May 24-30, 2021 / Vol 40, No 21 / Hawai`i Island, USA

S

SpaceAge

Guest

Two Most Powerful Earth Nations Now Exploring Mars with Robots… As Equals?


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China National Space Administration joins NASA on the Red Planet with Tianwen-1 landing platform / Zhurong rover after a 10-month journey capped with 17 minutes of uncertainty as communications stretched across 320,000,000 km back to Earth. The 240-kg Zhurong rover, at 25.1°N 109.9°E, within 3,300-km long Utopia Planitia, is to share the planet over its nominal 90 Earth day (93 Mars sols) mission with a number of operational craft: 358-kg Insight Lander (4.5°N, 135.6°E), 899-kg Curiosity rover (4.6°S 137.4°E) and 1,025-kg Perseverance (18.4°N, 77.5°E). Zhurong’s fiery moniker (God of fire) is meant to “ignite the fire of interstellar exploration” per state media outlet CCTV. Mission objectives include investigation of Mars’ magnetosphere with MoMAG sensors; wind, sound, temperature and pressure with MCS climate station, and possible water deposits trapped underground with RoPeR subsurface radar – MRO data suggests a Lake Superior-sized (12,100 km3) volume of subterranean ice exists at higher latitudes (39-49°N) of Utopia Planitia. CNSA public relations took to Twitter to declare with levity “There is certainly life on #Mars! We’re the life of the party!”, as NASA Science Associate Administrator Thomas Zurbuchen congratulated CNSA Mars team, indicating “important contributions” will be valued by the global science community. China ambitious space plans continue with Wu Weiren announcing a 100-AU interstellar mission and Jupiter / Solar System Complete awareness. (Image Credits: CNSA, NASA, Google Earth)

MONDAY


Highlights…
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May 24 — ISS,
~405-km LEO: Expedition 65 seven-member crew to conduct in-flight events this week with USA and Europe students, NASA GSFC, People Magazine; preparing for Russia EVA #48 next week and working with sleep studies, 3D printing, and vascular aging experiment.

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May 24 —
NewSpace: Discovery Channel program Who Wants to Be an Astronaut? promises 8-day ISS trip to winner; Space Applications Services of Belgium leads molten electrolysis R&D for Moon oxygen mining; Sierra Space partnering with Redwire on in-space manufacturing business plan.

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May 24 — Solar System:
Solar Orbiter instrument SoloHI begins imaging coronal mass ejections; Dragon XL could be used as lunar orbit habitation module in lieu of Gateway; VLT in Chile reveals heavy metal vapors are contained in comets.

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May 24 —
Galaxy: Asteroseismological investigation of stars once part of Gaia Sausage indicates similar 10 Gya age to MWG; black hole accretion rates constant regardless of size, per Space / Ground / ISS-based x-ray and radio observations; Large High-Altitude Air Shower Observatory measures 1.4 PeV cosmic ray.

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May 24 — Global:
Japanese Billionaire Yusaku Maezawa, USA Actor Tom Cruise, Russia Actor Yulia Peresild racing to be next ISS tourist; South Korea to join Artemis Moon coalition, Russia plans at least another 25 launches from Guiana Space Centre.

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May 24 — USA:
NASA Administrator Nelson asks Congress for US$11B, $5.3B specifically for HLS; Kayla Barron to serve as mission specialist in SpaceX Crew-3; JWST undergoing final preparations for shipment to French Guiana in August.

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May 24 —
Hawai’i: HI Star STEM program featured on Xploration Awesome Planet television show; UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples requires Native Hawaiian consent for Big Telescope to proceed, per Canadian Astronomical Society; FFC document indicates Starship / Super Heavy orbital test from Texas to Hawaii nominal duration 90 minutes.


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NET May 24 — Tianwen-1 Zhurong Rover Deployment, Mars Surface: China Tianwen-1 Lander to at Utopia Planitia 25.1° N 109.9° E to deploy Zhurong rover possibly this week.

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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 (W); Morning Planets: Jupiter (SE), Saturn (SE).


