June 20-26, 2016 / Vol 35, No 25 / Hawai`i Island, USA

China to Inaugurate Hainan WSLC Spaceport / Moonport with CZ-7 Maiden Launch 26 June

calendar feature - Hainan and cz7

The maiden flight of the China Long March 7 rocket, designed to become the national space program’s workhorse rocket in the years ahead, is set to occur June 26 as the first launch from the newly-commissioned Wenchang Satellite Launch Center at Hainan, China’s “Kennedy Space Center” in Southeast Asia, on “China’s Hawaii”. The medium-lift, liquid-fueled rocket developed by China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation is a variant of the new generation rocket family that includes the heavy-lift Long March 5 and features a transition to LOX/kerosene propellant from the expensive and dangerous N2O4/UDMH of earlier models. It has capacity of 13,500 kg to LEO or 5,500 to SSO. Zhou Jianping, chief designer of the China human spaceflight program told parliamentary sessions in Beijing that this test flight will include a scaled-down version of the new crewed re-entry capsule meant as the successor to Shenzhou for human spaceflight. Hainan, literally “South of the Sea [Qiongzhou Strait]” is the smallest and southernmost province of China, and the name also refers to Hainan Island, which is the main island of the province and the location of the Wenchang spaceport. Wenchang is soon to become China’s Moonport with the launch of Chang’e-5 Lunar sample return mission via CZ-5 in 2017. (Image Credit: CNSA, CASTC, CASC, CLEP)


Jun 20 — ISS, LEO: Expedition 48 three-member crew setting up Cell Biology Experiment Facility in Japan Kibo lab module; 100 Sprites (4-gram chipstats) to be delivered to ISS in July to test technologies for potential Solar System & Interstellar voyages; Station passes 6,422 days in orbit.

Jun 20 — ISRO, Launch PSLV / Cartosat 2C, Satish Dhawan Space Center, Sriharikota, India: Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, flying on PSLV-C34 mission in PSLV-CA configuration, to launch Cartosat 2C high-resolution Earth observation satellite & 21 secondary payloads from international customers.

Jun 20 — MAVEN, Mars Orbit: Studying plumes in Mars atmosphere, measuring atmospheric loss, craft to perform next “deep dip” campaign in late July to lower craft to ~125 km where mean density of Mars atmosphere is about 3.0 kg/km³.

Jun 20 — New Horizons, KBO 2014 MU69 Trajectory: First mission dedicated to studying Pluto system and Kuiper Belt continuing to downlink data from July 2015 Pluto flyby and observe Pluto system from distance of ~2.69 AU, expected to encounter KBO in Jan 2019.

Jun 20 — SpaceX, Hawthorne CA: NewSpace company CEO Elon Musk planning to announce details on Mars Colonial Transporter at 67th IAC in Sep, has more than 4,000 employees at its HQ and suppliers in all 50 United States.

Jun 20 — Asteroid Day, London, United Kingdom: Co-founders Rusty Schweickart, Brian May, Danica Remy, Grigorij Richters readying for 2nd Asteroid Day global awareness campaign on Jun 30, so far 162 events in 44 countries with 60,000 attendees are planned.

Jun 20 — The Society for Planetary Impact Studies, Brainerd MN: Newly-formed, non-profit promoting study of impact events on Earth, Moon, throughout Solar System, offering membership at US$25 to support quarterly newsletter, student scholarship, annual meeting; Director Vladimir Zivkovic.

Jun 20 — The Space Show, Online / Tiburon CA: Dr. David Livingston talks with Zoltan Levay about the Hubble Space Telescope.

JUNE - AUGUST 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: Mars (S), Jupiter (WSW), Saturn (SW); Morning Planets: Mercury (ENE), Uranus (E), Neptune (SE).

