August 2-8, 2021 / Vol 40, No 31 / Hawai`i Island, USA

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SPC

Guest

35th Utah SmallSat Conference Focuses on Automation & Communication from LEO to Deep Space


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The annual Small Satellite Conference hosted by Utah State University is set to occur virtually August 7-12 with theme Mission Operations & Autonomy: Operations and data delivery at the speed of light. ‘Future Directions’ panelists include (L-R) Florence Tan, Chair of the Small Spacecraft Coordination Group at NASA HQ, Space Development Agency Director Derek Tournear, and ESA Cubesat Systems Head Roger Walker. A Virtual Exhibit Hall is to host over 200 commercial concerns representing the US$4.7B industry including Airbus, ArianeGroup, Astroscale, Ball Aerospace, CesiumAstro, Exotrail, Firefly Aerospace, General Atomics, GomSpace, LeoLabs, Lockheed Martin, Lunet Mission Services, Maxar, Momentus, Northrop Grumman, Planet, Redwire, Relativity, Rocket Lab, Spaceflight, Surrey Satellite Technology, Swedish Space Corporation and Virgin Orbit. Updates from NASA Ames Research Center Engineering, Goddard Space Flight Center, HQ Space Technology Mission Directorate, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Kennedy Space Center, Marshall Space Flight Center and Science Mission Directorate will also be featured. University representation from California Polytechnic State CubeSat Lab, Florida Institute of Technology, Hawaii Space Flight Lab, Michigan Tech Aerospace, Space Science Center at Morehead State University, Rutgers University, University of Colorado at Boulder, University of Muenster, U.S. Naval Academy, ASU NewSpace, Southwest Research Institute and Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab. Several technical papers will be presented on lunar smallsat missions such as Lunar Flashlight (riding with Artemis 1, Q4) and CAPSTONE (NET Oct 20) and Lunar Trailblazer (with Interstellar Mapping and Acceleration Probe, 2024). (Image Credits: NASA, Small Satellite Conference, USU)

MONDAY


Highlights…
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Aug 2 — ISS,
~405-km LEO: Expedition 65 seven-member crew working with newly docked 23,000-kg Russia Nauka module, ground controllers investigating unexpected thruster fire event; now expecting Boeing Starliner OFT-2 spacecraft this week; working with VR experiments, space agricultural, Electrostatic Levitation Furnace.

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Aug 2 — Tiangong Space Station,
~370-km LEO: Shenzhou 12 three-member crew Nie Haisheng, Liu Boming and Tang Hongbo working with Tianzhou-2 cargo and maintaining TSS; may return to Earth NET Sep 15.

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Aug 2 —
NewSpace: Space Pioneer aka Beijing Tianbing Technology secures US$30M funding for liquid fuel Tianlong-1 rocket and VTVL Tiansuo-1; Isar Aerospace of Germany raises $165M in round led by Porsche SE; Varda Space Industries of California plans first space factory with $50M+ capital.

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Aug 2 — Solar System:
Vanderbilt astrophysicist Karan Jani proposes Gravitational-Wave Lunar Observatory for Cosmology; new and old data observations from Hubble being used to confirm water vapor on moon Ganymede; Enceladus methane levels indicative of possible biosignature.

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Aug 2 —
Galaxy: Stellar dust causes Betelgeuse dimming, per VLT SPHERE instrument readings; Project Galileo to attempt imaging UAP / interstellar objects with $2M private funds; light from behind a black hole (bent by gravity) observed by XMM-Newton, study to continue with Athena next gen X-ray observatory.

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Aug 2 — Global:
Meteorites from large fireball meteor sought in Finnemarka by Norwegian Meteor Network; IAU seeking proposals on ‘SatHub’ to coordinate terrestrial astronomy and LEO constellations; Helios of Israel to refine regolith via molten electrolysis on ispace mission 2 and 3.

