OKLAHOMA SPACE ALLIANCE
A Chapter of the National Space Society

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OUTREACH November 2010

November 2010 Meeting (NOTE DATE)

         Oklahoma Space Alliance will meet at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, November 20 at Tom and Heidi Koszoru’s house in Norman. Prospective members are also welcome. The house is at 514 Fenwick Court in Norman.
         This is the meeting at which we nominate officers. If you wish to serve as an officer of Oklahoma Space Alliance, please let us know at the meeting or contact Syd by e-mail at sydh@ou.edu. Syd will be sending out election ballots around the beginning of December by both e‑mail and snail mail. If you wish to be an officer, please contact him by December 1. Elections will be held on the Christmas Party on December 19.
         To get the meeting either: (1) Take the Robinson Street west exit off I-35. Proceed west to 36th Street where you will turn left, and go south until you turn left on Rambling Oaks (about half a mile north of Main Street). Fenwick Court is the third street on the left. Tom's house is the last on the left side, or (2) Take the Main Street west exit off I-35, proceed west past the Sooner Fashion Mall, and turn right at 36th Street, and go north until you turn right on Rambling Oaks (about half a mile north of Main Street). Fenwick Court is the third street on the left. The Koszoru house is the last on the left side.
Agenda:

  1. Introductions (if necessary)
  2. Read and approve agenda
  3. Read and approve minutes and reports of activities
  4. Old Business
    1. Start Up Kit for Chapters in Second Life
    2. Research funding
    3. A New OSA Logo
    4. Treasurer’s Report
    5. 50th Anniversary of Manned Space Flight (Yuri's Night 2011)
    6. Space Solar Power
    7. Marketing for Burns Flat
    8. Distribution of Ad Astras.
    9. Nominations of officers
  5. Read and discuss mail
    1. Letters from Starbase
  6. New Business
  7. Create New Agenda

         We have received letters thank-you letters from Ms. Keeton’s class at Washington Elementary School in Clinton, Oklahoma, and Syd will bring them to the meeting.

Minutes of October Meeting

         Oklahoma Space Alliance met at the Koszoru house on October 9. Attending were Tom Koszoru, Claire McMurray, Tim Scott, John Northcutt and Syd Henderson.
         Leigh Perry will be working on the design for the new OSA logo. She needs to know what designs we have and what size we want them. At least two sizes: we want one for t-shirts and one for a logo. Do we want them in color of black and white? [Color.] Tom wants to get together with Leigh so they can go over them in person, since he finds it difficult to describe what he wants over the phone.
         Tim sent the check for Starbase to Ms. Keeton’s class at Washington Elementary School in Clinton. We are helping them fund transportation to the Starbase classes.
         Tom is doing an online grant-writing course. This is in a three day session from 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., with a fee of $600.
         Claire wants to put off the rest of her book report until January. Claire asks,” If you could design your own business, what would it be?”
         Tom and John need to get together at a particular time and meet with the people at the Stafford Museum in Weatherford. Perhaps on a Wednesday so Syd can go.
         New business:      John asked about the possibility of doing a half-hour radio show. Should this be the radio quiz, or possibly have that as an aspect. Winners could get a subscription to Ad Astra, which means the quiz would have to be hosted live.
         Since several of our members are still holding full-time jobs, doing a half-hour weekly show would be too much. Perhaps once a month.
         NSS North Texas is sending Claire a newsletter. She wants to get permission to send this to our mailing list. They are revising the Boy Scout Handbook. Claire doesn’t think there’s a space badge for Girl Scouts, and perhaps there should be?
         Our next meeting will be on November 20 due to conflicts on the 13th.  Possibly this meeting can be moved to Edmond.
--Report from OSA Secretary Syd Henderson

