OKLAHOMA SPACE ALLIANCE

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Minutes of April Meeting

            Oklahoma Space Alliance met the McMurrays’ house in Norman, Oklahoma on April 13. In attendance were Clifford and Claire McMurray, Russ Davoren, Adam Hemphill, Mike Hopkins, Dave Sheely, Bhagyashree Waghule, and Syd Henderson. OSA President Clifford McMurray presided over the meeting. He also did an Update with links to the videos he presented. This can be found at http://osa.nss.org/Update1904.pdf, so I’ll cover the highlights.
            We watched a video of the Indian anti-satellite mission. This launched a projectile that destroyed a moribund low-orbing satellite, creating a field of potentially hazardous debris. Most of the debris will burn up in Earth’s atmosphere over the next few months, but some pieces were propelled higher than the Space Station’s orbit, and there’s always a possibility one of the pieces may hit another satellite, creating a cascade effect as in the movie Gravity. However, odds of a collision are small, but other nations are upset.
            There was a test destruction of a satellite by China in 2007, and of the 3000 tracked pieces of debris from that, only 616 have burnt up. However, that was in a higher orbit. 400 pieces have been identified from the Indian satellite, of which 60 are greater than ten centimeters (four inches) in diameter. 24 of these 60 went higher than the orbit of the ISS. The risk of ISS being struck by space debris went up by an estimated 44% over the ten days after the Indian satellite’s destruction.

            The astronauts from last October’s aborted Soyuz launch are now aboard the Space Station. We watched a video of the successful launch.
            The Bering Strait meteor hit the atmosphere with a velocity of 71,600 miles per hour, which is about three times escape velocity from Earth (and slightly greater than Earth’s velocity around the Sun).
            The asteroid Bennu has hydrated clay and contains magnetite. Bennu’s surface is covered with boulders and the areas available for landing spacecraft are much smaller than projected.
            We watched a video of Ian Anderson and Cody Coleman playing a duet, with Coleman in space. (Adam was skeptical that this could have been done live.)
We watched a video of a Neil Armstrong interview from 2011. Armstrong flew more that 70 missions during the Korean War.
What are we doing to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing? We can try to get the big room at the Norman Library, bring a big cake. Advertising can include posters and possibly an invitation to the Norman Astronomy Club.
We will have a brainstorming meeting on April 27 at 2:00 p.m.

Yuri’s Night

            After the April meeting, Claire, Clifford, Mike and Syd stayed to celebrate Yuri’s Night. (Yuri’s Night is April 12, but we waited to the meeting.)  We watched a documentary, Starman, on Yuri Gagarin and part of The Red Stuff, a documentary on the early history of the Russian space program. Plan is to watch the rest of The Red Stuff at a future meeting. I believe Starman was included as an extra on the disk, but it’s a solid documentary.

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                                                                        --Minutes by OSA Secretary Syd Henderson

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

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