March 11-17, 2013 / Vol 32, No 10 / Hawai`i Island, USA

IAF Spring Meetings in Paris

calendar feature - IAF spring meetings 2013The International Astronautical Federation is holding annual Spring Meetings on March 18-20 at the Cap 15 convention center in Paris, France. The first two days are devoted to Committee Meetings organized by the International Program Committee (IPC) Steering Group, IAF Finance Committee, IAF Bureau and Administrative & Technical Committees, including: Human Space Endeavors, Space Education and Outreach, Space Propulsion and Space Economy. Tuesday evening the IAF Global Networking Forum will host an event, themed ‘Off the Earth, For the Earth – The next steps in human space exploration,’ that should include exciting updates about the latest ambitious, some might say audacious, projects. The IAF has 246 members from more than 60 countries including leading space agencies, companies, associations and institutes. During Wednesday sessions the IPC will select abstracts to be presented at the upcoming International Astronautical Congress in Beijing, China on September 23-27. The Congress, with the theme ‘Promoting Space Development for the Benefit of Mankind,’ is set to coincide with the pioneering Chang’e-3 Lunar Lander / Rover mission scheduled for the second half of this year. If successful the mission will mark the first operations on the surface of the Moon since the Russia Luna 24 mission lifted off from the lunar surface on August 19, 1976 returning to Earth with 170.1 grams of regolith. (Image Credit: IAF, NASA, Reaction Engines, NPO Lavochkin)

Moon and Planetary Focus at Microsymposium 54, MESSENGER Workshop, 44th LPSC

Micro 54, LPSC44Vernadsky Institute, Brown University and Brown-MIT NASA Lunar Science Institute are sponsoring ‘Microsymposium 54, Lunar Farside and Poles: New Destinations for Exploration’ on March 16-17 at the Woodlands Waterway Marriott Hotel and Convention Center in Houston, Texas, USA. This event focuses on the recent ‘renaissance in lunar exploration’ and knowledge gained from lunar spacecraft / exploration interests of Canada, China, Europe, India, Japan, Russia and USA. Following Microsymposium 54, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory and NASA are hosting the ‘MESSENGER Mercury Dual Imaging System Data Users’ Workshop’ on Mar 17 from 14:00 – 18:00 CDT. This free workshop is meant to increase awareness of the first Mercury maps (one in monochrome and one in eight colors) published Mar 8, the more than 100K images taken by MESSENGER, and the tools and software available from the NASA Planetary Data System. On Mar 18-22, Lunar and Planetary Institute and Universities Space Research Association will bring together about 2,000 specialists to discuss planetary science research results at the ‘44th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference.’ There will be 574 oral presentations, 2 poster sessions and multiple forums. GRAIL Principal Investigator Maria Zuber, a co-convener of Microsymposium 54, will discuss GRAIL extended mission gravity models at LPSC on Tuesday, Mar 19. (Image Credit: Brown University, NASA, JHU/APL, LPI/USRA)

Digital Mar-May Medium = 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: Jupiter (SW), Saturn (SE).


Mar 11 — ISS, LEO: Expedition 34 preparing for crew departure, drying Sokol suit (Russia space suit for Soyuz spacecraft) and checking for leaks, loading Dragon with 1,361 kg of cargo, reviewing Dragon capsule emergency procedures; spinal ultrasounds performed on day 30, 60 and 150 of ISS stay to test for spinal elongation.

Mar 11 — Chandra X-ray Observatory, HEO: Observing 8 neutron stars, including one in globular cluster 47 Tucanae about 15,000 LY from Earth; results providing reliable determinations of neutron star density, pressure and the relation between its radius and mass.

Mar 11 — Juno, Jupiter Trajectory: In ‘inner cruise 3’ phase heading toward Oct 9 Earth flyby gravity assist; 3 trajectory maneuvers are planned before flyby and 1 after to set spacecraft into ‘quiet cruise’ phase and on final path to Jupiter.

Mar 11 — Cassini OTM-344, Saturn Orbit: Spacecraft conducts Orbital Trim Maneuver #344 today.

Mar 11 — Orbital Sciences Corp., Wallops VA: NewSpace company working toward Apr 4 Antares rocket / simulated Cygnus freighter demo flight; will follow with 1st ISS demo flight carrying 2,000 kg of cargo using Castor 30A upper stage.

