OKLAHOMA SPACE ALLIANCE

A Chapter of the National Space Society

Oklahoma Space Alliance Home

October 2008 OSA Meeting: DIFFERENT TIME/PLACE
 
        Oklahoma Space Alliance will gather at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 18 at the Koszoru house in Norman. Their house is at 514 Fenwick Court in Norman. [Because of road work I've had to change the directions this month. Directions are below agenda.] From there we will carpool to the 99's Museum of Women Pilots, 4300 Amelia Earhart Road in Oklahoma City, where we will have our regular meeting. October 18 is Homecoming at Oklahoma University with a football game starting at 2:30 p.m., so make allowances for traffic. If you're in Oklahoma City or north, you may want to proceed directly to the meeting. The meeting will start at 2:30 p.m.

Agenda:
1) Introductions (if necessary)
2) Read and approve agenda
3) Read and approve minutes and reports of activities
4) Read and discuss mail
5) Old Business
     a) Yuri’s Night 2009
     b) Second Life
     c) 40th Anniversary of Moon Landing (July 2009)
     d) Space Calendars
     e) Rocket Racing League
6) New Business
7) Create New Agenda

Directions:
         The usual route to get to the Koszoru house is blocked by road construction, so I'll have to send you in the back way. Take the Robinson Street west exit off I-35. Rambling Oaks intersects Robinson Street just west of this exit, between Arby's and Waffle House. Go south on Rambling Oaks about a quarter mile until it turns due west. Fenwick Court is the second street on the right after this turn. Tom's house is the last on the left side.
 The 99ers museum is located at the north end of Will Rogers International Airport in Oklahoma City. If you're taking I-44, take the Airport Road exit; if you're taking a street, turn south at Meridian. Turn left at Terminal Road and left again at Amelia Earhart Drive. 4300 will be on the right side of the road

Minutes of September Meeting

        Oklahoma Space Alliance met at the Koszoru House in Norman on September 13. Attending were Tom and Heidi Koszoru, Claire McMurray and Syd Henderson.
         Tom will be meeting with Carolyn at the 99's Museum in Oklahoma City.
         Can we do something in the Oklahoma Memorial Union at Oklahoma University? We could put messages up at the Union and also in the school paper to see if people would like to re-establish the SEDS Chapter. [The one that was there is now defunct.] Syd works at OU so could be the staff sponsor of a student organization.
         NSS Business Cards are in the space store.
         Who might be interested in advertising their businesses at Yuri's Night? KTOK might be willing but would want to make money out of it. How about KOMA? Other possibilities include Astronomics, Science Museum Oklahoma (formerly the Omniplex), Branson. Space artists may want to donate.
         Tom showed us a site called galaxyzoo.org: <http://www.galaxyzoo.org>

Report on September 17 OSIDA meeting

        The Oklahoma Space Industry Development Authority met at the Oklahoma Department of Transportation Building in Oklahoma City on September 17. Board members attending were Gilmer Capps, Lou Sims, Joe King, Jack Bonny, Ken McGill and Cal Hobson.
         Several locations at the Oklahoma Spaceport were damaged by storms this spring. FEMA covers total damage of $340,202. There was also a derelict building which burnt down that can be replaced for $600,000, with OSIDA paying 25%. Apparently FEMA requires that the building be rebuilt as exactly as close to the original as possible. [I don't know if this requires the rebuilt building to be derelict, but I suspect not.] The other buildings, but not the derelict one, are insured, with a deductible of $5,500. Accepting FEMA funding will increase the future cost of insurance. General McGill asked if the rebuilt building could be used as an operations building for customers (including passengers).
         Bill Khourie gave a presentation on the Oklahoma Spaceport to the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.
        Armadillo Aerospace will be coming back for another flight test for the Lunar Landing Challenge. No definite time yet. The test at the Spaceport will be open to the public.
         The Spaceport also hosted flight tests conducted by Rocket Racing League. There was a press embargo during early tests. The Oklahoma Spaceport only had half a day to notify the press once the embargo was lifted, which was not enough time for much publicity.
         The representative from the Rocket Racing League was impressed and will recommend that the Oklahoma Spaceport be central R&D site for the Rocket Racing League.
         The October meeting of OSIDA will be on October 15 because the usual October 8 date would conflict with the National Business Aircraft Association meeting.         
         Senator Capps is engaged to be married!

