February 18-24, 2013 / Vol 32, No 7 / Hawai`i Island, USA

International Space Station: Expanding Scientific, Educational, Commercial Interest in Space

ISSFunded until 2020, the year humans may return to the Moon, the ISS is becoming increasingly popular and accessible with events such as ‘Destination Station Experience’ on February 21 – March 1 in Arizona, USA. This program promotes awareness of ISS contributions in fields such as human / environmental health, scientific research and STEM education. It features a main exhibit at the Arizona Museum of Natural History and events at the Arizona Challenger Center Feb 23-24, Mesa Community College Feb 28, Phoenix Children’s Hospital Mar 1 and Phoenix Public Library Mar 2. National Space Agencies connect the public with the ISS crew by hosting live chats, two of which are scheduled Feb 20 and Feb 22. The annual Student Spaceflight Experiments Program where students worldwide compete to send their microgravity research projects to the ISS begins Feb 25. CASIS and MassChallenge are accepting proposals for ISS entrepreneurial research projects until April 3; winners can receive US$100K. Inspired by commercial potential, SpaceX and Orbital Sciences Corp. work to resupply the ISS, and Bigelow Aerospace is developing a commercial space station (launch 2016) for private companies / individuals to conduct research or visit solely to experience life beyond planet Earth. The knowledge gained from the ISS should benefit / catalyze humankind’s expansion into the Universe starting with Moon and Mars bases. (Image Credit: NASA, ESA)

Singapore Showcases Latest in Space Technology, Innovation and Education

Calendar feature - SingaporeThe 6th ‘Global Space Technology Convention’ is being held on February 21-22 at Sheraton Towers Singapore. It is designed as a platform for Space enterprise and industry leaders from around the world, including major agencies / operators from Europe and America, to present and consider the latest developments in the estimated US$258B global space sector. There will be unique opportunities to network with decision makers from the rapidly growing space hubs of Asia and tap the increasing regional demands for space-related services. On Feb 20 the Secure World Foundation (SWF) will host the ‘Singapore Conference on On-Orbit Satellite Servicing and Active Debris Removal,’ the second of two conferences SWF is holding to follow-on conversations from the US DARPA conference ‘Fostering Sustainable Satellite Servicing’ on June 26, 2012 in Washington DC. On March 9 the International Lunar Observatory Association continues 5 years of worldwide efforts to advance Galaxy 21st Century Education by hosting ‘Galaxy Forum Southeast Asia 2013’ at the Science Centre Singapore. The event features Astronomy and Science Education leaders from Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore presenting to local high school teachers, astronomers of all kinds, educators / students at all levels and the general public. (Image Credit: GSTC, SWF, ILOA, SCS, NASA/GSFC/METI/ERSDAC/JAROS, and U.S./Japan ASTER Science Team)


Digital Med Test = 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 (WSW), Mars (WSW), Jupiter (SW). Morning Planets: Saturn (S).


MONDAY

Feb 18 — ISS, LEO: Expedition 34 crew transferring about 2,638 kg of cargo from Progress 50P resupply vehicle, scheduled to undock Apr 23; having completed the 3rd successful 4-orbit 6-hour rendezvous with ISS, RSA and NASA considering launching 1st crewed flight with this trajectory on Mar 29.

Feb 18 — Chandra X-Ray Observatory, HEO: In x-ray, infrared, radio wavelengths, observing supernovae remnant W49B, 26,000 light-years away, displaying asymmetric explosion features (very elongated / elliptical shape, iron only appears in half while sulfur / silicon spread throughout); may have created most recent / youngest black hole, 1,000 years old as seen from Earth.

Feb 18 — MESSENGER, Mercury Orbit: First global maps of Mercury to be released on Mar 8, created from more than 100K MESSENGER images; will include 1 map in monochrome highlighting surface morphology, 1 map in 8 colors; scheduled end of extended mission is Mar 17.

Feb 18 — Sierra Nevada Corp., Edwards AFB CA: NewSpace company shipping Dream Chaser engineering prototype to NASA Dryden Flight Research Center to begin 2-5 unpiloted test flights consisting of 3.6-km drop and runway landing attempt; expected to reach 555 kph before landing at about 333 kph.