Notes on October 13 OSIDA meeting

         The Oklahoma Space Industry Development Authority met at the Oklahoma Department of Transportation Building in Oklahoma City. All seven of the OSIDA board were present and outnumbered the audience. Syd Henderson attended on behalf of Oklahoma Space Alliance.
         The security fence is now complete.  Driver’s insurance companies paid for damage to the fence.
         Armadillo is trying to finish some paperwork. Their aerospace flight from the Oklahoma Spaceport is tentatively scheduled for late October or early November. First flight will be 5,000 feet, second 10,000 feet and third 20,000 feet. They will make a powered landing.
         $1.5 billion of the funds in the NASA Authorization Act is going to private companies.
         Jeff Greason of XCor is talking about making the Oklahoma Spaceport a secondary base of operations. This is potentially the largest operation to take place at the Oklahoma Spaceport.
         Syd dropped off copies of Ad Astra for all the board members and OSIDA Executive Director Bill Khourie. [He also dropped five copies off at the Artesian Cancer/Norman Urology office in Moore.]

Note: The November 10 OSIDA meeting was cancelled. No word on the Armadillo test flights.
--Report from OSA Secretary Syd Henderson

Viewing Opportunities for Satellites (November 18 – December 18, 2010)

         You can get sighting information at www.heavens-above.com/. Heavens Above allows you to get Station data for 10 day periods, and gives you a constellation map showing the trajectory of the satellite. If you go to the bottom of the map page, it will give you a really detailed map with the location at 10 or 15-second intervals, depending on detail. In fact, the detailed charts will even show you the tracks against maps of the constellations, which should help you if you are familiar with the night sky.
         Sky Online (the Sky & Telescope web site) carries station observation times for the next few nights at skyandtelescope.com/observing/almanac. With the addition of the solar panels, the Space Station can be as bright as magnitude -3.5, making it brighter than all the stars other than the Sun and all the planets other than Venus, although magnitude -1 to -2 is more likely. The Hubble Space Telescope can get up to magnitude 1.5, which is brighter than the stars in the Big Dipper, although, since it is lower in the sky, it is a bit more difficult to see. 
         Missions to the Space Station may change its orbit. Be sure to check Heavens Above or www.jsc.nasa.gov/sightings before going out to watch. Next launch window for Discovery between is November 30 and December 6, and NASA is trying repair cracks in the external fuel tank to meet that. (See “Space News” section for more detail.)
         The last mission to the Hubble Telescope has already occurred so its information should be reliable.
         By coincidence, all the Space Station viewing opportunities this month are in the morning, and all the Space Telescope viewing opportunities are in the evening. All the latter terminate with the Space Telescope disappearing into Earth shadow, but only the first has this happening above 20°. Space Telescope viewing opportunities occur in sequences over four or five days, and these are all in one sequence.

HST  November 25, 2010
Time           Position    Elevation
6:43 p.m.        216°           20°
6:44               198             26
6:45               172             29
6:46               147             26
6:47               132             21*
* Vanishes into Earth’s Shadow

Station  November 26, 2010
Time           Position    Elevation
5:53 a.m.        194°           16°
5:54               176             26
5:55               132             35
5:56                 61             26
5:57                 71             15

HST  November 26, 2010
Time           Position    Elevation
6:42 p.m.        222°           20°
6:43               203             27
6:44               176             31
6:45               149             28
6:46               130             20

Station  November 27, 2010
Time           Position    Elevation
6:18 a.m.        250°           17°
6:19               266             32
6:20               323             49
6:21                 17             31
6:22                 32             17

HST  November 27, 2010
Time           Position    Elevation
6:38 p.m.        226°           21°
6:39               207             28
6:40               180             32
6:41               152             28
6:42               133             21

HST  November 28, 2010
Time           Position    Elevation
6:36 p.m.        229°           20°
6:37               211             28
6:38               183             31
6:39               167             28
6:40               138             21

HST  November 29, 2010
Time           Position    Elevation
6:34 p.m.        231°           20°
6:35               213             26
6:36               187             29
6:37               161             26
6:38               143             20

Station  December 13, 2010
Time           Position    Elevation
6:37 a.m.        325°           17°
6:38               338             33
6:39                 38             55
6:40               101             34
6:41               115             17

            Pass times are from Heavens Above
         Key: Position is measured in degrees clockwise from north. That is, 0° is due north, 90° is due east, 180° is due south, and 270° is due west.  Your fist held at arm's length is about ten degrees wide. "Elevation" is elevation above the horizon in degrees. Thus, to find the Hubble Space Telescope at 6:46 p.m. on November 26, measure four fist-widths west of due east, then two above the horizon.
         All times are rounded off to the nearest minute except for times when the satellite enters or leaves the shadow of the Earth. The highest elevation shown for each viewing opportunity is the actual maximum elevation for that appearance.
         J-Pass provides a service called J-Pass Generator, which will e‑mail you sighting information for the next three days for up to ten satellites. For more information, go to science.nasa.gov/Realtime/JPass/PassGenerator/.

