August 1-7, 2016 / Vol 35, No 31 / Hawai`i Island, USA

13th Asia Oceania Geosciences Society Meeting to Host Experts from 50 Countries

13th AOGS

The 13th annual Asia Oceania Geosciences Society Meeting is being held July 31 – August 5 at China National Convention Centre in Beijing. Active since 2003, AGOS aims to promote geosciences and its application for the benefit of humanity, specifically in Asia (~4.4 billion people / 60% of World population) and Oceania (~39 million people) with an overarching approach to global issues. This year, about 230 sessions are being held under 9 sections: Solid Earth Sciences, Solar & Terrestrial Sciences, Planetary Sciences, Ocean Sciences, Interdisciplinary Geosciences, Hydrological Sciences, Biogeosciences, Atmospheric Sciences and Special Sessions. Highlighted lecturers (pictured L-R) include “Initial Results from the Akatsuki Mission at Venus” by Takehiko Satoh of JAXA, “The Martian – Science Fiction and Science Fact” by James Green of NASA, “The Effect of Surface Ice and Topography on the Atmospheric Circulation and Distribution of Nitrogen Ice on Pluto” by Scot Rafkin of SwRI, and “Impact and Mitigation of Space Weather Effects on GNSS Receiver Performance” by Vadakke Sreeja of University of Nottingham. Guo Huadong of CAS will present on “Earth Observation Big Data – A New Engine for Earth Sciences.” He also has proposed putting a series of sensors on the Moon to utilize the stable platform for long-term observations and study of macro phenomena on Earth. Other AOGS presentations and posters will cover VLBI support of Chang’e Lunar missions, exoplanet astronomy, solar storms and wind, hydrodynamics, regional climates and urban development impacts. (Image Credit: AOGS, CAS, NASA, JAXA, SwRI, U. of Nottingham, K. Hansen, CK-12 Foundation)


Aug 1 — ISS, LEO: Expedition 48 preparing spacesuits for EVA mid-August, working with Mouse Epigenetics experiment, transferring ~5,000 kg of cargo from Dragon CRS-9 & Progress 64; NASA awards Baylor College of Medicine up to US$246M to discover new approaches to astronaut health for long-duration space flight, notable known risks include bone loss, kidney stones, vision problems.

Aug 1 — Hayabusa 2, Asteroid 162173 Ryugu Trajectory: Ryugu Observation Campaign (running until Aug 15) reminds expert observers this is the last chance to view JAXA craft from Earth until it arrives at carbonaceous asteroid in Jun-Jul 2018; Hayabusa 2 sample return mission now in Transfer Orbit phase, is healthy & operating nominally.

Aug 1 — Rosetta, Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko Orbit: ESA spacecraft about 520M km from Sun, losing power at ~4W per day, no longer attempting to receive signals from Philae, will continue science observations for at least 2 more months before orbiting closer to surface for controlled impact.

Aug 1 — Deep Space, Jupiter Orbit: Juno mission investigators readying for 20-month science phase planned to begin in Oct, craft will attempt to observe whether Jupiter has a rocky core, discover insights into Solar System evolution, detect Jupiter chemical composition, amount of water within deep atmosphere & monitor deep winds reaching speeds up to 618 kph.

Aug 1 — Blue Origin, Kent WA: NewSpace company reviewing data from latest New Shepard test flight with purposely-failed parachute, planning crewed test flights in 2017 & to be fully operational for suborbital tourism in 2018; 4,893,043-netwon BE-4 engine for New Shepard & ULA Vulcan vehicle testing in progress, first flight expected NET 2019.

Aug 1 — Audacy, Mountain View CA: Start-up begins 1st in 4-part series of fundraising to secure at least US$15M to develop 3 satellites & 2 ground stations by 2019 to provide communications for private space missions in LEO with capability to support Moon missions as well; aiming to raise total of $250M in private funding and $500M in federal credit.

Aug 1 — NanoRacks LLC, Houston TX: External Payload Platform on ISS to be utilized for the first time within a couple of months to test solar-cell and microprocessor experiments; 22 student experiments to be installed into NanoRacks internal commercial research platform from Dragon-9 cargo; so far 350+ payloads launched via company partnerships / programs.

