OKLAHOMA SPACE ALLIANCE
A Chapter of the National Space Society

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                            Oklahoma Space Alliance NSS Chapter UPDATE for October, 2010

October 2010 Meeting (NOTE DATE AND LATER TIME)

         At the July meeting, Oklahoma Space Alliance voted to move their monthly meetings to the second Saturday of each month because so many members had developed conflicts on the third Saturday.
         Oklahoma Space Alliance will meet at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, October 9  at Tom and Heidi Koszoru’s house inNorman. Prospective members are also welcome. The house is at 514 Fenwick Court in Norman.
         The time is being moved because there is a Book Fair in Oklahoma City on October 9.
         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
         a.      Start Up Kit for Chapters in Second Life
         b.      Research funding
         c.      Book Reports
         d.      A New OSA Logo
         e.      Treasurer’s Report
         f.       50th Anniversary of Manned Space Flight (Yuri's Night 2011)
         g.      Space Solar Power
         h.      Marketing for Burns Flat
         i.       Supporting drivers for Starbase
         j.       Distribution of Ad Astras.
5)         Read and discuss mail
6)         New Business
7)         Create New Agenda

Minutes of September Meeting

         Oklahoma Space Alliance met at the Koszoru house on September 11. Attending were Tom and Heidi Koszoru, Claire McMurray, Tim Scott, John Northcutt and Syd Henderson.
         Tim has been having trouble with both his e-mail and his cell phone,
         The Mars Project is to send mice and a centrifuge into orbit and use the centrifuge to simulate Mars gravity.
         Tom has a friend who can help design a new logo.
         John gave $30 for Starbase, making the sum total donated by OSA members $160. They will be going at the end of September.
         We moved up the treasures report. We have $267 in Cash and $250 in our account.
         Tom still hasn’t gotten back to people about the startup kit.
         The University of California at San Diego has a degree to certify people in research.
         Tom did a book report on “You Have Three Minutes” by Ricardo Bellino, who was an apprentice of Donald Trump (an actual apprentice, not one from his show). The book deals with networking and building a team. Body language is 60% of communications.
         Tim reported on “Death from the Skies!: These Are the Ways the World Will End…” by Philip C. Plait, the author of “Bad Astronomy.”
         Claire reported on “How to Make Yourself (or Anyone Else) Famous,” by Gloria Michaels. You need a power base and an action plan. At this point, none of us have a space-related power base. Claire passed out forms we filled out for how to become a celebrity, and collected them. She is also going to have us fill out a form for Oklahoma Space Alliance itself.
         Tom talked to OU SEDS about Yuri’s Night. There were about seven people at the meeting, including Tom. Tom discussed it as a fundraiser.
         OU SEDS got a grant from NASA Space Grant Consortium.
         Syd had a box of fifty copies of the fall issue of Ad Astra, and gave away about half of them to members for distribution.
         John asked if there could be a half hour radio program devoted to space.
         Claire read a letter from Freeman Dyson et al. urging that Congress not adopt HR 5781, which was the House version of the NASA Authorization Bill. The National Space Society has been pushing for the Senate version of the bill to be adopted. [Follow-up: the NSS was apparently successful in this. The House bill died and, rather than slow down the bill further, the House adopted the Senate version of the Authorization Bill, passing it by a 3 – 1 margin. However, the NASA appropriation bill is not likely to pass until after the elections.]
--Minutes by Oklahoma Space Alliance Secretary Syd Henderson

 Assorted Space News

The NASA authorization bill gives NASA 90 days to settle on a design for a new heavy-lift vehicle, and begin work on said vehicle next year. However, since the NASA appropriation bill providing funds for such work was not passed before the fiscal year ended on Oct. 1st, and isn’t likely to pass for a month or more, it’s hard to see how the deadline can be met. This has already resulted in job losses for hundreds of commercial aerospace workers.