SFF NewSpace 2016 Conference in Seattle Expects ~500 Attendees

2016 SFF NewSpace

The NewSpace 2016 conference is being held in Seattle, Washington at the Motif Seattle Hotel on June 21-23. Hosted annually by the Space Frontier Foundation (SFF), private investors and technology innovators will interact with members of NewSpace startups, established companies and government agencies to share their latest advancements and further collaborations. Some of the featured speakers are Robert Bigelow (Bigelow Aerospace), Brooke Salkoff (Sierra Nevada Corp.), Jeff Foust (SpaceNews), Chad Anderson (Space Angels Network), Dan Faber (Deep Space Industries), Eric Stallmer (Commercial Spaceflight Federation) and Debra Facktor Lepore (Ball Aerospace). SFF Chairman of the Board Jeff Feige will give opening remarks followed by a panel on the NewSpace industry in Seattle with speakers Jason Andrews (Spaceflight Industries), Chris Lewicki (Planetary Resources), Rob Meyerson (Blue Origin), Charles Beames (Vulcan Aerospace) and Fred Wilson (Aerojet Rocketdyne). There will be 9 panel discussions, 8 keynotes, 7 individual remarks / presentations, and the NewSpace Awards Gala in the Museum of Flight at which 5 awards will be presented. SFF will publish an economic development whitepaper titled “Incentivizing the Creation of Aerospace Economic Development Clusters within the U.S.” and is planning a workshop in Los Angeles this summer. (Image Credit: SFF, Bigelow, SNC, J. Foust, Ball Aerospace, Planetary Resources, Blue Origin, DSI, CSF, TEDx)

Jun 20-21 — The Geological Society, London, United Kingdom: Conference: Martian Gullies and their Earth Analogues.

Jun 20-23 — Lockheed Martin Corp., NASA, USAF, JPL, GE, FAA, ATK, DARPA, Teledyne, et al, Westminster CO: 2016 National Space & Missile Materials Symposium (NSMMS) & the Commercial and Government Responsive Access to Space Technology Exchange (CRASTE).

Jun 20-24 — Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics, University of California, Santa Barbara CA: Conference: Molecules and Dust as Fuel to Star Formation.

Jun 20-24 — University of Paris-Sud, University of Gothenburg, Open University, Potsdam, Germany: 11th International Conference on Permafrost (ICOP) 2016.

Jun 20-24 — UNESCO, IAEA, The Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics, Trieste, Italy: Conference on Genome Architecture in Space and Time.

Jun 20 — Summer Solstice: Longest day of the year (opposite in Southern Hemisphere) as Sun, traveling along ecliptic, reaches a point farthest north of celestial equator, 12:34.

Jun 20 — Moon: Full Strawberry / Rose Moon, 01:02.

Jun 20 — Apollo Asteroid 2009 CV: Near-Earth flyby (0.032 AU).

Jun 20 — Apollo Asteroid 2004 TE10: Near-Earth flyby (0.045 AU).

Continued from…

May 23 – Jul 29 — The Lunar and Planetary Institute, Johnson Space Center, NASA, Houston TX: Exploration Science Summer Intern Program.

May 29 – Jun 24 — Vatican Observatory, Castel Gandolfo, Italy: 2016 Summer School in Astrophysics: Water in the Solar System and Beyond.

Jun 12 – Jul 3 — Aspen Center for Physics, Aspen CO: Workshop: Testing the Laws of Gravity with Cosmological Surveys.

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

Jun 19 – Jul 10 — Aspen Center for Physics, Aspen CO: Workshop: Emergence, Evolution and Effects of Black Holes in the Universe – The Next 50 Years of Black Hole Physics.


Jun 21 — SETI Institute, Mountain View CA: Lecture: QUEST! The Search for Life Beyond Earth and Science of the SETI Institute; Bill Diamond from SETI.

Jun 21 — Lunar and Planetary Institute, Houston TX: Lecture: Experimental Investigation into the Darkness of Mercury’s Surface; Kathleen Vander Kaaden from University of New Mexico.

Jun 21-23 — Space Frontier Foundation, Museum of Flight, Spaceflight Industries, Blue Origin, Space Angels, et al, Seattle WA: NewSpace 2016 Conference.

Jun 21-23 — Pembroke College, Oxford, United Kingdom: .Astronomy 8 Event.

Jun 21-23 — Astronomical Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Prague, Czech Republic: 4th Workshop on Binaries in the Solar System.

Jun 21-24 — UC Santa Barbara, Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics, Santa Barbara CA: Conference: Molecules and Dust as Fuel to Star Formation.

