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OUTREACH November 2009

November Meeting

         Oklahoma Space Alliance will meet at 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, November 21 at the Koszorus' house in Norman. Prospective members are also welcome. The house is at 514 Fenwick Court in Norman.
          This is the meeting at which we nominate officers. If you wish to serve as an officer of Oklahoma Space Alliance, please let us know at the meeting or contact Syd by e-mail at [email protected]. Syd will be sending out election ballots around the beginning of December by both e‑mail and snail mail. If you wish to be an officer, please contact him by December 1. Elections will be held on the Christmas Party on December 19.
         To get 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.


  1. Introductions (if necessary)
  2. Read and approve agenda
  3. Read and approve minutes and reports of activities
  4. Old Business
    1. Start Up Kit for Chapters in Second Life
    2. Research funding
    3. Social Media (Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin etc.)
    4. A New OSA Logo
    5. Treasurer’s Report
    6. 50th Anniversary of Manned Space Flight (Yuri's Night 2011)
    7. Space Solar Power
    8. Augustine Report
    9. Marketing for Burns Flat
    10. Coupon Book fund raiser.
    11. Nominations of officers
    12. Christmas Party
  5. Read and discuss mail
  6. New Business
  7. Create New Agenda

Minutes of October Activity

         Oklahoma Space Alliance didn’t have a meeting in October. Instead, on October 17, we went to the Stafford Air and Space Museum. Making the trip were Claire and Clifford McMurray, Tom Koszoru and Syd Henderson. Afterward, Claire, Clifford and Syd went to a viewing night at the Cheddar Ranch Observatory.
         The Stafford Museum is located in Weatherford about an hour’s drive west of Oklahoma City. It is, of course, devoted to the history of both aviation and space.
         The first room you enter is devoted to Tom Stafford himself, giving biographical information and the space flights he went on. Stafford was the pilot of Gemini VI, which made the first rendezvous in space. He commanded Gemini IX and Apollo 10. The latter was the second manned flight around the Moon, and he flew in the lunar module to within a few miles of the lunar surface. On this flight, the astronauts achieved the highest speed ever attained by man. Finally, he was commander of the American half of the Apollo-Soyuz Mission in July of 1975.
         The aviation portion of the Museum gives a broad overview of the early history of flight, and includes replicas of early planes, including the Wright Flyer (complete with a mannequin of Orville Wright lying on the wing), the Curtis D Pusher from 1911 (which was the first airplane with ailerons as well as the first to be mass-produced), the Sopwith Pup and the Spirit of St. Louis. The Flyer and Pusher look odd to us today because the propellers are in back of the wings. Since the Flyer also has a flight elevator in front that looks a lot like a tail, it gives the impression that Orville was flying the plane backward. You can also see the wing-warping technique the Wrights used to control flight. Curtis couldn’t use this technique since it was patented, which is why he invented ailerons. He eventually eliminated the front elevator, which, it turned out, made the plane more stable rather than less.
         The museum also includes later aircraft such as a MiG 21, an F-86 Sabre and an F-16, and models of the Hindenburg and SR-71 Blackbird. There is also a glass display case containing hundreds of small models of historical aircraft.
         The space portion includes a Titan II, Gemini and Apollo spacecrafts, memorabilia from Stafford’s missions, historical timelines of the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo programs, and an F-1 rocket engine. Some of the memorabilia was donated by Alexei Leonov, the commander of the Russian half of Apollo-Soyuz. Leonov was also the first person to walk in space, and would have been the first Russian to fly around the Moon and to walk on the Moon if the Russian Moon program had been successful. He would also have been on the first mission to a Russian space station, Salyut 1, but the Russians went with the backup crew after one of Leonov’s crew members fell ill. This backup crew was even less fortunate, since they died on re-entry.
         One section that I especially appreciated was a series of glass cases full of 1/72 scale models of major rockets in the history of space. Since they are all to the same scale, you can appreciate how tiny Goddard’s first rocket was compared with the behemoths we use nowadays, and how huge the Saturn V is in comparison with the other rockets. One model shows the Russian N1 rocket, which would have carried the Russians to the Moon. It was fully as big as the Saturn V. The Saturn V carried bigger payloads while the N1 had more thrust. This is a moot point, since none of the four N1 launches were successful. Indeed, none lasted more than two minutes. The history of the N1 and the Soviet plan for manned Moon missions wasn’t revealed until just before the fall of the Soviet Union.
         The documentation on some of the rockets had quite a few errors in thrust and payload capacity, which makes me suspect that they came from a spreadsheet with information entered in the wrong cells. I hope the Museum finds a way to correct this. I didn’t notice any errors in the documentation in other places.
         Admission to the Museum is $5.00. There are also children’s rooms, flight simulators and a gift shop. Guided tours are available on weekdays. Since we were there on Saturday, we guided ourselves and certainly missed quite a bit. Our tour lasted three hours and we could easily have spent several more. The Museum offers quite a few educational programs. For more detail on what the Museum has to offer, you can go to their web site, http://staffordmuseum.com/.

