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Space Chapter Events Calendar & Ideas
Plan Ahead for Outreach Opportunities.
- any event at which turnout should be good - (the traffic can be a general cross section of people - no need to aim at technonerds exclusively)
- and at which you can get free | low-cost exhibit | table space
- it is much easier to "piggyback" on an event hosted by someone else, than to start your own. That way you can spend your efforts on your exhibit design and paraphernalia without the distraction of having to find ways to drum up a crowd.
- a wide range of traffic-generating events have proven to be fertile fishing grounds for space chapters
Your Calendar of Event Opportunities
- National Event Opportunities
- Local Event Opportunities
- Creating Opportunities
Fine Tune your Outreach Game Plan to the type of event
- Space Anniversary Event
- Event not directly related to Space
and to the Type of Crowd | Traffic you are likely to encounter
- model rocketeers
- general public
- politically-tuned individuals
- environmentally conscious persons
- amateur astronomers
"Push the Buttons" of those who pass by your booth
- You may need to develop new or altered flyers and brochures for some traffic types.
Use something to grab their particular attention.
You may want to change or alter the "themes" of your displays and exhibits.
One Space Display does not fit all occasions.
Nor does one set of informational printouts.
Events on the Same Date from year to year
- U.S. Independence Day - July 4th
- "Yuri's Night" - On April 12th, anniversary of Gagarin's first human space flight - 0bservance of this worldwide event started in 2001 and is growing.
- Christmas Day observance of the first telecast from orbit around the Moon by the Apollo 8 Crew [Borman, Lovell, Anders] in 1968
Annual Events whose date varies from year to year
- Astronomy Day - a national day, but local astronomy club observances vary
- Earth Day - Saturday closest to April 22nd - Ways for us to celebrate
- Space Day - has been on July 20th [first Moon landing, first Mars Viking landing]. on October 4th [Sputnik]
- World Space Week - October 4-10
- Memorial Day - last Monday in May - NSS' annual ISDC conference is usually held on this weekend in varying locations
- Labor Day - first Monday in September
Anniversaries of Momentous Space Events - Partial List
- April 12th (1961) Yuri Gargarin first human in space and in orbit launches Space Age as a Human Age
- "Yuri's Night" observance launched worldwide in 2001 and 2002
- July 20th
- (1969) - First Moon Landing - Neil Armstrong & Buz Aldrin in Apollo 11 Eagle
- (1976) - First spacecraft soft landing on Mars and send back data, Viking I
- August 19th - Orville Wright's Birthday and National Aviation Day
- October 7th (1957) Sputnik opens the space age
- November 12th (1981) Space Shuttle Columbia makes first return trip to orbit, its second flight, demonstrating its reusability.
- December 15th (1972) Man retreats from the Moon as Apollo 17 crewmen Harrison Schmidt and Eugene Cernan climb aboard the Lunar Module Challenger to leave the Moon with no plans in place for a return.
- December 17th (1903) The first manned flight by Orville Wright at KittyHawk
100th anniversary coming up, likely to be a major event in 2003 (see links at top of page)
- December 25th (1968) Apollo 8 carries first human crew around the Moon, Frank Borman's reading of Genesis
Local Event Opportunities
if  there's going to be a crowd and
if  you can get free exhibit | table space or for a nominal charge
then the Event is a Space Outreach Opportunity
- Air Show, Radio-controlled model airplane event, Civil Air Patrol events, Aviation Career Day
- Environmental Fairs - EarthDay - (Alternative) Energy Fairs
- Star Party - Planetarium Event - Science Lecture
- Amateur Rocket Launching | Balloon Launching
- Computer | Web Fairs | Ham Radio events
- School Science Fairs
- University | College | Department Open House (Engineering, Chemistry, Physics, Ag-science, etc.) | College Career Day Fairs
- Nonprofit day at some malls
- Science Fiction Film Opening Weekend
- Science Fiction Conventions
- Gaming Conventions
- Computer Simulations events | Virtual Reality gatherings
- General Seasonal Festival or Fair
- Ethnic Festivals
- Political Conventions
Ways to Create Outreach Opportunities -
"Opportunity Never Comes to Him who waits"
- Speaking Opportunities: Register with Speakers Bureaus, call clubs with offers to speak at their events, and bring along displays and literature - local astronomy clubs, geology clubs, nature clubs, public service clubs, local World Futurist Society chapter meetings, etc. Approach science teachers and offer to speak to their class and bring along exhibits. Everyone is looking for interesting speakers.
