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Oklahoma Space Alliance NSS Chapter UPDATE for August, 2011

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August 2011 Meeting (NOTE EARLIER TIME):

         Oklahoma Space Alliance will meet at 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, August 13 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.

 For future reference, Syd Henderson notes: “Amazingly, none of the OU home games this year are on a second Saturday. The home games are September 3 and 24, October 1 and 22, November 5 and 26, so none are on a third Saturday either. Very considerate of them.” That should make driving to the meeting easier this year.


  1. Introductions (if necessary)
  2. Read and approve agenda
  3. Read and approve minutes and reports of activities
  4. 10-minute video highlights from Kip & Claire’s 0-G flight with Aurora Aerospace
  5. Read and discuss mail
  6. Old Business
    1. A New OSA Logo
    2. Treasurer’s Report
    3. ISDC 2012
    4. Space Solar Power
    5. Distribution of Ad Astras
    6. What’s Happening in Space, including SpaceX Dragon launch
  7. New Business
    1. Tom’s fundraiser for a space charity
    2. Library displays
    3. Space Week in October
    4. Yuri’s Night 2012
    5. Moon Day 2012: organize our own or join NSS of N. Texas in Dallas/Ft. Worth?
  8. Create New Agenda
  9. Full version (about 1 hour) of Kip & Claire’s 0-G flight for those who want to watch

Minutes of July 2011 meeting

         Oklahoma Space Alliance met Saturday, July 11 at Panera Bread at 4401 North Memorial Road in Oklahoma City. Attending were Tom Koszoru, Jim Trombley, Russ Davoren, Tim Scott, John Northcutt, Jana Galpin and Syd Henderson.
         We can put Tom’s new cell phone number in the newsletter.
         The 2011 Mars Society Convention is August 4 – 7 in Dallas, Texas. Claire McMurray and Syd Henderson are planning to attend.
         Fundraiser: Design a model by Franklin Mint to be sent into space with a plaque from a kid saying this is what he wants to do in space. Sponsored by National Space Society and SpaceX, maybe NASA.
         Tom went to the Marshall Space Center during the ISDC.
         We should make a rubber stamp with our info to put on the Ad Astras we distribute.
         Jim will be talking about SpaceX at meetings through the rest of the year.
         Dreamchaser? Look up info.
         Tom would like to do publicity at an air show. The one at Will Rogers Airport is apparently defunct, but what about Tulsa or Tinker Air Force Base?
         Drop movie displays from agenda in favor of library displays.
         Add SpaceX Dragon Launch to business. Drop ISDC. [But add Mars Society conference.]
         Jim wants to have a speaker at Oklahoma Space Alliance. He has a couple of candidates. This could be at either Panera Bread or Tom’s.
         Jim has VHS tapes of NASA. He brought some DVD copies of these.

      --Report by OSA Secretary Syd Henderson

 ISDC 2012

         The Early Bird registration price,
extended to August 15, 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 only $29. Or, get your first year of NSS membership plus ISDC2012 for $119. This time it’s in Washington DC, Memorial Day Weekend, May 24-28, 2012. Register at https://space.nss.org/cgi-bin/register/tdregister?$Origin=ISDC12#Registration.

Between Meetings Activities

         Zero-G Flight with Aurora Aerospace: While in Florida covering the last space shuttle flight, Cliff (“Kip”) & Claire McMurray celebrated the 4th of July with Claire’s birthday present from Kip: a “zero-G” flight. Kip was top bidder at the ISDC charity auction. Definitely the best present ever! We’ll show video at the August meeting, but in case you can’t get there, here are a few still pictures taken by the “flight coach,” Veronique:

Zero G 1       Zero G 2         Zero G 3        Zero G 4

           Claire floating              Kip launching “bananacopter”           Kip “zooming”              Kip learning to fly a parabola

         The Aurora Aerospace plane is too small to stand in, but there’s room for 1 or 2 to play, as well as 4 seats. With this company, how many parabolas to fly at Moon, Martian, or zero gravity, with how much time in between, is controlled by the passenger(s) since only 1 or 2 go at a time. We chose all but the 1st 2 parabolas at 0-G, and kept asking for more until the fuel ran low. Veronique had lots of toys (M&M’s, ping-pong balls, water drops, etc) for us, but Claire stationed herself a bit behind Kip and caught very few. However, she did manage some acrobatics.

