August 9-15, 2021 / Vol 40, No 32 / Hawai`i Island, USA

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SpaceAge

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Cygnus NG-16 S.S. Ellison Onizuka Launching on Antares to ISS


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The latest Northrop Grumman Cygnus resupply craft bears the name of Ellison Onizuka, first Asian American and first Hawai’i local to travel to space, who perished in the Challenger disaster on January 28, 1986. The 17th Cygnus overall and 5th of CRS-2, S.S. Ellison Onizuka is to fly on a 230+ configured Antares rocket (two RD-181 engine core stage, Castor 30XL upper stage) launching from Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport Pad 0A on Wallops Island, Virginia Aug 10, 21:55 UTC. Up to 3,729 kg of supplies and science equipment are to be delivered, including Prototype Infrared Payload, a Space Development Agency satellite tracking experiment. Ellison logged 1,700+ hours flying experimental craft for the USAF prior to joining astronaut class of 1978, spending 75 hours in space as Mission Specialist on Space Shuttle Discovery STS-51C in 1985, orbiting Earth 48 times. Onizuka legacy is also represented by the naming of Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport at Keāhole, the Astronaut Ellison S. Onizuka Memorial, and as the intended name of an envisioned commercial spaceport on Hawaii Island, championed by former Governor John Waiheʻe, yet to be realized. In a heartfelt video homage, Northrop Program Director Kendall Nii quotes Onizuka, “Every generation has the obligation to … look at new worlds to look out from a higher plateau than the last generation”, words which appear on the final page of USA passports. (Image Credits: NASA, Northrop Grumman)

MONDAY


Highlights…
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Aug 9 — ISS,
~405-km LEO: Expedition 65 seven-member crew continue work on InSpace-4 space-manufacturing study, Megan McArthur to grapple Cygnus NG-16 resupply Aug 12, Mark Vande Hei and Akihiko Hoshide readying spacesuits and tools for upcoming Port-4 truss structure EVA (4th iROSA solar array installation EVA).

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Aug 9 — Tiangong Space Station,
~370-km LEO: Shenzhou 12 three-member crew preparing facilities for 1,000 approved experiments including particle detector and centrifuge for 49 medical tests.

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Aug 9 —
NewSpace: Planet books SpaceX launches through end of 2025 including SuperDoves, Carbon Mapper; Intuitive Machines / ASU lunar hopper progressing with $46M NASA award; ‘Clair de Lune’ from Artemis Music Entertainment and Micah Johnson artwork transmitted to ISS to be minted and sold as NFTs.

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Aug 9 — Solar System:
SpaceLink of San Diego to perform technology demonstration of 10Gbps optical ISS / ground communication; Caltech Space-based Solar Power Project close to prototype launch after 8 years, $100M funding.

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Aug 9 —
Galaxy: VLT observations show 4th and possibly 5th non-transiting planet in habitable zone around L 98-59, researchers infer water presence.

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Aug 9 — Global:
39,019 m2 Shanghai Astronomy Museum with design inspired by 3-body problem now open; ispace of Japan raises $46M for Missions 2/3; ISRO to launch EOS-03 GEO imaging satellite Aug 12, 14th GSLV flight overall.

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Aug 9 — USA:
SpaceX preparing for orbital test of Starship ‘Ship 20’ / Super Heavy rocket; Marshall Smith to head Nanoracks commercial space station division; Boeing Engineers troubleshooting Starliner propulsion valve issue in Vertical Integration Facility.

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Aug 9 —
Hawai’i: Researchers at UH-Manoa utilizing TESS and GAIA data identify 158,505 sonically pulsating red giants; Keck Planet Imager & Characterizer observes rotation speeds of 3/4 super-Jupiter exoplanets in HR 8799.


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Aug 9 — Parker Solar Probe,
Heliocentric Orbit: Spacecraft reaches 9th perihelion today.

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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 (SE), Saturn (SE); Morning Planets: Uranus (E), Neptune (SSE).


American Institute of Aeronautics & Astronautics Forges Ahead with Dynamic Events


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A full slate of conferences organized by AIAA, the preeminent USA aerospace engineering society representing 30,000+ professionals, born of a merger between American Interplanetary Society and Institute of the Aerospace Sciences, led by (L-R) President Basil Hassan, President-Elect Laura J. McGill, and Executive Director Daniel L. Dumbacher, are set for the week ahead. Propulsion and Energy Forum is to present 600+ technical papers covering 20+ topics with special focus on Air-Breathing Engines August 9, Space Systems August 10, and Future of Energy August 11; featuring input from leaders at NASA, JAXA, Blue Origin, Ball Aerospace and Pratt & Whitney. Astrodynamics Specialist Conference Aug 9-12 is co-hosted with American Astronautical Society (AAS) and chaired jointly by Diane Davis of a.i. solutions / AAS and Marcus Holzinger of University of Colorado / AIAA. In addition to 30 sessions over 3 days on the latest developments in orbital mechanics and spacecraft trajectories, gather.town virtual platform will be utilized for socials. Aug 12, Aerospace Spotlight Awards Gala is to recognize 2020 / 2021 honorees including Goddard Astronautics Award recipients Robert Cabana (KSC, 2020) and Ellen Pawlikowski (USAF, 2021). AIAA Los Angeles and Las Vegas sections co-host Space Philosophy Gathering 2021 on Aug 14, with ruminations on profound spaceflight-based perspective change from Frank White, originator of term ‘Overview Effect’, protection of Moon heritage sites by NSS President Michelle Hanlon, and sky watching from self-taught astronomer David Levy. (Image Credits: AIAA, AAS)​
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Aug 9 — Solar Orbiter (SolO),
Venus Flyby: ESA / NASA craft to perform second Venus flyby with 7,995 km closest approach at 04:42 UTC, bringing orbit closer to Sun / moving out of ecliptic plane.