Now that ISS has its full crew, research activities there are increasing dramatically. Russia is even adding new experiment space, hoping to increase the experiment completion rate. However, countries are finding that 10-25% of the research time must be devoted to repairing or maintain ing the experimental equipment. No comparison with ground-based maintenance time was available in the Space News article..

The final space shuttle mission is currently planned for February 2011 aboard Endeavour, designated STS-134. However, NASA has named 4 astronauts as crew for STS-335 on Atlantis, which would fly only if needed to bring the STS-134 crew home from the International Space Station. But if Congress decides to add one more shuttle flight, Atlantis could fly in June with supplies and spare parts for ISS. Space News did not say what the rescue plan for that crew would be. Russia, perhaps? Russian transportation is the plan for U.S. access to the space station between the final shuttle mission and the success of a commercial or NASA crew transportation vehicle.

Re “Goldilocks:” Here's a more sober story about the "earth-sized" planet orbiting in the habitable zone of a star. The star is a red dwarf and the planet is actually three times or more the mass of the earth, so the "100% chance of life" bit on space.com is wildly optimistic. 
http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2010/09/29/possible-earthlike-planet-found-in-the-goldilocks-zone-of-a-nearby-star/. [Contributed by Syd Henderson]

NASA’s International Boundary Explorer (IBEX) has produced a second set of “all sky” maps showing our solar system’s interaction with the galaxy around us at the “interstellar boundary region” where particles flowing outward from the sun collide with the interstellar medium. Comparison with the first set shows an “energy ribbon” sweeping toward the sun of bright emissions from energetic neutral atoms at the boundary, This ribbon changed a great deal over only a 6-month period. In particular, a bright knot of these energetic atom seems to have spread out.

Dark energy: NASA plans to start this fall on a “flagship class” orbiting observatory for mapping “dark energy,” as recommended by the National Research Council. However, major development work on this Wide-Field Infrared Survey Telescope (JFIRST) will have to wait until after about 2015, when the $5B James Webb Space Telescope should be completed and launched. JFIRST might launch as early as 2020, but 2022 is more likely. In the meantime, NASA proposes to increase a planned investment in Euclid, the European dark energy mapper which hopes to launch in 2017-2018.

NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) has finished its comprehensive and detailed map of the Moon. So far it has found lunar water ice (using its LCROSS impactor), measured lunar temperatures and radiation levels, and searched for resources and safe landing sites. Now it will concentrate on answering specific research questions for the next 2 to 4 years.

Military space procurement has nearly stopped in the unclassified sector now that Pentagon satellite fleet replenishment is under contract. However, classified spy-satellite procurement is still somewhat active, although both Air Force and National Reconnaissance Office budgets for it are flat or declining. NRO plans to launch 5 (presumably already procured) security satellites in the next 8 months. New DoD acquisition rules may increase the cost of services.

However, the Air Force’s first Space Based Space Surveillance satellite, launched Sept. 25, is signaling normally and can begin orbital maneuvers, check-out and testing. The low-orbit SBSS is designed to watch objects in geostationary orbit.

Boeing’s planned space capsule (CST-100) will be marketed for commercial passenger flights by VA-based Space Adventures (which has contracted and flown 7 space flight participants to ISS). Boeing plans to launch the first test flights of CST-100, which will resemble NASA’s Apollo and Orion capsules, in 2015.

International Space News

Europe’s Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) has made the first of several planned visits to the ISS. Astrium Space Transportation, which was prime contractor for the ATV, is completing mission design work on arobotic lunar lander which will be part of a proposal the European Space Agency plans to present to member governments in 2012.

Japan is considering a new law to permit commercial launch services and extend government indemnification to damage caused by commercially-developed rockets. The government has decided to operate their heavy-lift H-2A rocket year-round, and to develop the Epsilon small-satellite launcher.