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Aug 2 — USA:
Blue Origin offers NASA $2B discount for renegotiation of HLS, may be pursuing reusable steel upper stage code-named “Jarvis”; NASA Europa Clipper to be launched by SpaceX Falcon Heavy under $178M contract.

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Aug 2 —
Hawai’i: COCONUTS-2b, discovered at Gemini North, is second-coolest (160°C) exoplanet to be directly imaged; UH Hilo alumina Sarah Knights serving as Capsule Communicator and Intern Manager for Blue Origin.


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Aug 2 — Roscosmos, Launch Soyuz / OneWeb 9, Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan: Russia Soyuz rocket to launch 34 satellites to orbit for OneWeb.

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= All times for terrestrial events in local time unless noted.

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= All times for international terrestrial events in local time unless noted.

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= All times for space events, and…

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= All times for international space / astro events in Hawaii Standard Time unless noted. Add 10 hours to obtain UT (‘Universal Time’).



Weekly Planet Watch Evening Planets: Venus (W), Jupiter (ESE), Saturn (ESE); Morning Planets: Uranus (ESE), Neptune (S).


Luxembourg Expanding Space Resource Initiatives, Legal Frameworks


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Luxembourg, a founding member of Artemis Accords, continues its work nationally and internationally for diverse, peaceful space initiatives while providing unique regulations and laws to facilitate commercial space property rights. Well known as the investment management center of Europe, and having one of the highest GDP per capita in the world, Luxembourg strategy to strengthen space sectors (which is estimated to account for ~2% of its GDP) is highlighted by the 2020 opening of the European Space Resources Innovation Centre, the 2016 founding of Luxembourg Space Agency and the SpaceResources.lu initiative. Etienne Schneider, former Minister of the Economy, recently joined the advisory board of Space Resources – which stresses the significance of space resources as being ‘available, valuable, part of the future space economy, enabling deeper space exploration and related technology having near-term terrestrial value’. More than US$200M was designated for investment in Luxembourg space start-ups, specifically space mining. Expanding beyond its first satellite launch 1988 and joining ESA as 17th member in 2005, Luxembourg is focusing on 5 space pillars for 21st Century space economy expansion by: promoting space resources, building regulatory frameworks, developing workforce talent, offering R&D support and enabling long-term investment. Several companies established in 2,585-square km Luxembourg include commercial lunar: ispace and Blue Horizon; commercial LEO: Kleos; and (now defunct) commercial asteroid: Planetary Resources and Deep Space Industries. (Image Credits: European Space Resources Innovation Centre, Luxembourg Space Agency)​
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Aug 2 – Oct 31 — SpaceBase, Planet,
Christchurch, New Zealand and Online: Space for Planet Earth Challenge; seeking innovative ideas from New Zealand, Australia, and Pacific Island residents at High School and University / Start-up level to address climate change through space technologies.

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Aug 2-6 — AIAA, Online / Washington DC: 2021 AIAA Aviation and Aeronautics Forum and Exposition (2021 AIAA AVIATION Forum).

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Aug 2 — Moon: 4.8° SE of Pleiades, 02:00; 5.6° N of Aldebaran, 19:00.

Continued From…

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May 24 – Aug 6 — Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Caltech, NASA, Pasadena CA and Online: JPL Planetary Science Mission Design School Session 1.

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Jun 1 – Aug 6 — Lunar and Planetary Institute,
Online / Houston TX: 2021 LPI Summer Intern Program in Planetary Science.

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Jun 7 – Aug 13 — Lunar and Planetary Institute,
Online / Houston TX: 2021 LPI Summer Internship.

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Jun 28 – Aug 27 — International Space University (ISU),
Granada, Spain: ISU Space Studies Program 2021.

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Jul 26 – Aug 1 — International Space Weather Initiative (ISWI), Scientific Committee on Solar-Terrestrial Physics (SCOSTEP),
Online: Iberian Space Science Summer School (i4S).

