September 13-19, 2021 / Vol 40, No 37 / Hawai`i Island, USA

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SPC

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Inspiration4 Heralds New Era of Commercial Human Spaceflight in LEO


World’s first all-civilian orbital mission is slated to launch from Kennedy Space Center NET Sep 15 on Crew Dragon Resilience capsule (previously flown by Crew-1 to ISS), powered by Falcon 9 booster B1062 (flown twice). The 4-member crew is to achieve speeds in excess of 29,000 kph (Mach 23+) while in 540-km apogee orbit over ~72 hours. Medical monitoring will be conducted by Translational Research Institute for Space Health as data is collected with science instruments which fill Crew Dragon’s 165-kg cargo hold and spectacular views are taken from a new Cupola-style plexiglass dome in lieu of docking adaptor. Funded and imagined by Jared Isaacman, founder / CEO of Shift4 Payments, and made reality by SpaceX, Inspiration4 seeks to raise $200M for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital while promoting ‘Mission Pillars’ of Leadership, Prosperity, Hope, and Generosity. Pilot Sian Proctor (Prosperity) also promotes educational outreach via Space2inspire program and Just, Equitable, Diverse, and Inclusive (J.E.D.I.) space values system. Chief Medical Officer Hayley Arceneaux (Hope) is a pediatric cancer survivor; now a practicing Physician’s Assistant. Arceneaux is set to become the youngest American to reach space, and the first with a prosthesis. Mission Specialist Christopher Sembroski (Generosity) was given his seat by an Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University classmate who won a promotional drawing. Inspiration4 is to land via Atlantic splashdown after ~ 48 revolutions. (Image Credits: SpaceX)

MONDAY


Highlights…
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Sep 13 — ISS,
~405-km LEO: Expedition 65 seven-member crew continue ocular and botany experiments while processing health implications of antibiotic-resistent bacteria in water supply; ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet amazes world with innovative astrophotography.

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Sep 13 — Tiangong Space Station,
~370-km LEO: Shenzhou 12 three-member crew may return to Earth midweek after 90-day mission; China Space Station Scientific Innovation Experience Base connecting students and taikonauts in space.

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Sep 13 —
NewSpace: BlackSky to monitor economic activity for US govt under 5-year, US$30M contract; York Space to equip lunar communications orbiter with Exotrail thruster for Intuitive Machines Mission 2; RocketLab to deploy IoT constellation for Kinéis of France over 5 Electron missions.

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Sep 13 — Solar System:
Chang’e-5 is en route from Earth-Sun L1 to lunar flyby; Modelling of KBOs suggest ~7,400 year elliptically orbiting ‘planet 9‘ with 99.6% certainty; first Perseverance Martian sample awaiting retrieval on future return mission.

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Sep 13 —
Galaxy: Combined data from 70,000 Low Frequency Array (Lofar) antennae producing high resolution galactic imagery; variation between surface and interior hydrogen fusion in White Dwarfs being studied with Hubble.

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Sep 13 — Global:
North Sea spaceport closer to realization with German government approval; South Korea to spend $13B modernizing space industry over next decade; ALMA observations suggest uneven metal distribution in Psyche.

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Sep 13 — USA:
NSF / CASIS funding ($400k/ea) ISS micro-gravity brain and bone tissue studies from CA, CO, MN universities; NASA may receive additional $4.4B however second HLS appropriation not included in current draft legislation; Lockheed & Northrop invest in refueling logistics company Orbit Fab.

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Sep 13 — Hawai’i:
Keck & VLA (Socorro NM) document supernova caused by 500LY distant star collision; Ultra Diffuse Galaxy dark matter composition to be validated with Mauna Kea telescope.



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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 (WSW), Venus (WSW), Jupiter (S), Saturn (S),Neptune (SE); Morning Planets: Uranus (E).


Humans to Mars Summit 2021 Highlights Importance of Determination and Cooperation


Taking place September 13-15 is the free 2021 Humans to Mars Summit mostly online with some in-person events in Washington DC hosted by Explore Mars (EM). With the continued goal of Humans2Mars by 2033, main topics being covered include: Artemis to Mars – Utilizing the Moon to sending Humanity to Mars, How Space Exploration Improves Life on Earth, Nuclear Propulsion and Surface Power, EVA Suits and Surface Operations, Recent Milestones and Discoveries on Mars, and Inclusiveness and Diversity in Space Exploration. EM CEO Chris Carberry and President Janet Ivey will open each day. Some of the ~70 speakers are (T-B) Bill Nelson, Kathy Leuders, Hiroshi Sasaki, Pascale Ehrenfreund, Maria Antonietta Perino, Shawna Pandya, Artemis Westenberg, Naeem Altaf, Bhavya Lal and Clive Neal. Mars is currently being explored by 8 international orbiters, 3 rovers and 2 landers – collecting data from atmospheric composition / changes to surface mapping and mineral analyses, while also looking for biosignatures. 2020s human lunar return advances, including innovative technologies, space policies developments and collaborations, are making great strides to enable Mars missions soon after – and perhaps followed by human footprints on Jupiter and Saturn moons. SpaceX is now aiming for 2026 Mars crew landing. NASA and China plan early 2030 human missions, while Russia discusses 2040s. UAE successful Hope Orbiter first phase is to lead to Mars City by 2117. (Image Credits: Explore Mars Inc., Dubai Government Media Office, SpaceX)
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Sep 13-15 — Explore Mars Inc., Aerojet Rocketdyne, Lockheed Martin, Collins Aerospace, et al, Hybrid / Washington DC & Online: The 2021 Humans to Mars Summit; includes progress reports on return to the Moon in the 2020s and missions to Mars in the 2030s; free event.

