November 7-13, 2011 / Vol 30, No 45 / Hawai`i Island, USA

Expedition 29 Crew Members to Launch to ISS Aboard Soyuz TMA-22

Three remaining crew members of Expedition 29 are set to launch aboard a Soyuz TMA-22 Spacecraft to the International Space Station (ISS) from Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan on Nov 13. RSA cosmonauts Anton Shkaplerov and Anatoli Ivanishin along with NASA astronaut Dan Burbank will join Cmdr Mike Fossum, Satoshi Furukawa and Sergei Volkov, who have been aboard the ISS since June. The recent loss of the Progress M-12M resupply spacecraft on August 24 delayed the original mission date in September and nearly left the ISS unstaffed. The upcoming launch leaves nearly a week to spare before the last 3 astronauts aboard the ISS are scheduled to leave. Dan Burbank will become the Cmdr for Expedition 30. He, along with Ivanishin and Shkaplerov will work as a 3-person crew for 36 days until they are joined by astronauts Don Pettit, Oleg Kononenko Andre Kuipers, who are expected launch to the station aboard the Soyuz spacecraft NET December 26. (Credit: NASA)

Phobos-Grunt: Russia Returns to Planetary Science Carrying 1st China Mars Mission Yinghuo-1

Set to launch in early November from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, the Phobos-Grunt sample-return mission will be the 1st Russia planetary mission in 15 years. After a 10 month journey to Mars, the probe will spend several months studying the planet and its moons from orbit before landing on Phobos. Soil extraction will begin immediately after landing with the robotic arm performing 15 to 20 scoops over 2 to 7 days, yielding a total of 85 to 160g of soil. The return rocket, situated on top of the lander, will then need to accelerate to 35km/hour to escape the Phobos gravity. Phobos-Grunt is expected to return to Earth in August 2014. If successful, it will be the first spacecraft to return a macroscopic extraterrestrial sample from a planetary body since Luna 24 in 1976. The mission will also be carrying the China probe Yinghuo-1, a micro-satellite weighing 110kg. As China’s 1st mission to Mars, Yinghuo-1 will utilize 2 scientific instruments and 2 cameras to explore the Martian magnetic field, its upper atmosphere, and study the impact of dust storms on the upper atmosphere. The micro-satellite will separate from the probe after the 350 million km journey, and then spend 1 year in orbit. China will utilize the Russia deep space network for this mission, as its own system will not be ready until 2016. On Nov 9-10, Explore Mars, Inc. will present the Women and Mars Conference at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. to show the world that right now women are involved with Space and Mars on all levels of work. (Credit: ESA, CNSA, Roscosmos)


= 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 – Morning Planets: Mars (ESE), Saturn (E) / Evening Planets: Mercury (SW), Venus (SW), Jupiter (E).


MONDAY

Nov 7 — International Space Station, LEO: E-29 crew members continue science activities and station maintenance as they await the arrival of 3 new crew members early next week.

Nov 7 — NASA Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), Lunar Orbit: All systems nominal in scientific phase of mission as LRO continues to make digital elevation and terrain maps that will be a fundamental reference for future human exploration.

Nov 7 — ESA Mars Express, Red Planet: Orbiting spacecraft operations continue to be on hold as scientists investigate solid-state mass memory system.

Nov 7-9 — Lunar Exploration Analysis Group (LEAG), Houston TX: ‘Annual Meeting of the LEAG.’

Nov 7-9 — The Lunar and Planetary Institute, University of Hawai`i – Manoa, et al, Kaua’i HI: ‘Workshop on Formation of the 1st Solids in the Solar System.’

Nov 7 — Asteroid (Closest Approach to Earth): 3753 Cruithne (0.435 AU); 3672 Stevedberg (0.891 AU).


Continued from…

Sep 22 — Space Adventures, NASA, ESA, JAXA, Online: Closing date submissions for ‘YouTube Space Lab Competition;’ through Dec 7.

Nov 6 — European Southern Observatory, Paris, France:21st Annual Astronomical Data Analysis Software & Systems Conference;’ through Nov 10.


TUESDAY

NET Nov 8 — RSA, Launch Zenit 3F / Phobos – Grunt, Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan: A Zenit rocket set to launch the Phobos-Grunt mission to return samples from Mars moon, Phobos, and also carry small China spacecraft Yinghuo 1.

Nov 8 — Asteroid 2005 YU55: NASA scientists to track 400m-wide Asteroid 2005 YU55, which will fly past Earth slightly closer than the Moon’s orbit at a distance of 324,600 km; Flyby will be the closest of any near-Earth asteroid since 1976 and until 2028.

Nov 8 — USA Department of Education, NASA, ISS, LEO: E-29 Cmdr Mike Fossum to speak with students live from the ISS in celebration of International Education Week at 09:55 – 10:15 EST.

Nov 8 — Langley Research Center, Hampton VA: NASA inviting 50 Twitter followers for a Tweetup and behind-the-scenes tour of the agency’s first laboratory, NASA’s Langley Research Center, from 10:00-16:00.

Nov 8-9 — European Commission – Enterprise & Industry, European Parliament, ESA, Wiertz, Brussels, Belgium:4th Conference on European Union Space Policy.’