Sky Viewing

 [Information from skyandtelescope.com and the November and December issues of both Astronomy and Sky & Telescope.]
         A Total Eclipse of the Moon occurs on the night of December 20 – 21. This entire eclipse will be visible throughout North America, the northwestern part of South America, Hawaii and the northern shores of Russia and Scandinavia.  The Moon will be above the horizon above the Arctic all that night, so the eclipse will be visible to everyone in the far North.
         Here are the eclipse times for Central Standard Time. Unlike a solar eclipse, a lunar eclipse occurs approximately simultaneously for the half of the earth from which it’s visible. For Eastern Standard Time, add an hour, for Mountain Time, subtract an hour, and for Pacific Time, subtract two hours.
11:55 p.m.        Moon begins to visibly darken
12:33 a.m.        Moon begins to enter umbra (partial eclipse begins)
1:41                  Total eclipse of the Moon begins
2:53                  Total eclipse ends
4:01                  Partial eclipse ends
4:35                  Moon is no longer visibly darkened.
         Unlike the Sun during a total solar eclipse, the Moon doesn’t completely disappear during a lunar eclipse. Because of the Earth’s atmosphere, light bends around the edge of the Earth as seen from the Moon, and illuminates the Moon’s disk. Since this light travels a considerable distance at a shallow angle through Earth’s atmosphere, the Moon appears deep red during a total lunar eclipse. The deeper the Moon goes into Earth’s shadow, the darker it appears. This time it should be almost black.
         There will also be a total lunar eclipse visible from parts of North America on the morning of December 10, 2011; Oklahoma will get a part of the total eclipse of that one. After that, the next total lunar eclipses visible from Oklahoma are April 15 and October 8, 2014.

         The Geminid meteor shower peaks in the early morning of December 14.  This may peak at over a hundred meteors per hour.
         Advance notice: The Quadrantid meteor shower has a quick peak on the evening of January 3. Although the best viewing will be from Europe, it’s possible that the eastern United States will get an excellent view, and it may be worthwhile for viewers in Oklahoma. The Quadrantids are named after the obsolete constellation Quadrans Muralis (mural quadrant, i.e. an arc measuring instrument built into a wall capable of measuring up to 90 degrees). This constellation has been split up between Boötes, Hercules and Drano. The Quadrantids radiate from the northern part of Boötes.
         Mercury is currently setting just after the Sun and is not visible. It is, however, moving farther away from the Sun each evening as it approaches greatest eastern elongation on December 1. This is not a good elongation, though, and Mercury will only be 6° above the horizon a half-hour after sunset. Mercury will be about that distance from the Sun until December 10, after which it will reach inferior conjunction on December 19, and not be visible until next year.
         Venus is now visible in the morning an hour or so before sunrise. By the end of November, it will be rising three hours before sunrise and shining at a brilliant magnitude -4.9. The bright star near Venus in the sky is Pica. Venus will remain this bright through December, reaching peak brightness on December 4 as it approaches greatest western elongation on January 8. (Coincidentally, Mercury is at greatest western elongation the next night.)
         Mars is nearing a conjunction with the Sun in February, but can be seen with binoculars low in the western sky a half hour after sunset. This situation will continue for the rest of the year.
         On December 6, the Moon will occult Mars for observers in a band from Florida to Michigan.
         Jupiter, on the other hand, is still near maximum brightness, and can be seen in the southeastern sky just after sunset, and shines through the evening. It stops its retrograde motion in the sky on November 19, which means it will begin to close in on Uranus again. At the moment, the two planets are about 3 degrees apart, but will be only 0.6 degrees apart on January 2, 2011. Jupiter is magnitude -2.7 but Uranus is only magnitude 5.8.
         Saturn is magnitude 0.9 and visible before sunrise in the constellation Virgo, sixteen degrees above Venus. (That’s about one-and-a-half time the width of your fist at arm’s length. By the end of November, Saturn will be rising around 3:00 a.m., and about 2:00 a.m. by the end of December. The view of Saturn improves dramatically as its rings are beginning to open up.
         Neptune is magnitude 7.9 and is located in Capricorn. See http://www.skyandtelescope.com/observing/highlights/85530917.html for a finder chart for Uranus and for Neptune.
         Pluto, which is impossible to see without a telescope anyway, is now lost in twilight as it approaches its December 26 conjunction with the Sun.