Feb 18 — Golden Spike Company, Boulder CO: Running Indiegogo Crowdsourcing Campaign until Apr 24 to help send nations, corporations, people to Moon by 2020; requesting US$240K which represents $1 for every mile to Moon; contracting Northrop Grumman for lunar lander design; test flights to begin 2017.

Feb 18 — Astrobotic Technology Inc., Pittsburgh PA: Planning to launch Polaris lander / rover to Moon in 2015 aboard SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket to locate lunar ice / learn how to harvest it and attempt to win GLXP; also developing equipment for robots to avoid getting stuck in terrain under NASA-funded study.

Feb 18 — The British Interplanetary Society, London, United Kingdom: Lecture: Planetary Moons; with speaker Sheila Kanani, 19:00 UT.

Feb 18 — American Astronautical Society, Center for the Advancement of Space Science Inc., NASA, Online: Extended Deadline for Abstract Submissions; for those interested in presenting at 2nd Annual ISS Research and Development Conference; held in Denver CO, Jul 16-18.

Feb 18-19 — European Commission, COSMOS, et al, Madrid, Spain: Horizon 2020 Workshop on Space Science and Exploration.

Feb 18 — Moon: 0.9° S of Jupiter, 02:00; occults Jupiter – visible only in S. Australia and Tasmania, 02:29; 3.8° N of Aldebaran, 10:00; at apogee (distance 404,048 km), 21:00.


Continued from…

Jan 11 – Mar 8 — Cornell University, University of Hawai`i – Manoa, Online: HI-SEAS Recipe Contest 2013; accepting food recipes to be used in Hawai`i Island Mars Analog Mission and Food Study.

Feb 1-28 — Austrian Space Forum, Ibn Battuta Center, Erfoud, Morocco: Morocco 2013 Mars Analog Field Simulation; small field crew to conduct engineering, planetary surface operations, astrobiology and other experiments to prepare for human Mars missions.

Feb 1 Mar 1 — Space Foundation, Online: Accepting Applications: Scholarships for Educators; scholarship offers space-related STEM courses to USA educators; specifically open to Florida teachers, those of Hawaiian descent or those who teach Hawaiian students.

Feb 1125 — SETI Institute, Online: Pluto Rocks: Help Us Name the Smallest Moons of Pluto; contest ends Feb 25, 12:00 EST.

Feb 11-28 — NASA, Hancock County MS: To begin new round of tests on next-generation J-2X rocket engine designated 10002 from John C. Stennis Space Center; engine will help power Space Launch System.

Feb 13 – Apr 3 — Center for the Advancement of Science in Space, MassChallenge, Online: MassChallenge Startup Accelerator; accepting proposals for flight-ready ISS research projects; winners may receive up to US$100K in grant funding.

Feb 14 – Dec 31 — NASA, Online: Accepting Responses for High-Impact National Strategic STEM Educational Partnerships; NASA requests information from organizations interested in helping the Agency achieve its strategic goals for education.

Feb 14 – Jun 2, 2014 — NASA NSPIRES, Online: Research Opportunities in Space and Earth Sciences (ROSES) 2013; proposal and submission period for those interested in advancing research concepts and technologies for Space and Earth sciences, including suborbital rockets, commercial reusable rockets, etc.


TUESDAY

Feb 19 — SETI Institute, Mountain View CA: Colloquium: How to Catch a Moon of Pluto (and what to do with it when it’s caught); presented by Mark Showalter of SETI Institute; 19:00 PST.

Feb 19-21 — Keck Institute for Space Studies, Caltech/JPL, Pasadena CA: In Situ Science and Instrumentation for Primitive Bodies – Part II.

Feb 19 — Asteroid 2013 CZ87: Near-Earth Flyby (0.018 AU).

WEDNESDAY

Feb 20 — NASA, Washington DC: Selected social media followers talk live with ISS crew Kevin Ford, Chris Hadfield, Tom Marshburn; guests will also tour NASA HQ Space Operations Center and Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum.

Feb 20 — Secure World Foundation, Singapore Space and Technology Association, Singapore: Singapore Conference on On-Orbit Satellite Servicing and Active Debris Removal: Opportunities and Challenges for the Space Sector.

