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OUTREACH November 2011

November 2011 Meeting (NOTE TIME and LOCATION)

         Oklahoma Space Alliance will meet at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, November 12 at Denny’s on the I-240 access road on the north side just east of Pennsylvania Avenue in southern Oklahoma City. The street address is 1617 SW 74th Street and the phone number is 685-5414. This is in the middle of a long line of eating places so we can use the opportunity to scout out potential meeting places.
         We only have the meeting place until 6:00 p.m.
         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 in December.


  1. Introductions (if necessary)
  2. Read and approve agenda
  3. Read and approve minutes and reports of activities
  4. Old Business
    1. A New OSA Logo
    2. Treasurer’s Report
    3. Yuri’s Night 2012
    4. Moon Day 2012
    5. Distribution of Ad Astras
    6. What’s Happening in Space
    7. OSA Fundraisers
    8. Library Displays
    9. OSA Speakers
    10. Officer Nominations
    11. Christmas Party
  5. Read and discuss mail
  6. New Business
  7. Create New Agenda

Minutes of October Meeting

         Oklahoma Space Alliance met October 8 at the Koszoru house. Attending were Tom and Heidi Koszoru, Steve Swift, David Sheely, James and Vicky Trombly, Claire McMurray, John Northcutt and Syd Henderson.
         The deal on the movie that SEDS purchased with the money we gave them for last year’s Yuri’s Night was that we could borrow it if we needed it for a presentation. It does belong to SEDS.
         Cliff sent a lot of links from Space.Com.
         John and Tom will get together to work on the logo. Syd will keep working on Leigh to complete her version.
         Tom and Heidi’s dog Suzy died of cancer on September 11. Suzy was a fixture at OSA meetings for many years.
         Tom cannot go to ISDC in 2012 since it’s his mother-in-law’s birthday and he will be in Germany.
         Tom has twenty CD’s on Solar Power from the 2009 International Space Development Conference.
         Jim reported that the Senate Appropriations Committee has approved .5 billion dollars for Commercial Space, split between four companies (Boeing, Lockheed Martin, SpaceX and XCor).
         Claire needs someone to take over Update, the e-mail newsletter we send out in even months. Claire will be having knee surgery on both knees.
         SpaceX has announced that they are developing a fully reusable vertical launch-vertical landing space vehicle. This will be a refinement of the Dragon capsule which does land in water.
         Jim did a report on Karl Jansky, the father of radio astronomy. Jansky was born in Norman in 1905 in what was then Oklahoma Territory. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1927 with a degree in Physics and joined Bell Telephone Labs in 1928. While investigating causes of static in radio voice transmission, Jansky detected a type of static that repeated once a day, which at first he thought was the Sun, but he eventually calculated that the period was one sidereal day, and worked out that it was coming from the center of the Milky Way, in the constellation Sagittarius.
         Jim wants someone to carry on his series of Dragon updates after the end of the year.
         Steve: At the last meeting we mentioned that young people don’t seem to be interested in space. We exchange information among ourselves, but not so much with the general public.
         Tom: We should contact a speaker’s bureau. Oklahoma University has such a program.
         Steve: Perhaps speakers from companies based in Oklahoma.
         The Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics is located in Oklahoma City.
         There is a Rotary Park building on Boyd that belongs to the City of Norman. We could host speakers there.
         On Moon Day 2012, NSS-North Texas does something with local schools. Moon Day is the closest Saturday to July 20.
         Oklahoma Space Alliance may have to be open to moving the meetings to third weekend when there is bad weather on meeting days.
--Minutes by OSA Secretary Syd Henderson


         The Oklahoma Space Industry Development Authority met on October 12 at the Oklahoma Department of Transportation building in Oklahoma City. Board members present were Jack Bonny, Lou Sims, Phil Kliewer and Darryl Murphy. There were three in the audience, not including OSIDA executive director Bill Khourie and his legal assistant. Syd Henderson attended on behalf of Oklahoma Space Alliance. Ken Ruffin, the President of NSS-North Texas was in town and attended on the behalf of his organization. The third audience member was Dan Seesholtz of the College of Engineering at the University of Oklahoma. Capt. Seesholtz is governor of the UAS council.
         Former State Senator Gilmer Capps, who is also on the OSIDA board, suffered a mild heart attack and wasn’t able to attend.
         Bill Khourie introduced Richard Hart, who will be holding the position of Facility Manager at the Oklahoma Spaceport. Mr. Hart has had extensive experience in law enforcement in Elk City over thirty years. He also was a musician who toured with Mel Torme. How this relates to being a Spaceport facility manager wasn’t clear to me.
         The FAA will indeed have the Commercial Space Advisory Committee meeting in Oklahoma City’s Mike Monroney Center in January.
         OSIDA has sent out 120 copies of their promotional video.
         The OSIDA Board voted to approve expenditure not to exceed $30,000 to develop a new interactive OSIDA web page. This appears to have already started because the OSIDA web page is “Under Construction.”)