Space News

         Pluto may be lost in the sunset, but it may have been promoted a bit (barely) at Er is’s expense. On November 6, Er is occulted a 17th magnitude star. By measuring the length of the occultation from several different locations, the diameter of Eris was measured, and it turns out to be less than 2340 kilometers (1453 miles), and possibly as small as 2220 km. Since Pluto’s diameter is around 2340 km, give or take 20 km, this means that Pluto may once again be the largest known object in the solar system beyond Neptune. That doesn’t mean, unfortunately, that it will be promoted out of dwarf planet status.
         The mass of Eris is known due to its having a moon. Since it’s smaller than previously thought, it must be denser as well. The new estimate is that it’s at least 2.5 times as dense as water, compared with 2.0 for Pluto.

         Newsweek has compiled a list of the top 10 places in America posed for recovery.  Four of these—Dallas, Austin, San Antonio and Houston—are in Texas, several are lower-cost rivals to Silicon Valley. One of them, “Oklahoma City-- which enjoys low unemployment as a result of its steadily growing energy and aerospace sectors—has been ranked among the best job markets for young people, ahead of Dallas, Seattle, and even New York (having Kevin Durant lead the NBA’s Oklahoma City Thunder for the foreseeable future can only improve the buzz).”

         On November 4, the Deep Impact spacecraft passed the nucleus of Comet Hartley 2 at a distance of 435 miles and obtained spectacular close-ups of shooting jets of gas. Hartley 2 is the smallest of the five comets photographed by spacecraft but is also the most active. The nucleus is about 1.25 miles long, and consists of two rough ends connected by a narrower, smooth collar. The jets come from the rough ends. Much of the material in the jets is carbon dioxide, indicating that a lot of the comet consists of dry ice. For a story on this encounter, see http://www.skyandtelescope.com/news/106720468.html.

         Four cracks have been discovered in the aluminum skin of the external fuel tank of the space shuttle Discovery. These cracks must be repaired before Discovery can be launched on its last mission to the Space Station. Discovery was to have been launched on November 1, but now engineers are trying to repair them in time for the next set of launch windows, the first of which begins at 3:02 a.m. on November 30.
         Initially, a crack was detected in the insulating foam that forms the surface of the external tank; the cracks in the aluminum were serendipitously discovered while investigating that.
         Cracks like this occur many times, but this is the first time they weren’t detected until a space shuttle was actually on the launch pad.
         There was some fear that Hurricane Tomas might hit while the shuttle was on the launch pad, but it veered well east of Florida.
         [Information from space.com.]

         The Chandra X-Ray Observatory has detected the youngest black hole known to exist in this part of the Universe. The black hole is the remnant of SN 1979C, which was detected in 1979 (naturally) in the galaxy Messier 100 (aka M100 and NGC 4321) in Coma Berenices.
         This is also the first black hole of which the formation was observed from Earth. Naturally, the black hole itself cannot be seen. What are being detected are X-rays from matter falling into the black hole.

