July 19-25, 2021 / Vol 40, No 29 / Hawai`i Island, USA

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SPC

Guest

Blue Origin to Attempt Its First Crewed Spaceflight Beyond 100 Km


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The next space-enterprise billionaire taking a far-out ride is Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos, planning July 20, 08:00 CDT New Shepard launch from Launch Site One in west Texas to >100 km Kármán line. The unpiloted, 10-minute flight, providing ~3 minutes of weightlessness, will see the single-stage booster fire its BE-3 engine for ~110 seconds, separate near peak altitude and attempt to land on Earth, while crew capsule descends via parachute / retro rocket / crushable bumper systems. The newly dubbed Astronauts would be Jeff and Mark Bezos, Mercury 13 aviator Wally Funk, and runner-up auction winner Oliver Daemen. Under FAI definition of Space – Wally Funk would become the 65th woman and the oldest person to have flown in Space at 82; and Oliver will be the youngest at 18. The challenges of reaching Space vs. getting to orbit include an energy increase of roughly of 32 times; a fact not lost on Blue Origin which has been working on New Glenn 2-stage rocket since 2012; nor on SpaceX which currently carries people to ISS, plans its first orbital Starship test possibly in July, and crewed lunar tourism flight NET 2023. This will be the 16th overall flight for the VTVL New Shepard, and its launch window approved by FAA will remain open until the end of August. (Image Credits: Blue Origin, NASA, Scarsdale10583)

MONDAY


Highlights…
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Jul 19 — ISS,
~405-km LEO: Expedition 65 seven-member crew working with Cold Atom Lab Slice-7 Removal and Replacement, tardigrade (water bear) cells, Crew Dragon maintenance checks; preparing Progress 77P and Pirs module for undocking this Wednesday.

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Jul 19 — Tiangong Space Station,
~370-km LEO: Shenzhou 12 three-member crew continue core module maintenance and assembly, cargo transfers for another ~2 months; next crew could launch in October from Jiuquan.

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Jul 19 —
NewSpace: Blue Origin to donate US$200M to Smithsonian NASM, and $19M to space non-profits; ispace of Japan begins assembly of lunar lander flight model for 2022 launch.

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Jul 19 — Solar System:
Juno heads into perijove 35 – which would have been end of mission without 2nd extension into 2025; Zhurong Mars rover surpasses 450-meter distance in Utopia Planitia, expected to operate at least 1 more month.

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Jul 19 —
Galaxy: Hubble to be switched to backup hardware, hopefully restoring computer functionality; first-ever detection of isotopes in exoplanet (300 LY away) may aid planet formation understanding; JWST in final testing phase.

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Jul 19 — Global:
India advancing Gaganyaan human mission tech with 3rd successful test of Vikas engine; Thailand approves Space bill toward creation of national / commercial space policies; COSPAR releases revised Planetary Protection Policy for lunar surface missions.

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Jul 19 — USA:
NASA distributing 3.5M to Minority Serving Institutions over 2 years; $400 total may be granted to 2 to 4 proposals for Commercial Space Station studies; Orion capsule being fitted with launch abort system, readying for Artemis 1 flight.

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Jul 19 —
Hawai’i: Local Astronaut / first Asian-American in Space to be honored with Cygnus NG-16 craft dubbed ‘S.S. Ellison Onizuka‘; construction of Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope on Maui may be completed in Nov.

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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 (WNW), Mars (WNW), Jupiter (ESE), Saturn (ESE); Morning Planets: Mercury (ENE), Uranus (E), Neptune (SE).


2021 Space Exploration Day, July 20 Marks Next Phase in Moon-Mars-Beyond Advancement


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Still on the cusp of 2020s decade, hope rises for the Artemis generation, NewSpace industry, international partners and numerous nations making their marks in Space legacy. While humankind continues its work to overcome the Covid-19 ‘alien’ virus with perseverance Ad Astra to the Stars, this July 20 will be the 52nd observation of Apollo 11 first human Moon landing, and 45th observation of USA Mars Lander craft reaching the red planet. Meeting online July 20-23 is 2021 Joint NASA Exploration Science Forum & European Lunar Symposium, sponsored by NASA, SSERVI, Ames Research Center, Open University. It will have ~30 sessions, awards and networking, 124 Posters and >160 speakers including experts Carle Pieters, James Head, Noah Petro, Gregory Schmidt, Mahesh Anand, David Kring and Jack Burns. The 10 remaining Apollo Moonworkers could see the first steps on the Moon by a woman and person of color by 2024 during Artemis 3 mission to the unexplored Moon South Pole. As International Moon Village, Artemis Base Camp and Russia-China International Lunar Research Station concepts take shape, being prepared for flight Oct 1 is Luna-25, Capstone lunar orbiter Oct 20 and SLS / Orion Artemis 1 on Nov 22 carrying 13 CubeSats. Also exploring outward this year will be Lucy 8-asteroid mission, James Webb, Double-Asteroid Redirection Test impactor, and numerous human spaceflights. (Image Credits: Cici Koenig / Caltech Graphics Group, NASA, Lockheed Martin, SSERVI, ESF & ELS)
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Jul 19 — National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine
, Online / Washington DC: Foundation for Assessing the Health and Vitality of the NASA Science Mission Directorate’s Research Communities Meeting #4.

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Jul 19-23 — NASA Exoplanet Science Institute, JPL, Caltech, NASA, Pasadena CA: 2021 Sagan Summer Workshop: Circumstellar Disks and Young Planets.

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Jul 19-23 — NASA Network for Life Detection (NFoLD) and Nexus for Exoplanet System Science (NExSS), Online: Standards of Evidence for Life Detection Community Workshop.

