A Chapter of the National Space Society

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OUTREACH July 2011

July 2011 Meeting (NOTE DATE and LOCATION)

         Oklahoma Space Alliance will meet at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 9 at Panera Bread, 4401 W. Memorial Road in northern Oklahoma City.
         There are several routes to get there. From the south a simple one is to take I -35, continue on I-235 (aka 77) to Memorial, turn west. Alternatively, turn west on 240 or I-44, north on 74 (aka Portland Ave. and the Lake Hefner Parkway) and west when you reach Memorial. From the North, Highways 74, 77 and I-35 all intersect Memorial, with the first being closest to Panera Bread. Panera Bread is about halfway between the Lake Hefner Parkway (74) and N. MacArthur Blvd, and is a mile and a half west of Quail Springs Mall.

  1. Introductions (if necessary)
  2. Read and approve agenda
  3. Read and approve minutes and reports of activities
  4. Old Business
    1. Research funding
    2. A New OSA Logo
    3. Treasurer’s Report
    4. ISDC
    5. Space Solar Power
    6. Distribution of Ad Astras
    7. What’s Happening in Space
    8. Movie Displays
  5. Read and discuss mail
  6. New Business
    1. Space Week in October
    2. Yuri’s Night 2012
  7. Create New Agenda

Minutes of June Meeting

         Oklahoma Space Alliance met at the Koszoru’s house on June 11. Attending were Tom and Heidi Koszoru, Claire McMurray, John Northcutt, Russ Davoren and Syd Henderson.
         We will remove “Marketing for Burns Flat” from the agenda. OSIDA has already commissioned a video from a private company.
         We went over our activities at Soonercon with Claire, who wasn’t able to be at the convention. John went by the freebie table late during the convention and all our Ad Astras had been taken. (I still have a few at home—Syd.)
         Tom has been getting a lot of stuff on fundraising and awards for fundraising. Tom proposed to raise money for charity and/or projects.
         John mentioned Eugene Cernan’s proposal for dividing up NASA into several smaller specialist agencies.
         Tom and Claire both went to the International Space Development Conference in Huntsville, Alabama. Claire said there is a lot more water on the Moon than we previously thought. It’s hiding in the shadows of boulders. They’ve also found more big lava tubes.
         Tom spent most of the ISDC at the Foundry. A project he was proposing: would it be possible for SpaceX to launch 2000 scale models of the Dragon capsule into space? Tom is working on a business plan for that.
         Tom has retired from the Postal Service so some of his contact information has changed. He is inertialvoom at gmail.com and his work phone is obsolete.
         The Mars Society conference is April 4 – 7 in Dallas. Tom, John, Syd and Claire are interested.
         Our next meeting will be at the Panera Bread on Memorial Road in Oklahoma City.

--Minutes by OSA Secretary Syd Henderson

OSIDA Meeting Announcement

         The July 13 meeting of the Oklahoma Space Industry Development Authority has been cancelled. The next meeting is 1:30 p.m. on August 10 at the Oklahoma Department of Transportation Building in Oklahoma City.

Mars Society Conference

         The 14th International Mars Society Convention is August 4 – 7 at the Embassy Suites Grapevine in Dallas, Texas. From the flyer:
         “Highlights of the convention will include the latest results from Spirit, Opportunity, Mars Express, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and Phoenix missions exploring the Red planet, the upcoming Mars Science Lab Curiosity launch, as well as reports of the latest mission simulation at the Flashline Mars Arctic Research Station on Devon Island, 900 miles from the North Pole, and the tenth season of the Mars Desert Research Station. There will also be extensive political discussions and planning meetings on how we can make use of the current fluid political situation to turn NASA’s now chaotic space policy into a real exploration initiative that can get humans to Mars in our time. The agenda will include a wide assortment of panels and debates concerning key issues bearing on Mars exploration and settlement, a banquet with lots of fun entertainment, and plenary addresses from many prominent leaders of the effort to get humans to Mars. Prior conventions have drawn thousands of participants from all over the world and received extensive press coverage in many leading international media. This year’s conference should be the most exciting event to date.”