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Aug 9-11 — AIAA, Online / Denver CO: AIAA Propulsion and Energy Forum 2021.

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Aug 9-12 — American Astronautical Society, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics,
Online / Big Sky MT: 2021 AAS/AIAA Astrodynamics Specialist Conference.

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Aug 9 — Moon: 4.5° NNE of Regulus, 06:00.

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Aug 9 — Mars: 4.0° SSW of Moon, 18:00.

Continued From…

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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.

TUESDAY


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Aug 10 — Northrop Grumman, Launch Antares / NG-16, Pad 0A, Wallops Island VA: Launch of Cygnus cargo freighter to ISS dubbed ‘S.S. Ellison Onizuka‘ honoring first Hawai’i / first Asian-American Astronaut; launch 17:56 EDT.

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Aug 10 — SpaceX, Launch Falcon 9 / Starlink V1.25-L28,
SLC-40 Cape Canaveral SFS FL: SpaceX Falcon 9 to launch 28th batch of ~60 satellites.

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Aug 10 — BepiColombo,
Venus Flyby: European Space Agency / JAXA Mercury Planetary Orbiter (MPO) and Mercury Magnetospheric Orbiter (dubbed Mio ‘waterway or fairway’) to perform its second Venus flyby today on its trajectory to reach Mercury 2025 after being launched 2018.

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Aug 10 — Bournemouth Natural Science Society, Institute of Physics
, Online / United Kingdom: Lecture: Astronomical Events That Have Affected Human History; by Graham Bryant, 19:30.

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Aug 10-12 — University of Colorado, SwRI, Ball Aerospace,
Boulder CO and Online: Titan Through Time 5; at LASP Space Science Building.

WEDNESDAY


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Aug 11 — British Interplanetary Society, Scotland / Online: Incoming Asteroid – what could we do about it?; featuring author Duncan Lunan, 19:00 BST.

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Aug 11 — Venus: 3.9° SSW of Moon, 01:00.

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Aug 11 — Mercury: 1.08° NNE of Regulus, 23:00.

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Aug 11 — Apollo Asteroid 2012 BA35: Near-Earth Flyby (0.018 AU)

THURSDAY


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Aug 12 —
Parker Solar Probe, Heliocentric Orbit: NASA craft to come within 6.16M km of the Sun, well within the orbit of Mercury and ~7 times closer than any spacecraft has before – reaches 2nd full year / enters 3rd year in Space today; launched Aug 12, 2018.

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Aug 12 — ISS, NG-16 Rendezvous and Capture, ~405-km LEO: Cygnus cargo freighter dubbed ‘S.S. Ellison Onizuka‘ to arrive at ISS, Canadarm2 robotic arm capture scheduled at 18:10 EDT, live coverage available.

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Aug 12 — ISRO, Launch Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle-F10 / EOS-03, Satish Dhawan Space Center, Sriharikota India: Earth observation satellite previously known as GISAT to image Indian subcontinent every 30 minutes at 42 m resolution from geosynchronous equatorial orbit, 00:13 GMT.

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Aug 12 — AIAA, Online / Washington DC: 2021 Aerospace Spotlight Awards Gala, 17:00 EDT.

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Aug 12 — Perseid meteors: Appearing to radiate from constellation Perseus, shower can produce up to 110 meteors per hour; peak 02:00.

FRIDAY


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Aug 13-14 — Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, Online / Washington DC: Soar Together @ Air and Space: Favorite Family Activities, live and interactive events.

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Aug 13 — Moon: 5.5° NNE of Spica, 05:00.

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Aug 13 — Apollo Asteroid 2021 OS1: Near-Earth Flyby (0.043 AU).

SATURDAY


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Aug 14 — Mt Tam Astronomy Program, San Francisco Amateur Astronomers, Wonderfest, Online / San Francisco CA: Unveiling the Dark Universe with the Dark Energy Survey; by Alexandra Amon, Postdoctoral Researcher (Kavli Fellow) at Stanford University, 19:30 PDT.

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Aug 14 — International Space Elevator Consortium, Online / Seattle: ISEC Annual Members Meeting, 15:00 UTC.

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Aug 14 — AIAA
, Online / Las Vegas NV & Los Angeles CA: AIAA LA-LV Space Philosophy Gathering 2021; 10:00 PDT.

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Aug 14 — Apollo Asteroid 2016 BQ: Near-Earth Flyby (0.011 AU).

SUNDAY


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Aug 15 — Arianespace, Launch Vega / Pléiades Neo 4, Kourou, French Guiana: Vega rocket, designated VV19, to launch Pléiades Neo 4 Earth observation satellite for Airbus; launch 21:50 EDT.

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Aug 15-21 — Meteoritical Society, Chicago IL and Online: 84th Annual Meeting of the Meteoritical Society.

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Aug 15 — Moon: At first quarter, 05:20.

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