May 17-23, 2021 / Vol 40, No 20 / Hawai`i Island, USA

S

SPC

Guest

2020s Space Access Technologies


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In the USA: the 3rd flight of Virgin Orbit LauncherOne affixed to Cosmic Girl is planned for June from Mojave Air and Space Port. ULA is preparing 5.4-m diameter Vulcan Centaur containing two BE-4 engines for inaugural launch carrying Astrobotic Peregrine to Moon likely late 2021 / early 2022. SpaceX Starship SN15 is set to become the first prototype flown twice, while SN16 is being stacked for flight. Blue Origin set July 20 for its first crewed flight of New Shepard, and is developing orbital New Glenn heavy-lift with 7 BE-4 engines for late 2022. NASA SLS Artemis 1 mission may launch November 4. Russia Angara 5 development is slowly moving forward after first test December 2014, second Dec 2020 and next launch planned for Q2 2021 from Plesetsk. China Long March 9 three-stage super-heavy rocket will be 9.5-m diameter, capable of carrying 50,000 kg to trans-lunar injection (including crewed Moon missions) and 44,000 kg to Mars. ESA is constructing 2 variants of Ariane 6, planning ‘Ariane 62’ launch Q2 2022, followed by ‘Ariane 64’. The JAXA-Mitsubishi expendable H3, capable of SSO and GTO deliveries, is to launch fiscal year 2021. India Small Satellite Launch Vehicle first successful test-fire was in March and first launch to LEO could be October 2021. Also in queue are VG SpaceShipTwo, SNC Dreamchaesr, Ad Astra Rocket Co VASIMR, space elevator concepts and space balloons. (Image Credits: VO, ULA, BO, SpaceX, NASA. Russian Ministry of Defense, CGTV, CNSA, ESA, JAXA, ISRO)

MONDAY


Highlights…
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May 17 — ISS,
~405-km LEO: Expedition 65 seven-member crew working with Antimicrobial Coatings touch tests to study contaminating other celestial bodies, HAM radio student activities, Cold Atom Lab Science Module, and cargo operations for Progress 75P, 77P and Cygnus NG-15.

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May 17 —
NewSpace: Xplore aims to build 20 spacecraft/yr in new 20,000ft2 Redmond WA facility; commercial demand for future ISS mission slots outpacing supply; Spacefund invested in 14 companies, now considering applicants to next fund, Blastoff.

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May 17 — Solar System:
Core diameter, axis orientation, precession rate and day-length variation of Venus determined; Perseverance Mars rover conducting geology reconnaissance, preparatory to sample collection; OSIRIS-REx in transit to Earth carrying samples of asteroid Bennu.

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May 17 —
Galaxy: Interstellar plasma wave turbulence measured by Voyager I; Hubble images youngest exoplanet yet, 5M years old, in ultraviolet allowing for estimation of growth; astrophotographer produces 100,000-pixel wide picture of MWG in 12-year project.

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May 17 — Global:
US$1.79 billion, 200-ton rocket Nuri is on track for October launch per KARI President; Australia Space Command to be led by Air Vice-Marshal Catherine Roberts; European GNSS Agency expands into European Union Agency for the Space Programme.

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May 17 — USA:
Astronaut Robert Cabana assumes position of NASA Associate Administrator today; additional human lunar lander contract(s) / funding could be awarded in conjunction with SpaceX bid; Firefly Aerospace works to launch Alpha rocket from Vandenberg by June, Blue Ghost lander by 2023 for CLPS.

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May 17 —
Hawai’i: Maui students win junior division of 2021 Hawaiʻi State Science and Engineering Fair for LD2 comet investigation;15-member Mauna Kea working group led by Chairman Mark Nakashima to report recommendations by end of year; SpaceX Starship 1st orbital test could splashdown ~100 km NW of Kauai.

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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: Mercury (WNW), Venus (WNW), Mars (WNW); Morning Planets: Jupiter (SE), Saturn (SE).


National and Commercial Space Efforts in Latin America on the Rise


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Paraguay is latest nation in region to send a craft to space – Guaranisat-1, deployed as part of the 4th Joint Global Multi-nation Birds Satellite mission via Japanese Experiment Module Small Satellite Orbital. While the 1.3 kg, 1U CubeSat is slight in mass and volume, its impact on the region may be significant, as the $400,000 investment is aimed at compiling epidemiological data on Chagas disease, a parasite affecting ~6.2M throughout Latin America. Perhaps inspired by China, India, and other emerging Space Powers and NewSpace ventures, a number of initiatives have been recently announced: Nicaragua plans National Ministry for Extraterrestrial Space Affairs, The Moon and Other Celestial Bodies. Costa Rica Space Radar is operational, built by LeoLabs of San Francisco, and Costa Rica Space Agency is under development. Brazil is aiming for first orbital launch from Alcântara Space Center (-2°18′) in the first half of 2022, having partnered with US-based Virgin Orbit, Hyperion Rocket Systems, Orion AST and C6 Launch of Canada. Argentine Space Agency is building launch capabilities within Port Belgrano Naval Base (-38°53′) for 28 m Light Useful Payloads Satellite Launcher Tronador 2 and making strides to collaborate with Mexico to create a unifying Latin American and Caribbean Space Agency. Guiana Space Centre (5°10′) remains the premier spaceport of Latin America, from which the world’s most advanced space telescope, JWST, is launching to Lagrange Point 2 NET October 31. (Image Credits: Soichi Noguchi via Twitter, AEB, GSC, ASC)​
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May 17 — ULA, Launch Atlas 5 / SBIRS GEO Flight 5, SLC-41, Cape Canaveral SFS FL: United Launch Alliance to launch Space Force fifth Space Based Infrared System Geosynchronous satellite.

