March 30 – April 5, 2015 / Vol 34, No 13 / Hawai`i Island, USA

Hawai`i: Center of Pacific Hemisphere

Calendar feature - hawaii spring 2015

Development of Pacific Space Access is an astronautics goal that has implications for the entire Pacific Rim and all of East Asia. Hawaii is already excelling at the leading edge of astronomy and should strive for the same excellence in astronautics. In 2015 Hawaii hosts the International Astronomical Union triennial General Assembly on August 3-14 at the Hawaii Convention Center in Honolulu, Oahu, HI. More than 4,000 astronomers are expected to come from 76+ counties to explore the latest results and future projects of astronomy. The 50th Aloha State is near the center of the Pacific Hemisphere midway between the two main lands, the southernmost point in the United States, making it ideal as a hub of commercial launch and other space-bound enterprise. It also hosts Mauna Kea the tallest mountain in the world from base to peak, home to one of the major centers of world astronomy, and Kilauea, one of the most active volcanoes in the world. Hawaii is home to the growing State-run aerospace agency Pacific International Space Center for Exploration Systems and the International Lunar Observatory Association, an independent non-profit organization seeking to establish the new frontier of Astronomy by placing an observatory on the surface of the Moon’s South Pole. This region of our nearest celestial neighbor, Luna, particularly Malapert Mountain, is considered to be a keystone location for 21st Century evolution of humanity as a multi-world species. (Image Credit: IAU, NGDC / GLFC / DLRI, IFA, ILOA, SeaLaunch, KARI)


Mar 30 — ISS, LEO: Expedition 43 loading Progress 57P with waste, preparing for arrival of Dragon CRS-6 expected Apr 10, packing various gear / experiments for return to Earth, working with TripleLux-B cellular mechanisms experiment, new crew arrivals undergoing orientation.

Mar 30 — Mars Orbiter Mission (Mangalyaan), Mars Orbit: India ISRO orbiter will continue to investigate Mars climate, seasons, atmosphere, surface mineral composition with 5 instruments for at least 6 more months.

Mar 30 — Rosetta, Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko Orbit: Collecting data, measuring molecular nitrogen with 11 science instruments to determine Comet formation / evolution, trying to reestablish connection with Philae lander.

Mar 30 — Sierra Nevada Corp., Louisville CO: NewSpace company with new Dream Chaser Cargo System variant designed for 2nd round of NASA Commercial Resupply Services contract, will continue to work through Mar 2016 to reach Critical Design Review level of maturity for the vehicle.

Mar 30 — SpaceX, Multiple Locations: Readying for launch of Dragon CRS-6 to ISS, will attempt platform landing on ASDS, testing SuperDraco engines, converting Cape Canaveral AFS Launch Complex 13 to “Landing Complex 1.”

Mar 30 — Moon Express, Moffett Field CA: Planning for tether-free tests of MTV-1X lander, re-purposing Cape Canaveral AFS Launch Complex 36 to make it an operational test & development facility.

Mar 30 — UK Space Agency, Knowledge Transfer Network, London, United Kingdom: Space nuclear power and propulsion workshop.

Mar 30-31 — NASA Planetary Science Subcommittee, Washington DC: NASA Advisory Council Science Committee – Planetary Science Subcommittee Meeting.

Mar 30-31 — Space Strategies Consulting Ltd., Ottawa, Ontario, Canada: Course: Introduction to Space Applications.

MAR - MAY 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: Venus (W), Mars (W), Jupiter (S); Morning Planets: Saturn (S).

