News and Upcoming Events

HAL5 Summer Picnic and Election of Officers. Sat. July 12 from 3 to 7 pm.

We will be having our annual members only summer picnic at the home of Ed Kiker over off Wall Triana Highway in Madison. Look for invite in the postal mail and email for direction and what to bring. Please RSVP along with the side dish, desert or beverages you would like to bring to share. HAL5 will provide the meats, condiments and utensils.

At the picnic, we will also hold our annual election of HAL5 officers. The election will take place at 3:30 pm during the picnic.
Positions open are:

The officers of the chapter:

Position of the Standing Committee Chair:
Education Outreach Chair
Membership Chair
Publicity Chair

Per our bylaws, nominees for all four offices and any standing committee chairmanships shall be taken from the floor. You do not have not be present to be put on the ballot though.

If you are interested in any of the position, you can either let us know (use the email address at the bottom of the website) know in advance so we can put you on the ballot, or show up at the picnic.

1). Current paid member of HAL5 AND NSS at the time of the election.
2). Attend monthly officers meeting and support HAL5 events

July 20 at USSRC Davidson Center - Pass the Torch Apollo 11 Panel, and Presentation and Book Signing by Astronaut Don

It is our honor and pleasure to announce a special event celebrating the 45th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing. In cooperation with U.S. Space and Rocket Center, the Huntsville AL L5 Society (HAL5, a chapter of National Space Society) would like to invite you and your family to join us for a special USSRC "Pass the Torch" lecture series on Sunday, July 20 from 2 to 4 pm. The event is FREE and will be held at the USSRC Davidson Center Auditorium.

1:30-3:00 pm
We will start the event with a distinguished panel discussion with space personalities, Dr. Chuck Lundquist, Brooks Moore, Kenny Mitchell, Ed Buckbee, Alex McCool and moderator Astronaut Don Thomas.

3:00-4:00 pm
The last hour will feature presentation by Astronaut Don Thomas and follow-on book signing of his recently released Orbit of Discovery.

Dr. Thomas flew on STS-65, 70, 83 and 94. You won't want to miss his talk entitled, "The Day a Woodpecker Attacked the Space Shuttle." In June 1995 the "All-Ohio" crew of the STS-70 mission aboard Space Shuttle Discovery was finishing their final day of training before their launch, only seven days away. Everything was looking good for the mission until it was discovered that a single woodpecker had tried to make a nest in the big fuel tank of the space shuttle creating 205 holes in the process. During the presentation, Don will discuss why the woodpecker did such a thing, what NASA did to prevent future attacks, and what our Ohio astronauts accomplished on this flight, one of the more unusual missions of the Space Shuttle Program.

August 7. Les Johnson on "Mars - Are We Ever Going to Get There?" and 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.

Author, futurist and NASA technologist Les Johnson will discuss past, present and potential future Mars exploration and his new science fiction novel, Rescue Mode, just published in hardcover by Baen Books. This book and Les' other books will be available for purchase and signing before and after the talk.

September 4. Dr. Vladimir Florinski, Associate Professor, Department of Space Science and CSPAR UAH, "Voyager: The First Year in Interstellar Space"

Over the Edge
The solar system exists inside a giant plasma bubble blown out by the solar wind and shaped by its interaction with the surrounding space of the Milky Way galaxy that we call the heliosphere. The bubble shields us from interstellar gas and, to a degree, from the penetrating space radiation known as cosmic rays. In September of 2012 a robotic NASA probe has crossed the boundary of the heliosphere and entered interstellar space. For my fellow space scientists this event is as significant as the first landing of a spacecraft on another planet. I will explain how scientists learn about the shape and properties of the heliosphere from remote observations and how the missing pieces are reconstructed through computer simulations. Exploring such remote regions of space is extremely challenging, not least because the twin Voyager spacecraft are now more than 35 years old and were built with computer technology that was state of the art in the 1970s. Hardware breakdowns and apparent discrepancies between different instruments were the reasons NASA only confirmed the crossing a year an a half later. The Voyagers made a bounty of discoveries while inside the heliosphere, and we expect to learn much more about interstellar space over the next 10 years, until the probes runs out of power. For now, it appears that interstellar space is just really, really quiet..

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 .