OKLAHOMA SPACE ALLIANCE
A Chapter of the National Space Society

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OUTREACH MARCH 2011

March 2011 Meeting (NOTE DATE and LOCATION)

         Oklahoma Space Alliance will meet at 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 19 at Tom and Heidi Koszoru’s house in Norman. Prospective members are also welcome. The house is at 514 Fenwick Court in Norman.
         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. Research funding
    2. A New OSA Logo
    3. Treasurer’s Report
    4. 50th Anniversary of Manned Space Flight (Yuri's Night 2011)
    5. Space Solar Power
    6. Distribution of Ad Astras.
    7. Marketing for Burns Flat
    8. Book reviews
    9. Annual Report
  5. Read and discuss mail
  6. New Business
  7. Create New Agenda

Minutes of February Meeting

         Oklahoma Space Alliance met February 12 at Panera Bread at 4401 West Memorial Rd. in Oklahoma City. Attending were Tom Koszoru, James Trombley, Russ Davoren, Diana and Kevin Hopkins, Tracey Claybon and Syd Henderson.
         Liz who was at the 99s Museum of Women Pilots is now at Wiley Post Airport.
         Ask the Russian program at OU for help with Yuri’s Night. Russ and Tom have talked with OU SEDS about Yuri’s Night. OU SEDS is planning something and we can hook up with them. We can donate the $150 we were going to use for Yuri’s Night and donate it to them. At this point, it’s too late to finalize anything with the Stafford Museum.
         SEDS is having a Moon Night with stargazing on April 10-11. OU SEDS President Travis Darling had spoken to Russ. Syd will contact SEDS through Facebook. [Travis’s reply: “We're working with another club on campus to see if we can't show a space-related movie in Meacham Auditorium. We're trying to get a lecturer from OU to give a general public-level talk on issues in space exploration. And we're taking our telescope out onto campus to do some stargazing outreach.”]
         Jim talked to the manager at Quail Springs AMC 24 about movie displays. Approval would have to go through the front office. Jim will e-mail us information on HEFT (Human Exploration Framework Team).
         Our next meeting will be March 12 in Norman. The April meeting will be swallowed up by Yuri’s Night. We will have more meetings at Panera Bread later in the year.
         Jim would like to do a speech on Karl Jansky later in the year. Jansky was one of the founders of radio astronomy and was born in Oklahoma Territory two years before Oklahoma became a state. His father was Dean of Engineering at the University of Oklahoma.

--Report from OSA Secretary Syd Henderson

OSIDA Note

         Although the Oklahoma Space Industry Development Authority met on March 9, Executive Director Bill Khourie had to cancel that day due to a family medical emergency. Since most of the material was to be presented by him, the board only took the minor actions they could without him and adjourned after twenty minutes.

Viewing Opportunities for Satellites (March 19 – April 16, 2011)

         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 -2 to -3 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. The next mission will be that of Endeavour beginning on April 19. Be sure to check Heavens Above or www.jsc.nasa.gov/sightings before going out to watch. 
         The last mission to the Hubble Telescope has already occurred so its information should be reliable.

Station March 24, 2011
Time               Position     Elevation
7:06 a.m.             212°                17°
7:07                     200                  34
7:08                     136                  58
7:09                       71                  34
7:10                       59                  17

Station March 26, 2011
Time               Position          Elevation
Appears from Earth’s shadow
6:21:08 a.m.         213°                22°
6:22                     206                  36
6:23                     134                  65
6:24                       65                  35
6:25                       56                  17

HST March 28, 2011
Time               Position          Elevation
6:54 a.m.             222°                 21°
6:55                     204                  28*
6:56                     177                  31
6:57                     150                  28
6:58                     131                  21
* Passes through head of Scorpius on this and the next two passes.

HST March 29, 2011
Time               Position          Elevation
6:51 a.m.             227°                 21°
6:52                     208                  28
6:53                     181                  32
6:54                     153                  28
6:55                     134                  21

HST March 30, 2011
Time               Position          Elevation
6:49 a.m.             230°                 20°
6:50                     211                  27
6:51                     184                  31
6:52                     157                  27
6:53                     138                  21

Station April 14, 2011
Time               Position          Elevation
6:15 a.m.             311°                18°
6:16                     309                  37
6:17                     220                  85
6:18                     137                  37
6:19                     135                  18

Station April 16, 2011
Time               Position          Elevation
Appears from Earth’s shadow
5:29:08 a.m.         291°                71°
5:29:20                233                  83
5:30                     139                  37
5:31                     135                  18    
          
         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 Space Station at 7:07 a.m. on March 24, measure two fist-widths west of due south then a little less than three and a half fist-widths 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 March and April issues of both Astronomy and Sky & Telescope.]