         Registration to the convention is $210 for Mars Society and NSS members, with students and seniors who are members paying $70. Non-members are $270, with $105 for students and seniors. A day pass is $60 for regular admission and $30 for students and seniors. The discounted registrations for students and seniors do not include banquets; the cost for these are $50; $25 for children 10 years old or younger. Regular registrations include the banquet.
         The convention website is www.marssociety.org/home/join_us/convention. I don’t see a mention there of the discounted rates for NSS members. It’s worth noting that you can actually save money by joining the Mars Society then registering for the convention. The difference between registration for members and nonmembers is greater than the price of joining the society.
         “Rooms at the Embassy Suites specially discounted to $119/night for single or double occupancy for Mars Society conference attendees are available by calling the Embassy Suites at 972‑724‑2600. The Embassy Suites is located at 2401 Bass Pro Drive, Grapevine, TX, 76051, not far from Dallas International Airport.”
         The flyer has information on conference sessions that doesn’t appear on the web site. Sessions include “The Question of Life on Mars,” “Concepts for Future Robotic Mars Missions,’ “In-Situ Resource Utilization,” “Concepts for Privately Funded Mars Missions,” “Religion in Space” and “”The Benefits for Space Exploration for “Humanity.” There are 38 listed sessions. Since one of the featured speakers is the principal science investigator for the Kepler mission, I assume we’ll also have word on planet seeking. Homer Hickam, the author of “Rocket Boys” which was made into the movie October Sky, is also a featured speaker.

Viewing Opportunities for Satellites (July 8 – August 14, 2011)

         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. With the addition of the solar panels, the Space Station can be as bright as magnitude -3.5, making it brighter than all the stars other than the Sun and all the planets other than Venus, although magnitude -2 to -3 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. The next mission will be that of Atlantis launching 10:25 a.m. on July 8. Be sure to check Heavens Above or www.jsc.nasa.gov/sightings before going out to watch.

Hubble July 20, 2011
Time               Position     Elevation
9:24 p.m.             223°                20°
9:25                     204                  27
9:26                     177                  31
9:27                     150                  28
9:28                     131                  21

Hubble July 21, 2011
Time               Position     Elevation
9:21 p.m.             226°                21°
9:22                     208                  28
9:23                     180                  32
9:24                     152                  28
9:25                     133                  21

Hubble July 22, 2011
Time               Position     Elevation
9:19 p.m.             229°                21°
9:20                     210                  28
9:21                     183                  31
9:22                     156                  28
9:23                     137                  20

Station July 23, 2011
Time               Position     Elevation
5:52 a.m.             203°                18°
5:53                     186                  32
5:54                     135                  47
5:55                       83                  33
5:56                       66                  18

Station July 25, 2011
Time               Position     Elevation
Appears from Earth’s shadow.
5:30 a.m.             232°                20°
5:31                     237                  40
5:32                     326                  80
5:33                       40                  39
5:34                       44                  20

Station July 27, 2011
Time               Position     Elevation
Appears from Earth’s shadow
5:09 a.m.             280°                31
5:10                     322                  40
5:11                         7                  30
5:12                       25                  16

Station August 12, 2011
Time               Position     Elevation
9:48 p.m.             222°                20°
9:49                     213                  40
9:50                     133                  75
9:51                       60                  39
9:51:24                  56                  29
Vanishes into Earth’s shadow

Station August 14, 2011
Time               Position     Elevation
9:23 p.m.             246°                19°
9:24                     260                  36
9:25                     320                  57
9:26                       21                  36
9:27                       34                  19
         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 Space Station at 9:51 p.m. on August 12, measure three fist-widths north from due east, then just under four 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/.

Sky Viewing
[Viewing information from skyandtelescope.com and the July and August issues of both Astronomy and Sky & Telescope.]

         On July 12, Neptune will complete its first orbit since its discovery on September 23, 1846, when Johann Gottfried Galle found it only one degree from the location predicted by Urbain Le Verrier. John Couch Adams had actually calculated the location of Neptune in 1844, but couldn’t persuade Astronomer Royal George Airy to look for it. After Le Verrier published his predictions, Airy had James Challis look for Neptune in August and September 1846. Challis was unable to identify it, not surprisingly since Adams predicted location was twelve degrees off. Thus Le Verrier is honored as the discovery of Neptune.
         The finder chart for Uranus and Neptune mentioned below shows the position where Neptune was discovered, as well as well as the predicted positions of Neptune by Le Verrier and Adams. Interestingly, because Earth is in a different part of its orbit, Neptune currently appears within one degree of where Adams predicted it would be found. Also, although Neptune was discovered just over the border in Aquarius, Le Verrier’s prediction was (barely) in Capricornus.
         After Neptune was finally located, Challis realized he had actually seen it twice without realizing it. Actually, Neptune had been seen by a number of astronomers, most notably Galileo in 1612 and 1613. Neptune was having a conjunction with Jupiter at that time. Unfortunately, it was also beginning its retrograde motion so was practically stationary. Otherwise, Neptune would have been discovered 233 years before it really was (and 168 years before Uranus). But, like Neptune, Uranus was seen many times before anyone realized it was a planet. In fact, Uranus is just barely visible to the naked eye for people with very sharp night vision and a very dark sky.
         This is also true of the asteroid Vesta, which will be at opposition on August 5 and, at magnitude 5.6, will be visible to the naked eye (assuming the sky is dark). There is also a finder chart for Vesta on page 43 of the August Astronomy. Finder charts for Vesta and Ceres are online at http://media.skyandtelescope.com/documents/Ceres-Vesta-2011.pdf.
         I’ll be returning to Vesta in the “Space News” section when I write about the Dawn mission.