Mar 11 — Virgin Galactic, Mojave CA: Performing hot-fire test of SpaceShipTwo propulsion system, starting at 45 seconds; will begin to drop-test and fire rocket motor; rocket-powered test flights in 2013, begin commercial flights early 2014.

Mar 11 — Planetary Resources Inc., Bellevue WA: Testing 11-kg Arkyd-100 telescope prototype to survey NEAs; designing Arkyd-200 Interceptor space telescope, Arkyd-300 Rendezvous Prospector spacecraft, mining / transport spacecraft.

Mar 11 — NASA Solutions for Enterprise-Wide Procurement Program Office, Greenbelt MD: SEWP V Industry Day; at Greenbelt Marriott, 08:00 – 12:00 EDT.

Mar 11 — Lockheed Martin, NASA, Houston TX: Announcement of Exploration Design Challenge for Students; Astronaut Leland Melvin, NASA Director Charles Bolden, Lockheed Martin President Marillyn Hewson announce details to involve students in flight test of Orion spacecraft; 10:30 CDT.

Mar 11 — NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt MD: Engineering Colloquium Series: The Other 98%: Science Education for Everyone – A Story in Three Heresies; presented by James Trefil of Stanford University, 15:30 EDT; free.

Mar 11-13 — Remote Sensing and Photogrammetry Society, Glasgow, United Kingdom: Wavelength Conference 2013.

Mar 11-14 — AIAA, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, SpaceX, et al, Sacramento CA: 2nd Annual California Aerospace Week; to discuss California’s role in pioneering aerospace.

Mar 11 — Moon: 5.9° NNW of Venus, 02:00; New Moon, 09:53.

Continued from…

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 13 – Apr 24 — The Golden Spike Company, Online: GSC Indiegogo Crowdsourcing Campaign: Help Send Nations and People to the Moon.

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.

Feb 25 – Apr 29 – USA National Center for Earth and Space Science Education, Student Spaceflight Experiments Program, Global: SSEP Mission 4 to ISS; microgravity experiment design and proposal writing period for students; selected experiments will fly to ISS mid-Oct.

Mar 7-15 — USA National Center for Earth and Space Science Education, Hilo HI: Journey Through the Universe Week; featuring workshops, STEM events, `Imiloa Astronomy Center.

Mar 9 – Apr 6 — DIYRockets Inc., Sunglass Co., Shapeways Inc., Online: Registration Period for 3D Printed Rocket Challenge; competition to design 3D printed rocket engine that could carry nano-satellites into space.

Mar 10-15 — American Geophysical Union, Reykjavik, Iceland: AGU Chapman Conference: Fundamental Properties and Processes of Magnetotails; to discuss magnetospheres of planets in our solar system, solar wind, spacecraft observations.


Mar 12 — Federal Aviation Administration, Online: Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Committee Systems Working Group Public Teleconference.

Mar 12 — NASA, Washington DC: NASA Briefing on Curiosity’s Analysis of Mars Rock; to discuss the analysis of the 1st rock powder sample ever collected on Mars; 13:00 EDT; online coverage available.

Mar 12 — Keck Institute for Space Studies, Caltech/JPL, Pasadena CA: Lecture: John F. Kennedy and the Race to the Moon; presented by John Logsdon of George Washington University; in Caltech Hameetman Auditorium, 17:00 PDT; free.

Mar 12 — SETI Institute, Mountain View CA: Colloquium: A Different Universe; presented by Robert Laughlin of Stanford University, 19:00 PDT.

Mar 12 — National Space Club Florida Committee, Cape Canaveral FL: Luncheon at the Radisson Resort at the Port; to provide information on space activities; featuring Space Florida President Frank DiBello; US$17-20.

Mar 12-14 — Space Components Steering Board of the European Space Components Coordination, ESA, Noordwijk, The Netherlands: European Space Components Conference (ESCCON) 2013; at Space Research and Technology Centre.

Mar 12 — Moon: 4.5° NNW of Mars, 02:00.


Mar 13 — ISS, LEO: Chris Hadfield becomes 1st Canada ISS Commander in handover ceremony 21:10 UT; live coverage available.

Mar 13 — S3 (Swiss Space Systems), Payerne, Switzerland: Company debut press briefing to be held at S3 Headquarters, 13:13 local time.