Report on October 15 OSIDA meeting

         The Oklahoma Space Industry Development Authority met at the Oklahoma Department of Transportation Building in Oklahoma City on October 15. Board members present were Joe King, Darryl Murphy, Lou Sims, Ken McGill, Cal Hobson and Jack Bonny. There were about ten people in the audience. Syd Henderson attended on behalf of Oklahoma Space Alliance. The meeting was held in an upstairs conference room because there was a conference on the first floor.
         Paperwork and estimates of the damages suffered by the Spaceport in last springs storms has been turned into FEMA. The Oklahoma Spaceport is now awaiting checks.
        OSIDA Executive Director Bill Khourie went to the National Business Aircraft Association Convention October 6 - 8. There was a  representative at the meeting to speak about it. There was just about as much interest as last year, with 31,000 attending this year as opposed to 33,000 last year (which was the record). Prognosis is still good for next year, but the market will probably be less active in 2010.
         Oklahoma Spaceport is one of 23 sites that the Rocket Racing League will use for races. FAA has approved some of these sites, including the Oklahoma Spaceport.
         Armadillo Aerospace is done doing flight tests this year at the Oklahoma Spaceport.
         There are thirteen schools and two hundred students participating this fall in the Starbase Program. Lou Sims brought a photo album full of pictures doing science, mathematics and rocketry.
         OSIDA will be paying about $12,500 (5% matching funds) for path indicator lights on two runways, including the main one. The rest of the $250,000 will be paid for by an FAA grant.
         The rotating beacon at Oklahoma Spaceport is aging and nobody is still making the gears for it; it could fail within months. OSIDA is allocating $15,000 for a replacement.
          Dave Faulkner was there to update us on Rocketplane Global (the suborbital passenger and cargo branch of Rocketplane Ltd.). Rocketplane Global is still seeking funding with mixed results in the current economic climate. They have been having some success in getting guarantees of partial funding and letters of intent from international companies. Progress on the spaceship is very slow. [Note: for more information on this and other personal spaceflight companies, see http://www.personalspaceflight.info/]
 
Space-related News
 
         Jim Benson, founder of SpaceDev and of the Benson Space Company, died October 10, 2008. Benson Space Co. has been dissolved, but SpaceDev survives and is now working with Scaled Composites on the rocket motors for Space Ship Two.

From the Mars Society:  URGENT: Mobilize to Save the Mars Science Laboratory!

         “Due to budgetary overruns, NASA and Congress may cancel the Mars Science Laboratory, which is scheduled to be launched to Mars in October of 2009 - in a vote that could be held as soon as Friday! This 9-foot long rover is far more capable than the twin rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, and will contain the most impressive array of instruments and experiments that has ever been sent to Mars. It will be able to look for the building blocks of life. All previous Mars missions have been leading up to this one.
         “NASA has already spent $1.5 billion dollars and four years working on the mission. To cancel it now to save $300 million would be a horrendous waste of taxpayer dollars. This is the most complicated piece of equipment that has ever been sent to Mars and initial budget estimates could not anticipate all of the challenges that needed to be overcome to make this rover operational.
         “The MSL is the flagship of America's next efforts to explore Mars,” said Mars Society President Robert Zubrin. “It turned out to cost more than NASA thought it would going in. So did Apollo, and Viking. So did the transcontinental railroad. So did the Panama Canal. So did everything this country ever did that was hard to do. An overrun is not a reason to quit. If we had taken that attitude as our guideline in the past, this country never would have accomplished anything. “If we are going to continue to be a nation of explorers, we need to do what it takes to make the MSL mission succeed. If the technical problems can be solved in time to launch in 2009 and save money, fine. If we have to take more time and money to launch in 2011, then that's what we should do. But we should not give up.” All members of The Mars Society and the general space community need to join together to save MSL. Please contact your United States Senators and Representatives and tell them that MSL must be saved. In a time when the taxpayers of the United States already feel that hundreds of billions of dollars of their money is being wasted on Wall Street bailouts, the cancellation of MSL will mean that our government will be wasting at least another $1.5 billion that could have accomplished a mission of historic importance for the American space program and led humanity further down the path of its search for the nature of life in the universe. Quitting now is not fiscally responsible, and even worse, is a betrayal of the can-do pioneer spirit that not only built the space program, but America itself.
         Contact your representatives using our political fax tool. You can also call your representatives; their numbers are listed at House.gov and Senate.gov (both sites have tools to help you find your representatives). Demand that the MSL be given a chance to succeed!”
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For further information about the Mars Society, visit ... www.marssociety.org.
From George Whitesides: NSS Congratulates Historic Father-Son Space Pairs
 
