Who Are We?
The Huntsville Alabama L5 Society (HAL5) was founded in 1983 as a chapter
of the former L5 Society.
The L5 Society was founded in 1975 by Carolyn Meinel and Keith Henson to
promote the space colony ideas of Gerard K. O'Neill.
The name "L5 Society" comes from the L4 and L5 Lagrangian points in the Earth–Moon system proposed as locations for the huge rotating space habitats that O'Neill envisioned. L4 and L5 are points of stable gravitational equilibrium located along the path of the moon's orbit, 60 degrees ahead or behind it. An object placed in orbit around L5 (or L4) will remain there indefinitely without having to expend fuel to keep its position, whereas an object placed at L1, L2 or L3 (all points of unstable equilibrium) may have to expend fuel if it drifts off the point.
In 1987 the L5 Society merged with the National Space Institute to form the National Space Society (NSS), for which we are a chapter of. Both HAL5 and the NSS are not-for-profit 501(c)(3), grassroots, space educational/advocacy organizations.
For over 30 years, we have made significant contributions toward developing cheap access to space technology, STEM education, and public outreach. Members share the enthusiasm that space development can stimulate our world with immeasurable benefits in the areas of education, energy, environment, industry, resources, and ultimately room to grow for our society. HAL5 and the NSS believe that by educating and working with the public, the government, and private industry, we can speed up the date when routine, safe, and affordable space travel is available to all.
HAL5 have sponsored numerous educational projects and activities in Huntsville. These have included a long running series of free public lectures on space-related topics. Recent topics have included the International Space Station, NASA Space Launch System, Orion Capsule, science fiction book lectures, current and future planetary probes, astronomy, space sciences, and public and private attempts to provide cheap access to space. For kids, we have brought fun STEM activities to the local schools and to local events like: Von Braun Astronomical Society (VBAS) Astronomy Day, Arts Huntsville Panoply Arts Festival, school visits for make and launch paper air rockets at Hampton Cove Middle School and Columbia Elementary School, and the short lived Huntsville STEAMFEST. As a space advocacy group, we have hosted many activities to build non-partisan political support for space. Some of the chapter’s significant projects and achievements can be found a the bottom of the page.
Today, HAL5 has embraced a new, life saving project, the Alabama Power Grid Defense Committee, to safe guard our critical infrastructure and to ensure a spacefaring future. We are also continue to dabble in amateur rocketry and testing other hybrid propulsion concepts. Today these technologies are poised to find expression in air launched nitrous-oxide hybrid rocket powered spaceship. This is proof positive that great things can start in small organizations.