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Oklahoma Space Alliance NSS Update, June 2007

June Meeting

     Oklahoma Space Alliance will meet at 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, June 16, at Tom and Heidi Koszoru’s home, 514 Fenwick Ct., in Norman.  To get to the meeting either: (1) Take the Robinson Street west exit off I-35. Proceed west to 36th Street where you will turn left, and go south until you turn left on Rambling Oaks (about half a mile north of Main Street). Fenwick Court is the third street on the left. Tom's house is the last on the left side, or (2) Take the Main Street west exit off I-35, proceed west past the Sooner Fashion Mall, and turn right at 36th Street, and go north until you turn right on Rambling Oaks (about half a mile north of Main Street). Fenwick Court is the third street on the left. Tom's house is the last on the left side.

June Agenda
1. Approve the minutes of the May meeting
2. Discuss possible chapter involvement in Magi Whitaker’s Challenger Center fundraiser
3. Reports on SoonerCon space panels from Claire and Syd Henderson
4. Reports on ISDC from Claire McMurray, Tom Koszoru, and anyone else ready to report
5. New business:  Discuss possible chapter activities, including:
     a. Have NSS & chapters contact local universities re SEDS
     b. Have yearly activities involving HS & College students, with finalists featured at ISDCs
     c. Discuss: Former astronaut Rusty Schweickart spoke at the ISDC about his work with the B612 Foundation on what should be done about asteroid impact risks in general and the potential 2036 impact by Asteroid 99942 Apophis in particular. (See http://www.b612foundation.org/ and excerpts at the end of this newsletter) He pointed out that making changes in its orbit is intrinsically an international matter (because lowering the risk for one impact site raises it for others), and re­quest­ed ideas for raising public aware­ness and resources. What can our chapter and NSS do to help?
     d. Discuss developing stories, parables, etc to improve public interest and understanding about space.
     e. Discuss Tom’s idea for a team-building experience for future ISDC Chapters Assemblies.
     f. Mars Bars for public July 4th events?
     g. Other
6. Pizza

Minutes of May Meeting

            Oklahoma Space Alliance met on May 19 at the Koszorus’ house. Attending were Tom Koszoru, Syd Henderson, Tim Scott and Clifford McMurray. Claire McMurray was already in Dallas helping with the preliminary work for the International Space Development Conference May 25 – 28. Tom and Syd are going down on Thursday morning, and Tim on Wednesday night. Cliff is waiting on David St. John to decide whether to go down with us. Several Oklahoma Space Alliance members were invited to attend for free the Space Venture Finance Symposium on May 24, as were other attendees of the ISDC. Syd, Tim, Cliff and Tom are taking advantage of this offer, which would normally cost $350.
            Claire McMurray talked to Bill Khourie about the ISDC, but Bill can’t come because of an illness in the family.
            Syd sent out copies of Outreach to everyone who signed our signup sheet at Yuri’s Night. He sent e-mail copies to those who gave e-mail addresses and hard copies to those who only gave home addresses. He’s had one response so far and added that person to the e-mail list.
            Yuri’s Night went well as reported in the April Update. We need to talk to David Miller at the University of Oklahoma about reviving the SEDS chapter there.
            Tim called David St. John to ask him about his plans for the ISDC. [Dave and Cliff eventually went down separately, deciding some sleep before the all-day symposium was probably a good idea. I had to pick a friend up at the airport on Wednesday night, so decided to do without sleep.]
            We talked about doing a party at Soonercon but didn’t settle on arrangements. [We finally decided a few days before Soonercon not to have a party since the OSA members who were going were commuting and didn’t want to reserve a room for a few hours just to throw a party.] Leonard Bishop, the programming head at Soonercon, has asked us to do some space paneling there, and Claire is arranging that.
--Minutes submitted  by OSA Secretary Syd Henderson

Between-Meetings Activities

            OSA member Clifford McMurray developed and chaired the Business Track at the May 2007 International Space Development Conference in Dallas.  Claire McMurray went down the weekend before to stay at the conference hotel and help with last-minute details. Syd Hen­derson, Tom Koszoru, and Tim Scott also attended the ISDC and served as volunteers. Tom was elected President of the Chapters Assembly. All were able to attend at least part of the Space Business Symposium that preceded the ISDC on Thursday.