         The Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) announced November 15 that material found within the capsule from the Hayabusa spacecraft is indeed from asteroid Itokawa 1. The space probe returned to Earth (specifically Australia) on June 13. It has taken this long to confirm that the particles do indeed come from outer space. The particles consist mostly of olivine and pyroxene, confirming that the asteroid has a rocky composition, as had been expected.
         This is a triumphant end to the Hayabusa mission, the first ion-drive spaceship. Hayabusa had had problems since it was damaged by a solar flare in 2003. An attempt to drop a probe onto Itokawa’s surface failed, and there were a lot of glitches when Hayabusa itself attempted to land. Fuel lines ruptured and for a while, engineers couldn’t control the spacecraft. Recovery began in 2006 but the spacecraft took four more years to limp home.

         The James Webb Space Telescope will be delayed at least to 2015 and possibly beyond due to cost overruns. Estimates have raised the cost from $5 billion to $6.5 billion and may delay the launch to keep other projects going.

Calendar of Events
           
         November 20: Oklahoma Space Alliance meeting at 3:30 p.m. Location to be announced.
         November 30 – December 6. Launch window for Discovery to the International Space Station. This is the last mission for Discovery.
         December: Japan’s Akatsuki (aka Venus Climate Orbiter and Planet C) arrives at Venus.
         December 1: Mercury is at greatest eastern elongation, 21° from the Sun (hence can be seen after sunset).
         December 4; Venus is at maximum brightness.
         December 10: Oklahoma City Astronomy Club meets at Science Museum Oklahoma (formerly the Omniplex). There will be a novice session in the planetarium at 6:45 p.m., followed by a club meeting at 7:30 p.m.
         December 11: [Tentative] Oklahoma Space Alliance Christmas Party. Location and time to be announced.
         December 13: Meteor Night at the Cheddar Ranch Observatory. Open to the public. Go to the Oklahoma City Astronomy Club website, www.okcastroclub.com, for directions.
         December 14: Geminid meteor shower peaks.
         December 19: Mercury is in inferior conjunction with the sun.
         December 21: Total eclipse of the Moon, visible just after midnight in North and South America. See “Sky Viewing” (page 5) for details.
         December 21: Winter Solstice at 6:00 p.m.
         December 26: Pluto is in conjunction with the Sun.
         Sometime in 2011: China will launch two missions to the Tiangong 1 space station. The first will be an unmanned mission and the second a manned docking mission.
         January 2, 2011: Jupiter is 0.6° south of Uranus.
         January 3, 2011: Quadrantid meteor shower peaks around 7:00 p.m.
         January 4, 2011: Partial solar eclipse visible in Europe, northern Africa, and the Middle East.
         January 8, 2011: [Tentative] Oklahoma Space Alliance meeting at 3:00 p.m. Location to be announced.
         January 8, 2011: Venus is at greatest western elongation, 47° from the Sun (hence can be seen before sunrise).
         January 9, 2011: Mercury is at greatest western elongation, 23° from the Sun (hence can be seen before sunrise).
         January 14, 2011: Oklahoma City Astronomy Club meets at Science Museum Oklahoma (formerly the Omniplex). There will be a novice session in the planetarium at 6:45 p.m., followed by a club meeting at 7:30 p.m.
         February 4, 2011: Mars is in conjunction with the Sun.
         February 12, 2001: [Tentative] Oklahoma Space Alliance meeting at 3:00 p.m. Location to be announced.
         February 16, 2011: Launch of Endeavour to the Space Station. This is the scheduled conclusion of the space shuttle program. Launch time is currently projected for 4:19 p.m. [CDT] [Moved from July 2010.]
         February 17, 2011: Neptune is in conjunction with the Sun.
         February 25, 2011: Mercury is in superior conjunction with the Sun.
         March 16, 2011: Mercury passes 2° north of Jupiter.
         March 18, 2011: MESSENGER goes into orbit around Mercury.
         March 21, 2011: Uranus is in conjunction with the Sun.
         March 22, 2011: Mercury is at greatest eastern elongation, 19° from the Sun (hence can be seen after sunset). This is the best chance in 2011 for Northern Hemisphere viewers to see Mercury (but see May!).
         April 3, 2011: Saturn is at opposition.
         April 6, 2011: Jupiter is in conjunction with the Sun.
         April 9, 2011: Mercury is in inferior conjunction with the Sun.
         May 4 – 18, 2011: Mercury is within 2° of Venus.
         May 7, 2011: Mercury is at greatest western elongation, 27° from the Sun (hence can be seen before sunrise).
         May 11, 2011: Jupiter and Venus are 0.6° apart. Mercury is only a couple of degrees away, and Mars is 5° east of Jupiter.
         May 19, 2011: Mercury passes 2° south of Mars.
         June 1, 2011: Partial solar eclipse viewable in northern Canada, Alaska and northern and eastern Russia.
         July 1, 2011: Partial solar eclipse, viewable in a small area off Queen Maud Land in Antarctica.
         June 12, 2011: Mercury is in superior conjunction with the Sun.
         June 15, 2011: Total eclipse of the Moon, visible in South America and most of Eastern Hemisphere.
         June 28, 2011: Pluto is at opposition.
         July 2011 - May 2012: Dawn probe orbits Vesta. See dawn.jpl.nasa.gov/  or en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dawn_Mission for details.
         July 7, 2011: Neptune completes its first orbit since discovery.
         July 20, 2011: Mercury is at greatest eastern elongation, 27° from the Sun (hence can be seen after sunset).
