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Oklahoma Space Alliance Update October 2009

         Special note: For the next few days, you can still register for May 2009 Interna­tional Space Development Conference for $60 as member of an NSS chapter at space.nss.org or by mail (ask Claire McMurray) It goes up fast after that. Probably $240 at the door.


         This month Oklahoma Space Alliance is making a road trip for the 52nd anniversary of Sputnik, so Syd gave you some advance warning:
         On October 17, Oklahoma Space Alliance will be traveling to the Stafford Air & Space Museum in Weatherford, Oklahoma. We will be gathering at the Koszoru house for car pooling (directions below) at 11:00 a.m. and eat and have our meeting on the way. Admission to the museum is $5.00.
         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
   a) Start Up Kit for Chapters in Second Life
   b) Research funding
   c) Social Media (Tweeter, Facebook, etc.)
   d) A New OSA Logo
   e) Treasurer’s Report
   f) World Space Day (Sputnik Anniversary)
   g) 50th Anniversary of Manned Space Flight (Yuri's Night 2011)
   h) Space Solar Power
   i) Augustine Report (on future of space program)
5) Read and discuss mail
   a)  New Business Marketing for Burns Flat
   b) Coupon Books. Last year Oklahoma Space Alliance sold coupon books for Norman and Oklahoma City businesses. This year we can do it again [but see below].
6) Create New Agenda

--- Syd Henderson, Secretary

Minutes of September Meeting

        Oklahoma Space Alliance met at the Koszorus’ house on September 12, 2009. In attendance were Tom and Heidi Koszoru, Claire McMurray and Syd Henderson. The meeting date was moved up a week because of a conflict with the music festival in Winfield.
         Tom has received the minutes to the Chapters Assembly meeting at the International Space Development Conference. He is still waiting for CDs for a space solar power presentation. The Japanese are investing in Space Solar Power.
         The event on October 10 at Cheddar Ranch Observatory is only for members of the Oklahoma City Astronomy Club, which eliminates that as a possible Sputnik anniversary event.
        Tom read the minutes from the Chapters Assembly. They are looking for ideas from chapters. Tom was re-elected chair of the Chapter's Assembly. Dennis Pearson is Tom's apprentice (i.e. vice-chair).
        Survey Monkey will allow you to do a 100-person survey for free. NSS can help us put one together.
         The theme for the 2010 International Space Development Conference is "Many Roads to Space." Members of chapters should have their chapter name on their badge.
        To find our chapter number, go to the NSS web site, click on "Activities" then "NSS Chapters." If our chapter number is on a brochure that someone uses for a new NSS membership, we get a cut of the membership money.
        Add coupon books again to the agenda.
        Do a poster for solar power.
        Syd: call the Chambers of Commerce for Norman, Moore, Del City, Oklahoma City and Midwest City to see if they have speakers bureaus.
        We still need ideas for a new NSS logo.
        Since we can't do the space day celebration at Cheddar Ranch Observatory, let's go to the Stafford Air & Space Museum in Weatherford. Possibly on October 3. No, let's do it on October 17 and make it our meeting.
        The Ares-1 engine test is on YouTube.
        Add Marketing for Burns Flat and Coupon Books to new business.
        The inflatable heat shield test worked and is posted on the web.
        Admission to the Stafford Museum is $5.00. We should take off at 11:00 a.m. and eat lunch and have our meeting on the way.
                                                                  --Minutes submitted by OSA Secretary Syd Henderson

Post-Sept. information: So far, the “Enjoy the City” coupon book we sold last year does not have an Oklahoma edition. I’ve sent them an email asking whether one may show up later.

                                                                                                                           —Claire McMurray


         Apophis Recalculated: Observations by the University of Hawaii’s telescope on Mauna Kea indicate that the 600-yard-long Apophis asteroid will definitely not impact Earth on April 13, 2029, but may come as close as 17,570 miles above Earth’s surface. The chance of a 2068 impact has been downgraded from 2.9% to one in 3 million. We can follow Apophis research on the @AsteroidWatch Twitter feed, or the AsteroidWatch web site. 

USA Space News

         NASA’s LCROSS mission to detect water in a polar crater on the moon went off essentially as planned. The mission web site, http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/LCROSS/main/index.html, has 23 pictures of the vehicles, team, and impact. However, I haven’t found any analysis of the data. I seem to recall some other probe found water on non-polar parts of the Moon, but I can't chase down the reference.

         From space.nss.org: “The National Space Society (NSS) welcomes the release of the Summary Report of the Review of U.S. Space Flight Plans Committee, especially agreeing with the Committee that ‘the ultimate goal of human exploration is to chart a path for human expansion into the solar system.’
         “NSS agrees with the Commission that NASA needs and deserves at least $3 Billion more per year in order to accomplish the planned missions. NSS supports the development of a family of cargo and crew transportation options to Low Earth Orbit and beyond. NSS agrees that ISS should be extended.“The NSS vision is that NASA should be charged with ever expanding the zone of exploration and development beyond Low Earth Orbit while commercial entities then provide operational services to fill in behind that “bubble” as it expands outward.”

