April 25 - 27, 2014
Come visit HAL5 Kids' Art Activity Testing Station!





News and Upcoming Events


Visit HAL5 at Panoply 2014! Panoply 2014 Comets and Catapults Testing Station

HAL5 at Panoply 2014! With a focus on STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math), Panoply 2014's "Interactives" will be open to all ages to discover scientific lessons through art - lessons about velocity, centrifugal force and sound waves. Exploration will happen with interactives like Color Comets and Creative Catapults, and you can then take your Comets and Catapults to the new Panoply Testing Station - staffed by HAL5 volunteer engineers - to experiment with your creations. HAL5 Test Tent is located near the Museum of Art. Please come stop by and say hi!


May 1. Dr. Barbara Cohen and Dr. Robert Coker, NASA MSFC, on "The Antarctic Search for Meteorites."

Since 1976, the Antarctic Search for Meteorites (ANSMET) has recovered more than 25,000 specimens from meteorite stranding surfaces along the Transantarctic Mountains. The ANSMET specimens are currently the only reliable, continuous source of new, non-microscopic extraterrestrial material, and will continue to be until future planetary sample-return missions are successful. The samples already recovered provide essential "ground-truth" concerning the materials that make up the asteroids, planets and other bodies of our solar system, and their continued retrieval is the cheapest and only guaranteed way to recover new things from worlds beyond the Earth. The study of ANSMET meteorites has greatly extended our knowledge of the materials and conditions in the primeval nebula from which our solar system was born, revealed the complex and exotic geologic nature of asteroids. Collecting meteorites in Antarctica is both a community service and an amazing undertaking. We will describe the science and adventure of ASNMET from the point of view of two veterans.

Dr. Barbara Cohen is a planetary scientist at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center interested in planetary samples from the Moon, Mars and asteroids. She earned her BS in geology from the State University of New York at Stony Brook and the PhD in Planetary Science at the University of Arizona in Tucson AZ. She is a Principal Investigator on multiple NASA research projects, a member of the Mars Exploration Rover mission team still operating the Opportunity rover, and the lead scientist for Lunar Flashlight, a lunar cubesat mission that will be launched in 2017 as an SLS secondary payload. She is the PI for the MSFC Noble Gas Research Laboratory (MNGRL) and is developing a flight version of her noble-gas geochronology technique, the Potassium-Argon Laser Experiment (KArLE), for use on future planetary landers and rovers. Barbara is a veteran of the 2003-05, 2006-07, and 2013-14 ANSMET seasons.

Dr. Rob Coker got his BS in Physics & Astronomy at Caltech, then worked for NASA at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) on the Deep Space Network for a few years. He then went to the University of Arizona for a Masters and PhD in Astrophysics on black hole accretion processes. After a postdoc at the University of Leeds in the UK, he worked as a staff member at the Los Alamos National Laboratory for 5 years. Since 2008, he has been a staff member at NASA MSFC working first on turbomachinery and more recently, thermal modeling of small spacecraft and life support systems. His hobbies include diving, fencing, and flying. Rob was a member of the 2012-13 ANSMET team.


June 5. John London, SMDC Nanosatellite Technology Manager, on "Small, Low Cost Satellites for the U.S. Army", and annual election of officers

More information coming soon.


August 7. Les Johnson on his new book Rescue Mode

HAL5 monthly program with Les Johnson, engineer and author, on his new book that he co-authored with Ben Bova, Rescue Mode.


September 4. Dr. Vladimir Florinski on "Voyager: The First Year in Interstellar Space"

HAL5 monthly program with Dr. Vladimir Florinski (UAH) on "Voyager: The First Year in Interstellar Space."


October 2. Dr. Linda Habash Krause, MSFC, on "The Physics of Sprites"

Transient Luminous Events (TLEs) are naturally-occurring electrical discharges in the upper atmosphere above thunderclouds and can extend in altitude to the base of the E-region ionosphere (Altitude ~ 90km). In particular, sprites are a class of TLEs triggered by the mesospheric electric fields the exceed the breakdown threshold for air - a configuration often resulting from cloud-to-ground (CG) strikes of tropospheric lightning. The primary emissions of sprite-generated flashes are in the visible spectrum, but because they are short-lived (up to 10s of ms) and relatively unpredictable, several decades of anecdotal reports (e.g. by pilots) went unexplained - that is, until in 1989 when a TLE was serendipitously captured by a low light level TV camera undergoing tests for sounding rocket integration. Since then, dozens of campaigns and hundreds of papers have been completed on the topic. This seminar will cover the progress in understanding the physical mechanisms of sprites and the features that distinguishes them from other forms of TLEs.


Upcoming Outreach Events

HAL5 received the NSS Chapter Excellence Award for Education Outreach for 2011 and 2012.

For a second year in a row, HAL5 was awarded the NSS Chapter Excellence Award for Education Outreach. Special thanks to our members, supporters and attendees of our monthly programs to HAL5 one of the most active chapter in NSS! Thank you!


HAL5 is NSS Chapter of the Year for 2010

Once again, we are the best chapter in NSS! At the 2011 ISDC in Huntsville, HAL5 was awarded the NSS Chapter of the Year award for 2010! Thank you, our members and guests, and HAL5 officers for making this possible.

Would You Like to Speak to HAL5?

Would you like to give a talk to HAL5 on subjects related to space, space exploration, space science, space tourism, technology, aerospace technologies, planetary defense, and STEM? If you do, please .

HAL5 Officers' Meeting

Members and general public are welcome to attend the HAL5 Executive Officers' meetings. Second Thursday of each month, except for holidays, at 6 pm at Newk's on University Drive.

Project HALO Regular Work Night

Open to all current HAL5 members. We meet on Wednesday from 7 PM to 9:30 PM at Steve's except for holidays and other conflicts. If you are interested, please .