         The Oklahoma Space Industry Development Authority meeting that was scheduled for November 9 has been cancelled.
--Notes by OSA Secretary Syd Henderson

Viewing Opportunities for Satellites (November 11 – December 19, 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.
         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 and from the Space Station may change its orbit. Expedition 29/30 will dock on November 16 and Expedition 30/31 on December 28. SpaceX’s Dragon capsule is apparently now going to launch in January or February. Be sure to check Heavens Above or www.jsc.nasa.gov/sightings before going out to watch.

Station November 17, 2011
Time               Position     Elevation
6:45 a.m.             259°                17°
6:46                     277                  29
6:47                     322                  39
6:48                         7                  29
6:49                       25                  17

Station November 18, 2011
Time               Position     Elevation
Appears from Earth’s Shadow
5:47:31 a.m.        220°                26°
5:48:15                216                  40
5:49                     130                  78
5:50                       57                  38
5:51                       52                  19

Hubble November 20, 2011
Time               Position     Elevation
6:44 a.m.             219°                20°
6:45                     200                  26
6:46                     174                  30
6:47                     148                  27
6:48                     130                  20
The Hubble viewing opportunities for November 21-23 are virtually identical to that of November 20 except for times. Hubble peaks:
November 21 at 6:43 a.m.
November 22 at 6:39 a.m.
November 23 at 6:37 a.m.

Station December 5, 2011
Time               Position     Elevation
6:57 a.m.             290°                16°
6:58                     271                  28
6:59                     227                  38
7:00                     182                  29
7:01                     164                  17

Station December 6, 2011
Time               Position     Elevation
Appears from Earth’s Shadow
5:59:21 a.m.        331°                47°
6:00:13                  44                  73
6:01                     117                  38
6:02                     124                  19
Station December 15, 2011
Time               Position     Elevation
6:28 p.m.             204°                18°
6:29                     188                  34
6:30                     134                  49*
6:31                       81                  33**
Vanishes into Earth’s Shadow
*Passes 2° below Jupiter
**Passes through the Pleiades

Hubble December 16, 2011
Time               Position     Elevation
5:29 p.m.             219°                20°
5:30                     201                  26
5:31                     175                  30*
5:32                     148                  27
5:33                     126                  19
*Passes just below Venus

The Hubble viewing opportunities for December 17-18 are virtually identical to that of December 16 except on December 17 peak time is 5:28 p.m. and on December 18 it is 5:25 p.m.

Station December 17, 2011
Time               Position     Elevation
6:06 p.m.             233°                20°
6:07                     238                  40
6:08                     319                  79
6:09                       38                  41
6:10                       44                  20

Station December 19, 2011
Time               Position     Elevation
5:43 p.m.             259°                18°
5:44                     278                  30
5:45                     322                  40*
5:46                         7                  31
5:47                       26                  18
*Passes very close to Vega

         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 Hubble Space Telescope at 5:31 p.m. on December 16, measure one half fist-width east of due south, then three 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 November and December issues of both Astronomy and Sky & Telescope.]

         There will be a total eclipse of the Moon on the morning of December 10. This eclipse will be visible in its entirety in Alaska, Australia, and all of Asia east of Iran, including Russia and Kazakhstan. The west coast of the United States will get to see the total eclipse but the Moon will set during the second partial phase. In Oklahoma, we will get to see the Earth’s shadow moving across the Moon, but totality will begin just at the moment of sunset. Partial phases will begin at 6:46 a.m. Central Standard Time, and totality from 8:06 a.m. until 8:47 a.m.
         The next total lunar eclipse, which we will see in its entirety, will occur on April 15, 2014.