         August 5, 2011: The asteroid Vesta is at opposition, and, at magnitude 5.6, is visible to the naked eye.
         August 5, 2011: Launch of the Juno mission to Jupiter. See en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Juno_(spacecraft) or http://juno.wisc.edu/ for details.
         August 16, 2011: Venus is in superior conjunction with the Sun, and Mercury is in inferior conjunction.
         August 22, 2011: Neptune is at opposition.
         September 3, 2011: Mercury is at greatest western elongation, 18° from the Sun (hence can be seen before sunrise).
         September 8, 2011: Launch of GRAIL, the Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory, to orbit the Moon. This is actually a dual probe mission. For more information, visit http://moon.mit.edu/index.html.
         September 25, 2011: Uranus is at opposition.
         October 13, 2011: Saturn is in conjunction with the Sun.
         October 28, 2011: Jupiter is at opposition.
         November 14, 2011: Mercury is at greatest eastern elongation, 23.7° from the Sun (hence can be seen after sunset).
         November 17, 2011: Peak of Leonid meteor shower.
         November 25, 2011: The Mars Science Laboratory (aka Curiosity) is launched. See marsprogram.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/ for details
         November 25, 2011: Partial solar eclipse viewable from all of Antarctica, and the Antarctic Ocean from Africa to Australia.
         December 10, 2011: Total eclipse of the Moon. This one is at its best in Russia, eastern Asia, Australia, Alaska and the Yukon, but the early part of the eclipse will be visible in the rest of North America.
         December 22, 2011: Mercury is at greatest western elongation, 22° from the Sun (hence can be seen before sunrise).
         Late 2011 or early 2012: Launch of the Phobos-Grunt sample return mission to the Martian moon Phobos. For more information, go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phobos-Grunt. The orbiter will remain to study Mars while the soil sample will arrive on Earth in late 2012 or early in 2013.
         Sometime in 2012: Russia launches the “Luna-Glob” mission which will deploy 13 mini-probes upon the lunar surface. For more information, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luna-Glob.
         February 3, 2012: Launch of NuSTAR space probe from Kwajalein via a Pegasus rocket. NuSTAR will search for black holes, supernova remnants and active galaxies. For more details, visit www.nustar.caltech.edu/ or en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_Spectroscopic_Telescope_Array.
         March 3, 2012: Mars is at opposition at magnitude -1.2. This is the worst opposition for the next twenty years.
         March 12, 2001: [Tentative] Oklahoma Space Alliance meeting at 3:00 p.m. Location to be announced.
         April 9, 2001: [Tentative] Oklahoma Space Alliance meeting at 3:00 p.m. Location to be announced.
         June 6, 2012: Venus transits the Sun's disk.  The early part of this will be visible from the United States, but the full transit will only be visible from the western Pacific Ocean, eastern Asia, eastern Australia, and eastern Indonesia including New Guinea.
         Fall 2012: The Mars Science Laboratory (Curiosity) rover lands on Mars. See marsprogram.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/ for details.
         April 17, 2013: Mars is in conjunction with the Sun.
         December 30, 2013: Earliest launch date for India’s Chandrayaan II. This mission will include a lunar rover. For more information, visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chandrayaan-2.
         Sometime in 2014: The European Space Agency/JAXA BepiColombo Mercury Orbiter is launched. Home page is sci.esa.int/science-e/www/area/index.cfm?fareaid=30.
         April 14-15, 2014. Total eclipse of the Moon visible from North America.
         August 2014 - December 2015: The Rosetta space probe orbits comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko. In November, 2014, it will release the Philae lander. Web page is www.esa.int/SPECIALS/Rosetta or visit en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rosetta_%28spacecraft%29
         Sometime in 2015 or 2016: Launch of SIM PlanetQuest (aka the Space Interferometry Mission). This mission was originally supposed to have been launched in 2005 and has been delayed at least five times. It was recently moved from 2012. For more information, visit en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_Interferometry_Mission.
         February 2015: Dawn space probe arrives at Ceres. Operations are scheduled to continue through July. Dawn may continue on to other asteroids if it is still operational.
         July 14, 2015: The New Horizons probe passes through the Pluto-Charon system. The New Horizons web site is pluto.jhuapl.edu/.
         September 2015: Earliest date for the launch of the James Webb Space Telescope. [Moved from July 2014.]
         Sometime in 2016: ESA launches the ExoMars Mars Rover. For more information, visit en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exomars.
         July 2016-2020:  The New Horizons probe visits the Kuiper Belt.
         August 21, 2017: The next total solar eclipse visible in the United States, on a pretty straight path from Portland, Oregon to Charleston, South Carolina.  St. Louis is the biggest city in-between.
         Summer of 2020 (approximate) BepiColombo arrives at Mercury orbit.
         April 8, 2024: A total solar eclipse crosses the US from the middle of the Mexico-Texas border, crosses Arkansas, southern Missouri, Louisville, Cleveland, Buffalo and northern New England.
         August 12, 2045: The next total solar eclipse visible in Oklahoma.  This one is also visible in Salt Lake City, Denver, Little Rock (again), Tampa Bay and New Orleans.