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Aug 1-6 — AOGS, Singaporeimagine, DFH Satellite Co, Singapore Office for Space Technology and Industry,
Online / Singapore: 18th Asia Oceania Geosciences Society (AOGS) Annual Meeting.

TUESDAY


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NET Aug 3 — United Launch Alliance, Boeing, Launch Atlas V / CST-100 Starliner 2nd Uncrewed Test Flight, SLC-41, Cape Canaveral SFS FL: Boeing planning to launch second uncrewed Starliner spacecraft to ISS for NASA Commercial Crew Program.

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Aug 3-5 — American Astronautical Society, NASA, ISS National Laboratory, Online / Washington DC: 2021 International Space Station Research and Development Conference.

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Aug 3 — Aten Asteroid 2020 PN1:
Near-Earth Flyby (0.025 AU)

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Aug 3 — Apollo Asteroid 2020 PP1:
Near-Earth Flyby (0.033 AU)

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Aug 3 — Apollo Asteroid 2021 NL4:
Near-Earth Flyby (0.033 AU)

WEDNESDAY


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NET Aug 4 — ISS, Boeing Starliner Docking,
~405-km LEO: Rendezvous and docking of Boeing STS-100 Starliner to ISS Harmony scheduled, live coverage available.

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Aug 4 — National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine,
Online / Washington DC: Planetary Science and Astrobiology Decadal Survey 2023-2032 – Panel on Small Solar System Bodies Meeting #15; and Panel on Venus Meeting #22.

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Aug 4-7 — National Science Foundation, National Radio Astronomy Observatory, et al, Online / Socorro NM: The Past, Present, and Future of the VLA: Celebrating 40 Years.

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Aug 4 — Moon: 1.13° N of M35 cluster, 16:00.

THURSDAY


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Aug 5 —
Curiosity, Mars Surface: Curiosity (Mars Science Laboratory) rover reaches 9 full years / enters 10th year of operations on Mars surface today; launched Nov 26, 2011 – landed Aug 5, 2012 (Pacific Daylight Time).

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Aug 5 — Juno, Jupiter Orbit: NASA craft reaches 10 full years in space today, having been launched in 2011 and reaching Jupiter on July 4, 2016; one-way transmission signal to Earth is 48 minutes, mission extended through September 2025.

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Aug 5 — Virgin Galactic, Online / Mojave CA: VG Q2 2021 Financial Results Telecom; 14:00 PDT.

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Aug 5 — Space Tourism Society, Online / Los Angeles CA: Space Tourism Conference Webinar #7: On the Rise: Earth-Based Space-Themed Experiences; 12:00 PDT.

FRIDAY


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Aug 6 — National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine,
Online / Washington DC: Planetary Science and Astrobiology Decadal Survey 2023-2032 – Panel on Mercury and the Moon Meeting #21.

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Aug 6 — Moon: 6.7° S of Castor, 05:00; 3.1° S of Pollux, 10:00.

SATURDAY


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Aug 7 — AIAA Los Angeles / Las Vegas Section,
Online: Countering Objections to Space Settlement; by Al Globus, Software Engineer at NASA Ames Research Center; 10:00 PDT.

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Aug 7-12 — Utah State University,
Online / Logan UT: 35th Small Satellite Conference.

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Aug 7 — Moon: 3.0° NNE of Beehive Cluster, 12:00.

SUNDAY


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Aug 8 — Solar Orbiter (SolO), Heliocentric Orbit: Dedicated to solar and heliospheric physics, ESA Solar Orbiter to perform 2nd Venus flyby today for gravity assist to reach its operational orbit (over next 3 years) with perihelion 0.28 AU and aphelion 0.91 AU, launched February 10, 2020.

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Aug 8-9 — Islamic New Year 1443 AH,
Worldwide: Islamic New Year 1 Muharram (1st day) to begin at sunset on 8 Aug; if young New Moon is not visible the beginning of the month and year may be delayed.

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Aug 8 — Moon: New Moon, 03:50.

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