Nov 8 — Cassini OTM-299, Saturn Orbit: Spacecraft conducts Orbital Trim Maneuver #299 today.

Nov 8 — Moon: At Apogee (Distance: 406176 km); 03:00.

Nov 8 — Asteroid 2005 XB: Near-Earth Flyby (0.074 AU).


WEDNESDAY

Nov 9 — The SETI Institute, Mountain View CA: Colloquium Series Lecture: ‘Past Climate in Antarctica: Looking Back to Our Future,’ Stephen Pekar.

Nov 9 — Stennis Space Center, Hancock County MS: Test firing of NASA J-2X rocket engine which will carry the Orion spacecraft, its crew, cargo, equipment and science experiments beyond Earth orbit; 15:00 CST.

Nov 9 — The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Moffett Field CA: ‘Phoenix Industry Day Workshops.

Nov 9 — Intech Science Center and Planetarium, Winchester, United Kingdom:Lecture: Digital Static – Hampshire’s New World-Class Radio Telescope,’ Derek McKay Bukowski.

Nov 9 — George Washington University, Washington DC:Book Discussion: Falling Back to Earth,’ with author Mark Albrecht.

Nov 9-10 — Explore Mars Inc, Washington DC:Women and Mars Conference.’

Nov 9-10 — ESA, Toulouse, France:2nd Human Dependability Workshop.’

Nov 9-11 — Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, Sydney, Australia:Australian Square Kilometer Array Pathfinder Survey Science Teams Working Meeting 2011.’

Nov 9 — Moon: 4.9° N of Jupiter; 07:00.


THURSDAY

Nov 10 — The Lunar and Planetary Institute, Houston TX: ‘Planet Formation: What’s New with the Oldest Events in the Solar System,’ Bill Bottke.

Nov 10 — Challenger Center for Space Science Education, Alexandria VA: ‘Live Astronaut Webcast,’ featuring astronaut Frederic Gregory.

Nov 10-11 — Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena CA: The von Karman Lecture Series: ‘Bringing the High Energy Universe into Focus,’ Fiona Harrison.

Nov 10 — Moon: Full Moon (Beaver Moon); 10:17.

Nov 10 — Mercury: 1.9° N of Antares; 02:00.

Nov 10 — Mars: 1.3° NNE of Regulus; 15:00.

Nov 10 — Venus: 3.9° N of Antares; 01:00.

Nov 10 — Asteroid 2011 TP6: Near-Earth Flyby (0.046 AU).


FRIDAY

Nov 11 — American Museum of Natural History, New York City NY: ‘Margaret Mead Film Festival: Space Tourists,’ a documentary by filmmaker Christian Frei which follows space tourist Anoushesh Ansari, who paid US$20M to travel to the International Space Station.

Nov 11-12 — Kentucky Space, Lexington KY: ‘1st Annual HackerSPACE Workshop.’

Nov 11-12 — McGill Institute of Air and Space Law, Montreal, Quebec, Canada:The International Interdisciplinary Congress on Space Debris Remediation.’

Nov 11-13 — Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral FL: ‘LAUNCH: Energy Forum,’ event to propel innovative solutions that help those outside the agency make the connection between our lives on Earth and how we live and work in space.

Nov 11 — Moon: 2.8° SSE of Pleiades; 11:00.


SATURDAY

Nov 12 — Zero Gravity Corporation, Cape Canaveral FL: Commercial weightless flight on board G-Force One.

Nov 12 — Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena CA:3rd Annual JPL Climate Change Symposium.’

Nov 12 — Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum – Udvar-Hazy Center, Chantilly VA: ‘Super Science Saturdays: The Moon and Beyond.’

Nov 12-13 — GLXP Team Phoenicia, Menlo Park CA:2nd Team Phoenicia / Techshop Nanosatellite Launcher Seminar.’

Nov 12-13 — Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, Honolulu HI:19th APEC Leaders’ Meeting.’

Nov 12 — Northern Taurid Meteors: Appearing to radiate from Constellation Taurus, the Northern Taurid Meteors are associated with Comet Encke and appear at a rate of about 7 per hour, moving slowly across the sky at about 29km/sec.

Nov 12 — Moon: 5.9° N of Aldebaran; 11:00.

Nov 12 — Mercury: 2.0° SSW of Venus; 22:00.

Nov 12 — Asteroid 8088 Australia: Near-Earth Flyby (1.000 AU).


SUNDAY

NET Nov 13 — RSA, Launch Soyuz / ISS 28S, Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan: RSA Soyuz rocket set to launch Soyuz spacecraft to the International Space Station with members of the next Expedition crew.

Nov 13-17 — State of Hawai`i, Pacific International Space Center for Exploration Systems, Pacific International Space Alliance, et al, Waikoloa HI:2011 International Lunar Research Park Leaders Summit.’

Nov 13-20 — Hassan 2 Casablanca University, Arab Union of Astronomy and Space Sciences, et al, Casablanca, Morocco:2nd Arab Impact Cratering and Astrogeology Conference.’

Nov 13 — Saturn: 4.3° NNE of Spica; 11:00.