Jun 21 — Moon: 2.9° N of Pluto, 10:00.

Jun 21 — Comet C/2013 X1 PANSTARRS: Nearest to Earth (0.639 AU / 95,593,039 km), 01:00.

Jun 21 — Aten Asteroid 2013 ND15 (Venus Trojan): Near-Earth flyby (0.076 AU).

Jun 21 — Amor Asteroid 2016 LR1: Near-Earth flyby (0.095 AU).


Jun 22 — Cygnus AO-6, LEO: Set to burn up in Earth atmosphere today completing 8-day mission since release from ISS, including transmitting data on Saffire-1 intentionally lit large-scale fire experiment, and high-resolution Earth imagery.

Jun 22 — British Interplanetary Society, London, United Kingdom: Lecture: Lunar Mission One; with Lunar Mission One Founder David Iron, education lead John McGuire, BIS lead Matt Russell.

Jun 22 — Royal Astronomical Society, London, United Kingdom: AstroReach; networking day for those interested in Astronomy or Geophysics outreach.

Jun 22-24 — Institute for Modeling Plasma, Atmospheres and Cosmic Dust, Boulder CO: 2016 Dusty Visions Workshop.

Jun 22 — Mercury: 1.9° NNW of 4 Vesta, 08:00.

Jun 22 — Apollo Asteroid 2016 LH10: Near-Earth flyby (0.057 AU).

Jun 22 — Amor Asteroid 2016 LR9: Near-Earth flyby (0.068 AU).

Jun 22 — Amor Asteroid 2016 LV9: Near-Earth flyby (0.089 AU).


Jun 23 — Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, Moon Orbit: NASA spacecraft enters 8th year in Moon orbit today; launched Jun 18, 2009.

Jun 23 — Library of Congress – Science, Technology and Business Division, Washington DC: Lecture: Juno Mission to Jupiter; John (Jack) Connerney, astrophysicist at NASA Goddard.

June 23 — American Astronomical Society, Pasadena CA: Abstracts Due: 48th Annual Meeting of the Division for Planetary Sciences of the American Astronomical Society / 11th European Planetary Science Conference (DPS 48 / EPSC); to be held Oct 16-21.


Jun 24 — United Launch Alliance, Launch Atlas 5 / MUOS 5, Cape Canaveral AFS FL: ULA Atlas 5 rocket, designated AV-063, to launch 5th Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) satellite for U.S. Navy built by Lockheed Martin Corp.

Jun 24 — Middle Tennessee Space Society – NSS Chapter, Franklin TN: Middle Tennessee Space Society monthly meeting; at Shoney’s restaurant, 18:00-19:00.

Jun 24 — Aten Asteroid 441987 (2010 NY65): Near-Earth flyby (0.028 AU).


Jun 25 — Mauna Kea Astronomy Outreach Committee, Kamuela HI, Mauna Kea 2,800-meter level: Malalo o ka Po Lani; presentation covering cultural components that surround Mauna O Wakea, 18:00 followed by stargazing program, at Mauna Kea Visitor Information Center.

Jun 25 — Moon: 1.1° NNW of Neptune, 14:00.


Jun 26 — CNSA, Launch Long March 7, Wenchang Satellite Launch Center, Hainan Island, China (19° N): China Long March 7 rocket (594,000 kg, 53 meters tall) maiden flight planned for this month, will carry scaled-down version of crew capsule; first launch from new Hainan Moonport / Spaceport.

Jun 26 — Stanford Hawai`i Chapter, Honolulu HI: Summer Brunch: Science and Culture on Mauna Kea, presented by Doug Chin, Hawaii attorney general and Stanford Alumni.

Jun 26 – Jul 1 — Geochemical Society, European Association of Geochemistry, The Geochemical Society of Japan, Yokohama, Japan: 26th Goldschmidt Conference; covering all aspects of planetary / space geochemistry and related fields.

Jun 26 – Jul 1 — Max Planck Institute for Astronomy, Tegernsee, Germany: Conference: The Early Phase of Star Formation (EPoS 2016) – Progress after 10 years of EPoS; at Ringberg Castle.