Mar 13 — The U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations, Washington DC: Oversight Hearing: NASA; at H-309 U.S. Capitol Building, 10:00 EDT.

Mar 13 — NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt MD: Information Science & Technology Colloquium Series: NASA Earth Exchange (NEX) – Collaborative Computing for Global Change Science; presented by Ramakrishna Nemani of NASA Ames, 11:00 EDT; free.

Mar 13-19 — W. M. Keck Observatory, Kamuela HI: Keck Week 2013; 20th anniversary of W. M. Keck Observatory; presentations of astronomical discoveries and innovations to come, tour of facility, demonstrations.

Mar 13 — Asteroid 2009 SC15: Near-Earth flyby (0.081 AU).


Mar 14-15 — ISS, Soyuz TMA-06M Undocking, LEO: Expedition 34 crew Ford, Novitskiy, Tarelkin return to Earth; farewells / hatch closure scheduled Mar 14, 20:45 UT; undocking scheduled Mar 15, 24:15 and Kazakhstan landing 03:57; live coverage for all events.

Mar 14, 15 — Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena CA: The von Kármán Lecture Series: There and Back Again – The Migration of Robotic Arm Technology from Mars to Earth; presented by Brett Kennedy, Engineer of Mars Science Laboratory’s robotic arm.

Mar 14-15 — National Science Foundation, Arlington VA: Advisory Committee Meeting for International Science and Engineering.

Mar 14 — Asteroid 2005 ES70: Near-Earth flyby (0.057 AU).


Mar 15 — `Imiloa Astronomy Center, University of Hawai`i – Hilo, Hilo HI: Mauna Kea Skies Talk; astronomers from Mauna Kea observatories speak about recent discoveries; this session features Richard McDermid of Gemini Observatory; 19:00 HST, US$8-10.

Mar 15 — Coordinate Metrology Society, Online: Abstract Due, for the 29th Annual Coordinate Metrology Systems Conference (CMSC 2013); on Jul 22-26.

Mar 15 — Space Center Houston, Houston TX: Lunch with an Astronaut, Brian Duffy; US$49.95 adult.

Mar 15 — The Golden Spike Company, Online: Video Due – Golden Spike Video Contest; open to Indiegogo contributors; winner will receive lunar rover model.

Mar 15 — Mauna Kea Observatory Outreach Committee, `Imiloa Astronomy Center, Onizuka Space Center, Galaxy Garden, Hawai`i Island: Submission Due: 2013 Mauna Kea Coin Design Contest; for students to design new Mauna Kea coin with astronomy and Hawaiian cultural themes.


Mar 16 — Boeing Company, Kansas Aviation Museum, Wichita KS: Grand Opening: Boeing Science, Math and History Learning Center; US$8.95 adult, $6.95 child.

Mar 16 — Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project, Online: Last Day to Help Fund the Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project; ‘mining the past’ to benefit future lunar / science projects.

Mar 16-17 — Brown University, Vernadsky Institute, Brown-MIT NASA Lunar Science Institute, Houston TX: Microsymposium 54, Lunar Farside and Poles: New Destinations for Exploration; in conjunction with 44th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference; on Mar 18-22.

Mar 16-23 — Reuben H. Fleet Science Center, UC San Diego, BIOCOM Institute, San Diego CA: 2013 San Diego Festival of Science & Engineering.

Mar 16 — Moon: 5.2° S of Pleiades, 18:00.

Mar 16 — Asteroid 2013 DG: Near-Earth flyby (0.061 AU).


Mar 17 — MESSENGER, Mercury Orbit: Scheduled end of extended mission.

Mar 17 — Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, NASA, Houston TX, MESSENGER MDIS Data Users’ Workshop; in Woodlands Waterway Marriott Hotel and Convention Center 14:00 – 18:00 CDT; free with registration.

Mar 17 — NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt MD: Sunday Experiment: Earth Observations – Landsat; for families to learn about current / future science missions managed by NASA Goddard; in Auditorium and Science Center/Sphere, 13:00 – 15:00 EDT.

Mar 17-20 — International Astronautical Federation, Paris, France: Spring Meetings 2013; at Cap 15 convention center.

Mar 17 — Moon: 1.5° S of Jupiter, 15:00; 3.6° N of Aldebaran, 16:00.