ILOA Update: Aiming for HQ on Earth and Observatories on the Moon


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International Lunar Observatory Association (ILOA Hawai’i) of Kamuela is launching its new website this week and initiating a Headquarters Campaign to find a new home – on Earth, while preparing for the ILO-X precursor lunar landing mission NET January 2022. Along with goals to advance 21st Century Galaxy education, science and exploration, ILOA has a vested interest in ensuring Hawaii’s position as a global leader in astronomy and space science for the next 100 years throughout the Solar System. Working on its 5 Moon missions as a non-profit founded 2007, an ILOA Global Headquarters and Research Center would allow for modern science and education activities expanding the potential of our Hawaii Island communities, and providing valuable resources for local students and educators. Complementing the world class suite of observatories and science coming from Mauna Kea, ILOA has contracted for ILO-X instruments to launch and land on the Moon near side early 2022 aboard an Intuitive Machines Nova-C lander via SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, while developing more advanced ILO-1 and ILO-2 payloads for long-term astronomy, Earth observation, local lunar landscape and communications for 2022-24 time frame. ILOA hopes to establish its Global Headquarters on Hawaii Island and is currently seeking contributions to develop the HQ on ~1 acre site in Kamuela, host to CFHT and Keck Observatory facilities. (Image Credits: SPC, ILOA)​
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May 24 — NASA Office of Small Business Programs, Online: Artemis Supplier and Northeastern Pennsylvania Small Business Industry Day; with NASA Administrator Bill Nelson, Rep. Matt Cartwright and Glenn Delgado.

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May 24-28 — European Space Astronomy Centre (ESAC)
, Online / Madrid, Spain: XMM-Newton 2021 Science Workshop – A High-Energy View of Exoplanets and their Environments.

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May 24-27 — International Astronomical Union – Commission C2, Macquarie University,
Online / Sydney, Australia: IAU Symposium: Communicating Astronomy with the Public 2021 (CAP2021).

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May 24-26 — Princeton University, Cornell University, Penn State, Yale University, Online: 6th Emerging Researchers in Exoplanet Science Symposium (ERES).

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

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

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May 24 — Apollo Asteroid 2021 KL:
Near-Earth Flyby (0.007 AU)

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May 24 — Apollo Asteroid 2021 FN4:
Near-Earth Flyby (0.015 AU)

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May 24 — Apollo Asteroid 2021 JJ7:
Near-Earth Flyby (0.015 AU)

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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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 25 —
The Space Show, Online / Tiburon CA: Dr. David Livingston talks with Lisa La Bonte about UAE space development, USA relations, Arab Youth Venture Foundation.

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May 25 — The African Astronomical Society (AFAS), International Astronomical Union, Online / Africa: Africa Day; AFAS invites 2-3 minute submissions of “stories, traditions and songs about the Moon” to be shared with world.

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May 25-26 — International Space Elevator Consortium, Los Angeles CA: Space Elevator Conference 2021; reset to Sep 2-4.

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May 25-27 — Explore Mars, Inc., Online / Washington DC: Virtual Mars Innovation Forum (Mars-IF).

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May 25 — Moon:
At perigee (distance 357,304 km), 15:46.

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May 25 — Apollo Asteroid 478784 (2012 UV136):
Near-Earth Flyby (0.010 AU)

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May 25 — Apollo Asteroid 2021 HD3:
Near-Earth Flyby (0.031 AU)

WEDNESDAY


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May 26 — SpaceX, Launch Falcon 9 / Starlink V1.0-L28,
SLC-40 Cape Canaveral SFS FL: SpaceX Falcon 9 to launch 29th batch of ~60 satellites.

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May 26 — Moon Village Association, Online / Vienna, Austria: Global Expert Group on Sustainable Lunar Activities (GEGSLA) 4th Meeting; 15:00 CET.

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May 26 — Global Networking Forum
, Online / Vienna, Austria: Which initiatives are taken worldwide to best support the start-ups ecosystem? 14:00 CEST.