         If the full moon seems bigger this weekend, that may not be illusion. The Moon will be the closest to Earth that it’s been at any full moon in eighteen years, a distance of 221,567 miles as opposed to the average distance of around 238,000. The Moon’s disk will appear 26% larger than average. This phenomenon is called a Supermoon.

         Mercury is at its best this month. It’s currently low in the western sky after sunset and is moving higher each night as it approaches greatest elongation on March 22. On March 14, it will be two degrees to the lower right of Jupiter and nine degrees above the horizon, and the two planets will be about the same distance apart for several days. By March 22, however, Mercury will be twelve degrees above the horizon a half hour after sunset and Jupiter will already have set. By then Mercury will have faded to magnitude -0.3. [Note: Mercury is brightest when in a gibbous phase although its diameter appears larger at greatest elongation, when it is half-lit. Venus, on the other hand, is brightest in its fat crescent phase because it is so much closer to us.] Mercury will fade quickly after March 22 as it approaches inferior conjunction with the Sun on April 9 and won’t start becoming visible in the morning sky until late April.
         Venus is currently magnitude -4.1 and rising about two hours before the Sun. By the end of March it will be rising 90 minutes before the Sun, and by the end of April, only an hour before the Sun. Even then it will be magnitude ‑3.9 as it slowly moves away from us toward superior conjunction with the Sun in August.
         Mars was in conjunction with the Sun on February 4 and won’t be visible in the morning until late April, and not easily visible until May.
         Jupiter is magnitude -2.1 and is setting about the time twilight fades. It is undergoing a conjunction with Mercury this month, which should make that elusive planet easier to find. Jupiter will be in conjunction with the Sun on April 6, and will not be visible during late March or most of April. It will begin to appear as a morning star around the end of April.
         In a refreshing change from all these vanishing planets (which also include the next two), Saturn reaches opposition on April 3, and through most of every night from mid-March through the end of April is the only visible planet in the sky. It is currently in the constellation Virgo and is magnitude 0.5, a half magnitude brighter than Spica, which is the only first-magnitude star in that part of the sky. Saturn’s rings will also open up to ten degrees from edge on, giving us the best view of them we’ve had for more than three years.
         Since Saturn is in opposition, this is also the best time to look for its moon Titan, which should be visible in a small telescope or strong binoculars At eighth magnitude, it is not as bright as the Galilean moons of Jupiter, which would actually be visible to the naked eye if Jupiter weren’t so bright. (And as mentioned in an earlier issue of Outreach, there are a few people who can see them despite Jupiter.)
         Uranus will be in conjunction with the sun on March 21, and is not visible in March or most of April. It may be worth trying to find it on April 22, when it is less than a degree north of Venus, but it will be a challenge.
         Neptune was in conjunction with the Sun on February 17 and is lost in the glare of the Sun. However, it will start to be visible through binoculars late in March, and on March 26 is 0.2º north of Venus.

Farewell to Discovery

         Space Shuttle Discovery landed at Kennedy Space Center at 11:57 a.m. EST on March 9 after twelve days in space, making it the first Space Shuttle since Enterprise to be retired from the fleet. Discovery was first launched on August 30, 1984, the third Shuttle to be launched into orbit, following Columbia and Challenger, and, due to the accidents that destroyed them, had the longest career of any manned space vehicle. It flew 39 missions, and spent 365 days total in space, travelling nearly 150 million miles.
         Among the other things Discovery is noted for are the launch of the Hubble Space Telescope and the second and third service missions to Hubble, Ulysses, the return mission to space after the Challenger disaster, and the first two missions after the Columbia disaster. Its last twelve missions were all to the International Space Station.
         Once Discovery is decontaminated and generally made presentable, it will replace Enterprise at the National Air and Space Museum at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC. What happens to Enterprise then is obscure, but it will be free to be lent out to other museums.
         There are only two more shuttle missions scheduled, that of Endeavour in April and that of Atlantis in June. Endeavour’s was to have been the last, which would have made Gabrielle Gifford’s husband the last commander of a Space Shuttle mission, but the government decided on one additional flight, so Craig Ferguson gets the honor. Doug Hurley will be the pilot on that mission.
         Endeavour and Atlantis will be donated to museums, and a number are clamoring for them. Endeavour has quite a few candidates, including the March Field Air Museum in Riverside, California and the Brazos Valley Museum of Natural History in Bryan, Texas. Former President George Herbert Walker Bush endorses the second bid.
         I expect Atlantis will end up at the National Museum of the United States Air Force at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base outside of Dayton Ohio. The “Wright” in the name of that Air Force Base is Wilbur, who grew up and lived in Dayton. (Orville was born there.)