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Sep 13-15 — International Academy of Astronautics, Madrid, Spain: 3rd Conference Space Situational Awareness (ICSSA); reset to March 28-30, 2022.

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Sep 13-17 — International Space Science Institute,
Bern, Switzerland: Workshop: Venus – Evolution through Time.

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Sep 13-24 — University of Oxford Department of Physics, UKRI Science and Technologies Facility Council,
Online / Oxford, United Kingdom: Spatially Resolved Spectroscopy with Extremely Large Telescopes.

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Sep 13 – Oct 4 — Confederation of Indian Industry, Indian Space Research Organisation, NewSpace India Limited, Antrix Corporation Ltd,
Online / India: International Space Conference: Building New Space in India.

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Sep 13 — Moon: At first quarter, 10:40.

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Sep 13 — Apollo Asteroid 2008 CD6: Near-Earth Flyby (0.010 AU)

Continued From…

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Aug 2 – Oct 31 — SpaceBase, Planet,
Christchurch, New Zealand and Online: Space for Planet Earth Challenge; seeking innovative ideas from New Zealand, Australia, and Pacific Island residents at High School and University / Start-up level to address climate change through space technologies.

TUESDAY


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Sep 14 — Roscosmos, Launch Soyuz / OneWeb 10, Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan: Russia Soyuz rocket to launch 34 satellites to orbit for OneWeb.

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Sep 14 — Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, Online / Washington DC: Envisioning A World Of Space People; by Kathy Lueders, 20:00-21:00 EDT, free.

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Sep 14 — International Astronautical Federation,
Online / Paris, France: Space Infrastructure Webinar; with John C. Mankins, Pete Swan, Kevin Barry and Eduardo Pineda Alfaro, 17:00-18:00 CEST.

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Sep 14 — Caltech, Department of Astronomy, W. M. Keck Institute for Space Studies, Online / Pasadena CA: Webinar: Interstellar Comets – Visitors from another Solar System – Natural or Artificial? by Astronomer Karen Meech, 17:00 PDT.

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Sep 14 — Institute of Physics South Central Branch,
Online / United Kingdom: Lecture: Secret Stowaways.

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Sep 14 — Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, Online / New York NY: One Step For Curiosity: A Rare Look Inside the Space Shuttle Enterprise; 18:30-19:30 EDT.

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Sep 14-15 — UKRI – Science and Technology Facilities Council, Cygnet
Texkimp, et al, Leicester, United Kingdom: SpaceAM Conference: Advanced Materials and Technology for the Space Sector.

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Sep 14-17 — Maui Economic Development Board, Boeing, AGI, Ball Aerospace, et al, Maui HI: Advanced Maui Optical and Space Surveillance Technologies Conference 2021.

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Sep 14 — Aten Asteroid 2021 QR3:
Near-Earth Flyby (0.043 AU)

WEDNESDAY


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Sep 15 — SpaceX, Launch Falcon 9 / Crew Dragon Resilience ‘Inspiration4’ Mission, LC-39A, Kennedy Space Center FL: SpaceX Crew Dragon to launch its first mission exclusively of private citizens on 3-day mission; crew includes: Jared Isaacman, Hayley Arceneaux, Christopher Sembroski and Sian Proctor.

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Sep 15 — Chinese Lunar Exploration Program, Lunar Exploration and Space Engineering Center,
Worldwide: Second round of Chang’e-5 lunar sample applications are scheduled to close by this date.

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Sep 15 —
British Interplanetary Society, Online / London, United Kingdom: Lecture: The BIS – Chronicling the Space Adventure; by Space Chronicle Editor Dave Shayler, 19:00.

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Sep 15 — NASA, Online: Webinar: HaloSat – A CubeSat that Studied the Halo of the Milky Way; by Philip Kaaret from University of Iowa, 10:00-11:00 PDT.

THURSDAY


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Sep 16 — JPL, Caltech, Department of Astronomy, Online / Pasadena CA: Lecture: Instrumental – Engineers Who Make Science Possible; by Janelle Wellons, Instrument Operations Systems Engineer at NASA/JPL, 19:00-20:30 PDT.

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Sep 16 — Moon: 3.7° SE of Saturn, 19:00.

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Sep 16 — Apollo Asteroid 2021 QV5: Near-Earth Flyby (0.033 AU)

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Sep 16 — Apollo Asteroid 2021 QG2: Near-Earth Flyby (0.046 AU)

FRIDAY


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NET Sep 17 — Tiangong Space Station, Shenzhou 12 Crew Return to Earth, ~370-km LEO: Shenzhou 12 crew Nie Haisheng, Liu Boming, Tang Hongbo scheduled to return to earth today, landing in inner Mongolia – having set the record for China’s longest-duration human spaceflight mission.

SATURDAY


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Sep 18 —
British Interplanetary Society West Midlands Branch, Online / West Midlands, United Kingdom: Chevaline Polaris Post Boost Propulsion System – The Twin Chamber Propulsion Unit; by Paul Jackman, John Harlow & Mark Perman, 14:00-15:15.

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Sep 18-25 — Insights El Paso, et al, El Paso TX: Third Annual 2021 El Paso Space Festival: Space Extravaganza!

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Sep 18 — Moon: 3.8° SE of Jupiter, 00:00.

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Sep 18 — Apollo Asteroid 2021 QA2:
Near-Earth Flyby (0.027 AU)

SUNDAY


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Sep 19 —
Chinese Society of Astronautics, Wenchang, Hainan Island, China: 2021 Wenchang Aerospace & Astronautics Forum.

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Sep 19-24 —
Europlanet Society, Online / Helsinki, Finland: Europlanet Science Congress 2021.

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