January 16-22, 2017 / Vol 36, No 3 / Hawai`i Island, USA

Solar System Complete: 21st Century
Human Missions to Jupiter, Saturn, Kuiper Belt

Humans may well be populating Jupiter and Saturn’s multi world systems in the 2060s, much as they did with the Moon and Mars plans in the 1960s. Far-sighted leaders and planners, scientists and educators could do well to envision our star system’s entirety for maximum benefit and advancement of our species, as the 21st Century approaches its long adulthood. Himalayan neighbors India and China with almost 40% of humanity are already in 2017 affirming their intent to reach Jupiter, with more than 70% of the Solar System’s planetary mass. Human missions to Jupiter and Saturn via an Interplanetary Transport System are in the SpaceX portfolio, and the USA’s New Horizons will be pioneering the Solar System’s newly-designated “Zone 3” as it explores the Kuiper Belt later this decade.

How diverse, how large, how successful Solar System population will be when our multi generation descendants greet the 22nd Century depends on understandings, strategies, initiatives and networks formed in these remaining early, decisive years of the 21st Century. New, better options for human attitude and behavior will rise from new science, technology, and a Multi World Species, with benefits for libertarian / egalitarian competence and cooperation, and women / men developing 8th Continent Luna. Earth-Moon Cislunar commitment is an urgent imperative for planetary survival, sustainability, and for Multi World Species growth to asteroid / Mars / Zone 1 Inner Solar System competence; property matters among individuals and nations settled on the basis of relative equality and mutual benefit.

There are electrifying, relativistic, galacticizing prospects for human Solar System exploration in the 21st Century with Jupiter / Saturn complex dozens of worlds, with Pluto, Eris, Zone 3 multitude of worlds unknown, with Main / Kuiper belt trillions of asteroids accessible. Engaging this Solar System energy / matter on the journey to the future will ready humankind for competence amidst the Galaxy / Stars. (Image Credit: NASA, ESA, CNSA, SpaceX, DLR)


star-grey Jan 16 — ISS, 330-435-km LEO: Expedition 50 six-member crew traveling at 27,580 kph, storing EVA equipment and old nickel-hydrogen batteries removed from ISS, next Space walk planned this summer by Russia, scheduled to release HTV-6 on Jan 27 and Progress MS-3 shortly thereafter for Earth atmospheric disintegration with ISS waste.

star-grey Jan 16 — Akatsuki, Venus Orbit: Only spacecraft at Venus, Japan mission in year 2 exploring at 400 km x 330,000 km altitude in 9-day stable orbit, communication between Venus and Earth is via 8 GHz, 20-watt transponder using 1.6-m high-gain antenna with delay average 8 minutes.

star-grey Jan 16 — Cassini, Saturn Orbit: Daphnis, 8-km diameter moon in Keeler Gap of Saturn A-ring, flyby scheduled at 17,800-km altitude.

circle-full-grey Jan 16 — Apache Point Observatory Galactic Evolution Experiment, Sunspot NM: New survey shows Humans and Milky Way Galaxy have ~97% of the same kind of atoms, elements of life appear to be more prevalent toward Galaxy center, Stars on outskirts have fewer heavy elements thought to be required for life.

circle-full-grey Jan 16 — Blue Origin and SpaceX, Kent WA & Hawthorne CA: NewSpace companies demonstrating reusable rocket technologies; Blue Origin incremental approach from suborbital (New Shepard) to orbital (New Glenn) and to Moon & Deep Space (New Armstrong); SpaceX operating Falcon 1 & Falcon 9 orbital rockets, recoverable Dragon cargo ship, to debut Falcon Heavy, Dragon v2 crew vehicle, Interplanetary Transport System.

circle-full-grey Jan 16 — ExPace Technology Corporation, Beijing, China: Commercial arm of China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation launching Kuaizhou series rocket for small satellites; LandSpace may use design based on Long March 11 to market internationally for small satellites; China Long March Rocket Company plans to produce commercial rockets, reduce cost of launches, perform suborbital tourism for US$200K a seat in 2020s.

circle-full-grey Jan 16 — Space Issues in Congress, Nationwide USA: Congressman Jim Bridenstine (Rep-OK) writes about Why the Moon MattersTwelve Americans walked on the Moon during the Apollo program, resulting in a treasure trove of knowledge not only about the Moon, but about the universe”; and discusses American Space Renaissance Act stating “NASA should utilize somewhere we have already pioneered – the Moon”; Incoming 2017 USA Administration could set up strategic “stretch goal” to achieve Solar System Complete Exploration.

Jan 16-18 — ASIAA (Academia Sinica, Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics), NAOJ, NRAO, University of Chile, Taipei, Taiwan: ALMA Band 1 Science Workshop.

Jan 16-19 — European Southern Observatory, Santiago, Chile: 2017 ESO Calibration Workshop: The Second Generation VLT Instruments and Friends.

Jan 16-20 — Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics, Kolkata, India: 3rd Saha Theory Workshop: Aspects of Early Universe Cosmology.

Jan 16 — Apollo Asteroid 2017 AN4: Near-Earth Flyby (0.063 AU).

= 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 (SW), Mars (SW), Jupiter (S), Uranus (S), Neptune (SW); Morning Planets: Mercury (SE), Saturn (SE).