Space News

         The March 11 earthquake in Japan has sped up the Earth’s rotation by 0.0000018 seconds per day because of shifts in the mass distribution of the Earth. This compares with .00000126 seconds for last year’s earthquake in Chile, and .0000066 seconds for the 9.1 magnitude Sumatra earthquake in 1964.
         Human activities can change the rotational period of the Earth as well. Stalin ordered a large number of dams built in the Soviet Union and the resulting reservoirs were a change in the Earth’s mass distribution.
         Seasonal effects swamp the effects of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. The length of a day varies by about a thousandth of a second during the year.

         NASA has signed a modification to the contract with the Russian Federal Space Agency that allows for Soyuz flights for crew transportation and related services through June 2016. This extends the contract for two years at an expense of $753 million. NASA is expecting commercial crew transportation by the middle of the decade; this helps fill in any possible gap and will give commercial companies such as SpaceX more time to perfect their craft.

         In February the Kepler mission’s science team at NASA released data on 1200 more exoplanet candidates, based on data obtained from May 2 and Sept. 17, 2009. Since it requires three transits to verify a candidate, all these planets have short orbital periods. Since some candidates in multiple-planet systems have a period of a hundred days, there may be some fudging on that requirement, or they may be crosschecking with later received data.
         In any case, Kepler detected 115 systems with two planet candidates, 45 with three, eight with four, one with five and one with six. This does not mean those are all the planets in those systems since there might be planets farther out. The three-transit rule would mean that it would take two years of data to detect a planet orbiting a solar-mass star at the distance the Earth orbits the Sun, and detecting a planet in an orbit like Neptune’s would take centuries. Also, Kepler only detects planets, which transit their star’s disk and might well miss a planet in a highly tilted orbit.
         One of the most remarkable systems is that of the star KOI-730. (KOI= “Kepler Object of Interest.”) Two of the candidate planets in this system initially were reported to share the same orbit, but that claim has since been withdrawn.
         There are two other planets in the system and they appear to have orbital periods locked into an 8-6-4-3 ratio, with one of the “co-orbiting” planets actually having half the apparent orbital period as initially reported. That wouldn’t be unprecedented; Ganymede, Europa and Io are locked in a 4:2:1 resonance.
         There are also precedents for co-orbitals: the Trojan asteroids of Jupiter, for instance, or the satellites Epimetheus and Janus of Saturn. Epimetheus and Janus aren’t in exactly the same orbit but are close; when they encounter each other, they exchange orbits.

         The MESSENGER spacecraft, which was launched on August 3, 2004 and has flown by Mercury three times (as well as once by Earth and twice by Venus) finally begins its primary mission on March 18 when it becomes the first spacecraft to orbit Mercury.  It’s only the second spacecraft even to visit Mercury, the first being Mariner 10, which made three flybys between March 1974 and March 1975. Because Mariner had an orbital period twice that of Mercury, it mapped only half the surface, namely the half that was sunlit. It did discover Mercury’s magnetic field and extremely tenuous atmosphere.
         MESSENGER stands for MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry and Ranging, demonstrating once again why scientists should not be allowed to coin acronyms. On February 18, the MESSENGER team published a mosaic of the planets of the Solar System from images taken by the spacecraft on November 3 and 16, 2010. The images don’t include Uranus and Neptune, which are too faint for the Wide Angle Camera to detect, but it was able to see the Galilean satellites of Jupiter and the Moon. The “MESSENGER Family Portrait” is meant to complement the Family Portrait made from the last 60 images taken by Voyager 1. That one included all the planets except Mercury, Mars and Pluto (which was still a planet then), but none of the satellites.
         Although orbital insertion is on March 18, the science instruments will be turned on March 24 and the science will begin on April 4. Among the instruments are the Mercury Atmospheric and Surface Composition Spectrometer, the Gamma-Ray Spectrometer, the X-Ray Spectrometer, the Neutron Spectrometer, the Energetic Particle Spectrometer and the Fast Imaging Plasma Spectrometer, which would seem to take of the spectra. Other instruments are the Mercury Dual Imaging System, which took the mosaic photographs, the Magnetometer to analyze Mercury’s magnetic field, and the Mercury Laser Altimeter, which will analyze the planet’s gravitational field and possibly detect if Mercury has a liquid core.

