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Minutes of March 2016 OSA Meeting

            Oklahoma Space Alliance met Earl’s Rib Palace in Moore on March 12, 2016. Attending were Steven and Karen Swift, Brian Swift, Peggy and James McBride, Rosemary Swift, Dennis Wigley, Claire and Clifford McMurray and Syd Henderson.
            Our quote of the month is from Jeff Bezos, speaking at a tour of the Blue Origin facility, “…I think space is chock full of resources…”
We started off with “What’s happening in space.” This is online at http://osa.nss.org/1603%20Whats%20Happening.pdf so I’ll just hit some highlights.
            NASA has selected 18,300 applications for its new crew of astronauts, which is not only a new record, but beats the old record set in 1978 by more than ten thousand. Over the next year and a half these will be winnowed down to about a dozen candidates.
Steve found an article about the top ten space apps. Among these are Exoplanet (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/exoplanet/id327702034?mt=8&ign-mpt=uo%3D4), which helps you keep tabs on current news about extrasolar planets; Sky Safari 3, a skywatching aid that has information on 40000 stars and 220 star clusters, nebulas and galaxies (apparently available for Macs and Android systems; there’s a small charge for it);  and Satellite Flybys, which has information on transiting satellites (there’s a small charge for this as well).
            We watched a video with a panoramic tour of the plane of the Milky Way. It’s available at http://spaceref.com/astronomy/atlasgal-survey-of-milky-way-completed.html.
            Clifford: Alpha Centauri has habitable zones around both Alpha Centauri A and B. [But not Proxima, which is not only a red dwarf but a flare star.—SFH]
            Space X will be launching two Bigelow inflatable modules to be attached to the Space Station, on one of their next two resupply missions. The next such mission is this month.
            XCOR has developed the 5H25 rocket engine for the United Launch Alliance (ULA). They are now working on a liquid oxygen/liquid hydrogen engine, the 8H21.
            We watched a video of highlights from the first decade of observations from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. You can watch this at http://tinyurl.com/h3z3xu6 [space.com link].
            We watched a video from the Harvard Business School Alumni on technologies that can make interplanetary travel more possible. These include the space elevator, Project Orion and the very speculative Alcubierre drive, which would work by expanding and contracting spacetime.

Other topics:
            Chris Lavender has a book (?) on The Next Interplanetary Economy, about extracting materials from near-earth asteroids, and we discussed the topic. One calculation is that single 500-meter asteroid contains more platinum than has been mined in human history.
Steve would like to have someone find topics for discussion. We already have a speaker from the FAA lined up for April.
Special offer for members of NSS chapters: Any chapter member who registers for ISDC will get 25% back (assuming the conference makes money).
            Syd and Kip will be panelists at Soonercon.
            We discussed activities with which we might approach the Stafford Museum. Can we approach Shannon Lucid? We need to know how much advance warning the Museum needs. Kip recommends we make this a weekend event.
            We don’t know of any Yuri’s Night activities (locally). Our next meeting is April 9; we’ll go to Claire and Clifford McMurray’s later that evening and have a pizza party.
                                                --Minutes by OSA Secretary Syd Henderson

Notes on March 9 OSIDA Meeting
            The Oklahoma Space Industry Development Authority (OSIDA) board met on March 9 in the conference room at the Oklahoma Department of Transportation Building in Oklahoma City. Board members present were Chairman James Cunningham, Jack Bonny, Jay Edwards, Don Wetakam, Robert Cox, and Bailey Siegfried.
            Congressman Bridenstine continues to advocate commercial space. He has distributed a copy of a long document of space priorities to Congress and also the OSIDA board. Steve has obtained a copy.
            They didn’t see anything in the space budget to support spaceports.
            They are still trying to get the decrepit warehouses torn down. A state environmental group is coming to look at them.
            The state budget situation continues to worsen. Bill says all state agencies will be affected.
            There is now an official symbol for spaceports on FAA charts. Logically enough, it’s a rocket. I don’t know if the Oklahoma Air and Spaceport would have an airplane and rocket both.
            Virgin Galactic is offering passenger flights for $50,000 per seat. SpaceX is doing fine. XCOR may be having problems.
            OSIDA and the Air Force have extended the joint use agreement for another five years.
            Main thing in business draft plan is to publicize OSIDA.
                                    --Notes by OSA Secretary Syd Henderson

Contact person for Oklahoma Space Alliance is Claire McMurray.
PO Box 1003
Norman, OK 73070
Webmaster is Syd Henderson.

Copyright 2016 by Oklahoma Space Alliance.