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May 26 — NASA, Online / Washington DC: Media Briefing on Science Launching to Space Station on Next SpaceX Commercial Resupply Flight.

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May 26 — Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum
, Online / Washington DC: Lecture: Dragonfly – In Situ Exploration of Saturn’s Moon Titan, an Organic Ocean World; 19:00-20:00 EDT.

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May 26-27 — National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine
, Online / Washington DC: Planetary Science and Astrobiology Decadal Survey 2023-2032 Meeting #14.

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May 26-28 — Sichuan Jiuzhou Satellite Navigation Investment and Development Co., Sichuan Academy of Aerospace Technology, et al, Nanchang, China: 12th China Satellite Navigation Conference in 2021 (CSNC2021).

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May 26 —Total Eclipse of Moon:
Regions seeing at least some parts of the eclipse: South / East Asia, Australia, Much of North America, South America, Pacific, Atlantic, Indian Ocean, Antarctica; full lunar eclipse begins 01:11:26, ends 01:25:54.

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May 26 — Moon:
Full (Super Flower Blood Moon), 01:14; 4.6° NNE of Antares, 10:00.

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May 26 — Mars:
8.7° S of Castor, 16:00.

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May 26 — Apollo Asteroid 2021 JG1:
Near-Earth Flyby (0.006 AU)

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May 26 — Amor Asteroid 2021 JN7:
Near-Earth Flyby (0.048 AU)

THURSDAY


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May 27— Roscosmos State Corporation, Launch Soyuz / OneWeb 27,
Vostochny Cosmodrome, Russia: Soyuz rocket to launch 36 satellites for OneWeb low-latency broadband communications.

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May 27 — CNSA, Launch Long March 3B / Fengyun 4B,
Xichang Satellite Launch Center, China: China to launch Long March 3B for Fengyun 4B geostationary weather satellite.

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May 27 — AIAA Los Angeles / Las Vegas Section
, Online: Lecture: The Challenges of Landing Perseverance on Mars, by Allen Chen of JPL and ‘Recognition of AIAA LA-LV Members of 25, 40, 60, and 70 years of Membership’ by Aldo Martinez and Jeff Puschell of AIAA LA-LV.

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May 27 — Apollo Asteroid 2021 KP:
Near-Earth Flyby (0.004 AU)

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May 27 — Apollo Asteroid 2021 JX2:
Near-Earth Flyby (0.015 AU)

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May 27 — Apollo Asteroid 2021 KR:
Near-Earth Flyby (0.030 AU)

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May 27 — Apollo Asteroid 2021 JF1:
Near-Earth Flyby (0.035 AU)

FRIDAY


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May 28 — European Space Agency, Online / Europe: ESA stops accepting astronaut applications today.

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May 28-29, Jun 5 — Space Generation Advisory Council, Online / Vienna, Austria: 5th European Space Generation Workshop: Space for Earth and Humanity.

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May 28 — Mercury:
0.40° SE of Venus, 18:00.

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May 28 — Amor Asteroid 2021 JP3:
Near-Earth Flyby (0.030 AU)

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May 28 — Aten Asteroid 2021 KA :
Near-Earth Flyby (0.034 AU)

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May 28 — Apollo Asteroid 2021 JN6:
Near-Earth Flyby (0.035 AU)

SATURDAY


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May 29 — Mercury:
7.6° W of M35 cluster, 06:00.

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May 29 — Apollo Asteroid 2021 KQ:
Near-Earth Flyby (0.020 AU)

SUNDAY


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May 30 — Arianespace, Launch Ariane 5 / Star One D2 & Eutelsat Quantum,
Kourou, French Guiana: Arianespace Ariane 5 ECA rocket, designated VA254, to launch Star One D2 and Eutelsat Quantum communications satellites.

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May 30 – Jun 6 — Japan Geosciences Union
, Online / Tokyo, Japan: Japan Geoscience Union Meeting 2021.

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May 30 — Moon:
4.1° SE of Saturn, 18:00.

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May 30 — Apollo Asteroid 2021 KM1:
Near-Earth Flyby (0.012 AU)

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