China Achieving Moon Mission Goals

China Moon ProgramThe China Lunar Exploration Program / Chang’e (CE) is steadily advancing toward human Moon missions, perhaps launching between 2020-2030. CE-3 Lander and Yutu Rover, at 44.12° N 19.5° W Sinus Iridum / Mare Imbrium, are preparing for the total lunar eclipse occurring 19:54-20:06 Beijing time April 3. The Lander with its only operating science instrument, Lunar Ultraviolet Telescope, and the Rover with 2 panoramic cameras may take optical and ultraviolet images, as well as study dust dynamics and the lunar terminator. CE-4 lander / rover mission and instruments are being reconfigured to maximize science and data collection. Commercial and international enterprises have been invited to propose / supply instruments for CE-4 which will determine the crafts’ overall design and launch date. CE-5T1 service module currently in lunar orbit is set to conduct imaging of possible landing sites in April for the CE-5 sample return mission. The craft is expected to stay in orbit until May. The CE-5 mission is planned to launch 2017 and return at least 2kg of lunar material. Its lander will be fitted with cameras, a mineral spectrometer, a soil gas / composition analytical instrument, a sampling sectional thermodetector and a drill. The potential CE-6 craft may launch before 2020 to a different destination, likely with different and more advanced instruments. China will utilize its developing southernmost Spaceport / “Moon Port”, the Wenchang Satellite Launch Center at 19°N 110°E on Hainan island / province to launch these missions. (Image Credit: CLEP, CNSA, SASTIND/Xinhua, CCTV, CAS, NASA, Science/AAAS/Xiao et al)

Mar 30 – Apr 1 — University of Warwick, Midlands Physics Alliance, Science and Technologies Facilities Council, Warwick, United Kingdom: UK Community Exoplanet Conference 2015.

Mar 30 – Apr 2 — AIAA, Daytona Beach FL: 23rd AIAA Aerodynamic Decelerator Systems Technology Conference and Seminar.

Mar 30 — Asteroid 2015 FP34: Near-Earth flyby (0.085 AU).

Continued from…

Oct 16, 2014 – Jun 11 — NASA, University of Hawai`i, Mauna Loa HI: Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation (HI-SEAS) Mission 3.

Mar 1 – Jan 1, 2016 — Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA), Multiple Locations: Cycle 3 of science flights to observe universe consists of science flights grouped into multi-week observing campaigns totaling about 450 research flight hours.


Mar 31 — SETI Institute, Mountain View CA: SETI Weekly Colloquium: Saturn’s Rings: An accessible Astrophysical Disk; presented by Matthew Tiscareno of Cornell University, 12:00.

Mar 31 – Apr 2 — National Research Council Space Studies Board & Board on Physics and Astronomy, Washington DC: National Research Council (NRC) Space Science Week; at National Academies building.

Mar 31 — Moon: 3.9° SSW of Regulus, 09:00.


NET Apr — Chang’e 5-T1 Service Module, Moon Orbit: China service module to take pictures of lunar surface site selected for Chang’e-5 lunar lander / sample return mission launching NET 2017.

Apr 1 — Deep Space, Jupiter Trajectory: Juno spacecraft traveling at ~38,650 kph, now 462 days from Jupiter insertion; instrument checkouts & data acquisition, vehicle maintenance operations continue.

Apr 1 — Goddard Space Flight Center, NASA, Greenbelt MD: Goddard Scientific Colloquium: Coronal Mass Ejections: From Novelty to a Natural Hazard; presented by Natchimuthuk Gopalswamy.

Apr 1 — Moon: At apogee (distance 405,577 km), 03:00.

Apr 1 — Asteroid 2015 FW117: Near-Earth flyby (0.009 AU).

Apr 1 — Asteroid 2014 QD364: Near-Earth flyby (0.068 AU).


Apr 2 — MESSENGER OCM 14, Mercury Orbit: NASA spacecraft with limited fuel supply to perform Orbital Change Maneuver today to raise minimum altitude, allowing for continued image & data collection before planned impact Apr 30.


Apr 3 — The Space Show, Online / Tiburon CA: Dr. David Livingston talks with Jim Keravala of Shackleton Energy Company.

Apr 3 — Asteroid 2015 CW13: Near-Earth flyby (0.035 AU).


Apr 4 — Bristol Astronomical Society, Bristol, United Kingdom: Odyssey Dramatic Presentation: Mars Odyssey; presented by Andrew Lound.

Apr 4 — Total Lunar Eclipse: Visible from most of N & S America, E Asia, Australia; total eclipse begins 01:54, ends 02:06.

Apr 4 — Moon: Full Moon, 02:06; 3.4° N of Spica, 19:00.

Apr 4 — Asteroid 2015 FB34: Near-Earth flyby (0.058 AU).

Apr 4 — Asteroid 2015 EQ7: Near-Earth flyby (0.085 AU).


Apr 5 — Asteroid 2011 GK44: Near-Earth flyby (0.064 AU).

Apr 5 — Asteroid 2015 EE7: Near-Earth flyby (0.100 AU).