July 5-11, 2021 / Vol 40, No 27 / Hawai`i Island, USA

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Roscosmos Gains Momentum with Nauka Launch to ISS, Luna 25 to Moon


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Roscosmos State Corporation is ready to launch Nauka ‘Science’ Multipurpose Laboratory Module with European Robotic Arm July 15 at 17:16 UTC from Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan via Proton rocket. Nauka weighs 20,300 kg, is 13-m long and 4.11-m diameter. It will replace Pirs module at ISS, docking July 23 at 16:28 to Zvezda ‘Star’ nadir port. The European Robotic Arm will help install solar arrays, inspect the station, support external payloads and Astronauts during EVAs. It has 2 symmetrical arm sections made of carbon fiber, ~5-m long. While also launching Humans, Progress cargo ships and satellites to space, Roscosmos, which has ~200,000 employees, is preparing for its 1st Moon mission since 1976. Luna 25 is planned to launch to Boguslawsky crater ~73° S on October 1 aboard Soyuz. The lander is expected to survive 1 year on the surface. It carries 30 kg of payloads / 9 science instruments including a laser mass-spectrometer, infrared spectrometer, retroreflector, cameras for local lunar environments and instruments to measure plasma in the exosphere, dust and micro-meteorites, thermal properties of regolith. With the success of these new technologies launching, upcoming commercial astronaut flights and planned collaboration with China for a lunar base – Roscosmos could do well in its upward trajectory by taking a leadership role in investigating Luna’s high ground at Malapert Mountain and quickening its development of Human Moon mission technology. (Image Credits: Roscosmos, NASA)

MONDAY


Highlights…
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Jul 5 — ISS,
~405-km LEO: Expedition 65 seven-member crew to facilitate undocking of Dragon CRS-22 this week, working on monthly cognitive / behavioral performance measurements, microbial tracking experiment, planning in-flight interviews with JAXA, Insider Magazine, Harlem Link Educational Group.

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Jul 5 — Tiangong Space Station,
~370-km LEO: Shenzhou 12 three-member crew in 3rd week of 3-month mission; Tianlian relay satellites in geostationary orbit to provide communications support during EVAs for Taikonauts in space, inside the station, and teams on Earth.

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Jul 5 —
NewSpace: York Space Systems to provide lunar comms satellite for IM-2 Moon South Pole lander; Astroscale working with new ground stations, its ELSA-d in LEO to demonstrate debris removal this summer; Starlink expects 500k worldwide users within year.

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Jul 5 — Solar System:
Mars surface images being analyzed for exploration paths, science from recent CNSA Tianwen-1 release; life could be found in Jupiter atmosphere, not in Venus clouds, according to new study; 100-200 km diameter Comet Bernardinelli-Bernstein expected to reach perihelion 2031.

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Jul 5 —
Galaxy: Electron-Capture Supernovae class may explain Crab Nebula origin; CHEOPS space telescope observes transit of 3rd exoplanet orbiting Nu2 Lupi; LIGO/KAGRA/Virgo detect 2 black hole – neutron star mergers in 10-day span; JWST now set for Oct 31 launch.

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Jul 5 — Global:
First uncrewed ISRO Gaganyaan mission now racing to launch December; Rocket Lab Mahia Launch Complex 2nd pad may be operational by Sep; Japan plans new spaceports, policy updates to promote space business.

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Jul 5 — USA:
Vulcan Centaur ready to fly per ULA CEO Tory Bruno; Air Force Research Laboratory Primer on Cislunar Space details future considerations; NASA considering adoption of 600 mSv career radiation limit for Astronauts.

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Jul 5 —
Hawai’i: PISCES reports funding questions and (hopefully temporary) closing; 5 asteroids being named after UH IfA Astronomers; evolution of smallest & most massive white dwarf being theorized with help from Mauna Kea and Haleakala data.

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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 (S), Saturn (S); Morning Planets: Mercury (ENE), Uranus (E), Neptune (SE).