         Saturday, October 17 was also a viewing night for the Oklahoma City Astronomy Club, which has an observatory at Cheddar Ranch, which is far enough west of Oklahoma City to have really dark skies. Central Oklahoma had had rain for several weeks beforehand, but that let up on Thursday and by Saturday the sky was crystal clear.
         Claire and Clifford McMurray are members of the Club and I went along as a guest. We got there early enough for a couple of lectures while we waited for the sky to darken. Exactly how dark it would get I didn’t realize until I went outside and immediately saw the Milky Way in all its splendor, even before my eyes had entirely adjusted. It was easily the darkest sky I’d ever seen. In fact, the Milky Way was so bright that I had trouble making out some of the constellations against it. As a test, I checked out the Little Dipper, in which I can normally only see two or three stars, but this time could easily see the entire asterism. I may also have been able to make out the Andromeda Galaxy by naked eye, but that may have been my imagination.
         Several of the Astronomy Club members had out their binoculars and telescopes, through which they let us look. Thus I actually got to see the Andromeda Galaxy for certain (it was a fuzzy patch of light), and managed to see all four moons of Jupiter at the same time. I couldn’t make out the Red Spot on Jupiter, because, paradoxically, Jupiter was too bright. I would have liked a chance to try to find Uranus, which is in the same constellation as Jupiter for the next couple of months, but there were too many other things to look at.
         One of the things I like to do at these observing nights— this was my second, the first being at the Observatory’s dedication—is see how many constellations I could find. Some, like Ursa Major, Cassiopeia and Cygnus, are easy, but I was surprised to easily make out the small constellation Delphinus, which doesn’t have any bright stars at all—alpha Delphini is magnitude 3.63—but is very distinctive, sort of shaped like a small tadpole. The four brightest stars form a diamond shape called Job’s Coffin. Since I found this, I was able to find Equuleus (the Colt), which is the second smallest constellation in the sky, is even dimmer than Delphinus, and is the least interesting constellation in the sky since it doesn’t contain any interesting stars, nebulae or galaxies. But now I can find it. (The smallest constellation is Crux, the Southern Cross, which is very interesting but which isn’t visible in Oklahoma. The dimmest, Mensa, the Table, is named for Table Mountain in South Africa, and has no stars brighter than magnitude 5,  but at least it has part of the Large Magellanic Cloud. That’s not visible here either.)
         The Oklahoma City Astronomy Club web site, www.okcastroclub.com, has directions to the Observatory, and information on their meetings, their upcoming event at Greenleaf State Park, and upcoming public viewing nights.
--Minutes by Oklahoma Space Alliance Secretary Syd Henderson

Viewing Opportunities for Satellites (November 13 – December 19, 2009)