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Jul 19 — Apollo Asteroid 2021 NX1:
Near-Earth Flyby (0.017 AU)

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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Jul 11-27 — Lāhainā Noon:
As the Sun passes through the Zenith, directly overhead tropic locations, vertical objects cast no shadows; lā hainā means ‘cruel sun’; Hawaii Islands dates / times available.

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Jul 12-23 — International Union of Pure and Applied Physics, Online / Berlin, Germany: 37th International Cosmic Ray Conference (ICRC 2021).

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Jul 18-23 — Royal Astronomical Society, University of Bath, Online / Bath, United Kingdom: United Kingdom National Astronomy Meeting 2021.

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Jul 18-24 — Rencontres du Vietnam, Quy Nhon, Vietnam: 17th Rencontres du Vietnam: Cosmology.

TUESDAY


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Jul 20 — Blue Origin, First Crewed New Shepard Flight,
Van Horn TX: First planned crewed suborbital flight with 4 passengers after 15 uncrewed test missions: Jeff Bezos, Mark Bezos, Wally Funk, unnamed auction winner; live coverage available, 08:00 CDT.

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Jul 20 — Apollo 11 52nd Observation, Nationwide USA / Global: First Human mission to land on Moon in 1969; 1st steps by humans on another World taken by Commander Neil Armstrong and Lunar Module Pilot Buzz Aldrin; Command Module piloted by Michael Collins.

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Jul 20 — Viking 1 Mars Lander 45th Observation, Nationwide USA / Global: First USA spacecraft to successfully land on another planet; originally scheduled for July 4, landing was delayed until this day in 1976 due to rough landing site.

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Jul 20 — Space Exploration Day, Global: Widely observed as one the greatest achievements in Human History, proposed International Holiday to celebrate the first people walking on the Moon / another celestial body.

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Jul 20 — W. M. Keck Observatory, Rob and Terry Ryan Foundation, Online / Kamuela HI: Astronomy Talk: Cosmic Fireworks; by Mansi Kasliwal, Assistant Professor, California Institute of Technology, 17:00 HST.

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Jul 20-23 — NASA, SSERVI, Ames Research Center, Open University, et al, Online: 2021 Joint NASA Exploration Science Forum & European Lunar Symposium.

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Jul 20 — Moon: 4.5° NNE of Antares, 05:00.

WEDNESDAY


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Jul 21 — ISS, Progress 77P and Pirs Module Undocking,
~405-km LEO: Making way for new Nauka module, scheduled release of Pirs and Porgress 77P to occur today for Earth reentry disintegration; undocking at 09:17 EDT, live coverage available.

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Jul 21 — Washington Post,
Online / Washington DC: NASA Administrator Bill Nelson to discuss ‘The Path Forward: New Frontiers in Space‘ live coverage available, 12:00 EDT.

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Jul 21 — Australia Telescope National Facility Colloquium, Online: Colloquium: A High-Speed All-Sky Monitor for FRBs and Technosignatures; with Danny Price and Marcin Sokolowski, 15:00-16:00.

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Jul 21 — Moon: At perigee (distance 36,4510.53 km), 00:24.

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Jul 21 — Venus: 1.09° NNE of Regulus, 18:00.

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Jul 21 — Amor Asteroid 2021 NB6:
Near-Earth Flyby (0.006 AU)

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Jul 21 — Apollo Asteroid 2021 NO2:
Near-Earth Flyby (0.018 AU)

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Jul 21 — Apollo Asteroid 2021 NO3:
Near-Earth Flyby (0.024 AU)

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Jul 21 — Apollo Asteroid 2014 BP43:
Near-Earth Flyby (0.037 AU)

THURSDAY


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Jul 22 — Astronomical Society of the Pacific
, Online: ASP Summer Symposium featuring Lecture: A Cosmic Perspective: Searching for Aliens, Finding Ourselves; by Jill Tarter, 17:00 PDT.

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Jul 22 — JPL, NASA, Caltech, Online / Pasadena CA: von Karman Lecture Series: Science + Art: Picturing Discovery; with NASA-JPL representatives Morgan Cable (Ocean World Astrochemist), Joby Harris (Visual Strategist), Brian White and Nikki Wyrick (Public Services Office); 19:00 PDT.

FRIDAY


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Jul 23 —
Chandra X-ray Observatory, HEO: NASA spacecraft in extended mission phase reaches 22nd full year / begins 23rd year of operations in Space; instruments able to detect X-ray sources 100 times fainter than any previous X-ray telescope; launched 1999.

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Jul 23 — CASC, Launch Long March 2C / Yaogan 30-10,
Xichang Satellite Launch Center, China: Next batch of classified remote sensing satellites Yaogan-30 satellites be launched with other payloads.

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Jul 23 — HAPP Centre, Institute of Physics, Online: Lecture: The Martian – Science Fiction and Science Fact; by Jim Green (NASA Chief Scientist), 17:00 BST.

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Jul 23 — Mercury: 9.3° S of Castor, 11:00; at perihelion, 0.3075 AU from Sun, 15:00.

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Jul 23 — Moon: Full Buck Moon, 16:36.

SATURDAY


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Jul 24 — Moon:
3.7° SE of Saturn, 09:00.

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Jul 24 — Mercury:
5.7° S of Pollux, 18:00.

SUNDAY


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Jul 25 —
The Space Show, Online / Tiburon CA: Dr. David Livingston talks with Kelly Weinersmith about space tourism.

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Jul 25 — Moon:
3.9° SE of Jupiter, 19:00.

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