         Mercury is currently magnitude -0.3 and visible low in the western sky a half hour after sunset. It will reach its greatest western elongation on July 20, but will have dimmed slightly to magnitude 0.3. After that, Mercury will fade rapidly and won’t be visible during much of August due to its inferior conjunction with the Sun on August 16.
         Venus is magnitude -3.9 and visible just above the horizon in the twilight before dawn. Venus is approaching superior conjunction with the Sun on August 16 so won’t be visible for much of the month of August.
         Mars is magnitude 1.4 and visible just before dawn. It is in the constellation Taurus and actually is a bit dimmer than Aldebaran, the brightest star in Taurus. Around the end of July, it will be between the horns of Taurus (i.e. the Hyades cluster). Mars will move into Gemini in August and rise a bit earlier, but is also near the far point of its orbit and won’t brighten noticeably in August.
         In contrast with these sun-hugging planets, Jupiter is currently rising around two in the morning and, at magnitude -2.3, is easily brighter than any star. By the beginning of August, Jupiter will be rising about midnight, and at the end of August, it will be rising about 10:00 p.m. Jupiter is in the constellation Aries, so here is a chance to locate that rather unimpressive constellation. Jupiter is going to be brilliant for the rest of the year, reaching opposition in late October.
         Saturn is magnitude 0.9 and visible low in the western sky after twilight. Saturn is in the constellation Virgo. The star to its right is Gamma Virginis, which bears the name of Porrima. Don’t confuse Saturn with Spica (Alpha Virginis), which is about the same brightness and about fifteen degrees to its left. Saturn will be visible during most of August, but will gradually become less visible as it moves toward its October conjunction with the Sun.
         Uranus is magnitude 5.9 and located in the constellation Pisces. It’s high in the southeast just before dawn. Neptune is next door in the constellation Aquarius, in about the same location where it was first discovered. It is only magnitude 7.9, and requires at least binoculars to see. Finder charts for Uranus and Neptune are available in PDF format at http://media.skyandtelescope.com/documents/Uranus-Neptune-2011.pdf.
         Pluto was at opposition on June 28 and is still above the horizon all night, reaching its highest point about midnight. Since it is magnitude 14, you would need a pretty good telescope to find it. There are finder charts for Pluto in the July issue of Sky & Telescope and the August Astronomy.

Space News: Final Space Shuttle Launch     

         At this writing, Space Shuttle Atlantis is scheduled to launch at 10:26 a.m. on July 8, 2011 on its final mission. Its return, currently projected for 6:06 a.m. on July 20, ends the space-going part of the American space shuttle program, thirty years, three months and eight days after the first launch of Space Shuttle Columbia, and thirty-four years and five months after test flights began for Space Shuttle Enterprise (which, despite its designation, never flew to space). It is also, of course, the 42nd anniversary of the first manned landing and walk on the Moon.
         Atlantis will carry four astronauts to the International Space Station. This is the smallest shuttle crew since STS-6 in April 1983. (STS-6 was the first Challenger flight.) Commander is Christopher Ferguson, Pilot is Douglas Hurley, and mission specialists are Sandra Magnus and Rex Walheim. Hurley is on his second flight; the others are each on their third.
         As I understand it, the major reason there are only four astronauts on this mission is that there are no other shuttles available to carry them back if they are unable to return from the Space Station. If for some reason (tile damage, for instance), the four astronauts would be able to return by Soyuz over the next year. A stranded crew of seven in addition to the astronauts already on the Station would tax the available resources.
         This is the 135th mission of the Space Shuttle program and the 33rd for Atlantis. Major cargo is the Multi-Purpose Logistics Module Raffaello and a Lightweight Multi-Purpose Carrier. Raffaello = Raphael. The three MPLMs, Raffaello, Leonardo and Donatello were all built as part of the Italian Space Agency’s contribution to the Space Station, which is why they bear the name of famous Italian artists. Presumably, if there had been a fourth one, it would have been Michelangelo. As it is, the logo for the MPLM is a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle in a flight suit. Donatello, alas, never flew except in pieces, because parts of him were used for organ transplants for Leonardo.
         Miscellaneous objects being carried aboard Atlantis include the first iPhone to go into space, several full-sized American flags including one that flew on the first Columbia flight [this flag will stay on the Station until the first commercial spaceflight arrives there], and hundreds of small flags and mission patches. It will also be carrying a system for robotically refueling spacecraft in space.
         Among Atlantis’s previous payloads were the Magellan and Galileo spacecraft and the Gamma Ray Observatory, not to mention the Columbus Laboratory for the Space Station. It also hosted the fifth and last Hubble Space Telescope Servicing Mission. It made seven trips to Mir and twelve to the Space Station.
         NASA will put Atlantis on permanent display at the Visitor’s Center at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Space Probes: Dawn Arrives at Vesta

