten GSLV-Mark III, in the next three years” as well as a possible trial of the Reusable Launch Vehicle-Technology Demonstrator this October and the Chandrayaan-2 Moon Lander mission projected for 2017. ISRO will likely also continue to pursue Human spaceflight capability following the Crew Module Atmospheric Re-entry Experiment success of late 2014. (Image Credit: NASA, ISRO)


Sep 28 — ISS, LEO: Expedition 45 six-person crew preparing for Progress-61P cargo ship arrival & docking, reviewing procedures for emergency medical & evacuation situations, collecting data on ocular health, microorganisms, cardiovascular and respiratory systems, liquid crystals; Kelly & Kornienko participating in ~400 experiments during their 1-year mission.

Sep 28 — ISS, HTV-5 Robotic Release, LEO: Japan HTV-5 cargo ship scheduled to be released from ISS at 15:00 UT, live coverage available, will burn up in Earth Atmosphere with waste.

 Sep 28 — Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, Moon Polar Orbit: Data from lunar eclipse to be transmitted to Earth, science instruments will be turned back on & tested, release 23 of LRO data recently published, imaging thousands of lobate scarps / faults on surface.

Sep 28 — Cassini, Saturn Orbit: Titan flyby at 1,036-km altitude planned for today.

Sep 28 — ISRO, Launch PSLV / Astrosat, Satish Dhawan Space Center, Sriharikota, India: India Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, flying on PSLV-C30 mission, to launch the Astrosat astronomical satellite to observe the universe in visible, ultraviolet & X-ray wavelengths, study black holes, neutron stars, pulsars, quasars, white dwarfs, active galactic nuclei.

 Sep 28 — Earth2Orbit, Bengaluru, India: NewSpace company with Dr. Susmita Mohanty as CEO offering
launch procurement services & campaign management, hardware via Firefly Aerospace; has offices in Osaka, San Francisco & Vienna as well.

Sep 28 — Commercial Spaceflight Federation, Washington DC: Continues advocacy & publicity for NewSpace companies worldwide; CSF membership now includes more than 60 companies, Eric Stallmer serving as president, Frank DiBello as chairman, Alan Stern & Jeff Greason elected to serve as officers of the board.

 Sep 28 — NorStar Space Data Inc., Montreal, Québec, Canada: Developing 40 LEO satellite constellation with IBM & Boeing Co. to manage Earth resources and track space objects; Ciel Satellite Group, Telesat & Kepler Communications of Ontario also focus on space satellite technologies.

SEP - NOV 2015 = 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: Venus (E), Mars (E), Jupiter (E).

European Planetary Science Congress to Reveal New Data from Current Missions

EPSC2015The 2015 European Planetary Congress, now in its 9th year, is set to take place September 27 – October 2 in Nantes, France. About 700 attendees will participate in presentations, posters, workshops and panel discussions focused on planetary science and missions. The EPSC Executive Board is chaired by (L-R) Manuel Grande of University of Wales Aberystwyth, Maria Teresa Capria of Institute of Astrophysics and Space Planetology (IAPS) / National Institute of Astrophysics (INAF), Athena Coustenis of National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS), as well as Felipe Gomez, Michel Blanc, Ralf Srama, Helmut Rucker and Jean-Pierre Lebreton. The Lunar Science and Exploration session will feature presentations on LRO Diviner, Chang’e-3 Moon-based Extreme Ultraviolet Camera, Kaguya/Spectral Profiler and New Views of the Moon II 2008-2018. The Outer Planets Systems session will cover Jupiter, Ganymede, Europa, Io, Saturn, Titan, Enceladus, JUICE mission, Europa Clipper and Cassini. Other topics include KBOs and Centaurs, planetary protection requirements for returning samples of icy moons, asteroids, astrobiology, planetary space weather service, and missions, techniques and industry. SpaceUp Netherlands is being held in Noordwijk with 108 registered people planning to attend the unconference on Oct 3. (Image Credit: EPSC, SpaceUp, NASA, ESA, JAXA, CNSA, Aberystwyth, A. Coustenis, M. Capria)

Sep 28 — Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Caltech/NASA, Online / Pasadena CA: NASA to Announce Mars Mystery Solved; NASA will detail a major science finding from the agency’s ongoing exploration of Mars, 08:30 PDT.