AUG - OCT 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: Mercury (WNW), Venus (WNW), Mars (SW), Jupiter (W), Saturn (S); Morning Planets: Uranus (S), Neptune (S).

30th Annual Small Satellite Conference Expanding Opportunities in Space

Calendar feature - small sat

Utah State University (USU) and American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) are collaborating to host the 30th Annual AIAA/USU Conference on Small Satellites in Logan UT on August 6-11. With the theme “Pioneering an Industry”, the conference is designed as a place for innovators, engineers, problem solvers, scientists, entrepreneurs and dreamers to collaborate and advance knowledge and capabilities in this booming space sector. Pat Patterson, Director of Advanced Concepts at USU Space Dynamics Laboratory chairs the Organizing Committee. Keynote presentations will be made by Franco Ongaro, Director of Technical and Quality Management at ESA and Gwynne Shotwell, President and COO at SpaceX. The main technical program covers 13 sessions from Launch and Propulsion to Communications and Ground Systems. Over 100 exhibitors are expected to showcase their products and services. There is a pre-conference event, 13th Annual Summer CubeSat Developers’ Workshop, which includes almost 50 short presentations. Wednesday evening a special 30th Anniversary celebration takes places at Innovation Campus Pond. When the annual conference began at USU in 1987 small satellites were widely dismissed by the space establishment, by the second year AIAA was onboard as a joint organizer, now the category (generally defined as systems less than 250 kg in mass) is a major segment of the market and continues growing rapidly. (Image Credit: SmallSat, USU, NASA)

NET Aug — Virgin Galactic, Las Cruces NM: Company planning to complete ground tests of “Unity” and resume test flights this month.

Aug 1 — The Space Show, Online / Tiburon CA: Dr. David Livingston talks with Author and Space Shuttle Program Senior Aerocomposite Technician Gregory Cecil.

Aug 1-2 — National Council for Science, Technology and Technological Innovation (CONCYTEC), Space Generation Advisory Council, Pontifical Catholic University of Peru, Florida Institute of Technology, Boeing, Merck, Biomakers Lab Peru, Lima, Peru: South American Regional Space Generation Workshop 2016.

Aug 1-4 — University of Exeter, Quest University, Squamish, British Columbia, Canada: Conference: The Diversity of Planetary Atmospheres (IV).

Aug 1-5 — Heidelberg University, Heidelberg, Germany: First Stars V; to discuss theoretical and observational understanding of first star and galaxy formation, at Heidelberg Convention Center.

Aug 1-19 — The Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), Kigali, Rwanda: African School for Fundamental Physics and Applications 2016 (ASP 2016).

Aug 1 — Moon: 14.2° S of Castor, 00:00; 10.6° S of Pollux, 05:00.

Continued from…

Jun 17 – Aug 15 — Canadian Space Agency, Longueuil, Quebec, Canada: 4th Astronaut recruitment campaign for CSA; expects to announce selected candidates in Summer 2017.

Jul 12 – Sep 1 — International Space University, Technion Institute, Israel Space Agency, Haifa, Israel: ISU 29th Space Studies Program (SSP 2016).

Jul 21 – Aug 6 — NASA, Aquarius Reef Base, 19 meters below sea-level, Key Largo FL: NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations (NEEMO) 21; international aquanauts simulated space mission, Matthias Maurer (ESA), Marc Griofa (Teloregen/VEGA/AirDocs), Megan McArthur (NASA), Reid Wiseman (NASA), Dawn Kernagis (Institute for Human & Machine Cognition), Noel Du Toit (Naval Postgraduate School).

Jul 25 – Aug 5 — University of Hawai`i at Hilo, Hilo HI: 2nd annual Software Systems in Astronomy course; with Professor Albert Conrad, covers software design & implementation of telescope / instrument control systems, observation planning tools, software for analyzing / archiving astronomical data.

Jul 31 – Aug 5 — American Astronomical Society, Caltech, Avalon CA: Conference: Mapping the Pathways of Galaxy Transformation Across Time and Space.

