May 4-10, 2015 / Vol 34, No 18 / Hawai`i Island, USA

Canada Hosts Two Weeks of Earth, Space and Planetary Science

Calendar feature - PTMSS SRR CanadaThe 6th joint meeting of the Planetary and Terrestrial Mining Sciences Symposium and the Space Resources Roundtable will be held in Montreal, Québec, at the Palais des Congres de Montreal, on May 9-13, in conjunction with the Canadian Institute of Mining 2015 Convention. The purpose of PTMSS/SRR, chaired by Dale Boucher of Deltion Innovations Ltd., is to promote a closer relationship between the space and mining sectors by allowing mining experts to network with space scientists and engineers. The technology demonstration space in the exhibit hall features CM-Labs Simulations, Clearpath Robotics, Argo, Neptec Design Group, Paceas Technologies and Deltion Innovations. This follows another major event, the 2015 Joint Assembly of the American Geophysical Union, Canadian Geophysical Union, Geological Association of Canada and Mineral Association of Canada taking place May 3-7 at the same venue. The Assembly is expected to include more than 2,000 researchers sharing their findings in 250 sessions comprising nearly 2,100 oral and poster presentations, field trips, workshops, and short courses. There will be 3 Plenaries: ‘Hydraulic Fracturing and Induced Seismicity’ by David Eaton of University of Calgary, ‘Large-scale Impacts and Earth History’ by Richard Greive of ‘Natural Resources Canada, and Melt to Glass: A Peculiar Transition and the Rise of Experimental Volcanology’ by Donald Dingwell of Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich. Canada mining industry is a recognized world leader and the country has also played a major role in space technology and applications, as with the CanadArms at the International Space Station. (Image Credit: PTMSS/SRR, AGU-GAC-MAC-CGU, University of Calgary)


May 4 — ISS, LEO: Expedition 43 with Kelly & Kornienko fulfilling 1-year mission, three-member crew preparing to return to Earth May 12/13, transferring cargo from Dragon CRS-6, working with Electromagnetic Levitation experiment and Triplelux-A study for gene, immune & cellular responses.

May 4 — Cassini, Saturn Orbit: Spacecraft conducts Orbital Trim Maneuver #409 today; orbiting planet with a 28-day period, observing Saturn aurorae, tendril-like structures seen near icy moon Enceladus.

May 4 — New Horizons, Pluto Trajectory: Now 70 days from closest approach, imaging Pluto and moons from 90M km away, revealing bright & dark regions on Pluto surface & potential polar cap.

May 4 — Exos Aerospace, Mesquite TX: NewSpace company planning to develop suborbital & orbital rockets and start monthly launches in 2016; Kickstarter campaign has 22 days left; employees & equipment previously from Armadillo Aerospace.

May 4 — Ventions LLC, San Francisco CA: Working to incorporate micro-rocket systems with liquid bipropellant motors in 100-5,000 lbf thrust class into vehicle stages for nano-satellite launchers, developing high-performance methane & peroxide based propulsion systems for 3U-6U CubeSats.

May 4 — Clyde Space, Glasgow, United Kingdom: Developers of Scotland’s first CubeSat UKube-1, providing CubeSat electrical power systems, solar panels, structures, ground support equipment; collaborating with US university & teams to build advanced CubeSats to observe Ocean changes.

May 4 — The Space Show, Online / Tiburon CA: Dr. David Livingston talks with Bruce Pittman about International Space Development Conference.

May 4-6 — Venus Exploration Analysis Group, NASA, Pasadena CA: Comparative Tectonics and Geodynamics of Venus, Earth, and Exoplanets Conference.

May 4-6 — European Cooperation in Science and Technology, Ven Island, Sweden: Course: Life on Earth and Beyond – The History and Philosophy of the Origin of Life.

May 4 — Asteroid 2015 FL209: Near-Earth flyby (0.054 AU).

MAY - JUL 2015 = 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 (WNW), Venus (WNW), Jupiter (S); Morning Planets: Saturn (S), Neptune (ENE).

Humans to Mars Summit Addresses Challenges and Positive Impacts of Mars Missions

H2M Summit

The 2015 Humans to Mars (H2M) Summit is being held on May 5-7 in Washington DC at George Washington University. Sponsored by Explore Mars Inc., AIAA, Space Policy Institute, Boeing Co., Lockheed Martin Corp. and many others, the Conference features (L-R) Buzz Aldrin, Andrew Aldrin, Charles Bolden, Greg Olsen, Ben Bussey, Les Johnson, Scott Hubbard, Chris Carberry and Sam Scimemi. Topics will cover the science of Mars, Morpheus lander, space propulsion, affordability, sustainability, ISS, and entry, descent, and landing for the 2020s. Currently at Mars there are 5 orbiters and 2 rovers, operated by USA, Europe and India. NASA has a Roadmap to the Red Planet including 5-10 years of studies in Cislunar space before Human missions to Mars in the 2030s. China, Russia and India seem to be strategically planning for Moon, Mars, and beyond – in that order. Independent enterprises such as SpaceX, Explore Mars Inc, Mars One and Inspiration Mars are setting sights on Mars, while others such as Moon Express, Golden Spike Company, ILOA and Astrobotic aim for the Moon first. On May 6, Bruce Jakosky, who has contributed to the Mars Observer, Mars Global Surveyor, Mars Odyssey, Mars Science Laboratory and MAVEN missions, will be giving a talk on “MAVEN at Mars” at Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt MD. (Image Credit: Explore Mars, H2M, NASA, SSERVI, Moon Express, JPL, Malin Space Science Systems)

Continued from…

Apr 6 – May 8 — Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics China, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China: Workshop: The Next Detectors for Gravitational Wave Astronomy.