            Clifford and Claire McMurray spoke on June 9 and 10 at two SoonerCon panels: “Oklahoma in Space” (with J. Provine) and ”So, Private Spaceflight is Here.” Attendance ranged from half-a-dozen friends at the Oklahoma panel to 20 or so at the Private Spaceflight panel. Pro­gram Chair Leonard Bishop has requested more space programming for next year.

            Syd Henderson attended the Oklahoma Space Industry Development Authority meeting on June 13, and reports as follows:
     Armadillo Aerospace had a successful launch test on June 2 at the Oklahoma Spaceport. Someone from the Discovery channel was there to witness it. Armadillo and the X-Prize people were pleased both by the test and the Spaceport, so will be doing more tests,

     Bill Khourie and General McGill were invited to and attended the launch of STS-117.

     General McGill has finished his service as OSIDA Board Chairman. (He may be term-limited since he's been chair for four years) Don Rodolph will be the new chair. He can only serve on the board for one more years since Board members are limited to two four-year terms. McGill will stay on the board. Phil Kliewer is the only one who's leaving and Senator Capps (or is he former Senator now?) is replacing him, so we will have both him and Bonny on the Board, which seems appropriate.

Personal: We extend condolences to Tim Scott, whose father died last week.

B612 observations and general comments [from the B612 website]:

“1) Radar tracking plays an extremely important role in being able to rationally determine the future likelihood of a NEO impact and potentially in planning for a deflection mission when required (as evident in the Chesley analysis).  Yet the availability of NEO radar capability in the future is highly uncertain, even precarious. This is especially true of the most valuable NEO radar facility, Arecibo.

“2) The Apophis potential impact is a highly unusual, even unique case.  Due to its close encounter with the Earth in April 2029, and its Earth-like orbit, a relatively inexpensive low-technology deflection technique will suffice to divert it from an Earth impact in 2036, should that condition eventuate.

“3) In the typical NEO impact scenario however, a much more sophisticated, costly and advanced technology mission would be required.  Moreover,  a low cost, quick mission to place a transponder on such an object would not be a viable option.   Apophis is not typical of the NEO impact threat and should not be seen as such.

“4) All parties to this exchange of ideas acknowledge having learned a great deal in the process of working through the issues.  However, absent B612 Foundation raising the question, the current understanding of the Apophis circumstances might not have developed.  This is not an acceptable scenario.  If instead, a specific US Government agency were assigned the responsibility of protecting the Earth from catastrophic NEO impacts, that agency would perform such an analysis as a routine matter for all potential NEO impactors.

“B612 Foundation therefore recommends:

“1) That reliable NEO radar capability be assured in order to support early warning of pending NEO impacts and rational deflection mission planning.  (National Science Foundation)

“2) That the development of advanced space power and propulsion technology capable of providing access to and deflection of the general NEO population be initiated.  (NASA)

“3) That the responsibility for protection of the Earth from future NEO impacts be assigned to a capable US Government agency.  Such responsibility should include, inter alia, early warning capability, deflection capability and related policy development authority.  (US Government).

Oklahoma Space Alliance Officers, 2007 (Area Code 405)

Tom Koszoru, President                                     366-1797 (H)
John Northcutt, Vice-President                           390-3476 (H)
Syd Henderson, Secretary & Outreach Editor    321-4027 (H)
Tim Scott, Treasurer                                           740-7549 (H)
Claire McMurray, Update Editor      329-4326 (H/Ans. machine) 863-6173 (C/no messages please)

OSA E-mail Addresses and Web Site:

[email protected] (Claire McMurray).
[email protected] (Heidi and Tom Koszoru)
[email protected] (Syd Henderson)
[email protected] (Tim Scott)
[email protected] (John Northcutt)
[email protected]  (Steve Galpin)
[email protected] (Nancy and David Craig).

        Update is edited by Claire McMurray
        E-mail for OSA should be sent to [email protected].  OSA members who wish to have their e-mail addresses printed in Outreach, and people wishing space-related materials e-mailed to them should contact Syd.

To contact Oklahoma Space Alliance, e-mail Syd Henderson.
PO Box 1003
Norman, OK 73070
Copyright ©2006 Oklahoma Space Alliance.