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Oklahoma Space Alliance NSS Chapter UPDATE for June, 2011

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June 2011 Meeting:

         Oklahoma Space Alliance will meet at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, June 11 at Tom and Heidi Koszoru’s house in Norman. Prospective members are also welcome. The house is at 514 Fenwick Court in Norman.

         To get to 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. The Koszoru 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.       Research funding
          b.      A New OSA Logo
          c.       Treasurer’s Report
          d.      SoonerCon Programming (how did it go?)
          e.       Space Solar Power
          f.        Distribution of Ad Astras.
          g.       Marketing for Burns Flat
          h.       ISDC Report & Chapters Assembly Meeting
          i.         What’s Happening in Space
          j.        Movie Displays
5)         Read and discuss mail
6)         New Business
7)         Create New Agenda

 Notes on May Meeting

          I left my notebook with the minutes of the May meeting at Soonercon, and won’t be able to give formal minutes until I retrieve it, so what I have here is necessarily sketchy.—Syd

          Oklahoma Space Alliance met at the Panera Bread at 4401 North Memorial Road in Oklahoma City on May 14. Tom Koszoru, Syd Henderson, Jim Trombley, Russ Davoren and Tim Scott attended. Claire McMurray made it toward the end of the meeting. I hope I didn’t forget anyone.
         This meeting was the weekend before the International Space Development Conference in Huntsville, Alabama. Claire and Clifford McMurray and Tom and Heidi Koszoru are going to ISDC. Cliff is chairing the Space Business track. Tom will be attending the Chapters Assembly meeting although he is no longer its president. [I got an urgent call on Thursday night of the ISDC asking for my pitiful minutes to the last Assembly, but apparently they were adequate.] Reports on what transpired will take place at the June meeting. I didn’t attend this year but I hope to get reports in the June Update and July Outreach.
         We have been asked to host a Saturday Brunch in the Con Suite at the Soonercon science fiction convention in Oklahoma City, June 3 – 5. Syd is to coordinate with Claire to bring literature, signs and visual displays. Tom is planning to bring a projector.
         We have also been asked to do a space panel. Our idea was to do a two-part panel on the first 100 years of manned space flight. [This panel was reduced to one-hour.] Tom, Syd, Jim and Tim will be on the panel. We hope to get some other space activists as well.
         Claire brought thirty or forty Ad Astras for distribution. Syd took most of them for distribution to the Oklahoma Space Industry Development Authority and at Soonercon.
         OSA Treasurer Tim Scott did a treasurer’s report. We have about five hundred dollars between checks and cash. Apparently he doesn’t have the money I sent him in January.
         Jim Trombley’s report on “What’s Happening in Space” including NASA’s criticism proposal for an interim launch vehicle. The criticism is that it seems an effort to salvage pork for congressional districts which were involved in the Constellation program more than a necessary transition.

                                                           --Report by OSA Secretary Syd Henderson

 ISDC 2012

          The Early Bird registration price, good through June 30 only, is now just one click away at space.nss.org (look on the left, just below Join/Renew/Donate). NSS members pay only $99; non-members $149, full-time students or youth under 22 pay $29. Or, get your first year of NSS membership and ISDC for $119. This time it’s in Washington DC, Memorial Day Weekend, May 24-28, 2012.

 Between Meetings Activities

ISDC 2011

From nss.org: Jeff Greason’s speech at the Awards Dinner at the 2011 NSS International Space Development Conference is being widely regarded as a major statement in the field of space policy. A video of the speech, with transcript, is now on the NSS website.
Greason is President of XCOR Aerospace and was a member of the Augustine Committee (Review of U.S. Human Space Flight Plans Committee) established by the White House in 2009. Among his provocative comments: "The purpose of the initial human outpost is not to be there and look cool. It is not to unfurl flags and take pretty pictures, and it is not the holy grail of science, although we will get all of those things. It's to make gas."
See the full 42-minute video of the speech online or read more about it on the NSS Blog.