         “On October 14, Richard Garriott and Expedition 18 crewmembers Mike Fincke and Yuri Lonchakov docked their Soyuz vehicle at the International Space Station.  This mission marks several important space-history milestones: Richard Garriott has become the first American second-generation space traveler, following his father Owen Garriott's illustrious astronaut career. At the ISS, Richard has met up with cosmonaut Sergei Volkov, the son of cosmonaut Alexander Volkov, representing the first Russian father-son space duo.  Richard and Sergei will descend to Earth together, representing the first time two second-generation space travelers have re-entered the atmosphere.
         “Coming just weeks after the 50th anniversary of NASA, these important milestones underscore how a generational shift is occurring in space.  The members of NSS look forward to the day when people from around the world will have the opportunity to travel to space with their family members, and congratulate Richard and Sergei on their historic accomplishments.
         “To follow Richard Garriott's mission, please visit http://www.richardinspace.com/
To follow ISS Expedition 18, please visit: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/”

To NSS Chpt-Leaders, from JGLJGL@aol.com:  NASA's 'electronic nose' could sniff out cancer, as posted in Longevity and Age Management, Cancer on Thu September 04, 2008:

         “From rocket science to brain surgery: a device designed to sniff out leaks on the space shuttle may soon guide surgeons as they operate on cancer patients. The ENose was originally developed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, to detect low-level leaks of ammonia in shuttles.” For more information, see http://www.worldhealth.net/news/nasa_s_electronic_nose_could_sniff_out_c
 
 
Press Release: Key Step to Space-Based Solar Power Achieved:
First-of-a-Kind Long-Distance Demonstration of Solar-Powered Wireless Power Transmission (WPT) Technology
 
         Contact: Mr. John C. Mankins (jmankins@managedenergytech.com)
         During the week of May 5-9, 2008, a key step on the path to Space-Based Solar Power was achieved: a “first-of-a-kind” long-range demonstration of solar-powered wireless power transmission using a solid-state phased array transmitter located on the U.S. island of Maui (on Haleakala) and receivers located on the island of Hawai'i (Mauna Loa) and airborne.  The demonstration, achieved by Managed Energy Technologies LLC of the U.S. and sponsored by Discovery Communications, Inc., involved the transmission of RF energy over a distance of up to 148 kilometers (about 90 miles): almost 100-times further than a major 1970s power transmission performed by NASA in the Mojave Desert in California.  The 2008 project (which lasted only 5 months and cost less than $1M) proved that real progress toward Space Solar Power can be made quickly, affordably and internationally, including key participants from the U.S. and Japan.
 
First-of-a-Kind Solar-Powered Wireless Power Transmission Experiment - May 2008
         A number of key technologies were integrated and tested together for the first time in this project, including solar power modules, solid-state FET amplifiers, and a novel “retrodirective” phase control system.  In addition, the project developed the first ever “field-deployable” system-developing new information regarding the prospective economics of space solar power / wireless power transmission systems.  The project was sponsored by Discovery Communications as part of its Project Earth series, and produced by Impossible Pictures Ltd. of the U.K.  The television program resulting from the project will first air on the Discovery Channel in the U.S. on 12 September 2008 at 10:00 pm, as part of the Project Earth series.
         “This milestone demonstrates that Space-Based Solar Power deserves further study as one important answer to America's future energy needs,” said Mark Hopkins, Senior Vice President of the National Space Society. “This kind of demonstration is critical to the incremental development of breakthrough technologies.”
         The project's leader was former NASA executive and physicist John C. Mankins (Chief Operating Officer of Managed Energy Technologies LLC, and President of the Space Power Association).  Key participants included Professor Nobuyuki Kaya of Kobe University in Japan and Frank Little of Texas A&M University in the U.S. (both world leaders in WPT technology), and Dr. Neville I. Marzwell of the California Institute of Technology.  Students at the two universities were largely responsible for fabrication of the hardware for this first-of-a-kind experiment.
         For background information on Space-Based Solar Power, please visit: www.nss.org/settlement/ssp/
 