         Space-Related Articles

         “Dark Worlds,” by Jonathan Feng and Mark Trodden, Scientific American, November 2010, pp. 38 – 45. This is a general survey of theories of what might constitute dark matter. Prominent candidates are WIMPs (weakly interacting massive particles), postulated because the particles carrying the weak nuclear force are more massive than expected. The greater mass indicates that these particles are interacting with something undetected, WIMPs, that don’t interact through the electromagnetic force. In a sense, this makes them like massive neutrinos, and about as hard to detect. However, there are numerous other candidates such as axions and supersymmetric particles.

         “How to Deflect a Hazardous Asteroid,” by Dan Durda, Sky & Telescope, December 2010, pp.  22 – 28. A lot of the ideas in this article will be familiar to space enthusiasts, but here goes: If a dangerous asteroid is on a near collision course with the Earth, it’s a very bad idea simply to blow it up with a nuclear bomb, because some of the pieces are likely to still collide with the Earth, spreading the joys of destruction over a larger area of the surface of the Earth. However, a nuclear blast off the surface of the asteroid can deflect it enough to nudge it. The figures here translate are for a 1-km asteroid, you would want a 100 kiloton nuclear bomb 50 – 80 feet off the surface, the exact distance depending on what the asteroid is made of.
         A second method is simply to knock something into it. This has already been tested with the Deep Impact test probe into Comet Tempel 1. The change in momentum can be many times that of the impact itself because of the material spewing from the impact crater.
         Slow push options include installing a mass driver to shoot boulders from the surface of the asteroid, or using a solar sail to focus sunlight on a small area of the asteroid.
         One side effect of some of these methods is something I didn’t know about: there is something called the Yarkovsky Effect that perturbs asteroid orbits. Essentially, when the surface of an asteroid warms up, it emits infrared radiation which pushes the asteroid though radiation emission; this effect peaks in the “afternoon.” For an asteroid rotating in a prograde direction, the asteroid is pushed into a higher orbit, while one rotating in a retrograde direction slows and falls into a lower orbit. Many of the methods mentioned for moving asteroids will alter the brightness of its surface as a side effect; this may well be enough to move an asteroid out of a collision course.