For Cliff McMurray’s report on the ISDC, see an upcoming issue of Ad Astra. OSA members attending were Cliff & Claire McMurray and Tom Koszoru. For Claire, the most exciting part was the silent auction for a 0-G flight with Aurora Aerospace. Proceeds went half to NSS and half to the Red Cross for victims of the Huntsville tornado. Cliff won the auction and gave it to Claire for her birthday. Their plane is smaller than 0-G Corp. uses but still has room for 1 or 2 people to fly around inside. For info on Aurora see http://www.aurora-aerospace.com/, but it doesn’t show the propeller plane used for 0-G flights. We hope to schedule the flight in July.
          Both Claire & Tom attended the Chapters Assembly, and Claire has been asked to send in a written version of her description of the duties of a Regional/Area Chapters Coordinator/Liaison/Organizer. The Assembly approved the verbal description, but no replacement for the old title has been decided. Claire hasn’t sent in her job description version yet, because of travel fatigue and spending SoonerCon weekend in Pennsylvania at her college reunion.          At the reunion, she was able to do a 10-minute presentation to a few people on why a space program is a major environment­al requirement (because large asteroids can kill a majority of species, as has happened before).

SoonerCon Report

          SoonerCon was held at the Sheraton Downtown OKC from June 3 – 5. This convention was referred to both as SoonerCon 2011 and SoonerCon 20 but apparently the latter is the official name. The Sheraton turns out to be the former Century hotel where several Soonercons were held in the 80s. [If the number 20 seems small it’s because the original SoonerCon was from 1986 – 1997, and the name was revived in 2005 by a different group with a little overlap to the previous convention.] One big change since the eighties is the creation of Bricktown, an entertainment district that has revived downtown Oklahoma City, and, incidentally, provides a lot of good eating places in walking distance for famished fans.
         Oklahoma Space Alliance hosted a brunch in the Con Suite on Saturday. Syd brought chips, cheese, crackers, soda, and cookies. John Northcutt brought two huge trays, one of sandwiches and one of veggies, and Tim Scott brought oodles of Krispy Kreme doughnuts. Syd also brought newsletters, fliers, a signup sheet, Ad Astra, the moon globe, signs, the NSS banner and mobile display units. We had a considerable crowd, especially before 11:00 a.m. when the serious paneling began. I don’t have a complete count, but I’m sure we had up to thirty people at one time. We had only a couple of signups. Although I thought we might have brought too much food, it was pretty much gone by 1:00 p.m.
         As for the panel, we had 10 – 15 people and a lively interaction with the audience, which had a couple of people who knew more about current space than I did. Tim Scott, John Northcut, Jim Trombley and, belatedly, Tom Koszoru, were panelists with Syd as moderator. I was, frankly, frazzled as moderator, but fortunately Jim and John took up most of the slack. I thought it was disorganized but other people seemed to like it.
         Once I was unfrazzled, I enjoyed the convention greatly. It seemed quite a bit larger and more substantial than previous SoonerCons I attended, as reflected by my attending six panels on Sunday without a break. Tim Powers, whose novel On Stranger Tides was extremely loosely adapted into the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie, was guest of honor, and well-known sf artist Darryl Sweet was artist guest of honor. The adults-only Sinnercon party was (thankfully) scratched in favor of a Zombie Walk and Zombie Prom, and there was a makeup artist in the dealer’s room transforming people into the living dead. Outside of us, there wasn’t much having to do with space. The convention still has a substantial comics and media component, including a fan-made sequel to Serenity and a web series, Divine White’s Introduction to Hollywood, which guest Larry Nemecek was involved in.
         I’d say that after seven revived SoonerCons the committee has now got the hang of it. This was the best of the seven.