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May 17 — National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine
, Online / Washington DC: Committee on Planetary Protection – Meeting # 5 on Mars Mission Bioburden Requirements; 13:30-17:30 EDT.

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May 17-21 — American Astronomical Society, Online / Washington DC: 52nd Annual Meeting of the Division for Dynamical Astronomy.

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May 17-21 — International Space University, SpaceBase, Online / New Zealand: ISU Executive Space Course.

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May 17 — Moon:
3.1° NNE of Beehive Cluster, 18:00.

Continued From…
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NET Early 2021 — ISRO, Launch SSLV / Demonstration Launch,
Satish Dhawan Space Center, Sriharikota, India: New Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV) to launch on first orbital test flight.

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NET May 8 — Long March 5B Core Stage Return to Earth: Uncontrolled re-entry of rocket core stage expecting to occur around this date, likely falling into international waters.

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NET May 15 — Rocket Lab, Launch Electron / “Running Out of Toes”,
Launch Complex 1, Mahia Peninsula, New Zealand: Electron to deploy 2 Earth-observation satellites for BlackSky; 10:00-12:05 UTC; will be 20th Electron launch overall and 2md of 3 planned ocean splashdown recovery missions.

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NLT May 15 — ISRO, Launch GSLV Mk.2 / GISAT 1,
Satish Dhawan Space Center, Sriharikota, India: Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mk. 2, designated GSLV-F10, to launch India first GEO Imaging Satellite.

TUESDAY


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May 18 — International Astronautical Federation, Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC),
Online: IAC 2021 Press Conference; providing updates for 72nd IAC being held Oct 25-29.

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May 18 — Royal Astronomical Society,
Online: Mega landslides on Mars, Earth, and the Moon; by Giulia Magnarini from University College London.

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May 18 —
The Space Show, Online / Tiburon CA: Dr. David Livingston talks with Chris Carberry from Explore Mars.

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May 18-20 — European Space Agency, Joint Research Centre of European Commission, European Union Satellite Centre, Romanian Space Agency
, Online / Europe: Big Data from Space 2021: From Insights to Foresight.

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May 18 — Apollo Asteroid 2021 JY5:
Near-Earth Flyby (0.009 AU)

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May 18 — Apollo Asteroid 2021 JR4:
Near-Earth Flyby (0.018 AU)

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May 18 — Apollo Asteroid 2021 JF3:
Near-Earth Flyby (0.030 AU)

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May 18 — Apollo Asteroid 478784 (2012 UV136):
Near-Earth Flyby (0.040 AU)

WEDNESDAY


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May 19 — AIAA, Washington DC: 2021 Aerospace Spotlight Awards Gala; reset to Aug 12.

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May 19 — Foundation For The Future
, Online / Washington DC: Unraveling the Complexity: Federal Appropriations and the Future of Space Development; reviewing key Fiscal Year 2022-2023 federal budget; with Kevin O’Connell (Office of Space Commerce), Tim Chrisman (FFTF), John Chwat (FFTF); 08:30-10:00 EDT.

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May 19 — National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine
, Online / Washington DC: Planetary Science and Astrobiology Decadal Survey 2023-2032 – Panel on Venus Meeting #17.

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May 19-20 — Royal Aeronautical Society
, Online / London, United Kingdom: UK in the 2020s – An Emerging Space Power; focusing on current and evolving market trends in the global space sector, international business ecosystems and areas UK can take commercial leadership; 09:00-17:00.

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May 19 — Moon:
At first quarter, 09:12; 4.7° NNE of Regulus, 12:00.

THURSDAY


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May 20 —
Akatsuki, Venus Orbit: JAXA first successful planetary orbiter imaging Venus atmosphere, monitoring weather changes reaches 11 full years / enters 12th year in space today, launched 2010.

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May 20 — CNSA, Launch Long March 7 / Tianzhou 2,
Wenchang Satellite Launch Center, Hainan, China: China Long March 7 to launch Tianzhou 2 resupply ship to dock with China Space Station.

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May 20 — Maryland Space Business Roundtable
, Online / New Windsor MD: Webinar Laser Communication Relay Demonstration (LCRD); program for laser comms testing over long distance in space managed by NASA Goddard Space Flight Center; 13:00 EDT.

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May 20 — Aerospace Corporation
, Online / El Segundo CA: The Space Policy Show: Challenges of the US Space Industrial Base; with David Eccles (Aerospace Corp), Brian Gabriel (Office of Industrial Policy), Jonny Pellish (NASA), Brad Clevenger (SolAero Technologies); 10:00 PDT.

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May 20 — Apollo Asteroid 2021 JE1:
Near-Earth Flyby (0.018 AU)

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May 20 — Amor Asteroid 2021 JJ3:
Near-Earth Flyby (0.044 AU)

FRIDAY


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May 21 — Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum
, Online / Washington DC: Lecture: The Charted Cosmos: A Discussion on Astrology and Astronomy; 19:00-20:00 EDT.

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May 21 — 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 # 17.

SATURDAY


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May 22 — Apollo Asteroid 2021 HJ2:
Near-Earth Flyby (0.041 AU)

SUNDAY


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May 23 —
The Space Show, Online / Tiburon CA: Dr. David Livingston talks with Dr. Shawna Pandya about Orbital Assembly Company.

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May 23 — Moon:
5.9° NNE of Spica, 09:00.

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May 23 — Apollo Asteroid 2021 JJ5:
Near-Earth Flyby (0.033 AU)

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