         The Dawn spacecraft will arrive at Vesta on July 16, becoming the first spacecraft to orbit one of the major asteroids.
         The only previous spacecraft to orbit an asteroid was NEAR Shoemaker, which orbited Eros from February 14, 2000 through February 12, 2001, when it landed on Eros. The Hayabusa spacecraft matched heliocentric orbits with Itokawa, but didn’t actually orbit it, presumably because Itokawa is so tiny. Since Eros is a near-Earth asteroid the aphelion of whose orbit is barely beyond that of Mars, Dawn will be the first spacecraft to orbit a member of the asteroid belt.
         Dawn was launched on September 27, 2007. Its nearly four-year journey to Vesta required some delicate maneuvering, since the purpose wasn’t just to fly by Vesta, but to actually orbit it. This required a gravity assist from Mars in February 2009 and a pretty slow approach. In fact, Dawn has completed a full circuit of the Sun since the Mars assist. This circuit wasn’t actually an orbit (since if it were, Dawn would be back at Mars’s orbit rather than at Vesta.) Dawn is the first NASA interplanetary probe to use an ion propulsion system, which has been turned on for most of the journey from Mars orbit. Thus the trajectory of Dawn looks more like a spiral.
         Dawn will orbit Vesta for almost exactly a year, after which it will depart for the asteroid Ceres, the largest member of the asteroid belt. In fact, Ceres is a dwarf planet, and Dawn will be the first space probe to visit a dwarf planet as well as the first to orbit one, in February 2015. (The second space probe to visit a dwarf planet will be New Horizons, which will fly by Pluto and Charon on July 14, 2015.)

         Vesta is the second largest member of the asteroid belt, and the one that gets the brightest as seen from Earth. It can get as bright as magnitude 5.1, which is naked-eye visibility as seen from Earth. It will be in opposition on August 5; this time it will reach magnitude 5.6. On the other hand, it can get as dim as magnitude 8.5. Its distance from the Sun varies from 200,000,000 million miles (almost exactly) to 239,000,000 miles. Its farthest distance from the Sun is actually slightly more distant than Ceres’s closest; however, because Ceres’s orbit is itself elliptical and aligned in the right direction, Vesta is always inside the orbit of Ceres. (A diagram on the Dawn web site makes this clearer.) Vesta can be as close as 107,000,000 miles from Earth or as distant as 332,000,000 miles, hence the large variation in apparent brightness.
         Despite being brighter than Ceres, Vesta has only a quarter of the mass. It is not considered a dwarf planet because isn’t rounded enough. This is not because it doesn’t have mass enough to round it, but because it has a crater 290 miles wide at its south pole. Since Vesta itself has a diameter around 340, this is a relatively enormous dent. The crater has an eleven-mile high mountain right in the middle of it. This and other collisions have sheared a number of fragments off Vesta that are asteroids themselves (these are termed V-type asteroids). Some fragments have actually made it to Earth, similar to the more famous Mars meteorites.
         Ceres has a diameter of 600 miles, considerably large than Vesta. The reason Vesta is brighter, in addition to Vesta getting closer, is that Vesta reflects 42% of the light falling on it, while Ceres reflects only 9%. The eastern hemisphere of Vesta reflects much more light than the western, and we presumably will soon find out why. One thought is that Vesta might have maria like the Moon.
         Although it is sometimes visible to the naked eye, Vesta was the fourth asteroid to be discovered, after Ceres, Pallas and Juno. This is why you’ll see it referred to as 4 Vesta. It came moderately close to having a chemical element named after if. After element 58 was named cerium and element 46 was named palladium, Jedrzej Sniadecki thought he discovered an element which he called vestium, but he later withdrew his announcement after other scientists couldn’t duplicate it. It’s very possible he may have discovered element 44, which is now called ruthenium. (As far as I know, nobody considered naming an element after Juno, which is much smaller than the other three.