Continued from…

NET Jan – Nov — ExoMars 2016 Orbiter, Mars Orbit: ESA Trace Gas Orbiter scheduled to enter Aerobraking phase from Jan-Nov to enter 400-km orbit; set to adjust orbit inclination to 74° on Jan 17.

Jan 8-27 — National Autonomous University of Mexico, Puebla, Mexico: Latin American School of Astronomical Observations.

Jan 9 – Feb 10 — International Space University, Adelaide, Australia: 2017 Southern Hemisphere Space Studies Program; at Mawson Lakes Campus, University of South Australia.

Jan 14-18 — Obergurgl University, Obergurgl, Austria: Conference: Dawn of Galaxies.

Jan 15-18 — Pacific Telecommunications Council, Honolulu HI: PTC (Pacific Telecommunications Council) 2017: Changing Realities.


Jan 17 — SETI Institute, Mountain View CA: Weekly Colloquium: Constraining the Evolution of a Delta Deposit on Mars from Orbit; Tim Goudge from Jackson School of Geosciences, UT Austin, 12:00.

Jan 17-18 — Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics – Harvard University, Cambridge MA: Conference: The Transient Universe with JWST.

Jan 17-20 — CNES, IAA, Polytechnic University of Valencia, Granada, Spain: 6th International Workshop on the Mars Atmosphere: Modelling and Observations.


Jan 18 – Sep 18 — Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation (HI-SEAS), 2,500-meter Elevation, Mauna Loa HI: HI-SEAS 5 six-member ‘Lavanaut’ crew to begin 8-month space mission simulation.

Jan 18 — Goddard Space Flight Center, NASA, Greenbelt MD: Scientific Colloquium: The Great American Total Eclipse of 2017; Fred Espenak, retired Emeritus astrophysicist GSFC.

Jan 18-21 — ASI, INAF, INFN, Sexten, Italy: Workshop: The Growth of Galaxies in the Early Universe – III; members of main extragalactic surveys (CANDELS, 3D-HST, HUDF, VUDS, GOODS-Herschel) present latest results and perspectives for the future

Jan 18 — Moon: 2.7° N of Jupiter, 19:26.

Jan 18 — Apollo Asteroid 2016 YC8: Near-Earth Flyby (0.024 AU).

Jan 18 — Apollo Asteroid 2015 BB: Near-Earth Flyby (0.035 AU).

Jan 18 — Apollo Asteroid 2017 AP13: Near-Earth Flyby (0.080 AU).


Jan 19 — New Horizons, KBO 2014 MU69 Trajectory: Spacecraft enters 12th year in space today, launched Jan 19, 2006 – flew by Pluto July 2015; expected to operate until at least mid-2030s.

Jan 19 — United Launch Alliance, Launch Atlas 5 / SBIRS GEO Flight 3, Cape Canaveral AFS FL: ULA Atlas 5 rocket, designated AV-066, to launch U.S. military’s third Space Based Infrared System Geosynchronous satellite, or SBIRS GEO 3, for missile early-warning detection.

Jan 19 — Euroconsult, French Aerospace Industries Association (GIFAS), Paris, France: Perspectives Spatiales 2017; bringing together 200 public and private decision makers representing France & Europe space sector for networking and exchanges; conference language French.

Jan 19 — Moon: At last quarter, 12:14.

Jan 19 — Amor Asteroid 2017 AO13: Near-Earth Flyby (0.061 AU).


Jan 20 — ISRO, Launch GSLV Mk.3 / GSAT 19, Satish Dhawan Space Center, Sriharikota, India: ISRO Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mk. 3 (GSLV Mk.3) will launch on its first orbital test flight with GSAT 19E experimental communications satellite.

Jan 20 — Space Age Publishing Company, Kamuela HI, Palo Alto CA: Jupiter, Saturn, Solar System Complete Human Mission Design Project 2013-2021 calls on 2017 USA Administration and other international space agencies to exponentially increase Space exploration funding and trajectory to reflect value of technology, science, medicine, economics enabled by 21st Century goal of Human exploration of complete Solar System by end of this Century.

Jan 20 — 2017 USA President Inauguration, Washington DC: Donald J. Trump set to become 45th President of USA, inauguration speech likely on wide range of issues, perhaps importance of advancing Americans and others in Space, to Moon, Mars & Beyond.

Jan 20 — Asgardia Project Team, Multiple Locations: Flag design due for Asgardia, a global multi-disciplinary effort to create 1st Independent Nation in Space aiming to open access to Space, foster peace, protect Earth.

Jan 20 — Challenger Center, Aerojet Rocketdyne, Sacramento CA: Rendezvous with Comet Halley; simulated space mission with hands-on science experiments, operating with robotic arms, building a probe, supporting astronauts from Mission Control.


Jan 21 — NASA, JPL/Caltech, Downey CA: Educators Workshop: Utilizing Renewable Energy; for teachers for grades 9-12, at Columbia Memorial Space Center.

Jan 21 — Moon: At apogee (distance 404,913 km), 10:14.

Jan 21 — Amor Asteroid 2015 BG4: Near-Earth Flyby (0.069 AU).


Jan 22 — SpaceX, Launch Falcon 9 / CRS 10 & SAGE 3, Cape Canaveral AFS FL: SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket set to launch 12th Dragon spacecraft on 10th operational cargo delivery mission to ISS with NASA SAGE 3 Earth observation instrument.

Jan 22-26 — American Meteorological Society, Seattle WA: 97th Annual Meeting of the American Meteorological Society (AMS).