- Sidewalk Astronomy: Put together a setup with telescope and information kiosk and set up anywhere there is traffic - outside a movie theater showing a science fiction flick can be ideal, but almost anywhere you will find people who want to take a peek at the Moon, at Mars, at Jupiter and its moons.
- Collect Petition Signatures: position yourself on a busy sidewalk or street corner or in a Mall (with permission) and seek random input on a petition (e.g. commercialize the Space Station, permit lottery's for a ride to space, develop a plan of action to identify dangerous asteroids and how to defend against them, etc.) The idea is not to recruit (if that happens, great!) but to get people thinking about things, learn what buttons they have, etc.
- Do Surveys: in similar situations a above, survey people's opinions about key space issues on which they might have an opinion. Again the goal is to get people thinking. A membership signup would be frosting on the cake. "Would you consider joining a group that is advocating these things?" would be your lead in.
- Suggest book themes to your library: You can offer to bring complementary exhibits if they showcase books on space exploration for space week, for example. If they like the idea, offer to speak at an event that they would arrange, and advertise, during this period.
- Put together topical briefing kits and when the topic is hot in the news, approach your local TV news staffs. Local stations are looking for that local tie-in to national stories. Position yourself to fill that need.
Aviation Career Day is an annual event at Milwaukee's Billy Mitchell International on the last Thursday evening and Friday morning each April.
For 2002, Wisconsin Mars Society and the Lunar Reclamation Society hosted a booth "Fly the Skies of Mars." The aim was to let young people interested in aviation careers know that in the future, aviation may play a major role in opening up Mars as a human frontier. Exhibits included NASA artwork on the KittyHawk, printouts of papers (Aviation on Mars) on the possibility of flying on Mars etc. Part of gearing up for the event was the launching of a new Mars Society Task Force on Mars Aviation, with Paul Swift of the Canadian Space Society at the helm.
The event was a hit and WMS | LRS hope to make it an annual one, reaching people who might otherwise not think of off Earth opportunities to pursue a career of great personal interest.
This is an example of how we can reach out to people not specifically interested in space itself, i.e. hooking them on the many other career opportunities that will open up on the space frontier over and above astronautics. For more information on the Milwaukee Mars Aviation Exhibit, contact Peter Kokh.
Environmental | Earth Day | Alternative Energy Events
Talking Points for Flyers & Story Boards
The attitude of many space advocates that environmentalists are the enemy is very counterproductive. Temperament leanings aside, those who care for the Earth have many buttons that space enthusiasts can push effectively. Indeed many space activists, the nay-sayers notwithstanding, count themselves as environmentalists also. Taking a more carefully considered approach can reap great benefits, tapping a whole new very populous constituency. Here are some hooks:
- "We have polluted and trashed the Earth, why go elsewhere and do the same?"
- We pollute the Earth because we can get away with it. The atmosphere and ocean "sinks" are enormous and the damage we do is dismissed because it won't effect us, only our descendants, and that's their problem. Bad attitude, but easy to take. On the Moon and Mars, there is no biosphere to pollute. We must create mini-biospheres in which to encradle ourselves anew. And because they will be so much less massive, the pioneers will effectively live downwind and downstream of themselves. That means that if they pollute, they die -- not their descendants. Of necessity the pioneers will have to live in away that is tightly attune with their fragile mini-biospheric environment. In the process, they will learn how to live right, because they have no choice. Yes, in theory, we could learn those lessons on Earth. But in practice we won't because it would require effort and expense that are not really a matter of immediate life-and-death priority as they will be on the space frontier.