Sep 28 — Cornell University, Ithaca NY: Lecture: The Galactic Center Massive Black Hole; presented by Reinhard Genzel.

Sep 28-29 — The National Academies, Washington DC: NASA Technology Roadmaps – Committee Meeting #1.

Sep 28 – Oct 2 — International Academy of Astronautics, University of Malaga, Malaga, Spain: 4th Workshop on Robotic Autonomous Observatories.

Sep 28 – Oct 2 — European Southern Observatory, Santiago, Chile: 2015 Astrobiology and Planetary Atmospheres.

Sep 28 – Nov 27 — Charles Miller, SpaceNews, Online / Alexandria VA: Commercial Space Executive Training course.

Sep 28 — Moon: 0.97° SSE of Uranus, 15:00.

Continued from…

Aug 28 – Aug 28, 2016 — NASA, University of Hawai`i at Mānoa, Mauna Loa HI: Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation (HI-SEAS) Mission 4; at 2,440-meter altitude.

Sep 1-30 — Flexure Engineering LLC, LunarCubes, Online / Pasadena CA: Flash Art Competition; writing and 2D art contest which focuses on lunar and space exploration; US$3,500 grand prize.

Sep 14 – Dec 7 — SSERVI, NASA, Online: SSERVI teams at University of Central FL (CLASS) and Brown University/MIT (SEEED) give 13 lectures on Planetary Evolution: Phobos and Deimos, every Monday; live coverage available.

Sep 27 – Oct 1 — Pro-physica Foundation, GSI Helmholtz Centre, Warsaw, Poland: NUSTAR Week 2015.

Sep 27 – Oct 2 — Federation of Analytical Chemistry and Spectroscopy Societies (FACSS), Providence RI: SCIX2015: Scientific Exchange; at Rhode Island Convention Center.

Sep 27 – Oct 2 — European Planetary Science Congress, University of Nantes, Nantes, France: European Planetary Science Congress 2015; at La Cité Nantes Events Center.


Sep 29 — Mauna Kea Education and Awareness, KAHEA (Hawaiian Environmental Alliance), Waimea HI: Mauna Kea Sacred Mountain; at Kuhio Hale Hawaiian Homes Hall, 18:00 HST.

Sep 29 — SETI Institute, Mountain View CA: Lecture: Kepler’s Heartbeat Stars – When Binary Stars Get Funky; presented by Susan Thompson of SETI.

Sep 29 — The Space Show, Online / Tiburon CA: Dr. David Livingston talks with Alexandra Abrams from Space Frontier Foundation.

Sep 29 – Oct 2 — Yokohama Institute for Earth Sciences, Yokohama, Japan: Protoplanetary Disk Dynamics and Planet Formation.


Sep 30 — Cassini, Saturn Orbit: Flyby of Dione planned at 41,000 km, Calypso at 44,000 km, Rhea at 58,000 km, Mimas at 65,000 km, Aegaeon at 80,000 km, Tethys at 117,000 km, Telesto at 118,000 km.

Sep 30 — Arianespace, Launch Ariane 5 / NBN Co 1A & Arsat 2, Kourou, French Guiana: Ariane 5 ECA rocket, designated VA226, to launch NBN Co 1A and Arsat 2 satellites.

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

Sep 30 — Moon: 2.46° S of Sun, 05:00.

Sep 30 — Aten Asteroid 2015 RF36: Near-Earth flyby (0.037 AU).

Sep 30 — Apollo Asteroid 2015 KJ57: Near-Earth flyby (0.066 AU).


