A Chapter of the National Space Society

Oklahoma Space Alliance Home 

 Minutes of July Meeting

                Oklahoma Space Alliance met on July 13, 2013 at the Denny’s on the I-240 access road on the north side just east of Pennsylvania Avenue in southern Oklahoma City. Attending were Steve, Karen and Brian Swift, Claire and Clifford McMurray, Patrick and Brittany Kirk, Dave Sheely and Syd Henderson.
            Steve Swift and Clifford McMurray were on a panel at Soonercon.
            Steve made a presentation at OSIDA.
            NSS North Texas has invited Oklahoma Space Alliance to run a table for Moon Day (July 20).
            We watched a video of Russia’s Photon rocket crash. [This has been traced to an upside down sensor. See http://rt.com/news/proton-crash-reason-sensor-254/ for details.]
            Former astronaut John Harrington is back in Oklahoma and is interested in actively supporting OSIDA.
            Three Chinese astronauts were launched to Tiangong-1.  This can be watched on-line at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MiPjpU2U5AE. This was China’s longest space mission yet.
            NSS has released an illustrated version of the Roadmap to Space. You can see this on-line at http://space.nss.org/settlement/roadmap/index.html. Steve has downloaded this.
            India launched its first navigation satellite on July 1. http://www.space.com/21822-india-launches-first-navigation-satellite.html.  [An aside: India’s launched spacecraft to the Moon since 2008, and they’re only now getting around to launching navigation satellites?]
            An ancient meteor crater has been found under the town of Decorah, Iowa. The crater was created when a meteorite roughly 250 yards in diameter hit the Earth 470 million years ago and is 3.4 miles across.  [Comment: There are three other craters created at roughly the same time: the Rock Elm Crater in Wisconsin, the Slate Islands Crater in Lake Superior and the Ames Crater in Oklahoma. The Slate Islands Crater is twenty miles across and the Ames Crater is ten miles across. It’s possible that some or all of these were created by an object that broke up before it hit the Earth.]
            Oklahoma Space Alliance was at SoonerCon. Steve took pictures of our display. We also hosted a couple of tables in the reception area on Saturday afternoon.
            We watched a video by Karen Nyburg, “How to Wash Your Hair in Space.” http://www.nasa.gov/content/how-do-you-wash-your-hair-in-space/#.Uf-2DeDfbfg.  [No word on what you do about dandruff.]
            Spectacular Night Launch from NASA Wallops Shines Bright Beacon on Star Formation in Early Universe.  See http://tinyurl.com/lm5g4j9 (Universe Today) for details.
            Steve presented to us the presentation he did at the OSIDA meeting.
            SpaceshipTwo has a backload of 300 – 400 passengers. They are having some problems with their new engines which may delay their first passenger flight, but they are hoping for a December 25 launch date.
            Howard Bloom did an ISDC presentation on space colonization that went through history and Greece. We watched a video of his presentation.
            Claire is proposing as an alternative meeting site the Napoli restaurant near Tinker Air Force Base.

-Minutes by OSA Secretary Syd Henderson

Notes on July 10 OSIDA Meeting

            The Oklahoma Space Industry Development Authority met in the conference room at the Department of Transportation Building in Oklahoma City on July 10. Board members attending were Jack Bonny, James Cunningham, Donald Wetekam, R. Allen Goodbary, Jay Edwards and Robert Conner. There were seven in the audience, including Steve Swift, Syd Henderson and Claire McMurray on behalf of Oklahoma Space Alliance.
            Facilities at the Oklahoma Spaceport were damaged by high winds in late May. They are still totaling the damages. There is a $20,000 deductible on their insurance.
            Spaceport safety inspection has been completed by the FAA Office of Commercial Space Transportation. They are making sure there haven’t been any major changes.
            The Spaceport’s launch corridor is best for XCOR. The Spaceport is looking at getting a second corridor approved.
            The Commercial Space Transportation quarterly meeting is October 9 – 10. Bill Khourie is going and invited board members. Bill will also be meeting with DCS on July 16 to discuss airport and airpark projects.
            The Spaceport has to replace electrical cables in the Control Tower. The cost of this will be $160,000.
            The new Operations Center is to be inspected. The contractor has thirty days (beginning July 16) to complete any remaining issues.

            Steve Swift, President of Oklahoma Space Alliance, did a presentation on Horizontal Launch Vehicles. The Oklahoma Spaceport license allows only horizontal takeoff and landing.  HLVs in pre-design stage or being developed include Stratolaunch and XCOR’s Lynx I, II and III.  HLVs currently in operation include White Knight 2 (the carrier aircraft for SpaceshipTwo), 4Frontier’s Starfighter F-102, and Orbital Sciences’ Stargazer L-1011 (the carrier aircraft for the Pegasus rocket).
            Stratolaunch requires a 2000-foot runway. Payload is 35,000 lb. to low-earth orbit, and is basically a missile. The aircraft itself will weigh 1,200,000 lb. and have a wingspan of 385 feet, making it the largest airplane (by wingspan) ever to fly. [Note though, this is still half the length of the Hindenberg airship.] Orbital Sciences is building an air-launched rocket to be carried by Stratolaunch.
            The Stargazer L-1011 has successfully launched 35 rockets.
            Virgin Galactic’s SpaceshipTwo is being tested. It broke the speed of sound in April. Virgin Galactic’s Launcher One, scheduled for launch in 2016, will put small satellites in low-earth orbit using a missile. Both are launched from the White Knight Two.
            XCOR’s Lynxes put small scientific packages into space.

            The Control Tower needs another air conditioning compressor for the Control Tower. Maximum cost is $3,500. This will be paid for out of the spaceport budget.
            Former astronaut John Harrington is back and wants to help with PR. General Edwards asked if it is possible Harrington could be appointed to the board the next time there is a vacancy.
-Notes by OSA Secretary Syd Henderson

Between-Meeting Activities

            Claire McMurray and Syd Henderson drove down to the Moon Day celebration in Dallas, Texas and manned a table on behalf of Oklahoma Space Alliance. We had 200-300 people come by our table. Mostly these were families with children. The gravity well was a big hit, as well as a demonstration Claire brought that challenged kids to guess how far the Moon would be from the Earth using a scale model. (Answer: if the Earth were a foot across, the Moon would be thirty feet away.
            We had some trouble finding the location, so didn’t get set up until about 11:00 a.m. We stayed until 5:00 p.m. Dinner plans were cancelled because of a storm, so Claire and I went straight home, passing out of the storm shortly after leaving Dallas. [SFH.]

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

Copyright 2013 Oklahoma Space Alliance.