News and Upcoming Events


Thursday, September 1. Orion versus Poseidon: Understanding How NASA's Crewed Capsule Survives Nature's Fury

HAL5 September free public talk will take place at the Huntsville-Madison County Main Library Main Auditorium. Mr. Robert (BJ) Barbré of Jacobs Engineering support NASA MSFC will be talking to us about "Orion versus Poseidon: Understanding How NASA's Crewed Capsule Survives Nature's Fury."

The presentation summarizes the Marshall Space Flight Center Natural Environments Terrestrial and Planetary Environments (TPE) Team support to the NASA Orion space vehicle. The Orion vehicle, part of the Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle Program, is designed to carry astronauts beyond low- earth orbit and is currently undergoing a series of tests including Exploration Flight Test (EFT) - 1. This design must address the natural environment to which the capsule and launch vehicle are exposed during all mission phases. In addition, the design must, to the best extent possible, implement the same process and data to be utilized on launch day. The TPE utilizes meteorological data to assess the sensitivities of the vehicle due to the terrestrial environment. The presentation describes examples of TPE support for vehicle design and several tests, as well as support for EFT-1 and planning for upcoming Exploration Missions while emphasizing the importance of accounting for the natural environment's impact to the vehicle early in the vehicle's program.


September 20-21, 2016. Power Grid Defense Conference Hosted by HAL5

The purpose of the two-day 2016 Power Grid Defense Conference in Huntsville is to spearhead crucial and long-overdue initiatives to safeguard electrical power grids in the United States from natural and man-made threats. The Conference will address the grave threats to life in the case of catastrophic power grid loss, formulate a plan of action at both the state and federal levels to prevent such attacks, and educate the public as to the consequences should such steps not be taken and implemented.

The Conference will provide mechanisms for Alabama to join the small handful of states that have already decided to harden their own power grids, spread this to other states, and use this as leverage to promulgate federal activities to secure the grid nationally. The Conference will provide a badly needed platform for appeals to the federal government to take concrete actions; while enabling parallel efforts at both State and local levels in formulating contingency and risk mitigation plans. Huntsville's unparalleled foundation in defense and space programs provides the wealth of expertise and the credibility needed to rally support for this cause and stimulate future conferences addressing this topic.
You can find out more about the conference and how you can participate in it at Power Grid Defense Conference



Thursday, October 6. Flying the SR-71 Blackbird

Join us for a special USSRC Pass the Torch series on the last USAF flight of the SR-71 (#972) with its pilot, Lt. Col. Ed Yielding, USAF, Ret. The event will take place on Thursday, October 6 at 5:30 pm at USSRC National Geographic Theater. Lt. Col. Yielding is a Florence, Alabama-native, who set the official coast-to-coast aircraft speed record on that last SR-71 flight.

SR-71 #972 (tail number 64-17972) was officially retired from the US Air Force on March 6, 1990. On that last flight, she flew across the USA setting four speed records and landed at Dulles Field in Washington D.C. The aircraft is currently on display at the Smithsonian's Udvar-Hazy Center near Dulles International Airport. Yeilding and Reconnaissance Systems Officer J.T. Vida flew from Los Angeles to Washington, DC in 1 hour 4 minutes 20 seconds, reaching speeds up to 2,144 mph and an altitude over 83,000 feet.

Besides its combat capability, the Blackbird was also an excellent research aircraft. NASA operated both YF-12 and SR-71 aircraft for experimental work, having obtained two SR-71As and an SR-71B trainer as supersonic test platforms. NASA's use of the SR-71 sustained it operationally until the Congress provided the Air Force $100 million in the fiscal year 1995 defense budget to bring three SR-71s back to operational use. The first of three reactivated SR-71s returned to the Air Force after extensive refurbishment on 28 June 1995 as Detachment 2 at Edwards AFB, California. The aircraft were being modified with datalinks when the Air Force program was defunded in October 1997. The last flight of an SR-71 (NASA Serial Number 844) occurred on 9 October 1999 at the Edwards AFB Airshow. - www.codeonemagazine.com

There will be a social at outside the theater, underneath the Saturn V, where USSRC's Biergarden will take place.



Saturday, October 22. Astronomy Day 2016

Hosted by our friends at Von Braun Astronomical Society.

Recently, HAL5 received the NSS Chapter Excellence Award for Education Outreach for 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015.

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


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 .

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 .