         Final space shuttle flight: Cliff and Claire spent July 6th-8th at NASA's media center, working on our Atlantis launch coverage. We had a great view of the launch, closer than anyone not working for NASA. To see our story, go to http://normantranscript.com/archive/x66807382/Atlantis-soars-into-history and http://normantranscript.com/headlines/x981130303/Atlantis-marks-America-s-last-voyage-into-the-final-frontier. (Cliff did the actual camera work; Claire’s contribution was some research and getting the photos onto our laptop and emailed to the Transcript editor).

         The SpaceX launch facility and Dragon Capsule exhibit were on one of NASA’s media tours. Claire and Cliff went and took pictures; we’ll say more in OUTREACH next month or an “August 1.5” UPDATE.

         Mars Society Convention, held August 4-7 in Grapevine, Texas: Syd Henderson and Claire McMurray attended for the weekend and half of Friday only. Bill Ledbetter invited us to join the North Texas chapter for their Christmas party, and to participate next July in a “Moon Day” outreach event they’ve been organizing at a Dallas/Ft. Worth museum. Curtis Kling said they haven’t gotten our recent newsletters, and sure enough neither June nor July was emailed to him. Since he has faithfully sent The North Texas Spacecraft to us for forwarding,  I’m adding his email to this and future issues. I don’t have time to say more in this issue, but will write up my notes for the next newsletter, either Sept. or later this August. --CM

         Air Show listings on the web: See http://www.festivals-and-shows.com/airshows.html. It shows nothing major nearby, but we did find:

         10/15, 2011 - Annual Aviation Festival, Norman, Oklahoma
         Location: UO / Max Westheimer Airport;
         Contact Phone: 405-325-7233; Website: http://airport.ou.edu/Events/Events.htm

Also if we want to travel:

         08/19 - 08/20, 2011 - KC Aviation Expo and Airshow, Kansas City, MO
         Website: www.kcairshow.com.

         09/16 - 09/18, 2011 - Flights Of Our Fathers Fly-In, Terrell, Texas
         Location: Terrell Municipal Airport
         Contact Phone: 972-524-1714; Website: www.bftsmuseum.org/home.html

         10/01 - 10/02, 2011 - FT. Smith Airshow, FT. Smith, Arkansas
          Website: http://airshowfortsmith.com

         10/01 - 10/02, 2011 - Sheppard AFB Airshow, Sheppard, Texas
         Location: Sheppard AFB, Website: sheppardairshow.com

         10/08 - 10/09, 2011 – Airsho, Midland, Texas
         Location: Between Midland & Odessa, Texas Midland International Airport
         Contact Phone: 888-945-3008; Website: airsho.org

And quite a few others in Texas.

Space News

         From NASA (courtesy of Syd): “This year's Perseid meteor shower peaks on the night of Friday, Aug. 12 and into the early morning of Saturday, Aug 13. The Perseids are considered the best meteor shower of the year by many, but with the full moon washing out all but the brightest meteors, rates will probably only be 20-30 per hour at most -- weather permitting. The Perseids rate in the southern hemisphere is quite a bit lower, since the Perseid radiant doesn't climb above the horizon.
         “Make plans to chat with NASA astronomer Bill Cooke and his team from NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center as they answer your questions about the Perseids via live Web chat. Join them on Friday, Aug. 12 at [10 p.m. Central Time] -- 03:00 UTC GMT -- then make plans to stay "up all night" until [4:00 a.m. CDT] on Saturday, Aug. 13.
         “Joining the chat is easy. Simply return to http://www.nasa.gov/connect/chat/perseids_2011.html a few minutes before 10 p.m. CDT on Friday, Aug. 12. The chat module will appear at the bottom of this page. Simply type your name to join the chat, then we'll start taking your questions at 10 p.m. CDT.” A live video/audio feed will be embedded on the chat page.

From space.nss.org:

Current Strategies for Air-Breathing Rockets (August 2, 2011)

         As market competition for space access heats up, there is a renewed interest in air-breathing technology. At the same time, remarkable launch cost reductions in more conventional boosters are imminent due to the efforts of SpaceX and other firms.
         It is beneficial to everyone to explore alternate technological paths, since no one can predict which paths will pan out and produce an economical and reliable vehicle. Most or all of the concepts currently under consideration use winged vehicles to avoid vertical takeoffs and to reduce the required engine size for takeoff. Work on more advanced concepts is also underway.
         Currently, two countries, Japan and India, are in the planning stage while the British company Reaction Engines will soon begin a major test of critical engine components of its Skylon vehicle concept.
For more information see NSS Board Member John Strickland's article in The Space Review: Current strategies towards air-breathing space launch vehicles.