Jul 31 – Aug 5 — Asia Oceania Geosciences Society, Beijing, China: 13th Annual Meeting of the Asia Oceania Geosciences Society (AOGS).


Aug 2 — SETI Institute, Mountain View CA: Lecture: Satellite Formation-Flying for Future Space Science and Exploration; Simone D’Amico, founder of Stanford’s Space Rendezvous Lab (SLAB), 12:00.

Aug 2 — Moon: 4.3° S of Beehive Cluster, 05:00; New Moon, 10:45.

Aug 2 — Comet 9P Tempel 1: At perihelion (1.5412 AU from Sun), 03:45.

Aug 2 — Amor Asteroid 2016 NX22: Near-Earth flyby (0.033 AU).


Aug 3-5 — Associated Universities Inc. (AUI), Kavli Foundation, Baltimore MD: U.S. Radio-Millimeter-Submillimeter Futures II Conference; at Renaissance Baltimore Harborplace Hotel.

Aug 3-5 — Tah Poe Academia Institute for Theoretical Physics and Cosmology, Phitsanulok, Thailand: IF-YITP GR+HEP+Cosmo International Symposium VI.

Aug 3 — Moon: 2.8° SSW of Venus, 19:00; 1.6° SSW of Regulus, 22:00.

Aug 3 — Amor Asteroid 2005 OH3: Near-Earth flyby (0.015 AU).


Aug 4-6 — University of New Hampshire, MIT, University of Michigan, Durham NH: Frontiers and Careers in Nuclear and Particle Physics.

Aug 4 — Moon: 0.54° S of Mercury, 12:00.


Aug 5 — Curiosity, Mars Surface: Curiosity (Mars Science Laboratory) rover enters 5th year of operations on Mars surface today; launched Nov 26, 2011 – landed Aug 5, 2012 (Pacific Daylight Time).

Aug 5 — Juno, Jupiter Orbit: NASA spacecraft enters 6th year in Space today, launched in 2011; entered orbit around Jupiter Jul 4, 2016.

Aug 5 — Moon: 0.22° SW of Jupiter, 17:00.

Aug 5 — Venus: 1.0° NNE of Regulus, 06:00.

Aug 5 — Amor Asteroid 2016 NR55: Near-Earth flyby (0.064 AU).


Aug 6 — Rosetta, Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko Orbit: ESA spacecraft enters 3rd year of operations around Comet; launched 2007, entered orbit 2014.

Aug 6 — Space Station Museum, The W Foundation, Winans Investments, et al, Novato CA: 2016 Novato Space Festival; featuring Astronauts Charlie Duke, Al Worden, Dan Bursch, Yvonne Cagle, Greg “Box” Johnson; free event, 10:00-16:00.

Aug 6-11 — AIAA, Utah State University, Logan UT: Small Satellite Conference 2016.

Aug 6 — Amor Asteroid 2016 NK39: Near-Earth flyby (0.077 AU).


Aug 7 — Cassini OTM-456, Saturn Orbit: Spacecraft conducts Orbital Trim Maneuver #456 today.

Aug 7 — Mauna Kea Astronomy Outreach Committee, Mauna Kea HI, 2,800-meter level: The Universe Tonight; presentation on current research & discoveries occurring on Mauna Kea 18:00, followed by stargazing program, at Mauna Kea Visitor Information Center.

Aug 7-11 — Christa Corrigan McAuliffe Center at Framingham State University, Framingham MA: 2016 Challenger Center Annual Conference; STEM Education Through the Lens of Space Exploration featured on Aug 11 with NASA Astronauts, researchers, space industry leaders.

Aug 7-12 — The Meteoritical Society, Berlin, Germany: 79th Annual Meeting of The Meteoritical Society.

Aug 7-13 — Rencontres du Vietnam, Quy Nhon, Vietnam: Conference: Blowing in the Wind.

Aug 7 – Sep 30 — Airbus, Perlan Project, Teachers in Space, El Calafate, Argentina: Teachers in Space Ground Crew Education Program; team members will prepare experiments for flight, verify their operation and retrieve data for posting to internet.