         As far as getting brilliant high-definition pictures of Vesta, that will have to wait. Its cameras are turned off while it is sliding into orbit, so we’ll only have a resolution of 1.5 miles per pixel. When the cameras are turned back on in August, we’ll have pictures with a resolution of 900 feet, and next year we’ll be seeing pictures with a resolution of 90 feet. At that point, Dawn will be only 110 miles above the surface of Vesta. NASA will be holding a science news conference on August 1 with Dawn’s pictures of Vesta. You can watch this on the web; see the NASA TV schedule after the space calendar.
Space Probes: Juno

         On August 5, the same day Vesta is at opposition, NASA will be launching the Juno Jupiter probe. Juno is a New Frontiers mission that was to have been launched in 2009, but NASA budgetary problems pushed it to 2009.  Juno is the second New Frontiers mission, the first being the New Horizons probe to Pluto.
         Since the New Frontiers missions are relatively inexpensive, Juno is being launched in a relatively slow trajectory, with an Earth flyby in late 2013 to give it a boost. It won’t arrive at Jupiter until July 2016, almost five years after its launch.
         The purpose of Juno is to provide insight into the origin of Jupiter. In particular, it will analyze the depths of Jupiter’s atmosphere and the possibility that Jupiter has a solid core. Juno will be placed in a polar orbit, which will enable it to cover the entire planet, and give it a great opportunity to analyze Jupiter’s magnetic field. It is believed that deep within Jupiter’s atmosphere, hydrogen is so compressed that it turns into a fluid metal, and that currents within this metallic hydrogen is what generates Jupiter’s powerful magnetic field.
         Because Juno will be orbiting deep within Jupiter’s magnetic field, it will be subjected to intense radiation. Thus the central electronic core of Juno is surrounded by a one cm thick titanium shield. (Lead is not only heavy, but it is too soft for the forces the spacecraft will undergo.)

Space Probes: Voyager 1

         It now appears that Voyager 1 may be reaching the heliopause sometime in 2012, a couple of years earlier than expected. The heliopause is where the solar wind is stopped by the interstellar medium, and is one measure of the boundary of the solar system. It is expected to be somewhere between 16 and 22 billion miles from Earth (and Sun). It is also considerably more distant in the direction opposite the Sun’s movement around the galactic center. Voyager 1 is now 17.4 billion miles from Earth and located in the constellation Ophiuchus. It isn’t travelling in the exact direction the Sun is moving, but still will pass through the nearer edge of the heliopause and through the “bow shock” that the Solar System makes as it moves through the galaxy.
         Voyager 2 is moving more slowly than Voyager 1; it is only 8.8 billion miles away in the constellation Telescopium. Its path also curves more than Voyager 1’s, and it looks to me like it may miss the bow shock entirely.

Programming Notice: NASA TV on the Web

         Watch NASA TV (Public, Media and Education Channels) on your computer using Flash, Windows or QuickTime at http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/index.html.
         NASA TV Schedules are available at http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/schedule.html
         During Space Shuttle Missions the Daily Schedule for NASA TV is available at http://www.nasa.gov/shuttletv

(I’ve converted all times to Central Daylight Time)
July 8
         12:50 a.m. – STS-135 Atlantis Fueling Coverage – KSC (All Channels);
           5:30 a.m. – STS-135 Atlantis Launch Coverage (Launch scheduled at 10:26 a.m.) – KSC (All Channels) ;
         11:30 a.m. – STS-135 Atlantis Post-Launch News Conference – KSC (All Channels)
July 20
         12 p.m. NASA Science - Juno Pre-Launch News Conference - HQ (Public, HD and Media Channels)
August 1
         11 a.m. - NASA Science News Conference – Dawn Images of the Vesta Asteroid - JPL (Public, HD and Media Channels)