         You can get sighting information at www.heavens-above.com/. Heavens Above allows you to get Station data for 10 day periods, and gives you a constellation map showing the trajectory of the satellite. If you go to the bottom of the map page, it will give you a really detailed map with the location at 10 or 15-second intervals, depending on detail. In fact, the detailed charts will even show you the tracks against maps of the constellations, which should help you if you are familiar with the night sky.
         Sky Online (the Sky & Telescope web site) carries station observation times for the next few nights at skyandtelescope.com/observing/almanac. Note that with the addition of the solar panels, the magnitude of the Space Station can be as bright as magnitude -2.7, making it brighter than all the stars other than the Sun, although magnitude -1 to -2 is more likely. The Hubble Space Telescope can get up to magnitude 1.5, which is brighter than the stars in the Big Dipper, although, since it is lower in the sky, it is a bit more difficult to see. 
         Missions to the Space Station may change its orbit. Space Shuttle Atlantis was launched at 1:28 p.m. on November 16 and is currently making its way to the Station.. Be sure to check Heavens Above or www.jsc.nasa.gov/sightings/ before going out to watch.  The last mission to the Hubble Telescope has already occurred so its information should be reliable.

ISS  November 25, 2009
Time          Position   Elevation
6:51 p.m.      313°           14°
6:52              313            27
6:53              317            64
Vanishes into Earth’s shadow

ISS  November 27, 2009
Time          Position   Elevation
6:00 p.m.      315°           17°
6:01              316            36
6:02                42            81
6:03              125            36
6:04              128            17

HST  December 3, 2009
Time          Position   Elevation
5:59 a.m.      218°           20°
6:00              200            27
6:01              174            30
6:02              148            27
6:03              130            20

HST  December 4, 2009
Time          Position   Elevation
5:57              224°           21°
5:58              205            28
5:59              177            32
6:00              150            28
6:01              131            21

HST  December 5, 2009
Time          Position   Elevation
5:55              227°           21°
5:56              205            29
5:57              181            32
5:58              153            28
5:59              131            21

HST  December 5, 2009
Time          Position   Elevation
5:52:40         228°           21°
5:54              211            27
5:55              185            31
5:56              158            27
5:57              139            21

ISS  December 6, 2009
Time          Position   Elevation
6:56 a.m.      216°           17°
6:57              206            35
6:58              135            65
6:59                65            24
7:00                56            17

ISS  December 8, 2009
Time          Position   Elevation
6:05 a.m.      212            16
6:06              199            34
6:07              133            58
6:08                70            32
6:09                59            16

         Pass times are from Heavens Above
         Key: Position is measured in degrees clockwise from north. That is, 0° is due north, 90° is due east, 180° is due south, and 270° is due west.  Your fist held at arm's length is about ten degrees wide. "Elevation" is elevation above the horizon in degrees. Thus, to find the International Space Station at 6:58 a.m. on December 6, measure four and a half fist-widths south of east (in other words, due southeast), and measure six and a half fist-widths above the horizon.
         All times are rounded off to the nearest minute except for times when the satellite enters or leaves the shadow of the Earth. The highest elevation shown for each viewing opportunity is the actual maximum elevation for that appearance.
         J-Pass provides a service called J-Pass Generator, which will e‑mail you sighting information for the next three days for up to ten satellites. For more information, go to science.nasa.gov/Realtime/JPass/PassGenerator/.

Oklahoma Space Alliance Logo

            Our current Oklahoma Space Alliance logo looks like this:

(color version at http://osa.nss.org/index.html) which, as John Northcutt pointed out a few months ago, is starting to look dated and tacky. This logo was done quite a while ago, and was used on our t-shirts, stationery and still is used on our web site and on flyers and sign-up sheets. As near as I can tell, we no longer have the original of the logo. I obtained it by scanning it from a t-shirt, which makes it a copy of a copy of a copy. Since the picture is a bit blurry, I will point out that it shows a spacecraft shooting out of Oklahoma, although the trail of the satellite against the Earth has vanished.
            Oklahoma Space Alliance is looking for suggestions for a new logo. It should be simple and effective, and clearly identify us as a space organization. Ours actually has more lettering than usual. The Minnesota Space Frontier’s logo shows Minnesota shooting off into outer space from Earth, with smaller icons of the Moon and Mars: www.mnsfs.org/, and apparently no lettering at all. Many chapters don’t seem to have logos at all. (Indeed, some don’t seem to have web sites, either.) The Orange County Space Society has a large elliptical banner on the top of its website, www.ocspace.org/, while the Huntsville Alabama L5 Society has a banner consisting of space scenes, the name of the chapter, the NSS logo, and several other pictures: www.hal5.org.
            We’re going to be discussing this at the November meeting and probably for several meetings after that. If you have a suggestion, please bring it to one of the meetings or e-mail it to Syd at [email protected].