The International Space Exploration Coordinating Group has spent the last 3 years talking about a common space exploration strategy for the major space-faring nations. So far, the main concrete result is Canada’s decision to invest $100 million over 3 years to focus on robotic technologies for lunar exploration. The group’s Global Exploration Roadmap, scheduled for publication next June, should include ways to make joint missions easier, such as common interfaces for equipment. Also there has been more focus on ISS now that it seems that mission will be extended to 2020. Germany is the first ESA member to commit to paying its share of the European ISS extension costs. At the recent International Astronautical Congress in Prague, several U.S. and European “space industry officials” (company executives?) have complained that it’s hard to make investment decisions when their governments have no long-term space strategy. They don’t want fund their own development work and then find themselves competing with government systems. According to various reports in Space News, quite a few governments besides Japan are reducing their funding for space projects and hoping the commercial sector will take up the slack.

China launched its second unmanned lunar probe, Chang’e 2, last week on October 1st. It will orbit about 9 miles up to look for a landing site for their planned 2012 robotic rover. Afterwards the probe might crash into the Moon, return to Earth orbit, or fly farther into space. China plans a further mission around 2017 to collect lunar rock and “soil” samples and return them to Earth.

Canada is looking to Russia for advice on a polar communications-and-weather 2-satellite system they’d like to launch within the next ten years. Russia is planning a 6- or 7-satellite system for hydrometeorology and environmental monitoring. Both systems will use highly elliptical orbits, which have radiation issues as well as needing special controlling and pointing techniques. 

Space Colonization Strategies

A Space Roadmap: Mine the Sky, Defend the Earth, Settle the Universe is the title of an interesting proposal by Dr. Lee Valentine of the Space Studies Institute. It is posted athttp://www.hobbyspace.com/AAdmin/archive/Articles/Guests/atwgBriefingLeeValentine.html.

Space Elevator: See http://www.liftport.com/ for information on the Liftport Group, which apparently plans/expects/hopes to build a working space elevator by October 27, 2031.
“LiftPort Group, founded in April, 2003, is a group of companies dedicated to building the LiftPort Space Elevator. Our goal is to provide the world a mass transportation system to open up the vast market opportunities that exist in space, many of which haven't even been imagined yet, to even the smallest entrepreneur. These new markets can only become viable through safe, inexpensive, routine access to space. Our motto is, "Change the world or go home," and we strive each day to make that change a reality. 
“Primarily targeting the hardware of the space elevator, the LiftPort Group member companies are researching and designing the nuts and bolts in the fields of carbon nanotube production, robotics, photo voltaics, power beaming and targeting, and permanent floating structures for the ocean. Outside of that, we also are responsible for project management, web design, public relation, accounting, and legal issues for each member company of the group.”
Dr. Robert Zubrin has proposed ”Opening a Railroad to Space” (Space News, 10-4-2010) in the form of NASA-subsidized, scheduled monthly launches of  100-ton heavy lift vehicles alternating with 20-ton medium lift launchers. He figures NASA could buy the launchers for 70% of the shuttle program’s cost, then re-sell subdivided payload capacity to private and government users at a total of 2% of NASA’s cost. Unsold payload capacity would be filled with space-storable water, food and propellants in “standardized, pressurizable containers equipped with tracking beacons, plumbing attachments, hatches and electrical pass-throughs.” These would be released in orbit for recovery by anyone who could get them and use the contents. Zubrin believes the result would be 12 times the tonnage sent to orbit, for less cost than we’re currently spending. Your Update editor believes Congress would never go for it, in fear of being accused of throwing money away in space. On reflection however, it might actually work financially, if not politically.
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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 atcox.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)

          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 iswww.marsociety.org.
          The National Space Society's Headquarters phone is 202-429-1600. Executive Director 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]

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OSA Memberships are for 1 year, usually January – December, and include a subscription to our monthly alternating newsletters, Outreach and Update
Please make out membership check to “Oklahoma Space Alliance NSS” and send it with this membership 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.
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