James Webb Telescope in danger of cancellation (Washington, DC -- July 16, 2011)

         The James Webb Telescope, successor to the Hubble Space Telescope, has been cut by the House Appropriations Committee. An amendment to the NASA budget to restore funding to the telescope was defeated July 14. The telescope has been plagued with large cost overruns.
However, it remains possible that funding could be restored in the Senate. Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) plans to defend the telescope. Her home state includes the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, which manages the project.
More about the James Webb Telescope.

Space Solar Power May Be within Our Grasp (July 2011)

According to National Space Society Director Al Globus, the development of thin-film solar cells may bring the reality of space solar power closer than ever.
Solar power originated roughly 50 years ago to power the satellites just beginning to orbit the Earth. From those roots it spawned a terrestrial-based power industry. Ironically, the same technology has, until recently, been prohibitively expensive for space based solar power. Thin-film solar cells are now changing the equation.
The terrestrial solar power industry relies upon a type of photovoltaics that uses a crystalline structure. Manufacturing costs of crystalline PV modules over the past few decades has decreased substantially. Combined with the ability to assemble each unit in a modular fashion, crystalline PV is now a viable source of power.
Space solar power using crystalline photovoltaics is expensive because the mass is high and launch costs tend to dominate. Industry people measure the effectiveness of a solar cell by its specific power, or output per weight. The unit of measurement is Watts per Kilogram (W/kg). The goal is to achieve 1000 W/kg. Recently, thin-film photovoltaics have exceeded this critical point. Very thin (10-25 micrometers) metallic substrates can achieve and exceed the required specific power targets.
According to Globus, this may bring space solar power within our grasp. Thin-film solar cells currently in use in space on the Ikaros solar sail achieve approximately 1,250 w/kg for power generation. However, this does not include the rest of the system (power beaming, ground receivers, etc.). Using current day technology, a thin-film based PowerSat could probably achieve around 275 w/kg. If we assume a reasonable R&D program to develop the basic technologies, it appears that 1,380 w/kg can be achieved in a reasonable time scale.

Beam it up, Scotty: 3D Printing may have space applications (July, 2011)

         Tools and mechanical parts might be "beamed" up to a space station or a lunar or Mars base using technology that has in recent years become a central process in design prototyping known as 3D printing or SLS (selective laser sintering). In this technology, an object is scanned and a powdery substance is converted via a heating process into a duplicate solid form. A striking demonstration of this technology can be seen in this 4-minute video clip from the National Geographic Channel.
A variation of the technology might also be used for lunar materials production by fabricating items from lunar regolith. Markus Kayser has demonstrated a prototype "Solar Sinter" device that uses the power of the sun to produce glass-like objects made from desert sand. You can view a 6-minute video demonstration of the device as tested in the Sahara Desert.
NSS & Space-Based Solar Power: In a message dated 8/8/2011 1:58:30 P.M. Central Daylight Time,  [email protected] writes:

         “The NASA  Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) has awarded a $100,000 grant to John Mankins of Artemis Innovation Management Solutions for an SPS study:  SPS-ALPHA: The First Practical Solar Power Satellite via Arbitrarily Large  PHased Array. This is one of 30 such awards for advanced  concepts.
         “Press  release: http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2011/aug/HQ_11-260_NIAC_Selections.html
         “Selectees: http://www.nasa.gov/offices/oct/early_stage_innovation/niac/2011_phase1_selections.html

         According to Mark Hopkins, NSS is part of this contract, since the educational outreach effort included will take place through Mankins’ efforts at ISDC 2012. Although the contract won’t directly pay or cost NSS, it should increase ISDC registration for indirect financial aid—as well as being  cool and valuable to the cause. 

Visible from space: The president of the United Arab Emirates owns an island, and has chosen to create on it an artifact visible from space: his own name. Go to http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/upshot/man-name-sand-visible-space-190516989.html if you want to see it. Apparently half the letters have filled with water so the colors don’t match.

The Space Show website is http://www.thespaceshow.com/; there you can subscribe to their newsletter, find the weekly schedule in case you want to listen or call in to the podcasts live, and listen to archived shows. Topics are so varied you’re sure to find something interesting.

Oklahoma Space Alliance Officers, 2010 (Area Code 405)

Tom Koszoru, President: 366-1797 (H); 299-2303 (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 while traveling (C)

OSA E-mail Addresses and Web Site: (replace “ at “ with “@”, no spaces)

<T_Koszoru at att.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)
<cliffclaire at hotmail.com (Claire McMurray)
<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 & Update, 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 ©2011 Oklahoma Space Alliance.