Space News

            At a news conference on the morning of November 13, NASA’s LCROSS team reported finding a “significant amount” of water in the area of the impact crater from the crash of the Centaur stage and the debris from the crash of the LCROSS probe. Overall, they found about 26 gallons of water from a 60-meter crater, which doesn’t sound like much but is more than expected and actually more than contained in the worst deserts on Earth.
            The LCROSS report follows earlier reports such as those from Clementine in 1994 and Lunar Prospector in 1998 of small amounts of water near the Lunar South Pole and Chandrayaan-1 last year and again in September of the existence of small amounts of water in low concentrations over fairly large areas near both lunar poles. The amount detected by LCROSS seems to be more substantial, and promising in that hitting water in a crater chosen more or less at random indicates there is a high probability of doing the same elsewhere on the Moon.
            There were also indications of hydroxyl (-OH) ions, which may have come from water molecules broken by the impact, and there were hints of carbon-based compounds such as methane and carbon dioxide, and possibly slightly more complicated molecules containing carbon and/or sulfur. It will take a while to confirm which of these are actually there.
            The crater Cabeus, where the impactor landed, is deep enough that the bottom is -365°F, which would be enough to keep methane and carbon dioxide frozen; however, Chandrayaan-1’s observations indicate that there is water in a wider than just the bottom of craters. It has long been postulated that the cold traps of the bottom of polar craters might be able to retain water from cometary impacts. It is also possible that hydrogen from the solar wind might combine with oxygen atoms from lunar minerals, and that water formed nearer the lunar equator might evaporate and condense closer to the poles. This would explain why the Apollo missions found no indications of water: they landed too far away from the lunar poles.

            Scientists using the Spitzer Space Telescope have discovered a new ring of Saturn. This ring has a diameter of at least 15 million miles, which makes it the largest known planetary ring. It’s possible its diameter may be as large as 22 million miles. This ring is in the plane of the orbit of Saturn’s largest outer moon Phoebe, which is tilted 27 degrees to Saturn’s equator and is retrograde. It is likely the ring is produced by small particles eroded from Phoebe, in which case the particles of the ring should also be in retrograde orbits. The next moon in from Phoebe is Iapetus, which is famous for its leading hemisphere being much darker than its following hemisphere. (Iapetus is locked in synchronous rotation with respect to Saturn, like the Moon is with respect to the Earth, so the same hemisphere is always leading.) Abrasion from particles in the Phoebe Ring would explain this two-faced appearance.