May 1 – Jun 30 — Johnson Space Center, NASA, National Space Grant Foundation, Houston TX: 2015 eXploration Habitat (X-Hab); university-level students’ designs for functional space habitat subsystems prototypes to be submitted & evaluated.

May 2-8 — Tel Aviv University, Israel Space Agency, Golan Research Institute of Haifa University, Kazrin & Tel Aviv, Israel: Workshop: Space Weather And Plasma in Space (IsraSWAPS-2015).

May 3-7 — American Geophysical Union, Canadian Geophysical Union, Geological Association of Canada, Montreal, Quebec, Canada: 2015 Joint Assembly on Geophysical Sciences.


May 5 — Women in Aerospace, Washington DC: WIA’s Aerospace 2015: Soar to New Heights; 6th annual conference will feature: The Impact of the Cyber Threat in the Aerospace World, The Operationalization of Space Sovereignty, Women of Impact.

May 5 — SETI Institute, Mountain View CA: SETI Weekly Colloquium: Brown Dwarf Variability and Implications for Exoplanets; presented by Tyler Robinson, 12:00.

May 5-6 — AIAA, Pasadena CA: 21st Improving Space Operations Workshop: Game Changing Technologies and Strategies; at Sheraton Pasadena.

May 5-7 — Explore Mars Inc., Space Policy Institute, et al, Washington DC: The Humans to Mars Summit; to addresses technical, scientific, policy challenges of getting humans to Mars, as well as benefits to life on Earth; at George Washington University.

May 5-7 — ESA, Madrid, Spain: Planetary GIS Workshop; at ESA Space Astronomy Centre (ESAC).

May 5 — Moon: 2.2° NNE of Saturn, 08:00; 9.1° N of Antares, 19:00.


May 6 — SpaceX, Cape Canaveral AFS FL: Crew Dragon pad abort test at Space Launch Complex 40, live coverage available; four hour test window starts 09:30.

May 6 — Foothill College, Los Altos Hills CA: Silicon Valley Astronomy Lecture Series: 100 Years of Einstein’s Relativity (and How It Underlies Our Modern Understanding of the Universe); presented by Jeffrey Bennett.

May 6 — Goddard Space Flight Center, NASA, Greenbelt MD: Goddard Scientific Colloquium: MAVEN at Mars; presented by Bruce Jakosky.

May 6-8 — Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore MD: User Training in JWST Data Analysis.

May 6-8 — Lund University, Lund, Sweden: Meeting: Exoplanets in Lund 2015; to discuss exoplanet-related science, in particular connected to 2017 ESA CHaracterising ExOPlanet Satellite (CHEOPS) satellite mission.

May 6 — Eta Aquarids Meteor Shower Peak: The 1st of 2 showers that occur each year as a result of Earth passing through dust released by Halley’s Comet; Eta Aquarid meteors appear to radiate from Constellation Aquarius, likely to see about 10 meteors per hour, while Southern Hemisphere observers may see up to 85 per hour.

May 6 — Asteroid 2015 HZ: Near-Earth flyby (0.084 AU).


May 7 — Cassini, Saturn Orbit: Titan flyby scheduled at 2,722-km altitude.

May 7 — Cornell University, Ithaca NY: Lecture: Enceladus Plume Through the Eyes of the Cassini Ion Neutral Mass Spectrometer; presented by Hunter Waite of Southwest Research Institute.

May 7 — Lunar and Planetary Institute, Houston TX: LPI Speaker Series: Movie Science: Who Cares If It’s Wrong? presented by Dr. Seth Shostak, SETI Institute.

May 7 — British Interplanetary Society, London, United Kingdom: Lecture: Landing on a Comet; presented by Monica Grady, 18:30 – 20:30.


May 8 — Peninsula Astronomical Society, Los Altos Hills CA: Lecture: Near Earth Asteroids & Space Missions; presented by Dr. Michael Busch of SETI.

May 8 — Royal Astronomical Society, London, United Kingdom: RAS Ordinary Meeting; Specialist Discussion: Astroseismology – High-precision Stellar Metrics for the Exoplanet Era.

May 8-9 — Silicon Valley Space Center, Innovation Hangar, San Francisco CA: Space Innovation Days; in Palace of Fine Arts; will showcase space development work by local companies, university departments, non-profits.

May 8 — Moon: 3.1° N of Pluto, 12:00.


May 9 — Progress 59P, LEO: Russia spacecraft with mass of 7,000-kg, unable to reach ISS due to malfunction, predicted to reenter Earth atmosphere May 9 (plus or minus 2 days), with some uncertainty of level of disintegration.

May 9 — Cassini, Saturn Orbit: Distant Flyby of Polydeuces (34,000 km), Telesto (46,000 km), Aegaeon (93,000 km), Daphnis (114,000 km).

May 9 — Cornell University, Ithaca NY: Inauguration of the Institute for Pale Blue Dots; international speakers talk about challenges & excitement of the search for the first exoplanets.

May 9-13 — PTMSS/SRR, CIM, Montreal, Quebec, Canada: 6th Planetary & Terrestrial Mining Sciences Symposium and Space Resources Roundtable; Canadian Institute of Mining (CIM) 2015 Convention.

May 9 — Venus: 1.7° N of M35, 12:00.


May 10-16 — Institute of Cybernetics, Mathematics and Physics (ICIMAF), Varadero Beach, Cuba: 4th International Symposium on Strong Electromagnetic Fields and Neutron Stars.