OKLAHOMA SPACE ALLIANCE

A Chapter of the National Space Society

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Minutes of March 11 Oklahoma Space Alliance

            Oklahoma Space Alliance held its regular monthly Meeting on March 11 at Earl’s Rib Palace in Oklahoma City. Attending were Steve, Karen and Brian Swift; Mike Hopkins; Stephanie, Rachelle and Gary Thibodeau; Dave Sheely; Dennis Wigley and Syd Henderson.

What’s Happening in Space:

            “What’s Happening” is online at chapters.nss.org/ok/1703%20Whats%20Happening.pdf so I’ll hit the highlights.
            Blue Origin has a new Glenn booster which can land. Glenns are taller, but the Falcon Heavy is more powerful. Falcon, however, is more slender because it has to fit on a trailer. We watched a Blue Origin promotional video.
            We watched a launch by SpaceX to the Space Station, and the landing of the first stage.
            We watched the final launch of a Soyuz-U. This series was launched over 786 flights from 18 May 1973 until 22 February 2017. (Note: this was not the final Soyuz flight, because Soyuz-FG and Soyuz-2 are both still being launched.)
            We watched Ariane-5 launch a Sky Brazil satellite.
            We watched India’s record-setting launch of 104 satellites on one rocket. 101 of these are nanosats.
            Mike mentioned that Mars rovers are being used to precisely determine the orbits of Mars’ moons. This helped a month back when an orbiter had to alter its orbit a smidgen to avoid colliding with Phobos.
            We watched ULA launch an Atlas V with classified cargo.
           
Business:  Nobody has volunteered to host Yuri’s night. Will try to set up by phone and meetup.
            Dave, Syd, Claire and Cliff are going to ISDC.
            We watched a video by Planetary Resources on asteroid mining by Isaac Arthur. Asteroids come in three types. C-group, or Carbonaceous contain carbon, phosphorus, and nitrogen (and often water), which are necessary for life. These comprise 75% or all asteroids, including Ceres, Pallas and Hygeia. S-Group, or Silicaceous or Stony asteroids are second most common; Juno is a good example. The third major class are the M or metallic asteroids, which are of great interest because they contain siderophile elements such as nickel, copper, rhenium and the platinum group. These are depleted in the Earth’s crust because they sank into the core when Earth was molten. What we have left on the surface are mostly from meteorites.
            Why should we bring an asteroid back? The likelihood of producing large amounts of debris argues that we should mine them at a good distance.
            Mars and Venus have the fewest launch Windows [paradoxically because their orbits are closest to Earth’s—it takes quite a while for Earth to catch up with Mars or Venus with Earth]. For the outer planets, launch windows are about a year apart, but it’s 26 months for Mars. Launch windows for objects in the asteroid belt are about twice as frequent as those to Mars.

--Minutes by OSA Secretary Syd Henderson

Contact person for Oklahoma Space Alliance is Claire McMurray.
PO Box 1003
Norman, OK 73070
Webmaster is Syd Henderson.

Copyright 2017 by Oklahoma Space Alliance.