         There are three meteor showers before the end of the year. The Leonids peak on the morning of November 18. Although the Leonids can produce a meteor storm, they aren’t expected to this year. They may only produce ten bright meteors an hour and, unfortunately, the Moon will be in its gibbous phase and drown out the dimmer ones.
         The Geminids peak on the morning of December 14, just in time for another gibbous Moon. It’s still one of the better showers of the year, producing around forty meteors an hour, but the Moon may drown them out.
         The Ursids peak on the night of December 22-23. This shower typically produces ten meteors an hour, but can have bursts up to fifty per hour. However, the Ursids have an advantage this year compared to the Leonids and Geminids because they occur one day before New Moon. The radiant (the point the meteors seem to be coming from) is in Ursa Minor, the constellation that contains Polaris, the North Star. In other words, the radiant stays in almost the same position all night.

         Venus is currently visible just above the southwestern horizon just after sunset, with Mercury a couple of degrees below it. The two planets will maintain this relative position through the first two weeks of November as they separate themselves a bit from the Sun. Mercury will reach greatest elongation on November 14 when it will be shining at magnitude -0.3 and setting about an hour after sunset. After that it will fade rapidly as it approaches inferior conjunction with the Sun on December 4. In late December, Mercury will be a morning star shining at magnitude -0.4 when it reaches greatest western elongation on December 22.
         Venus, meanwhile, will continue to pull away from the Sun, setting two hours after the Sun on December 1 and three hours after the Sun at the end of December. Venus will be shining at magnitude -3.9 for the next couple of months. This makes it the brightest object in the night sky except for the Moon, but is still nearly a magnitude dimmer than Venus’s maximum brightness. This is because Venus is still on the far side of its orbit and Venus is brighter when it’s a crescent.
         Mars is magnitude 1.0 and shining in the constellation Leo about a degree away from the star Regulus, which is itself magnitude 1.3. It is rising about midnight. Mars is gradually heading toward a poor opposition in March, and will be magnitude 0.8 at the beginning of December at 0.2 at the end of the year.
         Jupiter was at opposition on October 29 and is still shining all night long at magnitude -2.9. It also appears at nearly its maximum size as see from Earth. Jupiter will still be shining all evening through the end of the year. It is located in southern Aries near the border of Pisces and is moving retrograde across the stars. This is a pretty barren region of the sky but if you look below and a little to the left, you can see a pentagon which marks the head of Cetus the Whale.
         Saturn is pretty low in the eastern sky at sunrise and shining at magnitude 0.7. It was in conjunction with the Sun last month but is separating itself rapidly, rising around 6:00 a.m. on December 1 and about 25° above the horizon at the beginning of twilight. By December 31, it will be rising around 3:30 a.m. Saturn’s rings are also increasing their tilt and should be easily visible through a telescope. Saturn is in the constellation Virgo, which has only one really bright star, Spica, which is about five degrees to the right of Saturn and almost equally bright.
         Uranus is magnitude 5.8 in Pisces to the lower left of the Circlet in Pisces and Neptune is magnitude 7.9 and next door in the constellation Aquarius. Neptune is once again almost exactly in the location where it was first discovered, but is about to end its retrograde motion against the stars (as is Uranus).
         Finder charts for Uranus and Neptune are available in PDF format at http://media.skyandtelescope.com/documents/Uranus-Neptune-2011.pdf.

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

(I’ve converted all times to Central Standard Time)
         November 13: 9:30 p.m.: Coverage of the launch of ISS Expedition 29/30 from Baikonur, Kazakhstan. Actual launch time is 10:14 p.m. This will be rebroadcast at 1:00 a.m.
         November 15: 11:00 p.m.: Expedition 29/30 Docking coverage. Hatch opening is 1:30 a.m. on November 16.
         November 21: noon: What Do We Know About Mars? 1:15 Expedition 29 farewells. 4:30 Undocking coverage. 7:00 p.m. coverage of return of Expedition 29 from the Space Station. Landing is 8:25 p.m.
         November 22: 10:00 a.m., Looking for Signs of Life in the Universe. Noon: Mars Science Lab pre-launch briefing. 1:00 p.m. Mars Science Lab science briefing.
         November 25: 7:30 a.m. Mars Science Lab launch coverage.
Space News:

         SpaceX has more ambitions for its Dragon capsule than low-Earth orbit. On October 31 in a meeting with NASA science advisors, SpaceX advanced the proposition of sending a Dragon to Mars. This mission, named “Red Dragon,” could launch as early as 2018 and cost $500 million. The mission would carry a robotic drill and probe for ice near the poles, similar to NASA’s Phoenix lander. Unlike most probes to Mars, this one would not use an air bag or parachute, but land vertically with small rockets. I’d be worried about contamination from the rocket exhaust. The cost of the mission is a major attraction. Another mission for 2018, a rock-gathering rover and sample return, would cost $2.5 billion. [See http://www.nature.com/news/2011/111107/full/479162a.html. Thanks to William Ledbetter for the heads-up.