- On the space frontier, economic survival will always be threatened. Maintaining a balance of trade will always be an uphill struggle. All byproducts, biological and manufacturing, represent energy investments. To throw them away means to throw away time, energy, and money. People on the Space Frontier will be at the forefront of reusing and recycling and reassigning - everything. The throughput of frontier society, raw materials to landfill trash, will be very much less than that of any modern society on Earth.
- "Mining is wrecking the Earth. We shouldn't mine the Moon."
- On Earth, the things we mine are local concentrations of elements, minerals, and fossil fuel sources. There are no such concentrations on the Moon. On Earth the concentration of ores is the result of billions of years of tectonic geological processing in the presence of water. On the geologically inactive Moon, tectonics never began, nor was there a hydrosphere of any kind to lubricate tectonic movements. Fossil fuels are just that, the byproduct of abundant past life. We will not find them on the Moon, and probably not on Mars either, if life there did not get far.
- On the Moon, everything worth mining is not only distributed relatively homogeneously in comparison to the situation on Earth, but is available in the regolith blanket of dust and pulverized rock, that thanks to meteorite bombardment, covers the Moon in depths from 2-10 meters. The Moon is effectively "pre-mined."
- Without water reserves abundant enough to use for mining processes, those extracting elements from regolith on the Moon will be searching for dry methods. Nor, if they do use water as a reagent, would they be likely to flush waste water to the surface. It would be far to precious not to recycle in the most efficient manner possible. Nor, if they did flush any waste water would this pollute ground waters on the Moon - there is no ground water on the Moon.
- "We have Enough Problems on Earth to be Concerned About."
- Yes: Energy and Pollution. And in large measure those two problems are intertwined. The dirtiest single thing we do on Earth - in aggregate effect - is power generation. If superior means of providing abundant clean, environmentally safe power happen to involve space development scenarios, and they do, then it would be hypocritical to be an environmentalist and at the same time oppose space development. There are three such scenarios:
- Solar Power Satellites constructed from lunar materials
- Solar Power Arrays on the Moon itself, via relay satellites in Geosynchronous orbit
- Fusion fueled with Helium-3, all but nonexistent on Earth, but so abundant in the lunar regolith that it could provide enough energy to bring the whole world, Third World included, up to the North American standard of living, and keep it there for a millennium. And should we need more, there is immensely more in the atmosphere of Uranus.
- "We shouldn't pollute space with radiation."
- Solar Power is considered the purest form of energy by environmentalists, but every last bit of it is produced by nuclear power, by the giant nuclear furnace inside the Sun, which as a result fills all of space within the solar system with deadly radiation. Most of that radiation from the Sun does not reach Earth thanks to the Earth's protective magnetic field. Instead, that radiation gets safely trapped in the van Allen radiation belts circling Earth. So the idea of a nuclear engine or nuclear powered device polluting space, or the Moon, the asteroids, or even Mars with radiation is absurd. The radiation from even a hydrogen bomb is puny compared to that produced directly by solar power on its way to Earth.
- If as a world, we decide not to transport active nuclear fuels through Earth's atmosphere, we could still manufacture nuclear engines and devices and transport them into space without fuel. Nuclear fuel could be made on the Moon using breeder reactors to transform the Moon's abundant Thorium reserves into fissionable Uranium 233.
- Nuclear power will be useful as backup power for use during the two week long lunar nights, and on Mars, during the months long dust storms which would cripple solar power installations. Nuclear powered rockets would make space transportation much quicker and more convenient, and enable us to open Mars as a frontier, not just explore it, and to send humans further out into the solar system on journeys that would be unacceptably long by chemical propulsion.
- Resources for Flyers, Brochures, and Storyboards for Environmental Outreach Opportunities
Amateur Astronomy Events
- local astronomy club gatherings
- be a guest speaker for a local astronomy club
- attend local "star parties"
- put together a sidewalk astronomy kit and field test it whenever the Moon is out, especially around first quarter (first half moon), at Mars opposition, or anytime Jupiter and its moons are out. Also eclipses of the Moon, Saturn-Triton.