Sky Viewing

         The Geminid Meteor Shower peaks on the night of December 13-14. This may reach up to 100 meteors per hour.
         Mercury is currently hidden in the Sun’s glare after being in superior conjunction on November 5. It will become visible around December 9, when it will be about 5° above the horizon a half-hour after sunset. It may be visible in a dark sky since it will be shining at magnitude -0.6. On December 18, it will be 8° above the horizon a half-hour after sunset; it will then be at greatest elongation. That’s its peak. It falls back into the sunset with inferior conjunction on January 4.
         Venus is low in the eastern sky at sunrise; look for it about a half-hour before dawn. It is about to disappear into the Sun’s glare as it approaches superior conjunction on January 11. Hence it won’t become visible again until March.
         Mars, on the other hand, is rising around 11 p.m. and is visible at magnitude 0.2 the rest of the night. Currently it is in Cancer, but it will move into Leo in early December about a fist-width’s east of Regulus, and is much the brightest object in that area of the sky. Soon after that it begins its retrograde motion and gets brighter, reaching magnitude -0.7 by the end of the month. Mars will reach opposition at the end of January when it will reach magnitude -1.3.
         Jupiter is the bright planet in the south at sunset. Since it is magnitude -2.4, it is brighter than any star in the night sky. It currently sets around 11 p.m., and will set earlier each night, but will still be easily visible in the early evening through December. It is currently in the constellation Capricorn.
         Saturn is magnitude 1.0 and is visible in the southeastern sky around 3:00 a.m. It’s currently in the constellation Virgo where it’s as bright as the first magnitude star Spica. Saturn’s rings, which were on edge to Earth a couple of times earlier this year, are now becoming visible again. We are now looking at the northern side of the rings and will be for the next sixteen years.
         With Saturn’s rings still nearly on edge, and the planet rising progressively higher each night, this is an excellent time to look for its moons through a telescope. The easy one is Titan, which will be visible on November 25, December 1, and every 8 days thereafter. Titan should be visible through any telescope. The other moons of Saturn are much smaller and will need a fairly good telescope. Astronomy recommends a six-inch telescope.
         Uranus is magnitude 5.8 and is just below the Circlet in Pisces. It will remain at about the same position and brightness through December.
         Neptune is still in Capricorn, only five degrees east of Jupiter. It is nearing yet another conjunction with Jupiter. The two planets will be .0.6° apart for several nights around December 21, with Jupiter passing south of Neptune on December 19.
         There will be a partial eclipse of the Moon on the night of December 21, but it will be visible in the Eastern Hemisphere and the Arctic.
         Primary sources for “Sky Viewing” are the November and December issues of Sky & Telescope and Astronomy and www.SkyandTelescope.com. I also check up some details on Wikipedia and astronomy texts. The December issue of Astronomy has their 2010 Sky Guide, which provided information for the “Calendar of Events” from December 2009 through January 2011.