         NASA’s Infrared Spitzer Telescope has detected what appears to be the coolest brown dwarf ever detected. WD 0808-661 B orbits a white dwarf at 2500 times the Earth’s distance from the Sun. In other words, it is 232 billion miles from its primary. Since, according to theories of planet formation, it could not have formed as a planet at that distance, it must have formed like a star does, hence is a brown dwarf: a star-like object that never managed to fuse protons. This brown dwarf is only seven times the mass of Jupiter and has a temperature of 30º Centigrade—or 86º Fahrenheit (!). The previous record holder, which rejoices in the name CFBDSIR J1458+1013B, has a temperature of 100º C (212º F), which is the boiling point of water.
         Note that although WD 0808-661B has a temperature similar to a warm day in Oklahoma, it still retains heat from its formation or some other source such as radioactive decay, else its temperature would be close to absolute zero. Jupiter, which is far closer to the Sun and also has some internal heat source, has a temperature of -149º C (-235º F).
         When we get to objects like these, it’s hard to distinguish between planets and brown dwarfs. There are exoplanets more massive than WD 0808-661 B, and it would be interesting to know if there is a real difference in composition. It is quite possible that these two coolest known brown dwarfs have clouds of water in their atmospheres, which is not something you would expect in anything resembling a failed star.
         In any case, we now have four classes of brown dwarfs arranged by their spectra. M-Class are pretty much lower end red dwarfs without sustained fusion; they make the class due to their spectra, which include titanium II oxide and vanadium II oxide. Class L and T are progressively cooler and more molecules showing up in their atmospheres, including carbon monoxide for class L and methane for class T. The coolest class is Y, which would include these two most recent candidates. [Source: New Scientist website and Wikipedia]
        
