September 6-12, 2021 / Vol 40, No 36 / Hawai`i Island, USA

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SPC

Guest

ISS, TSS and Near-Term Human Ventures in LEO


International Space Station Expedition 65 seven-member crew is planning ~5-hour Russia EVA #50 September 8 to outfit the 20,357-kg Nauka module. Oleg Novitskiy and Pyotr Dubrov will exit Poisk module and install handrails, connect power / other cables between Nauka and Zvezda. Reaching 21 years of continuous occupation November 2, ISS legacy equipment maintenance beyond 2024-28 is questioned as Artemis / others should then be landing humans on Moon, developing lunar bases and cislunar gateway. Tiangong Space Station Shenzhou 12 Taikonauts are approaching 90 days in space Sep 17 – setting the record for China’s longest-ever human spaceflight mission. Tianzhou-3 cargo craft at Wenchang, Hainan Island is being readied to launch aboard Long March 7. Shenzhou 13 three-member crew may launch October 3 for a 6-month mission. Now 5+ years at ISS, Bigelow BEAM inflatable module continues being tested through 2028. Bigelow proposed XBASE 330 could attach to ISS or be a solo habitat housing 6 people. Axiom Space is planning commercial Axiom Hub One ~2025, and sending a fully private crew to ISS in January 2022 with Tom Cruise and Doug Liman. Also filming on ISS, the Soyuz 65S launch October 5 will carry actress Yulia Peresild and director Klim Shipenko. Inspiration4 mission flying Jared Isaacman, Hayley Arceneaux, Christopher Sembroski and Sian Proctor on 3-day LEO mission is set for SpaceX Crew Dragon Resilience Sep 15. (Image Credits: NSA, ESA, Roscosmos, CNSA, CCTV, Bigelow, Axiom Space, SpaceX)

MONDAY


Highlights…
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Sep 6 — ISS,
~405-km LEO: Expedition 65 seven-member crew transferring cargo from Progress 78P, NG-16 Cygnus, Dragon CRS-23; planning for 2 EVAs this week; testing bacteria on metal surfaces, working with active fiber dosimeter, Redwire regolith experiment.

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Sep 6 — Tiangong Space Station,
~370-km LEO: Shenzhou 12 three-member crew planned to depart station possibly next week, new images taken by crew being shared, working with magnetic levitation experiment.

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Sep 6 —
NewSpace: Virgin Orbit clear for horizontal launch operations in Guam, sister company Virgin Galactic flight anomaly being investigated by FAA; WSJ suggests small launch providers Rocketlab, Astra for investment opportunities.

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Sep 6 — Solar System:
Zhurong rover approaching Utopia Planitia border, will pause operations during Mars solar conjunction; study shows 4,000-5,000 km diameter cyclones at both of Jupiter poles remain stable.

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Sep 6 —
Galaxy: Dark energy hypothesized to be quantum biosignature; ‘The Accident’ Brown Dwarf causing reevaluation of the object class; Hycean exoplanets may be able to support life.

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Sep 6 — Global:
COPOUS approves July 20 as International Moon Day; Kilometer-scale space station concept being studied under US$2.3M grant in China; Astronauts training for Moon missions in Mistastin Lake crater; pandemic-related LOX shortage affecting rocket oxidizer supply worldwide.

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Sep 6 — USA:
NASA seeking Lunar Terrain Vehicle (LTV) contractors; Artemis 1 launch of SLS / Orion slips to 2022; SpaceX acquires new ships ‘Bob and Doug’ to recover fairings / provide support, nears completion of ‘Mechazilla’ rocket catching arm.

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Sep 6 — Hawai’i:
Observations with newly installed Keck Cosmic Web Imager find majority of Periodic elements are contained in galactic outflows; ILOA precursor ILO-X instruments prepare for NET Feb 26 launch to Moon aboard IM-1.


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Sep 6-10 — Chinese Aeronautics and Astronautics, Shanghai, China: 32nd Congress of the International Council of the Aeronautical Sciences.