         Oklahoma Space Alliance Officers, 2010 (Area Code 405)

Tom Koszoru, President                                                           366-1797 (H)
John Northcutt, Vice-President                                                 390-3476 (H)
Syd Henderson, Secretary & Outreach Editor                          321-4027 (H)
Tim Scott, Treasurer                                                                  740-7549 (H)
Claire McMurray, Correspondence Secretary/Update Editor       329-4326 (H) 863-6173 (C)

OSA E-mail Addresses and Web Site:

claire.mcmurray at sbcglobal.net (Claire McMurray)
T_Koszoru at cox.net (Heidi and Tom Koszoru)
john.d.northcutt1 at tds.net (John Northcutt)
sydh at ou.edu (Syd Henderson)
ctscott at mac.com (Tim Scott)
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, and people wishing space-related materials e-mailed to them should contact Syd.  Oklahoma Space Alliance website is chapters.nss.org/ok/osanss.html. Webmaster is Syd Henderson.

Other Information
           
            Oklahoma Space Industrial Development Authority (OSIDA), 401 Sooner Drive/PO Box 689, Burns Flat, OK 73624, 580-562-3500.  Web site www.state.ok.us/~okspaceport.
            Science Museum Oklahoma (former Omniplex) website is www.sciencemuseumok.org. Main number is 602-6664.
            Tulsa Air and Space Museum, 7130 E. Apache, Tulsa, OK  74115.
Web Site is www.tulsaairandspacemuseum.com.  Phone (918)834-9900.
            The Mars Society address is Mars Society, Box 273, Indian Hills CO 80454. Their web address is www.marsociety.org.
            The National Space Society's Headquarters phone is 202-429-1600. Executive Director is Gary Barnhard nsshq@nss.org. The Chapters Coordinator is Bennett Rutledge 720-529-8024. The address is: National Space Society, 1155 15th Street NW, Suite 500, Washington DC 20005 Web page is www.nss.org
            The Planetary Society phone 626-793-5100. The address is 65 North Catalina, Avenue, Pasadena, California, 91106-2301 and the website is www.planetary.org. E-mail is tps@planetary.org.
            NASA Spacelink BBS 205-895-0028.  Or try www.nasa.gov.  .
            Congressional Switchboard 202/224-3121.
             Write to any U. S. Senator or Representative at [name]/ Washington DC, 20510 (Senate) or 20515 [House].

 OKLAHOMA SPACE ALLIANCE
 A Chapter of the National Space Society

 MEMBERSHIP ORDER FORM
                                                                     
Please enroll me as a member of Oklahoma Space Alliance.  Enclosed is:

___________________ $10.00 for Membership.  (This allows full voting privileges, but covers only your own newsletter expense.)

___________________ $15.00 for family membership

                                     TOTAL amount enclosed

          National Space Society has a special $30 introductory rate for new members ($35 for new international members).  Regular membership rates are $55, international $65.  Student memberships are $25.  Part of the cost is for the magazine, Ad Astra.  Mail to: National Space Society, 1155 15th Street NW, Suite 500, Washington, DC  20005, or join at www.nss.org/membership. (Brochures are at the bottom with the special rate.) Be sure to ask them to credit your membership to Oklahoma Space Alliance.
          To join the Mars Society, visit.  One-year memberships are $50.00; student and senior memberships are $25, and Family memberships are $100.00.    Their address is Mars Society, Box 273, Indian Hills CO 80454.

Do you want to be on the Political Action Network?
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OSA Memberships are for 1 year, and include a subscription to our monthly newsletters, Outreach and Update.  Send check & form to Oklahoma Space Alliance, 102 W. Linn, #1, Norman, OK 73071.

Contact person for Oklahoma Space Alliance is Claire McMurray
PO Box 1003
Norman, OK 73070
Webmaster is Syd Henderson.
Copyright ©2010 Oklahoma Space Alliance.