July Space Month 2021: Lunar Conferences Meet as Race is on to Establish LEO Tourism


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Space history might be made in July once again, as Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson prepare to travel to space on craft built by the companies they founded, Blue Origin and Virgin Galactic, and Elon Musk’s SpaceX strives for Starship orbital flight. Branson may reach space (or within 10 km, depending on definition) with a July 11 launch window, flying on VSS Unity space plane. Bezos aims for launch July 20 on New Shepard – an auspicious date which marks the 52nd observance of humankind becoming a Multi World Species with Apollo 11 Moon landing – and is expected to clear the 100 km Karman line, an imaginary boundary demarcating space. Plans for human space travel farther into space are also in progress: 2021 Lunar Development Conference, the 2nd hosted by the Moon Society, is set for July 9-10. The inaugural LDC in 2020 drew 60+ speakers addressing 300+ attendees – this year featured presenters include Breakthrough Foundation Chairperson Pete Worden, Space Journalist Leonard David, Aerospace Corporation Principal Engineer Angie Bukley, and Paragon Space CEO Grant Anderson. NASA Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute holds its 12th annual LunGradCon forum July 15-16. With an emphasis on casual, supportive environment for early career academics and industry professionals to share work on Moon and small Solar System bodies, LunGradCon 2021 will focus on 4 research areas: Dust/Regolith & Plasma, Geology & Geophysics, Volatiles/Exospheres, Missions & Human Exploration. (Image Credits: NASA, Moon Society, Virgin Galactic, Blue Origin)
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Jul 5-8 — Hellenic Astronomical Society, Patras, Greece: 15th Hellenic Astronomical Conference.

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Jul 5-16 — Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (MIPT), P. N. Lebedev Physical Institute (LPI), Moscow, Russia: 16th Summer School of Modern Astrophysics (SOMA): Exoplanets – Formation and Evolution; re-set to 2022

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Jul 5 — Earth:
At aphelion, 1.0167 AU from the Sun, 14:00.

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Jul 5 — Moon:
At apogee (distance 405,330 km), 05:00; 5.0° SE of Pleiades, 18:00.

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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May 24 – Aug 20 — Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Caltech, NASA,
Pasadena CA and Online: JPL Planetary Science Mission Design School Session 2.

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

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

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Jul 4-9 — European Association of Geochemistry, Geochemical Society,
Online / Europe: Virtual: Goldschmidt2021 Conference.

TUESDAY


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Jul 6 — ISS, Release of Dragon CRS-22,
~405-km LEO: Commercial resupply cargo ship SpaceX Dragon CRS-22 to be released today with return science, experiments, cargo; undocking live coverage available 11:05 PDT.

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Jul 6 —
The Space Show, Online / Tiburon CA: Dr. David Livingston talks with Aaron Bateman, PhD candidate in the history science and technology at Johns Hopkins University.

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Jul 6 — Moon:
5.4° N of Aldebaran, 12:00.

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Jul 6 — Apollo Asteroid 2021 MC:
Near-Earth Flyby (0.008 AU)

WEDNESDAY


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Jul 7-8 — Hub Exhibitions Ltd, Farnborough International, UKSpace, ADS, UK Space Agency, ESA, et al, Farnborough, United Kingdom: Space-Comm Expo 2021.

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Jul 7-8 — National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine
, Online / Washington DC: Planetary Science and Astrobiology Decadal Survey 2023-2032 Meeting #16.

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Jul 7-16 — International School on AstroParticle Physics, Online / Vienna, Austria: School: Dark Matter – From Theory to Detection.

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Jul 7 — Moon:
3.7° N of Mercury, 18:00.

THURSDAY


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Jul 8 — 10th Observation STS-135 / Final Space Shuttle Launch,
Nationwide: While USA now has capability of launching humans to ISS with SpaceX Dragon Crew capsule, the 2011 Space Shuttle Atlantis last launch is commemorated as Virgin Galactic hopes to carry Founder Richard Branson suborbitally this July 11, Blue Origin New Shepard could fly Jeff Bezos July 20, and SpaceX Starship first orbital launch with splashdown near Hawai’i may occur this month.

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Jul 8 — Moon:
1.04° N of M35 cluster, 09:00.

FRIDAY


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Jul 9-10 — The Moon Society,
Online / Pasadena MD: 2021 Lunar Development Conference.

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Jul 9 — Moon:
New Moon, 15:17; 6.7° S of Castor, 22:00.

SATURDAY


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Jul 10 — Moon:
3.2° S of Pollux, 03:00.

SUNDAY


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Jul 11 — Virgin Galactic, Launch Unity 22,
Las Cruces NM: Launch window opens today for first crewed powered flight of SpaceShipTwo ‘Unity 22’ to reach suborbital space; will attempt to carry 6 people to the edge of Space: Pilots Dave Mackay and Michael Masucci, Crew Sir Richard Branson, Beth Moses, Colin Bennett, Sirisha Bandla.

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Jul 11 —
The Space Show, Online / Tiburon CA: Dr. David Livingston talks with Shey Sabripour the CEO of CesiumAstro.

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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 11 — Moon:
3.1° NNE of Beehive Cluster, 05:00.

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Jul 11 — Apollo Asteroid 2021 MC:
Near-Earth Flyby (1.001 AU)

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