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                            Oklahoma Space Alliance NSS Chapter UPDATE for December, 2010

December 2010 Meeting (NOTE DATE AND LATER TIME)

       The Oklahoma Space Alliance will have its annual Christmas Party on December 18 at the Koszoru residence, 514 Fenwick Court in Norman. Prospective members are welcome. This is a potluck! We will be eating at 5:00 p.m. with elections afterwards.
        This will be the meeting at which we elect officers. You can vote at the meeting if you wish; if you cannot, votes will be accepted until January 9, 2011 through e-mail or by snail mail.  We will also be selecting officers of the Mars Society of Central Oklahoma. 
       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
For more information, call Tom at 366 1797, Syd at 321 4027, or Claire at 329 4326.

1) Introductions (if necessary)
2) Eat
3) Read and approve agenda
4) Read and discuss mail, if any
5) Elections
6) Create New Agenda

Oklahoma Space Alliance NSS Ballot for 2011 Officers

Note: You are eligible to vote if you are a paid member of Oklahoma Space Alliance as of December 2010.  If your membership expired in 2010 or you wish to join now you may vote by renewing your membership: $10.00 per person or $15 per household. Membership may be renewed at the Christmas party, or by filling out the form below.  Send ballot and check within same envelope or bring them to the Christmas Party.    Officers will be tentatively installed at the December meeting. [Your Update editor is under the impression that nominations are in order until balloting begins at the December meeting.]

President: Tom Koszoru _________________

Other _________________

Vice-President : John Northcutt  _________________

Other _________________

Secretary Syd Henderson _________________

Other _________________

Treasurer Tim Scott _________________

Other _________________

Please bring ballot by December meeting (=Christmas Party) or mail to:
Oklahoma Space Alliance
c/o Syd Henderson
102 W. Linn #1
Norman OK, 73069

Minutes of November Meeting

       Oklahoma Space Alliance met November 20 at the Koszoru house. Attending were Tom Koszoru, John Northcutt, Claire McMurray and Syd Henderson.
       Claire has received lots of NSS bumper stickers and a box of Ad Astras. Syd distributed a eight of the previous Ad Astras to the OSIDA board and smaller batches at his two doctors' offices.
       We received an envelope full of letters from Diane Keeton's 5th grade students at Washington Elementary School in Clinton thanking us for helping to fund their transportation to Starbase. Claire will forward copies of Ad Astra to Ms. Keeton
       The December meeting is the Christmas Party. Possibly we can schedule the January meeting for Edmond?
       Research funding--look online. Make contact with Pat Jackson. Tom will talk to her about classes in research funding.
       Yuri's Night: Tom Stafford is now on-line on Facebook and Linked-In.
We nominated officers for 2011. The slate is the same as for 2010: Tom Koszoru for President, John Northcutt for Vice-President, Syd Henderson for Secretary and Tim Scott for Treasurer.
       The Oklahoma Space Alliance Christmas Party will be December 18 at 5:00 p.m. We will eat at 5:00 p.m. and meet after.
       New business: Tom attended a telecon and proposed an idea involving Young Astronauts, which NSS has supported.        Possibly we could do something involving Space Dragon [the capsule that SpaceX is developing for orbital flight.] This would be a program to look toward a future in space colonization.
       Claire: would it be better to hook into something that already exists.
       Tom doesn't want to be tied into an annual concept.
       Claire: Bigelow already has two miniature prototypes in space of their space habitats and would like to launch a full-sized version.
       Add radio programs for KTOK to agenda.
       Officer nominations get replaced by officer elections.