Calendar of Events

         November 20 and 21: Public Star Party at Greenleaf State Park. See www.okastroclub.com for details and contact information
         November 21: Oklahoma Space Alliance meeting at 3:00 p.m. at the Koszoru house. Officers will be nominated at this meeting. See “November Meeting” above for details.
         December 9: [Tentative] Oklahoma Space Industry Development Authority Meeting, 1:30 p.m., Commission Room at the Oklahoma Department of Transportation Building, 200 NE. 21st. Street, Oklahoma City
         December 11: Meeting of the Oklahoma City Astronomy Club at Science Museum Oklahoma (formerly the Omniplex). There will be a novice session in the planetarium at 6:45 p.m., followed by a club meeting at 7:30 p.m.
         December 14: Peak of Geminid meteor shower.
         December 18: Mercury is at greatest eastern elongation, 20° from the Sun (hence can be seen after sunset).
         December 19: Oklahoma Space Alliance Christmas Party and Elections. Location and time will be decided at the November meeting. Information will be sent out with the election ballots in early December and will be posted on the Oklahoma Space Alliance web site, http://osa.nss.org/index.html.
         December 21: the eclipsing binary Epsilon Aurigae begins its total eclipse. This will last until March 12, 2011. This is the longest known eclipse of any eclipsing binary.
         January 4, 2010: Mercury is in inferior conjunction with the Sun.
         January 8, 2010: Meeting of the Oklahoma City Astronomy Club at Science Museum Oklahoma (formerly the Omniplex). There will be a novice session in the planetarium at 6:45 p.m., followed by a club meeting at 7:30 p.m.
         January 11, 2010: Venus is in superior conjunction with the Sun.
         January 13, 2010: [Tentative] Oklahoma Space Industry Development Authority Meeting, 1:30 p.m., Commission Room at the Oklahoma Department of Transportation Building, 200 NE. 21st. Street, Oklahoma City
         January 15, 2010: Annular solar eclipse visible in central Africa.
         January 16, 2010: [Tentative] Oklahoma Space Alliance meeting at 3:00 p.m. Location to be announced.
         January 27, 2010: Mercury is at greatest western elongation, 25° from the Sun (hence can be seen before sunrise).
         January 29, 2010: Mars is at opposition with magnitude -1.3.
         February 4, 2010: Launch of Endeavour to the Space Station.
         February 10, 2010: [Tentative] Oklahoma Space Industry Development Authority Meeting, 1:30 p.m., Commission Room at the Oklahoma Department of Transportation Building, 200 NE. 21st. Street, Oklahoma City
         February 12, 2010: Meeting of the Oklahoma City Astronomy Club at Science Museum Oklahoma (formerly the Omniplex). There will be a novice session in the planetarium at 6:45 p.m., followed by a club meeting at 7:30 p.m.
         February 14, 2010: Neptune is in conjunction with the Sun.
         February 18, 2010: The asteroid Vesta is at opposition. At magnitude 6.1 it may be barely visible to the naked eye, and easily visible through binoculars.
         February 20, 2010: [Tentative] Oklahoma Space Alliance meeting at 3:00 p.m. Location to be announced.
         February 28, 2010: Jupiter is in conjunction with the Sun.
         March 10, 2010: [Tentative] Oklahoma Space Industry Development Authority Meeting, 1:30 p.m., Commission Room at the Oklahoma Department of Transportation Building, 200 NE. 21st. Street, Oklahoma City
         March 14. 2010: Mercury is in superior conjunction with the Sun.
         March 17, 2010: Uranus is in conjunction with the Sun.
         March 18, 2010: Launch of Discovery to the Space Station.
         March 20, 2010: [Tentative] Oklahoma Space Alliance meeting at 3:00 p.m. Location to be announced.
         April 8, 2010: Mercury is at greatest eastern elongation, 19° from the Sun (hence can be seen after sunset).
         April 12, 2010: Yuri’s Night.
         April 17, 2010: [Tentative] Oklahoma Space Alliance meeting at 3:00 p.m. Location to be announced.
         April 22, 2010: The Lyrid meteor shower peaks. Up to twenty meteors an hour should be visible to the naked eye.
         April 28, 2010: Mercury is in inferior conjunction with the Sun.
         May 2010: Japan launches the Venus Climate Orbiter (aka Planet‑C) to Venus. Web page is www.jaxa.jp/projects/sat/planet_c/index_e.html.
         May 14, 2010: Launch of Atlantis to the Space Station. This is last scheduled mission for Atlantis.
         May 15, 2010: [Tentative] Oklahoma Space Alliance meeting at 3:00 p.m. Location to be announced.
         May 25, 2010: Mercury is at greatest western elongation, 25° from the Sun (hence can be seen before sunrise).
         June 2010: Hayabusa returns to Earth with a sample of asteroid Itokawa.  This will be the first asteroid sample returned to Earth. Web site is www.isas.jaxa.jp/e/enterp/missions/hayabusa/index.shtml.
         June 19, 2010: Jupiter is 0.5° south of Uranus.
         February 20, 2010: [Tentative] Oklahoma Space Alliance meeting at 3:00 p.m. Location to be announced.
         June 25. 2010: Pluto is at opposition.
         July 10, 2010: The Rosetta comet probe passes asteroid 21 Lutetia.
         July 11, 2010: Total solar eclipse in southern Chile and Argentina. This eclipse is also total on Easter Island.
         July 29, 2010: Launch of Endeavour to the Space Station. This is the last scheduled mission for Endeavour.
         August 6, 2010: Mercury is at greatest eastern elongation, 27° from the Sun (hence can be seen after sunset).
         August 12-13, 2010: Perseid meteor shower peaks. This shower takes place just after new moon and should produce about three meteors per minute.