         China launched its first ever docking mission on October 31. The Shenzhou 8 spacecraft was remotely docked with the Tiangong 1 space module. Both Shenzhou 8 and Tiangong 1 are unmanned; this mission was a rehearsal for the Shenzhou 9 mission which will carry three taikonauts to Tiangong 1. This will make Tiangong 1 effectively China’s first, if rather small, space station. It will be followed by Tiangong 2 and 3, steps on the way to the construction of a full-fledged space station by 2020.

         A team of scientists led by Jose Muñoz of the University of Valencia has used the Hubble Space Telescope and a gravitational lens to directly observe an accretion disc around the black hole that forms the center of the quasar HE 1104-1805. Although since 2008 there have been methods of viewing accretion discs before using polarizing filters, the lensing phenomenon allows the team to view the disc in unprecedented detail.
         An accretion disc is formed when matter spirals into a massive body such as a star or black hole. Friction causes the matter to heat up as it approaches the star, while the law of conservation of angular momentum requires some method of transferring angular momentum to the outer part of the disc. It is thought this may be done by magnetic fields, though alternative methods have been proposed. One of these is for some of the matter to shoot out of disc in two jets perpendicular to the plane of the disc. [The same law in the Earth-Moon system requires that the slowing down of the Earth’s rotation due to tides be compensated by an increase of the radius of the Moon’s orbit by about 1.8 inches a year. In that case, the tidal torque itself is the transferring mechanism. Since the Moon’s orbit is increasing in size and the Moon’s rotation is locked to its orbit, this means the Moon’s rotation is also gradually slowing.]
         For a star, the matter in the inner part of an accretion disc only gets hot enough to emit infrared radiation, but matter spiraling into a black hole gets hot enough to emit x-rays, and the jets are emitted at a substantial fraction of the speed of light. If one of these jets is pointed in our direction, we observe a quasar. Since the jets are perpendicular to the accretion disc, we observe the accretion disc of a quasar face-on. However, quasars are so bright that they vastly outshine their accretion discs, which makes the discs a challenge to observe, despite the discs being a hundred billion miles across (or roughly eleven times the distance from Earth to Eris). Despite their immense size, they’re also billions of light-years away, so their images appear tiny from Earth.
         This is where the gravitational lens comes in. A galaxy rejoicing in the name [WKK93] G lies almost directly between us and the quasar HE 1104-1805. This means light from the quasar bends around the galaxy, producing two images of the quasar and vastly increasing its apparent size. This confirms that HE 1104-1805’s accretion disc is between 60 and 180 billion kilometers across. In addition, individual stars in the intervening galaxy cross the path of light from the accretion disc, producing their own lensing effects that allow astronomers to analyze the light coming from different parts of the accretion disc.

         The dwarf planet Eris appears to be even more dwarfish than previously supposed. Last year Eris occulted a seventeenth-magnitude star, which allowed astronomers to measure Eris’s diameter. The result: Eris has a diameter of 1445 miles with an uncertainty of seven miles. Since Pluto’s diameter is between 1430 and 1490 miles, the two dwarf planets are statistically tied for the honor of being the largest known dwarf planet. (Pluto’s diameter is less certain than Eris’s because of Pluto’s atmosphere. That uncertainty will be eliminated when the New Horizons spacecraft flies by Pluto in 2015.)
         Since Pluto and Eris both have moons, we are able to measure the masses of the dwarf planets, and Eris is 27% more massive than Pluto, hence must be correspondingly denser. This means Eris must be a much rockier body than Pluto. In addition, Eris’s surface must be much more reflective than anticipated. In fact, Eris reflects 96% of sunlight, which is really incredible. In fact, since icy surfaces tend to darken over time due to meteorite impacts, the surface of Eris much be relatively new. This means Eris probably has an atmosphere when it is closest to the Sun and the atmosphere freezes out as Eris moves away from the Sun.