                                                 --Report from OSA Secretary Syd Henderson

Notes on December 8 OSIDA meeting

[The November 10 OSIDA meeting was cancelled.]
       The Oklahoma Space Industry Development Authority board met at the Oklahoma Department of Transportation Building in Oklahoma City on December 8. Attending were chairman Jack Bonny, Gilmer Capps, Lou Sims, Cal Hobson, Darryl Murray and Joe King. There were about six in the audience.
       First up was the shocking news that OSIDA board member Brigadier General (Retired) Ken McGill had passed away the week before due to a catastrophic loss in blood pressure during dental surgery. More details are confidential to his family. His funeral was on December 3. General McGill had been on the board since the early years of the decade, and was the chairman of the OSIDA board when Oklahoma Space Alliance hosted the 2004 International Space Development Conference in Oklahoma City. I found him to be a vital, inquisitive man and am stunned by his sudden death.
       Armadillo Aerospace is making modifications to their vehicle so test flights are still on hold. NASA has purchased some of their vehicles which have previously flown.
       The FAA Commercial Space Annual Conference will be February 9-10, in Washington DC.
       The board unanimously voted to eliminate travel reimbursement to board members attending monthly meetings. This represents a saving to the state of about $8000 per year.
       OSIDA is developing a spaceport promotional video with the University of Oklahoma and Price & Lang Consulting. Estimated cost will be $10,000 - $20,000.
       OSIDA approved meeting dates on the second Wednesday of each month. I asked about the February meeting, which would conflict with the FAA conference, but was assured there would be no problem. There was talk about having some of the meetings online. I have to wonder what actions they could take at such a meeting given the state's open meeting act.
       On May 25 the Oklahoma History Center will have recognize those Oklahomans who have contributed to space. OSIDA would like themselves to be mentioned.

Space News

       Russia’s Soyuz capsule launched into orbit at 1:09pm CST from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Aboard were Russia’s Dmitry Kondratyev, NASAs Catherine Coleman, and ESA’s Paolo Nespoli of Italy. They are scheduled to stay aboard the International Space Station for 5 months, which means they’ll be there for the 50th anniversary celebration of Yuri Gagarin’s launch as the first live human in space (April 11, 1961).
       After the next 2 space shuttle flights, Russia will be the only country (we hope temporarily) able to launch people to the ISS. They have caught on quickly to the principles of monopoly: a round-trip ticket to ISS will cost NASA (and US taxpayers) $51 million for the next 2 years—up from $26 million in 2010. In 2013 & 2014, the price will soar to $56 million.
       Fortunately, SpaceX (Space Exploration Technologies Corp. of Hawthorne, CA) successfully recov­ered their Dragon capsule on target in the Pacific Ocean this December 8. This was its second launch to orbit aboard their Falcon 9 rocket. The “top secret payload” was their tribute to Monty Python: a wheel of cheese.
       They expect to send Dragon to ISS as a cargo vehicle next summer, and then build a piloted version. No word yet as to how long they expect that to take, especially given the necessary safety hurdles. To see the video of the first Falcon 9 launch, visit www.spacex.com. So far, SpaceX has resisted announcing projected launch dates. A good way to resist “launch fever?”

       SpaceX received the FAA’s first-ever commercial license for a spacecraft to re-enter from orbit on November 22, 2010.
       Russia says they welcome the competition, since a reserve vehicle will free up their own resources.

The FAA has launched a new Center of Excellence for Commercial Space Tourism, directed by Dr. Patricia Hynes. Apparently they plan to invest over $10 million in the center over the next decade, to consider such questions as how to launch (suborbital?) spacecraft like Virgin Galactic’s Spaceship Two without interfering with traditional aircraft. This is a real issue, because VG has already sold over 340 tickets at $200,000 each, and at least 3 travel agents in the Dallas area are still taking reservations. Presumably other travel agents, especially in New Mexico, are doing the same.

News from NSS of North Texas

       NSSNT member & newsletter editor Curtis Kling came through Norman recently with his daughter (who was checking out OU), and had dinner with OSA members Cliff & Claire McMurray. He gave us permission to use material from their newsletter, and tentatively to send out the whole newsletter if people want it.

Website Lets You Smash Asteroid into Earth, See Aftermath
By SPACE.com Staff [brought to our attention by Jeffrey Liss]
posted: 15 December 2010 06:19 pm ET

       A new website lets astronomers — and anyone who likes to watch stuff blow up — calculatedamage a comet or asteroid would cause if it hit Earth.
       The interactive website, called Impact: Earth! (available at www.purdue.edu/impactearth), is scientifically accurate enough to be used by the Department of Homeland Security and NASA, but user-friendly enough for elementary school students, according to the researchers who developed it.
       The site could help scientists and the public alike better understand the destructive potential of comets and asteroids, which have caused massive extinction events in our planet's past, researchers said. [Top 10 Ways to Destroy Earth.]
       "There have been big impacts in the past, and we expect big impacts in the future," said Jay Melosh of Purdue University, who led the creation of Impact: Earth!. "This site gives the lowdown on what happens when such an impact occurs."