   
Presidential candidates McCain & Obama answer space policy question
 
The Team at ScienceDebate2008.com, with input from several thousand scientists and others, carefully developed 14 “most-important” science questions which they wanted our presidential candidates to answer. For answers from Senators McCain and Obama to the 13 other science questions, go to http://www.sciencedebate2008.com/www/index.php?id=42. However, here is the Space question, and the two answers.
         11. Space.  The study of Earth from space can yield important information about climate change; focus on the cosmos can advance our understanding of the universe; and manned space travel can help us inspire new generations of youth to go into science.  Can we afford all of them?   How would you prioritize space in your administration?
McCain’s Space Policy Answer:
         The real question is whether we can afford not to.  We must ensure that we have a balanced approach to our space investments along with proper management controls.  Today, we rely more upon our space based assets than at any other time in history.  We need the technological advances of these systems to effectively address tremendous challenges such as climate change. Failure to properly address these problems will have devastating effects on the future of the planet.
For the past 50 years, space activities have contributed greatly to US scientific discovery, national security, economic development, and national innovation, pride and power (the ultimate example of which was the U.S. victory over the Soviets in the race to the moon). Spurred on by the Soviet Union's launch of Sputnik, the world's first satellite, and the concern that the U.S was falling behind in science and technology, U.S. policymakers enacted several policy actions to firmly establish the U.S. dominance in science and technology. Among them were the establishment of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the national Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), increased research funding, and a reformulation of the nation's science and technology education system.
         Today, more than 50 years after Sputnik, the US faces a very different world. The end of the Cold War and the space race has greatly reduced the profile of space exploration as a point of national pride and an emblem of U.S. power and thus created some degree of “mission-rut” for NASA. At the same time, the scientific community views the use of space as an important observation platform for advancing science by increasing our understanding of the solar system and the universe. In addition, our recent comprehension of the Earth's changing climate is based on data that we have received from our weather and Earth observation satellites. Much of our communications infrastructure is dependent upon space based assets that are essential to the quality of our everyday lives and the economy.
         China, Russia, India, Japan and Europe are all active players in space exploration. Both Japan and China launched robotic lunar orbiters in 2007. India is planning to launch a lunar orbiter later this year. The European Space Agency (ESA) is looking into a moon-lander, but is more focused on Mars. China also is actively pursuing a manned space program and, in 2003, became only the third country after the USSR and the US to demonstrate the capability to send man to space. China is developing plans for a manned lunar mission in the next decade and the establishment of a lunar base after 2020.
Activity within the commercial sector continues to increase beyond the traditional role of launching satellites. In 2007, the X-Prize Foundation announced a prize of $30 million in a global competition to build the first robotic rover capable of landing on the Moon. Several companies are planning to develop and build spacecraft for space tourism.
         I understand the importance of investments in key industries such as space to the future of our national security, environmental sustainability, economic competitiveness, and national pride as a technological leader. Although the general view in the research community is that human exploration is not an efficient way to increase scientific discoveries given the expense and logistical limitations, the role of manned space flight goes well beyond the issue of scientific discovery and is reflection of national power and pride.
         History provides some guide to this. In 1971, when the Nixon Administration was looking at canceling the Apollo program and not approving the development of the Space Shuttle - then Office of Management and Budget Deputy Director Casper Weinberger stated that such a policy: “would be confirming in some respects a belief that I fear is gaining credence at home and abroad: That our best years are behind us, that we are turning inward, reducing our defense commitments, and voluntarily starting to give up our super-power status and our desire to maintain world superiority.” Three and a half decades later this seems equally valid, if not more so given the increased number of countries that are making significant investments in space.
         I have been involved in a number of efforts to improve America's scientific prowess within the space arena. As Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, I played a major role in legislation to provide funding for space exploration (manned and unmanned), space science, Earth science, and aeronautics research. I also sponsored legislation to support the up and coming commercial space industry, and led the Senate's efforts to implement improvements to NASA after the Columbia accident. I also spearheaded efforts to control costs at NASA and promote a space exploration agenda based on sound management, safe practices, and fiscal responsibility.
         Current U.S. space operations policy commits the U.S. to completing the International Space Station (ISS) by 2010 and then terminating the Space Shuttle flights, with the completion of the ISS. I have called on the Bush Administration to suspend its decommissioning of the shuttle until the next President is in office, and to retain the option of continuing shuttle flights to the ISS in the interim period until the Ares/Orion vehicle is in service.
         As President, I will -- •    Ensure that space exploration is top priority and that the U.S. remains a leader; •    Commit to funding the NASA Constellation program to ensure it has the resources it needs to begin a new era of human space exploration. •    Review and explore all options to ensure U.S. access to space by minimizing the gap between the termination of the Space Shuttle and the availability of its replacement vehicle; •    Ensure the national space workforce is maintained and fully utilized; Complete construction of the ISS National Laboratory; •    Seek to maximize the research capability and commercialization possibilities of the ISS National Laboratory; •    Maintain infrastructure investments in Earth-monitoring satellites and support systems; •    Seek to maintain the nation's space infrastructure; •    Prevent wasteful earmarks from diverting precious resources from critical scientific research; •    and ensure adequate investments in aeronautics research.