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


ISRO Forges Ahead with Human Spaceflight, Commercial Launch Services, Lunar Science


Quality control and material improvements will be focus of Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark III manufacturing process as preparations for human-rating continue, ISRO Chairman Sivan states. GSLV Mk3 has a strong track record (4 successful launches, 3 orbital) in contrast to GSLV Mk2 with problematic cryogenic stage, and is expected to place 2 Indian Data Relay System Satellites in ~36,000 km GEO during separate uncrewed Gaganyaan spacecraft orbital demonstration flights beginning NET June 2022 ahead of crewed missions 2023, which may secure India’s place in history as 4th nation to develop indigenous space access. Gaganyaan demonstration service module is on track, firing 450 seconds, and future crewmembers from Indian Air Force are soon headed back to Russia for spacesuit fitting. GSLV Mk3 is also sending Chandrayaan-3 (lander/ rover) to the Moon surface Q3 2022, utilizing the existent Chandrayaan-2 orbiter still collecting science data from Lunar orbit, information India is offering to share with the international scientific community (see Announcement of Opportunity). As a follow up to current Mars mission Mangalyaan, the MOM-2 orbiter may launch 2024. Commercially, New Space India Limited is deliberating between 3 applicants who are pursuing licensing for independent construction and use of PSLV. 3-stage solid rocket Small Satellite Launch Vehicle is also expected to begin operations by the end of this year, which is aimed at business use. (Image Credits: ISRO)
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Sep 6-12 — Rencontres du Vietnam, Online / Quy Nhon, Vietnam: 16th Rencontres du Vietnam: Planetary Science – The Young Solar System.

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Sep 6 — Moon: New Moon, 14:51.

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Sep 6 — Apollo Asteroid 2021 QM1: Near-Earth Flyby (0.018 AU)

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Sep 6 — Apollo Asteroid 2021 QW: Near-Earth Flyby (0.037 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 7-9 — United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs, Online / Graz, Austria: UN / Austria Symposium: Space Applications for Food Systems; keynote by Simonetta Di Pippo.

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Sep 7 — Moon: 3.8° NNE of Mars, 10:00.

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Sep 7 — Apollo Asteroid 2021 QH1: Near-Earth Flyby (0.006 AU)

WEDNESDAY


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Sep 8 — ISS, Russia EVA #50,
~405-km LEO: Expedition 65 Cosmonauts Oleg Novitskiy and Pyotr Dubrov to perform Russia spacewalk #50 to continue outfitting Nauka Multipurpose Laboratory Module starting 11:40 EDT for ~5 hours; live coverage available.

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Sep 8 — OSIRIS-REx,
Asteroid 101955 Bennu (1999 RQ36): Origins-Spectral Interpretation-Resource Identification-Security-Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) spacecraft collecting >60 grams of asteroid reaches 5 full years / enters 6th year in Space, planned to return to Earth 24 Sep 2023.

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Sep 8 — Moon: 5.9° NNE of Mercury, 16:00.

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Sep 8 — Apollo Asteroid 2021 QY3: Near-Earth Flyby (0.021 AU)

THURSDAY


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Sep 9 — LPI, USRA, NASA Biological and Physical Sciences Division,
Online / Houston TX: Lunar Surface Science Workshop 11: Lunar Science Accomplished with a Robotic Arm – Part 1.

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Sep 9 — Moon: 5.3° NNE of Spica, 12:00; 3.7° NNE of Venus, 20:00.

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Sep 9 — Apollo Asteroid 2021 QG: Near-Earth Flyby (0.016 AU)

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Sep 9 — Apollo Asteroid 2010 RJ53: Near-Earth Flyby (0.024 AU)

FRIDAY


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Sep 10 — Moon: At perigee, (distance 368,466 km), 23:53.

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Sep 10 — Aten Asteroid 2020 KR2: Near-Earth Flyby (0.036 AU)

SATURDAY


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Sep 11 — Mt Tam Astronomy Program, San Francisco Amateur Astronomers, Wonderfest, Online / San Francisco CA: Advanced Instrumentation in Optical Astronomy; by Franck Marchis, Senior Planetary Astronomer at SETI Institute, 19:30 PDT.

SUNDAY


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Sep 12 — ISS, U.S. EVA #77,
~405-km LEO: Expedition 65 Astronauts Akihiko Hoshide and Mark Vande Hei to perform ~7-hour spacewalk to install a bracket on Port 4 truss for next IROSA Solar Array starting 08:30 EDT; live coverage available.

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Sep 12 — 59th Observation John F. Kennedy Moon Speech & 29th Observation 1st African-American Woman in Space,
USA / Worldwide: As the World looks forward to the First Woman on the Moon and a Human Return to Moon, observations made today for 59th anniversary of Kennedy Moon speech (1962) and to celebrate the 29th anniversary of Astronaut Mae Jemison becoming first African-American Woman in Space (1992).

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Sep 12 — Moon: 4.1° NNE of Antares, 17:00.

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