February 20-26, 2017 / Vol 36, No 8 / Hawai`i Island, USA

ILOA Galaxy Forum East Asia Activities

International Lunar Observatory Association (ILOA) is hosting Galaxy Forum Southeast Asia – Indonesia themed Astronomy From The Moon with SkyWorld TMII in Jakarta February 18. Expecting 220 participants, the event features private space / aerospace, astronomy and related science / technology education and recreation. The Feb 25 Galaxy Forum Japan in Tokyo will be held at NAOJ Mitaka campus with theme Urban Challenges for Optical and Radio Astronomy. It features Astronaut Naoko Yamazaki, Sze-leung Cheung, Masao Saito, Hiroshi Kobayashi and Steve Durst. Galaxy Forum Southeast Asia – Singapore on Feb 23 will advance ILOA SEA Principal Operating Partnership for ILO-1 Moon mission via Multilateral Memorandum of Understanding (MMoU) signing with representatives from leading institutions of Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand, perhaps with future collaborations in Vietnam and Philippines. Galaxy Forum China in Beijing on June 5, the eve of GLEX 2017, will focus on pioneering Astronomy from the Moon and International Human Moon Missions, preliminary to Galaxy Forum Hainan in November for the launch of Chang’e-5 lunar sample return mission. ILOA is working with Canadensys of Canada and Moon Express of USA to design / build the ILO-1 Observatory intended for the Moon South Pole ~2018. ILO-X precursor mission is set to fly aboard the MX-1 lander to lunar equatorial region Dec 2017 via Rocket Lab Electron launch vehicle from New Zealand. (Image Credit: ILOA, NASA, Ma Chung University, SSTA, NARIT, IT Bandung, UKM)


star-grey Feb 20 — ISS, 330-435-km LEO: Expedition 50 scheduled to facilitate rendezvous & capture of SpaceX CRS-10 Dragon and begin transferring cargo to / from craft, will set up mouse healing and tissue regeneration study, replacing portable computer hard drives for new ISS software installations this week, Russia Progress 66 expected Feb 24.

star-grey Feb 20 — Tiangong-2, 393-km LEO: Cargo craft Tianzhou-1 at Hainan Island being readied for April launch on Long March-7 to Space Lab, set to arrive 2 days after launch and spend ~2 months verifying automated docking procedures and robotic refueling technologies.

Feb 20 — Chandrayaan 2, Bengaluru, India: Preparations underway for GSLV Mark 3 to launch India 2nd Moon Mission consisting of orbiter, and lander / rover to land in Lunar polar region Q1 2018, will carry instruments for mineralogical and elemental studies, as well as India flag.

circle-full-grey Feb 20 — Blue Origin, Kent WA: NewSpace company developing Launch Complex 36 at Cape Canaveral AFS in Florida for New Glenn orbital rockets and BE-4 engine test stand; upgraded suborbital New Shepard booster and capsule crewed test launch planned in West Texas by end of 2017.

Feb 20 — Interstellar Technologies Inc., Taiki, Hokkaido, Japan: Planning on 5th test flight of LEAP rocket, working towards guided suborbital rocket flight (Momo) and eventually the ‘world’s smallest’ orbital launcher for micro satellites using hydrocarbon-based engine, lead by CEO Takahiro Inagawa

circle-full-grey Feb 20 — Planet, San Francisco CA: Now able to image all of Earth’s landmass every day with successful ISRO PSLV launch of 88 Dove satellites; acquiring 7 SkySat satellites from Terra Bella (owned by Google) for complementary capabilities to image Earth from space; co-founder, CEO Will Marshall.

Feb 20-23 — Keck Institute for Space Studies, Caltech, Pasadena CA: Conference: Nearby Galaxies with JWST – Science and Observation Planning.

Feb 20-23 — International Astronomical Union, Maulana Azad National Urdu University, University of Western Ontario, Hyderabad, India: Winter School in Astronomy; at Birla Science Centre.

= 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 (WSW), Jupiter (S), Uranus (SW); Morning Planets: Saturn (SE).

International Human Moon Mission Prospects 2020-2025 Depend on Crewed Lander Development

The tides of global Space Age activity are shifting back toward lunar surface enterprise and development as critical next step in human progress. NASA and its industry partners, along with participation from ESA, are considering feasibility of accelerating pace for human lunar flight by adapting Exploration Mission-1 (EM1) with in-development SLS heavy launch rocket and Orion crew spacecraft from automated circumlunar test flight to crewed flight in 2018 (current first crewed flight is EM2 in 2021). Critical piece of missing architecture is crewed lunar lander system. China would appear to be the leader in terms of contemporary Moon landing capability and potential near-term advancement with the Chang’e-5 (CE-5) and CE-6 sample return missions set to launch this year November 2017 and 2020 respectively aboard the newly-commissioned Long March 5 heavy-lift rocket system. With next-gen super-heavy Long March 9 rocket expected 2025, as well as steady progress on its Shenzhou human spaceflight, Tiangong space laboratory and CE lunar programs, a convergence leading to crewed lunar surface missions is expected soon rather than later. Also advancing relevant Moon services and systems are an array of multifarious American independent ventures from Blue Origin with the New Glenn / New Armstrong series and SpaceX with the upcoming Falcon Heavy, to Bigelow, Golden Spike, Astrobotic, Moon Express, Shackleton Energy, Canadensys and ILOA. (Image Credit: NASA, ESA, CNSA, CAS/NAOC, SpaceX)

Feb 20-23 — Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, Lagrange Lab, Nice Sophia Antipolis University, et al, Citadelle de Villefranche sur Mer, France: JSPS Core-to-Core Program “Planet2” Symposium 2017.