Calendar of Events
         July 8: 10:26 a.m. (CDT) Launch of the Space Shuttle Atlantis on a 12-Day mission to the International Space Station. This is the final flight for Atlantis and the final flight of the Space Shuttle Program.
         July 9: [Tentative] Oklahoma Space Alliance meeting at 3:00 p.m. Location to be announced.
         July 12: Neptune completes its first orbit since discovery.
         July 16, 2011 - May 2012: Dawn probe orbits Vesta. See http://dawn.jpl.nasa.gov or en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dawn_Mission for details.
         July 20: Mercury is at greatest eastern elongation, 27° from the Sun (hence can be seen after sunset).
         July 20: 42nd anniversary of Apollo 11 moon landing.
         July 20: Space Shuttle Atlantis is planned to land at 6:06 a.m. at Kennedy Space Center, ending the last flight of the Space Shuttle program.
         August 4 – 7. Mars Society Convention at the Embassy Suites Grapevine in Dallas, Texas. See article on page 2 for details.
         August 5: The asteroid Vesta is at opposition, and, at magnitude 5.6, is visible to the naked eye.
         August 5: Launch of the Juno mission to Jupiter. See en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Juno_(spacecraft) or juno.wisc.edu/juno-mission.html for details.
         August 13: [Tentative] Oklahoma Space Alliance meeting at 3:00 p.m. Location to be announced.
         August 16: Venus is in superior conjunction with the Sun, and Mercury is in inferior conjunction.
         August 22: Neptune is at opposition.
         September 3: Mercury is at greatest western elongation, 18° from the Sun (hence can be seen before sunrise).
         September 8: Launch of GRAIL, the Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory, to orbit the Moon. This is actually a dual probe mission. For more information, visit http://moon.mit.edu/index.html.
         September 10: [Tentative] Oklahoma Space Alliance meeting at 3:00 p.m. Location to be announced.
         September 25: Uranus is at opposition.
         October 8: [Tentative] Oklahoma Space Alliance meeting at 3:00 p.m. Location to be announced.
         October 13: Saturn is in conjunction with the Sun.
         October 28: Jupiter is at opposition.
         November 12: [Tentative] Oklahoma Space Alliance meeting at 3:00 p.m. Location to be announced.
         November 14: Mercury is at greatest eastern elongation, 23.7° from the Sun (hence can be seen after sunset).
         November 17: Peak of Leonid meteor shower.
         November 25: The Mars Science Laboratory (aka Curiosity) is launched. See marsprogram.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/ for details
         November 25: Partial solar eclipse viewable from all of Antarctica, and the Antarctic Ocean from Africa to Australia.
         December 10: 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.
         December 22: Mercury is at greatest western elongation, 22° from the Sun (hence can be seen before sunrise).
         Late 2011 or early 2012: Launch of the Phobos-Grunt sample return mission to the Martian moon Phobos. For more information, go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phobos-Grunt. The orbiter will remain to study Mars while the soil sample will arrive on Earth in late 2012 or early in 2013.
         Sometime in 2012: Russia launches the “Luna-Glob” mission, which will deploy 13 mini-probes upon the lunar surface. For more information, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luna-Glob.
         February 3, 2012: Launch of NuSTAR space probe from Kwajalein via a Pegasus rocket. NuSTAR will search for black holes, supernova remnants and active galaxies. For more details, visit www.nustar.caltech.edu/ or en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_Spectroscopic_Telescope_Array.
         March 3, 2012: Mars is at opposition at magnitude -1.2. This is the worst opposition for the next twenty years.
         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 (Curiosity) rover lands on Mars. See marsprogram.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/ for details.
         April 17, 2013: Mars is in conjunction with the Sun.
         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.
         April 14-15, 2014. Total eclipse of the Moon visible from North America.
         August 2014 - December 2015: The Rosetta space probe orbits comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko. In November 2014, it will release the Philae lander. Web page is www.esa.int/SPECIALS/Rosetta or visit en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rosetta_%28spacecraft%29
         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/.
         September 2015: Earliest date for the launch of the James Webb Space Telescope. [More likely this will launch in 2017 or 2018.]
         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, 2011 (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)
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. Executive Director is 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].

 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 $30 introductory rate for new members ($35 for new international members).  Regular membership rates are $55, international $65.  Student memberships are $25.  Part of the cost is for the magazine, Ad Astra.  Mail to: National Space Society, 1155 15th Street NW, Suite 500, Washington, DC  20005, 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 ©2011 Oklahoma Space Alliance.