         August 20, 2010: Venus is at greatest eastern elongation, 46° from the Sun (hence can be seen after sunset).
         August 20, 2010: Neptune is at opposition.
         September 16, 2010: Launch of Discovery to the Space Station. This is the scheduled conclusion of the space shuttle program.
         September 19, 2010: Mercury is at greatest western elongation, 18° from the Sun (hence can be seen before sunrise).
         September 20, 2010: Jupiter and Uranus are both at opposition and less than a degree apart. This will be Jupiter’s closest opposition in eleven years.
         September 21, 2010: Jupiter is at opposition. This is the closest Jupiter will come to Earth in the next 20 years, about 370 million miles.
         September 30, 2010: Saturn is in conjunction with the Sun.
         October 28, 2010: Venus in inferior conjunction with the Sun.
         December 2010: Japan’s Planet-C arrives at Venus.
         December 1, 2010: Mercury is at greatest eastern elongation, 21° from the Sun (hence can be seen after sunset).
         December 21, 2010: Total eclipse of the Moon, visible just after midnight in North and South America.
         December 26, 2010: Pluto is in conjunction with the Sun.
         Sometime in 2011: China will launch two missions to the Tiangong 1 space station. The first will be an unmanned mission and the second a manned docking mission.
         January 2. 2011: Jupiter is 0.6° south of Uranus.
         January 8, 2011: Venus is at greatest western elongation, 47° from the Sun (hence can be seen before sunrise).
         January 9, 2010: Mercury is at greatest western elongation, 23° from the Sun (hence can be seen before sunrise).
         March 18, 2011: MESSENGER goes into orbit around Mercury.
         June 15, 2011: Total eclipse of the Moon, visible in South America and most of Eastern Hemisphere.
         August 2011: Launch of the Juno mission to Jupiter. See en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Juno_(spacecraft) or http://juno.wisc.edu/ for details.
         October 2011: Dawn probe orbits Vesta. See dawn.jpl.nasa.gov/  or en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dawn_Mission for details.
         October -December 2011: The Mars Science Laboratory is launched. See marsprogram.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/ for details. [Moved from October 2009]
         October 2011 – April 2012: Dawn probe orbits Vesta.
         December 10, 2011: Total eclipse of the Moon. This one is at its best in Russia, eastern Asia, Australia, Alaska and the Yukon, but the early part of the eclipse will be visible in the rest of North America.
         Sometime in 2012: Russia launches the “Luna-Glob” mission which will deploy 13 mini-probes upon the lunar surface.
         March 3, 2012: Mars is at opposition at magnitude -1.2. This is the worst opposition for the next twenty years.
         April 2012: Dawn probe leaves orbit around Vesta for Ceres.
         June 6, 2012: Venus transits the Sun's disk.  The early part of this will be visible from the United States, but the full transit will only be visible from the western Pacific Ocean, eastern Asia, eastern Australia, and eastern Indonesia including New Guinea.
         Fall 2012: The Mars Science Laboratory rover lands on Mars. See marsprogram.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/ for details.
         June 2013: Earliest date for the launch of the James Webb Space Telescope.
         December 30, 2013: Earliest launch date for India’s Chandrayaan II. This mission will include a lunar rover. For more information, visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chandrayaan-2.
         Sometime in 2014: The European Space Agency/JAXA BepiColombo Mercury Orbiter is launched. Home page is sci.esa.int/science-e/www/area/index.cfm?fareaid=30.
         August 2014 - December 2015: The Rosetta space probe orbits comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko. In November, 2014, it will release the Philae lander. See September 5, 2008 for website information.
         Sometime in 2015 or 2016: Launch of SIM PlanetQuest (aka the Space Interferometry Mission). This mission was originally supposed to have been launched in 2005 and has been delayed at least five times. It was recently moved from 2012. For more information, visit en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_Interferometry_Mission.
         February 2015: Dawn space probe arrives at Ceres. Operations are scheduled to continue through July. Dawn may continue on to other asteroids if it is still operational.
         July 14, 2015: The New Horizons probe passes through the Pluto-Charon system. The New Horizons web site is pluto.jhuapl.edu/.
         Sometime in 2016: ESA launches the ExoMars Mars Rover. For more information, visit en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exomars.
         July 2016-2020:  The New Horizons probe visits the Kuiper Belt.
         August 21, 2017: The next total solar eclipse visible in the United States, on a pretty straight path from Portland, Oregon to Charleston, South Carolina.  St. Louis is the biggest city in-between.
         Summer of 2020 (approximate) BepiColombo arrives at Mercury orbit.
         April 8, 2024: A total solar eclipse crosses the US from the middle of the Mexico-Texas border, crosses Arkansas, southern Missouri, Louisville, Cleveland, Buffalo and northern New England.
         August 12, 2045: The next total solar eclipse visible in Oklahoma.  This one is also visible in Salt Lake City, Denver, Little Rock (again), Tampa Bay and New Orleans.