         Meanwhile, add Pluto, Eris and Neptune’s moon Triton to the list of solar system bodies that may have oceans under their icy surfaces. Calculations by Guillame Robuchon and Francis Nimmo of the University of California at Santa Cruz indicate that Pluto’s rocky core may have enough radioactive isotopes (specifically Potassium-40) to warm up its interior to a temperature over the melting point of water. If this is true for Pluto, it should also be true for Eris. Since Triton is larger and more massive than either Pluto or Eris, it also would probably have a subsurface ocean. Other large bodies that might have such oceans are Saturn’s moon Titan and Jupiter’s moons Ganymede, Callisto and, most definitely, Europa, all of which are much more massive than Triton.
Space-Related Articles: Mercury

         The September 30 issue of Science had a lot of papers about the MESSENGER mission to Mercury, which has been finding a lot of unexpected things and overturned more than a few theories about its formation. The December issue of Astronomy also summarizes the early MESSENGER findings.
         To me, the most interesting result is that Mercury’s crust has a potassium/thorium ratio of 5200 +/- 1800, which is similar to that of the other terrestrial planets. (MESSENGER measures the ratios of potassium-40, thorium-232 and uranium-238 by the amount of radiation they give off. Assuming the percentage of the radioactive potassium-40 is similar to that on Earth gives the amount of potassium on Mercury.)
         Mercury is unusual among the terrestrial planets because it has an unusually large core for its size, and Mercury’s density, 5.427, is almost as large as Earth’s 5.515, indicating Mercury must have a large iron-rich core. Indeed, Earth is denser only because of the gravitational compression of its interior; Mercury must have more heavy elements relative to its size.
         One of the prevailing theories is that Mercury must have heated to a much higher temperature in the past, boiling a lot of the surface rock away. MESSENGER has now killed this theory, since any such heating episode would have depleted the crust of potassium, and that didn’t happen.
         An alternate theory, that Mercury must have survived a large collision that melted away much of its crust, also seems to be in trouble. Such a collision would have melted the planet’s crust, again depleting it of potassium.
         This leaves a third theory, that the inner portion of the solar nebula was depleted of lighter particles, which left Mercury to be formed of denser material. Indeed, despite the potassium data, Mercury’s crust does have an unusual composition, including ten times the abundance of sulfur and a relatively low abundance of iron. This indicates that Mercury was formed under reducing conditions, while the other terrestrial planets formed under oxidizing conditions. This seems surprising, but was anticipated in an August 4 paper in Planetary and Space Science, which pointed out that the innermost part of the solar nebula contained little water and was rich in organics.
         (Note though that the Astronomy article is favorable to the collision theory while Science favors the third theory.
         I’m surprised that the crust of Mercury seems to be depleted in iron, given that it apparently has a large iron core. This suggests that there must have been some sort of separation mechanism at work, more efficient than that on Earth. We do know that Mercury has a molten outer core because it is the only terrestrial known body other than Earth to have a global magnetic field. Mercury’s magnetic field also appears to be oddly offset by twenty percent of the planet’s radius north relative to its axis of rotation, meaning there may be something unusual about its core.
         Mercury’s crust also contains much more magnesium and much less aluminum and titanium that the Earth’s and the Moon’s. Aluminum tends to separate out when much of a body is molten, so perhaps Mercury didn’t undergo as intense a period of melting, or perhaps the part of the solar nebula in which it formed was depleted in aluminum and titanium for some reason. MESSENGER has also confirmed a suggestion from the Mariner 10 data that there is an area of smooth plains in the north polar regions of Mercury. This area is much newer than most of the rest of the surface and appears to be the result of volcanic activity. There are also “ghost craters,” that is, older craters that were buried by younger deposits.

         “Dawn’s Early Light: A Vesta Fiesta!” by Jim Bell, Sky & Telescope. November 2011, pp. 32 – 37. This is an overview of the Dawn mission, but still very early.

Calendar of Events
         November 12: Oklahoma Space Alliance meeting at 3:30 p.m. at Denny’s on I-240 north access road east of South Pennsylvania Avenue in Oklahoma City,
         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 4: Mercury is in inferior conjunction with the Sun.
         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 west 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.
         August 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) 227-3287 (C)
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:

[email protected] (Claire McMurray)
[email protected] (Heidi and Tom Koszoru)
[email protected] (John Northcutt)
[email protected] (Syd Henderson)
[email protected] (Tim Scott)
[email protected]  (Steve Galpin)
[email protected] (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 www.marsociety.org. 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.