From Space News:

         Members of the above “Augustine Commitee” disagreed Oct. 8 as to whether option safety should be rated according to mission destination (LEO, Moon, or beyond) which was the method used, or according to the hardware used to get there. They do apparently believe that solid-rocket boos­ters (such as Ares I) are safer than liquid engines.
         One of the Augustine panel’s suggestions in the Summary Report is that the US might rely on commercial firms for transporting cargo and perhaps personnel to and from the International Space Station. NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said he and NASA’s senior managers are spending about 9 hrs a week discussing the panel’s findings, but he’s not happy with the political side of his job. Rather than starting with a budget, he would prefer the approach of asking what we want to do in space and then figure out how to do it and what it would cost [wouldn’t we all?]. He has said he approves of using commercial cargo transport but is uneasy—though not totally opposed—to launching humans commercially.

         Space X and Orbital Sciences have received COTS contracts totaling $3.5 billion for hauling a minimum of 40 tons of cargo to ISS by the end of 2016. However, as of June this year both companies are behind schedule in demonstrating their vehicles.

         Plutonium-238 is the heat source for energy-dense batteries which can power deep-space probes where sunlight is too weak for solar batteries. Pres. Obama requested $30 million to restart production, now that Russian stockpiles are running low and we have none left. However, the 2010 Energy-etc. appropriation bill removed the $10 million originally approved by the House. The Senate bill had no money for restarting Pu-238 production. However, the conference committee agreed that a startup plan “shall be submitted with the 2011 budget submission.”

         USA restrictions on commercial radar satellites have now been relaxed enough to allow US companies to provide 1-meter resolution rather than the previous 3 meters. This could stimulate our domestic companies, especially since our government has bought data from several interna­tional government/private firms

         NASA astronaut Fernando Caldeiro died Oct. 3 after a 2+-year battle with a brain tumor. He was born in Argentina, but attended high school & college in the US. Unfortunately, he never got to fly in space though he was accepted into the astronaut corps in 1996.

International Space News:

         Iran launched two rockets into space in 2008 and plans to launch a third before April 2010. They’re preparing to send a living creature into space in the next two years.

         The European Space Agency (ESA) has delayed deployment of their Galileo satellite navigation system to November 2010 and April 2011. Apparently the European version of the Russian Soyuz rocket was planned to launch the satellites, but won’t be ready until at least April 2010.
         ESA has tentatively backed a proposal to join NASA in a 2-step Mars exploration program, if it can fit within the old 1-billion-euro budget limit. The proposal is for NASA to provide Atlas 5 launches in 2016 and 2018. For 2016 ESA would design and build a telecommunications orbiter  for NASA’s electronoics, and a  powered-descent lander with exobiol­ogy experiments but only days of expected operation­al life. For 2018 ESA plans a rover lowered by the same “Sky Crane” system NASA plans to use for the Mars Science Laboratory rover launching in 2011.
         The French Defense Ministry budget suggests selling their military comsats to a private opera­tor that would lease 90% of the capacity back to the government but retain 10% to sell commer­cially to other governments. Astrium Services already does this for Britain'’ Skynet5, and is expected to bid against Thales Alenia Space for the French contract.

Contact Information:

Oklahoma Space Alliance NSS is a chapter of the National Space Society. Contact NSS at 1155 15th Street NW, Suite 500, Washington, DC  20005, space.nss.org. Tel: (202) 429-1600 -- FAX: (202) 530-0659, E-mail: [email protected]  Direct questions about membership matters to: [email protected] . Many of us are also members of The Mars Society (see below). Both organ­iz­ations are interested in promoting settlements off Earth.

Our chapter website is http://osa.nss.org/index.html.  Webmaster is Syd Henderson. So far, one can join our chapter without joining NSS. To receive emails of our chapter newsletters for free, contact the editors (see below).

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 or at nss.org (Claire McMurray; can forward to Cliff)
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 or Update, and people wishing space-related materials e-mailed to them should contact Syd. 

Other Contact Information
NASA: www.nasa.gov. Huge info source. Assorted phone numbers are also in there somewhere.

The Mars Society , Box 273, Indian Hills CO 80454. Old website doesn’t work: use http://www.marssociety.org/portal. Interested in human settlement on Mars: active projects.
The Planetary Society, http://www.planetary.org/home/. Phone from US & Canada: 1-800-9WORLDS (1-800-996-7537). Outside the US & Canada, phone 1-626-793-5100. Interested in exploring the solar system & beyond, mostly robotic. Nice magazine.

Science Museum Oklahoma (formerly Omniplex), 2100 NE 52nd St, Oklahoma City, OK 73111. Museum information: 405-602-6664 (old 800# doesn’t answer) Their new web site is http://www.sciencemuseumok.org/default.htm, but one must click on “Agree” or “Disagree” to enter the site

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.
Tulsa Air and Space Museum, 7130 E. Apache, Tulsa, OK 74115, Phone (918)834-9900.
Web Site is www.tulsaairandspacemuseum.com.         

Congress of the United States: 202/224-3121 (switchboard). Senate: www.senate.gov/  

House of Representatives: www.house.gov. You can email most from those main web sites.

Write to any U. S. Senator or Representative at [name]/ Washington DC, 20510 (Senate) or 20515 [House].
President of the United States: www.whitehouse.gov. Click on “Contact Us” for email.

Postal mail: The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20500

 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.