Obama’s Space Policy Answer:

         As president, I will establish a robust and balanced civilian space program. Under my administration, NASA not only will inspire the world with both human and robotic space exploration, but also will again lead in confronting the challenges we face here on Earth, including global climate change, energy independence, and aeronautics research. In achieving this vision, I will reach out to include international partners and to engage the private sector to amplify NASA’s reach. I believe that a revitalized NASA can help America maintain its innovation edge and contribute to American economic growth.
         There is currently no organizational authority in the federal government with a sufficiently broad mandate to oversee a comprehensive and integrated strategy and policy dealing with all aspects of the government’s space-related programs, including those being managed by NASA, the Department of Defense, the National Reconnaissance Office, the Department of Commerce, the Department of Transportation, and other federal agencies. This wasn’t always the case. Between 1958 and 1973, the National Aeronautics and Space Council oversaw the entire space arena for four presidents; the Council was briefly revived from 1989 to 1992. I will re-establish this Council reporting to the president. It will oversee and coordinate civilian, military, commercial, and national security space activities. It will solicit public participation, engage the international community, and work toward a 21st century vision of space that constantly pushes the envelope on new technologies as it pursues a balanced national portfolio that expands our reach into the heavens and improves life here on Earth.
 
SpaceX launch video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eATJS-aKrD8
 

         Richard Garriott, son of Owen Garriott, launched Oct. 12 to ISS aboard a Russian capsule. Here’s his answer to one of the questions he’s been asked on http://www.richardinspace.com:
 
      williame from London, Kensington, UK asks:       Have men and women ever copulated in outer space? Were any children born
         I am confident no children were born; while there are no official reports of men and women ever copulating in space, I would be very, very surprised if it hasn’t been attempted at this point in time since there has been so many mixed gender crew in space. However, it turns out, that procreation and embryonic development in outer space is probably a very bad idea. I would not have suspected that about 10 years ago, but as I learned more about the unique aspects of microgravity, discovered more about cell development and cell function in microgravity, and seen studies and reports about how cellular development and embryonic developed is significantly altered by the microgravity development, I think it will be a long time or never when people are actually procreating in outer space.
         That would be bad for space settlement if it also applies to the lower (not micro) gravity found on Mars and the Moon. Orbital colonies could presumably spin up to 1G if large enough.
 

[To NSS Chpt-Leaders, from “Veronica Ann Zabala” <Veronica.Zabala@asu.edu> ]
Hi All. Taking a few moments from work I came across this:

“CAMBRIDGE, England (CNN)* -- Professor Stephen Hawking, one of the world's great scientists, is looking to the stars to save the human race – but pessimism is overriding his natural optimism.
          “Stephen Hawking, here delivering a lecture in May, spoke recently to CNN about his vision of the future.
         “Hawking, in an exclusive CNN interview, said that if humans can survive the next 200 years and learn to live in space, then our future will be bright.
         “’I believe that the long-term future of the human race must be in space,’ said Hawking, who is almost completely paralyzed by the illness ALS.
         “’It will be difficult enough to avoid disaster on planet Earth in the next 100 years, let alone next thousand, or million. The human race shouldn't have all its eggs in one basket, or on one planet. Let's hope we can avoid dropping the basket until we have spread the load.’
         “Hawking <http://topics.cnn.com/topics/stephen_hawking> is one of the few scientists known to a wide audience outside academia thanks to his best-selling books, a guest spot on “The Simpsons” and an ability to clearly explain the complexities of theoretical physics.”
 
Oklahoma Space Alliance NSS is a chapter of the National Space Society, www.nss.org.
 
Oklahoma Space Alliance Officers, 2008 (Area Code 405)
Tom Koszoru, President                                       366-1797 (H)
Claire McMurray, Vice-President/Update Editor   329-4326 (H) 863-6173 (C)
    (Update is sent in even-numbered months)
Syd Henderson, Secretary & Outreach Editor       321-4027 (H)
    Outreach is sent in odd-numbred months)
Tim Scott, Treasurer                                            740-7549 (H)

OSA E-mail Addresses and Web Site:

(Substitute @ for "at"
claire.mcmurray at sbcglobal.net (Claire McMurray)
T_Koszoru at cox.net (Heidi and Tom Koszoru)
sydh at ou.edu (Syd Henderson)
ctscott at mac.com (Tim Scott)
john.d.northcutt at tds.net (John Northcutt)
lensman13 at aol.com (Steve Galpin)
dmcraig at earthlink.net (Nancy and David Craig).

E-mail for OSA should be sent to sydh@ou.edu.
Members who wish their e-mail addresses printed in OUTREACH should contact Syd.

People wishing space-related materials e-mailed to them should contact Syd and Claire.

To contact Oklahoma Space Alliance, e-mail Syd Henderson.
PO Box 1003
Norman, OK 73070
Copyright ©2006 Oklahoma Space Alliance.