NET Oct — ISRO, Launch Reusable Launch Vehicle-Technology Demonstrator (RLV-TD), Satish Dhawan Space Center, Sriharikota, India: India RLV-TD mission planned to occur late this month.

NET Oct — Taiwan National Space Organization, Advanced Rocket Research Center, Jiupeng Base, Pingtung, Taiwan: First crowd-funded rocket of Taiwan to be launched to 100-km altitude this month.

NET Oct — ESA, Glenn Research Center, NASA, Sandusky OH: ESA test version of Orion service module to be delivered to Plumb Brook Station for testing.

Oct 1 MAVEN, Mars Orbit: Spacecraft 1-year nominal science mission at 150-km altitude ends today; future mission plans to be determined.

Oct 1 — Cassini OTM-422, Saturn Orbit: Spacecraft conducts Orbital Trim Maneuver #422 today.

Oct 1 — Deep Space, Kuiper Belt Trajectory: New Horizons sending images and data from Pluto system flyby to Earth, images showing near-surface fog / haze in atmosphere could indicate a nitrogen-based glacial cycle.

Oct 1 — RSA, Launch Soyuz / Progress 61P, Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan: An RSA Soyuz rocket set to launch 61st Progress cargo ship to ISS, set to dock ~6 hours later.

Oct 1 — British Interplanetary Society, Oxford, United Kingdom: Lecture: Apollo Artefacts and the Story They Have to Tell; presented by Mark Yates.

Oct 1 — Cornell University, Ithaca NY: Lecture: The Formation and Evolution of Massive Star Forming Disks; presented by Reinhard Genzel.

Oct 1 — American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Aerospace Division, Online / Orlando FL: Papers Due: ASCE Earth & Space Conference 2016; 15th Biennial ASCE International Conference on Engineering: Science, Construction and Operations in Challenging Environments; to be held Apr 11-15, 2016.

Oct 1-2 — University of California, Irvine CA: Workshop: Preparing for the 21-cm Cosmology Revolution.

Oct 1 — Moon: 8.6° S of Pleiades, 10:00.


Oct 2 — ULA, Launch Atlas 5 / Morelos 3 (MexSat 2), Cape Canaveral AFS FL: United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket to launch Morelos 3, or Mexsat 2, communications satellite for Mexican Ministry of Communications & Transportation.

Oct 2 — Twentieth Century Fox, Worldwide: Movie ‘The Martian’ premieres in theaters today.

Oct 2 — Moon: 0.53° N of Aldebaran, 03:00.

Oct 2 — Apollo Asteroid 2000 SM10: Near-Earth flyby (0.030 AU).


Oct 3 — SpaceUp, Vis Viva, Netherlands Space Society, Delft University of Technology, Noordwijk, The Netherlands: SpaceUp – The Netherlands; at Space Expo.

Oct 3 — Kennedy Space Center Visitor Center, NASA, KSC FL: Space Shuttle Atlantis 30th Anniversary.

Oct 3 — Moon: 6.2° S of M35, 18:00.

Oct 3 — Comet 22P Kopff: 0.13° N of Saturn, 18:00.

Oct 3 — Apollo Asteroid 2015 SR: Near-Earth flyby (0.038 AU).

Oct 3 — Apollo Asteroid 2012 CL19: Near-Earth flyby (0.045 AU).

Oct 3 — Apollo Asteroid 2009 DB43: Near-Earth flyby (0.070 AU).


Oct 4-10 — World Space Week Association, Global: World Space Week 2015: Discovery; to celebrate each year international contributions of space science and technology to the betterment of the human condition; Oct 4 is 58th observation of 1st Space mission Sputnik One launched by Soviet Union 1957; Oct 10 is 48th observation of Outer Space Treaty going into effect 1967.

Oct 4 — Moon: At last quarter, 11:06.

Oct 4 — Apollo Asteroid 2015 FS332: Near-Earth flyby (0.048 AU).