Impact events: a constant threat
       More than 100 tons of material from asteroids and comets hits Earth every day, according to Melosh, who is also part of the NASA team that recently guided the Deep Impact spacecraft to within 435 miles (700 km) of Comet Hartley 2.
       Space-rock fragments as large as a sedan hurtle into the planet a few times each year, but they usually burn up as they enter the atmosphere.
       Massive impacts are rare — but incredibly powerful and destructive. When the 9-mile-wide (15 km) Chicxulub object smashed into Earth 65 million years ago, for example, it set off a cascade of events that scientists think killed off the dinosaurs and many other species.
       Asteroids don't have to be as big as Chicxulub to leave a mark. Arizona's Barringer Crater — nearly a mile (1.6 km) wide — is evidence of an impact 50,000 years ago from a nickel-iron space rock estimated to be 164 feet (49.7 m) in diameter.
       "Fairly large events happen about once a century," Melosh said. "The biggest threat in our near future is the asteroid Apophis, which has a small chance of striking the Earth in 2036. It is about one-third of a mile in diameter, and the calculator will tell what will happen if it should fall in your backyard."

How the calculator works
       The website allows users to enter a few parameters, such as the diameter of the impact object, its density, velocity, angle of entry and where it will hit the Earth. The calculator then estimates the consequences of the impact, including details of the atmospheric blast wave, ground shaking, the size of any tsunami generated, fireball expansion, distribution of debris, and the size of the crater produced.
       According to Impact: Earth!, if an asteroid of similar composition to the one that caused Barringer Crater — but twice as big — hit 20 miles (32 km) outside of Chicago, the impact energy would be equivalent to about 97 megatons of TNT.
       The resulting crater would be almost 2 miles (3.2 km) wide, and the impact would ignite a fireball with a 1-mile (1.6-km) radius. A magnitude 6 earthquake would shake the city approximately six seconds after impact, the air blast would shatter windows and the Windy City would be coated in a fine dust of ejecta.
       The site states that impacts of this size occur roughly once every 15,000 years.

Homeland security
       Impact: Earth! is an updated version of an impact calculator Melosh created with some colleagues about eight years ago. The new site's graphic interface makes the site easier and more fun to use, Melosh said.
       "There were a lot of requests for calculations of tsunamis that would be produced from an ocean impact, and we've added that," said Gareth Collins of Imperial College London, who worked with Melosh and others on the new version. "In addition, the program now visually illustrates the information the user enters, and we plan to connect the program with Google Earth to show a map of the effects."
       Governmental agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security, NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey, use the site, Melosh said. The program is available in multiple languages and also is used by foreign governmental agencies.
       "This calculator is a critical tool for determining the potential consequences of an impact," said John Spray, director of the planetary and space science center at the University of New Brunswick in Canada. "It is widely used by government and scientific agencies, as well as impact research groups and space enthusiasts throughout the world."
       The calculator has also been a valuable tool in sparking young students' interest in science, according to Melosh. "The calculator has been used by teachers and students from kindergarten through high school, both for school projects and for fun," he said.


Oklahoma Space Alliance Officers, 2010 (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, Correspondence Secretary/Update Editor
                    329-4326 (H) 863-6173 (C)

OSA E-mail Addresses and Web Site:

claire.mcmurray at sbcglobal.net                    (Claire McMurray)
T_Koszoru at cox.net                                       (Heidi and Tom Koszoru)
john.d.northcutt1 at tds.net                           (John Northcutt)
sydh at ou.edu                                                 (Syd Henderson)
ctscott at mac.com                                          (Tim Scott)
lensman13 at aol.com                                      (Steve Galpin)

          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 iswww.marsociety.org.
          The National Space Society's Headquarters phone is 202-429-1600. Executive Director Gary Barnhard
[email protected]. The Chapters Coordinator is Bennett Rutledge 720-529-8024.  The address is:  National Space Society, 1155 15th Street NW, Suite 500, Washington DC 20005   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]


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OSA Memberships are for 1 year, usually January – December, and include a subscription to our monthly alternating newsletters, Outreach and Update
Please make out membership check to “Oklahoma Space Alliance NSS” and send it with this membership 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.
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