Oklahoma Space Alliance Officers, 2009 (Area Code 405)

Tom Koszoru, President                                        366-1797 (H)
Claire McMurray, Vice-President/Update Editor   329-4326 (H-no msg) 863-6173 (C-msgs OK)
Syd Henderson, Secretary & Outreach Editor       321-4027 (H)
Tim Scott, Treasurer                                              740-7549 (H)

OSA E-mail Addresses and Web Site:

claire.mcmurray at sbcglobal.net (Claire McMurray)
T_Koszoru at cox.net (Heidi and Tom Koszoru)
sydh at ou.edu (Syd Henderson)
ctscott at mac.com (Tim Scott)
lensman13 at aol.com  (Steve Galpin)
dmcraig at earthlink.net (Nancy and David Craig).
         E-mail for OSA should be sent to [email protected].  Members who wish  their e-mail addresses printed in Outreach, and people wishing space-related materials e-mailed to them should contact Syd.  Oklahoma Space Alliance website is osa.nss.org/index.html. Webmaster is Syd Henderson.

Other Information
          Oklahoma Space Industrial Development Authority (OSIDA), 401 Sooner Drive/PO Box 689, Burns Flat, OK 73624, 580-562-3500.  Web site www.state.ok.us/~okspaceport.
          Science Museum Oklahoma (former Omniplex) website is www.sciencemuseumok.org. Main number is 602-6664.
          Tulsa Air and Space Museum, 7130 E. Apache, Tulsa, OK  74115.
Web Site is www.tulsaairandspacemuseum.com.  Phone (918)834-9900.
          The Mars Society address is Mars Society, Box 273, Indian Hills CO 80454. Their web address is www.marsociety.org.
          The National Space Society's Headquarters phone is 202-429-1600.  The Chapters Coordinator is Bennett Rutledge 720-529-8024.  The address is:  National Space Society, 1620 I (Eye) Street NW Ste. 615, Washington, DC 20006.    Web page is space.nss.org.  
          The Planetary Society phone 626-793-5100. The address is 65 North Catalina, Avenue, Pasadena, California, 91106-2301 and the website is www.planetary.org. E-mail is [email protected].
          NASA Spacelink BBS  205-895-0028.  Or try www.nasa.gov.  .
          Congressional Switchboard 202/224-3121.
           Write to any U. S. Senator or Representative at [name]/ Washington DC, 20510 (Senate) or 20515 [House].


 A Chapter of the National Space Society

Please enroll me as a member of Oklahoma Space Alliance.  Enclosed is:
                                    $10.00 for Mem­bership.  (This allows full voting privileges, but covers only your own newsletter expense.)
__________________ $15.00 for family membership

                                     TOTAL  amount enclosed

          National Space Society has a special $20 introductory rate for new members ($35 for new international members).  Regular membership rates are $45, international $60.  Student memberships are $20.  Part of the cost is for the magazine, Ad Astra.  Mail to: National Space Society, 1620 I (Eye) Street NW, Washington DC 20006, or join at space.nss.org/membership. (Brochures are at the bottom with the special rate.) Be sure to ask them to credit your membership to Oklahoma Space Alliance.
          To join the Mars Society, visit.  One-year memberships are $50.00; student and senior memberships are $25, and Family memberships are $100.00.    Their address is Mars Society, Box 273, Indian Hills CO 80454.

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OSA Memberships are for 1 year, and include a subscription to our monthly newsletters, Outreach and Update.  Send check & form to Oklahoma Space Alliance, 102 W. Linn, #1, Norman, OK 73071.


Contact person for Oklahoma Space Alliance is Claire McMurray
PO Box 1003
Norman, OK 73070
Webmaster is Syd Henderson.
Copyright ©2009 Oklahoma Space Alliance.