Feb 20 — Keck Institute for Space Studies, Caltech/JPL, Pasadena CA: Lecture: Exploring Mars, the Moon, Asteroids, and Comets with Rovers and Landers; presented by Jim Bell of Arizona State University; held in Caltech Beckman Auditorium, 20:00 PST; free.

Feb 20-21 — National Science Foundation, Arlington VA: National Science Board Meeting.

Feb 20-21 — Australian Centre for Space Engineering Research, University of New South Wales, AIAA, et al, Sydney, Australia: Off Earth Mining Forum; held in Mathews Theatre B at UNSW Kensington.

THURSDAY

Feb 21 — NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville AL: Marshall Small Business Alliance Meeting; to include SLS program update, information on future of MSFC.

Feb 21 — British Columbia Geophysical Society, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada: BC Geophysical Talk: The importance of mineral exploration and mining to humans in their space development activities; presented by John Chapman, 4th floor conference room, 16:30 PST.

Feb 21 — International Astronautical Federation, et al, Online: Abstract Deadline, for the 64th International Astronautical Congress; on Sep 23-27.

Feb 21 — International Astronautical Federation, Online: Extended Deadline for Nominations: Young Space Leaders Recognition Programme.

Feb 21-22 — Singapore Space and Technology Association, Astrium, ST Electronics, et al, Singapore: Global Space & Technology Convention (GSTC) 2013: Be Engaged, Be Present.

Feb 21 – Mar 3 — NASA, Tucson and Phoenix AZ: Destination Station Experience; events being held in various locations for public to learn about living in space aboard the ISS.

Feb 21 — Moon: 11.2° SSW of Pollux, 22:00.

FRIDAY

Feb 22 — ISRO, Launch PSLV / SARAL, NEOSSat & STRaND-1, Sriharikota, India: Launch of India / France SARAL ocean altimetry satellite to measure sea surface height from Space, Canada Sapphire space surveillance payload, Canada NEOSSat space telescope to detect / track Near Earth Asteroids and satellites, UK STRaND-1 the 1st smartphone satellite; launch period Feb 22-25.

Feb 22 — NASA, Online: NASA Long-Distance Google+ Hangout to Connect with Space Station; NASA hosts online hangout for people to chat live with ISS Expedition 34 crew members Kevin Ford, Chris Hadfield, Tom Marshburn.

Feb 22 — NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, Tennessee Tech University – Millard Oakley STEM Center, Cookeville TN: Oakley STEM Center’s FAB Friday; to include Space Launch System interactive exhibit, panel discussion with MSFC engineers; starts 15:00 CST; free and open to public.

Feb 22 — The British Interplanetary Society, Exeter, United Kingdom: Lecture: Men are from Mars, are they destined to return?; with speaker John Ellwood, 17:00 UT.

Feb 22 — Space Center Houston, Houston TX: Lunch with an Astronaut, Tom Jones; US$49.95 adult.

Feb 22-24 — Robotics Education & Competition Foundation, University of Hawai`i College of Engineering, et al, Honolulu HI: Pan Pacific VEX Robotics Championship 2013.

SATURDAY

Feb 23 — AIAA, Peoria AZ: AIAA Educator Academy Mars Rover; for educators to learn how to build Mars Rover with simple objects and create design projects for children; held at Challenger Space Center.

Feb 23 — University of Hawai`i – Hilo, Subaru Telescope, Hilo HI: Seeking New Planets and New Life Lecture; presented by astronomer Dr. Olivier Guyon; UH Hilo Room 100, 19:00 HST.

Feb 23 — Moon: 6.2° SSW of Beehive Cluster, 03:00.

SUNDAY

Feb 24 — Cassini OTM-341, Saturn Orbit: Spacecraft conducts Orbital Trim Maneuver #341 today.

Feb 24 — NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, Tennessee Tech University – Millard Oakley STEM Center, Cookeville TN: Oakley STEM Center Event; to include Space Launch System interactive exhibit, presentations, student art exhibit with theme ‘SLS: Where Will It Take You?; free and open to public, 13:00 – 15:00 CST.

Feb 24-26 — Space Exploration Alliance, Washington DC: Space Exploration Alliance Legislative Blitz; for space advocates to inform Congress about their strong support of an ambitious space program.

Feb 24 — Moon: 5.5° SSW of Regulus, 20:00.