OKLAHOMA SPACE ALLIANCE

A Chapter of the National Space Society

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Minutes of January Meeting:

            Oklahoma Space Alliance met at the Koszorus’ house on January 19. Attending were Tom and Heidi Koszoru, David Sheely, Tim Scott and Syd Henderson. Claire was out of town, but called during the meeting. We discussed going to the Cosmosphere on January 26 to see former astronaut Walter Cunningham and the movie The Wonder of It All.
            Tom has pictures from last year’s Yuri’s Night and TrickConTreat which he can put on Flickr. If he does so, Syd can link to them through the OSA web page.
            Tom and Claire both talked to the Omniplex’s Wayne Wyrick since last meeting. He doesn’t know what is going on with the Omniplex regarding Yuri’s Night. It looks like we need a backup plan. Tom wants to create a game called the “Great Space Race.” He would do this as a competition between various “nations” on Second Life. The plan is to do this at the ISDC this year in Washington, DC, but we could do a dry run at Yuri’s Night. We would need to arrange a place to meet.
            Petitions for NSS Board are done.
            We need to get hold of Wayne Wyrick about the Oklahoma City Astronomy Club’s Star parties. Syd also needs to announce these in the calendar of events in Outreach.
            We need to have someone attending SoonerCon committee meetings on behalf of Oklahoma Space Alliance. We’ve talked about having a room for space programming, or at least a track. SoonerCon committee meetings are Sunday at 7:00 p.m., which means Tom can attend but Syd cannot. Can we get someone from OSIDA? Does the Rocket Club want to do something for SoonerCon?
            The International Space Development Conference is in Washington, DC, on May 23-26. SoonerCon this year is two weeks later. Tom, Heidi, Claire and Kip are going to the ISDC.
            The Mars Society Conference is August 14 – 17 in Denver, Colorado.
            The Conestoga Science Fiction Convention is July 25 – 27 In Tulsa, Oklahoma. We generally have a room party at Conestoga.
            The annual report is due on February 15. Tom and Tim will get together for the financial part. Syd is responsible for the activities report.

Between-Meeting Activities.

            Claire and Clifford McMurray and David St. John went to Kansas on January 26 to see the premiere of The Wonder of It All and hear a lecture by Apollo 7 astronaut Walter Cunningham. David and Syd neglected to order their tickets for the first showing in advance, so had to attend the second showing.

            Here’s my review of The Wonder of It All from the Third Eye Film Forum:

Last weekend [January 26] three friends  and I went to the Cosmosphere in Hutchinson, Kansas to see the premiere of The Wonder of It All. The film was shown on the Omnidome there, which was not the best way to see it because it was intended for a flat screen. I believe this was the national premiere. I think it may have had some spot showings in Europe.
This movie consists of interviews of the Apollo astronauts of Apollo 8, 10-17, which are the ones that went around the Moon. As such, it is comparable to In the Shadow of the Moon, the British documentary that came out last year. This one started filming earlier for a smaller budget. I was reluctant to see it because I'd seen the other film, but there is enough difference in emphasis that this film works as a companion piece to the other. In many ways, it's more interesting.
This one goes more into the lives of the astronauts before their voyages and the impact going to the moon had on their lives. Alan Bean, I think it was, observed that although none of the astronauts had a religious revelation, the experience tended to intensify the beliefs that were already there, whether they were mystic, philosophical, agnostic or atheist. Eugene Cernan particularly seems to have gotten more religious. Alan Bean has turned to space art and is very successful with it. A lot of the changes happened after they returned from the Moon, since while they were there, they were too busy to stop and gaze philosphically into the distance.
The intervals with Buzz Aldrin were a bit distracting since he had several books on a desk beside him, and one of them kept changing from "The Moonlandings" to "Lost Satellites" and back again. Once it changed in the middle of an interview.
You don't have much of the exclusive NASA footage from the other film, but the more intimate look at the astronauts makes this very worthwhile. If there is a major flaw in it, I think it's a bit too rah-rah in places. The documentarian is obviously a space enthusiast. He had a Q&A after the film showed and said he found most of the astronauts approachable, but the intensity of John Young was intimidating. He does have the advantage that the astronauts like the film and are willing to make public appearances to help promote it. Walt Cunningham (Apollo 7) gave a speech before this showing
I have no idea what the national distribution of this will be like. In the Shadow of the Moon, which was a higher profile documentary, nevertheless had a very limited run in theaters in the US. You may have to look for this one at science museums and art houses.

--Minutes submitted  by OSA Secretary Syd Henderson

To contact Oklahoma Space Alliance, e-mail Syd Henderson.
PO Box 1003
Norman, OK 73070
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