                                                  --Report by OSA Secretary Syd Henderson

          Chris Carson was unable to attend this year, but asked Claire & Cliff to distribute copies of his LUNA! newsletter. Since we couldn’t do it, here’s the url: http://www.lunarcc.org/materials/files/luna_009.pdf. If you decide to print it out, use "legal" (8.5 by 14 inch) paper, with no fit-to-page or other scaling. [CM-ed.]

Space News

Space Shuttle Endeavour has landed safely on its last trip. After undocking from the space station on May 30, it conducted a mock rendezvous, approaching ISS on the same trajectory the planned Orion crew capsule would use to dock. The point was to test a 2-sensor package designed to allow docking with only a single pilot. The current shuttle system used 4 sensors and requires 3 crew to participate. The test data is only 2% analyzed, but it’s already clear that the “Vision Navigation Sensor” was able to detect the ISS from 5.7 kilometers away, and also tracked the station reliably in close quarters (6 feet). Endeavour will be displayed at the California Science Center in Los Angeles after decommissioning.

The first Cygnus space station cargo module has been shipped to Orbital Sciences. The launch from the new Wallops Flight Facility is planned for December aboard Orbital’s Taurus 2 rocket.

Dark Matter (unknown slow-moving cold particles) apparently makes up 23.3% of the universe, and ordinary matter only 4.6%. The other 72.1% seems to be “dark energy.”  This conclusion is currently the explanation for the “clumpy” distribution of galaxies throughout the observed universe. Four astronomers credited with finding evidence for this have shared the $500,000 Cosmology Prize awarded by the Peter & Patricia Gruber Foundation on June 1.  The winners are: Marc Davis (UC Berkeley), George Efstathion (Kavi Institute for Cosmology, Cambridge England), Carlos Frenk (Institute for Computational Cosmology, Durham University, England),and Simon White (Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics, Garching, Germany).

Several reports indicate that trying to develop a satellite jointly with NASA and 1 or 2 other government agencies (usually Defense and NOAA) results in extra time, extra expense, and sometimes cancellation. In particular, NASA’s inspector general issued a June 2 report describing an “undisciplined environment”  for developing instruments for a new generation of polar-orbiting weather satellites, resulting in “technical and structural challenges,” a 5-year delay and more than 50% cost overrun. In the IG’s opinion the tri-agency program office, rather than NASA, bears most of the blame.
          NASA is resisting joining Defense and the National Reconnaissance Office in a joint rocket procurement plan, because NASA’s budget assigns the launch cost to each mission separately, whereas the others have a line item for buying rockets. However, NASA is trying to adjust its acquisition regulations in a way that allows multi-year contracts for commercial launch providers—not only for space station crew & cargo capsules but potentially for projects such as the creation of space-based fuel depots. Unfortunately there’s resistance from those, perhaps including Congress, who want to control the details.

Mars Society Announcement June 2, 2011

Convention Speaker List Now Available on Mars Society Web Site

          The Mars Society will be holding its Fourteenth Annual International Mars Society Convention in Dallas, Texas, August 4-7, 2011.
          A list of confirmed speakers is now available for viewing on the organization’s web site.  The list will continue to be updated as additional speakers are confirmed and added to the overall program.
          To view the list of speakers, please visit: http://www.marssociety.org/home/join_us/convention/speakers2011
          Registration for the convention is now open at: www.marssociety.org.


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)
dmcraig at earthlink.net (Nancy and David Craig).
        E-mail for OSA should be sent to sydh at ou.edu.  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
       The National Space Society's Headquarters phone is 202-429-1600. Executive Director is Gary Barnhard nsshq at nss.org. 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. For details on the NSS chapters network, see http://space.nss.org/nss-chapters-directory/

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 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, both Senate & House, is 202/224-3121.

         Write to any U. S. Senator or Representative at [name]/ Washington DC, 20510 (Senate) or 20515 [House]. To find contact & other information your congressperson, see www.house.gov/. For senators, use www.congress.org/

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