Feb 20-24 — International Astronomical Union, Makes Observatory, University of Montpellier, La Reunion Island, France: IAU Symposium 331: SN 1987A, 30 Years Later – Cosmic Rays and Nuclei from Supernovae and their Aftermaths.

Feb 20 – Mar 3 — Committee on Space Research, National University of Río Negro, Viedma, Argentina: COSPAR Capacity Building Workshop in High Energy Astrophysics.

Feb 20 — Moon: 3.6° N of Saturn, 13:44.

Continued from…

Oct 15 – Sep 4, 2017 — Peabody Essex Museum, Salem MA: Lunar Attraction Exhibit; featuring 60 Apollo memorabilia, paintings, sculptures, photographs, books, movies, jewelry that illustrate our profound connection to the Moon.

Feb 16-20 — American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), Boston MA: 2017 AAAS Annual Meeting.

Feb 19-22 — Kyoto University, Japan Atomic Energy Agency, Kyoto, Japan: Workshop: Quarks and Compact Stars 2017.

Feb 19-25 — University of Alberta, Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada: Lake Louise Winter Institute 2017 (Particle Physics); at Chateau Lake Louise in Canadian Rocky Mountain range.


Feb 21 — SETI Institute, Mountain View CA: Lecture: Origins of Structure in Planetary Systems; Ruth Murray-Clay from UC Santa Cruz, 12:00.


Feb 22 — Roscosmos State Corporation, Launch Soyuz / Progress 66P, Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan: Russia Soyuz rocket to launch Progress 66P resupply ship to ISS, arriving 2 days later.

Feb 22 — UAE Space Agency, Lockheed Martin, Thales, SSL, et al, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates: MilSatCom Middle East 2017 Conference.

Feb 22-23 — Mars Exploration Program Analysis Group, NASA, Monrovia CA: 33rd Mars Exploration Program Analysis Group (MEPAG).

Feb 22-24 — Singapore Space and Technology Association, National University of Singapore, Defense Science and Technology Agency, et al, Singapore: Global Space & Technology Convention 2017.

Feb 22-24 — University of Edinburgh Astrobiology Society, Edinburgh, United Kingdom: Manifest Destiny: An Interdisciplinary Forum on Mars Colonization.

Feb 22-25 — Emirates Mars Mission, Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Center (MBRSC), American Physical Society (APS), Materials Research Society (MRS), Sharjah, United Arab Emirates: Frontiers in Theoretical and Applied Physics – UAE 2017 (FTAPS 2017); at American University of Sharjah.

Feb 22 — Apollo Asteroid 2016 CO246: Near-Earth Flyby (0.039 AU).


Feb 23 — International Lunar Observatory Association, Space Age Publishing Company, Singapore: Galaxy Forum Southeast Asia 2017 – Singapore: ILOA SEA Principal Operating Partnership; at Singapore Marriott.

Feb 23 — Cornell University, Ithaca NY: Lecture: Cosmology with Shadows in the Microwave Sky; Nicholas Battaglia – Princeton University, 16:00.

Feb 23 — Apollo Asteroid 2017 BY93: Near-Earth Flyby (0.006 AU).


Feb 24 — ISS, Progress 66P Rendezvous and Docking, LEO: Russia Progress 66P resupply ship to arrive at ISS today and dock autonomously, 03:34 ET, live coverage available.

Feb 24 — Challenger Center, Aerojet Rocketdyne, Sacramento CA: Rendezvous with Comet Halley; simulated space mission supporting astronauts from Mission Control and hands-on science experiments, robotics, space probe development.

Feb 24 — Rob and Terry Ryan Foundation, W. M. Keck Observatory, Honoka’a HI: Cosmic Events: Fingerprints of the first stars: Searching for Population III with Keck; John O’Meara from Saint Michael’s College, at Honoka`a People’s Theatre, 19:00.

Feb 24 — Planetary and Terrestrial Mining Sciences Symposium, Space Resources Roundtable, Online / Montreal, Quebec, Canada: Abstracts Due: 8th PTMSS / SRR; being held May 1-3.

Feb 24 — Apollo Asteroid 2017 CP1: Near-Earth Flyby (0.009 AU).

Feb 24 — Aten Asteroid 5604 (1992 FE): Near-Earth Flyby (0.034 AU).

Feb 24 — Amor Asteroid 2017 BN3: Near-Earth Flyby (0.065 AU).


Feb 25 — International Lunar Observatory Association, National Astronomical Observatory Japan, Space Age Publishing Company, Mitaka, Tokyo, Japan: Galaxy Forum Japan 2017 – Mitaka: Urban Challenges for Optical and Radio Astronomy; at NAOJ.

Feb 25 — Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, Washington DC: Event: African-American Pioneers in Aviation and Space.

Feb 25 — Sally Ride Science, UC San Diego, San Diego CA: Educator’s Event: Engaging Students in Learning About Earth’s Climate.

Feb 25 — Apollo Asteroid 2005 QB5: Near-Earth Flyby (0.093 AU).


Feb 26 — Annular Solar Eclipse: Moon appears smaller than Sun as it passes centrally across solar disk and a bright ring (annulus) of sunlight remains visible during the eclipse; main phase will be visible along a narrow path stretching from southern tip of South America to Angola in Africa; Maximum Eclipse, 04:53.

Feb 26 — Moon: New Moon, 04:58.

Feb 26 — Apollo Asteroid 2016 FU12: Near-Earth Flyby (0.042 AU).

Feb 26 — Apollo Asteroid 2014 HP4: Near-Earth Flyby (0.073 AU).