Calendar of Events
           
         March 16: Mercury passes 2° north of Jupiter.
         March 18: MESSENGER goes into orbit around Mercury.
         March 19: Oklahoma Space Alliance meeting at 3:00 p.m., Koszoru house
March 21: Uranus is in conjunction with the Sun.
         March 22: 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: Saturn is at opposition.
         April 6: Jupiter is in conjunction with the Sun.
         April 8: 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.
         April 9: Mercury is in inferior conjunction with the Sun.
         April 12: Yuri’s Night. 50th anniversary of manned space flight.
         April 13: [Tentative] Oklahoma Space Industry Development Authority Meeting, 1:30 p.m., Commission Room at the Oklahoma Department of Transportation Building, 200 NE. 21st. Street, Oklahoma City
         April 19: Launch of the Space Shuttle Endeavour on a 14-Day mission to the International Space Station. This is the final flight for Endeavour. This was also going to be the last mission of the Space Shuttle Program, but a final flight in June for Atlantis has been added.
         May 1: [Tentative] Oklahoma Space Industry Development Authority Meeting, 1:30 p.m., Commission Room at the Oklahoma Department of Transportation Building, 200 NE. 21st. Street, Oklahoma City
         May 4 – 18: Mercury is within 2° of Venus.
         May 7: Mercury is at greatest western elongation, 27° from the Sun (hence can be seen before sunrise).
         May 11: Jupiter and Venus are 0.6° apart. Mercury is only a couple of degrees away, and Mars is 5° east of Jupiter.
         May 13: 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.
         May 14: [Tentative] Oklahoma Space Alliance meeting at 3:00 p.m. Location to be announced.
         May 19: Mercury passes 2° south of Mars.
         June 1: Partial solar eclipse viewable in northern Canada, Alaska and northern and eastern Russia.
         June 8: [Tentative] Oklahoma Space Industry Development Authority Meeting, 1:30 p.m., Commission Room at the Oklahoma Department of Transportation Building, 200 NE. 21st. Street, Oklahoma City
         June 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.
         June 11: [Tentative] Oklahoma Space Alliance meeting at 3:00 p.m. Location to be announced.
         June 12: Mercury is in superior conjunction with the Sun.
         June 15: Total eclipse of the Moon, visible in South America and most of Eastern Hemisphere.
         June 28: Pluto is at opposition.
         June 28: Launch of the Space Shuttle Atlantis on a 14-Day mission to the International Space Station. This is the final flight for Atlantis and the final flight of the Space Shuttle Program.
         July 2011 - May 2012: Dawn probe orbits Vesta. See dawn.jpl.nasa.gov/ or en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dawn_Mission for details.
         July 1: Partial solar eclipse, viewable in a small area off Queen Maud Land in Antarctica.
         July 7: Neptune completes its first orbit since discovery.
         July 8: [Tentative] Oklahoma Space Alliance meeting at 3:00 p.m. Location to be announced.
         July 20: Mercury is at greatest eastern elongation, 27° from the Sun (hence can be seen after sunset).
         July 20: 42nd anniversary of Apollo 11 moon landing.
         August 5: The asteroid Vesta is at opposition, and, at magnitude 5.6, is visible to the naked eye.
         August 5: Launch of the Juno mission to Jupiter. See en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Juno_(spacecraft) or http://juno.wisc.edu/ for details.
         August 13: [Tentative] Oklahoma Space Alliance meeting at 3:00 p.m. Location to be announced.
         August 16: Venus is in superior conjunction with the Sun, and Mercury is in inferior conjunction.
         August 22: Neptune is at opposition.
         September 3: Mercury is at greatest western elongation, 18° from the Sun (hence can be seen before sunrise).
         September 8: 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 10: [Tentative] Oklahoma Space Alliance meeting at 3:00 p.m. Location to be announced.
         September 25: Uranus is at opposition.
         October 8: [Tentative] Oklahoma Space Alliance meeting at 3:00 p.m. Location to be announced.
         October 13: Saturn is in conjunction with the Sun.
         October 28: Jupiter is at opposition.
         November 12: [Tentative] Oklahoma Space Alliance meeting at 3:00 p.m. Location to be announced.
         November 14: Mercury is at greatest eastern elongation, 23.7° from the Sun (hence can be seen after sunset).
         November 17: Peak of Leonid meteor shower.
         November 25: The Mars Science Laboratory (aka Curiosity) is launched. See marsprogram.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/ for details
         November 25: Partial solar eclipse viewable from all of Antarctica, and the Antarctic Ocean from Africa to Australia.
         December 10: 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: 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.
         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.

Correspondence

Forwarded to Oklahoma Space Alliance by Josh Powers, who says NSS is involved with this. They're giving us a full-page ISDC ad in their program book.  They're also bringing programming to ISDC.

From: Explore Mars <administrator@exploremars.org>
To: Supporters <supporters@exploremars.org>
Date: Sun, 27 Feb 2011 18:47:02 -0500
Subject: Fwd: Register Now! Seats are Limited!

Register Now for ISS and Mars Conference
April 6-7  http://issmars.eventbrite.com/

Register now for the dinner - A limited number of seats are available for the Speaker Dinner:  Miles O’Brien of PBS News Hour will be interviewing William Gerstenmaier (Associate Administrator for Space Operations, NASA) and one of his international counterparts – more details to follow.
Melrose Hotel in DC - Room rate for the conference is $199 per night on April 5, 6, and 7. Mention Code: "Explore Mars" - There are a limited number of rooms. Please book by March 10, 2011.  Call: (202) 955-6400.
Agenda
Keynote address:  Lori Garver (Deputy Administrator, NASA)
 
Panel Session 1: What we have learned and the challenges to human exploration of Mars
Moderated by Bret Drake (Architect, Exploration Missions and Systems Office - NASA)

Panel Session 2:  ISS as a research and test bed and analog platform for Mars
Moderated by Sam Scimemi (Deputy, ISS: NASA HQ)

Panel Session 3:  ISS a research test bed for human factors of going beyond LEO
Moderated by Dr. Richard Williams (Chief Health and Medical Officer: NASA HQ)

SUMMARY OF DAY ONE: The policy and programmatic case for linking ISS and Mars

Reception at George Washington University

Dinner at The Melrose Hotel:  Speakers: Miles O'Brien will interview William Gerstenmaier and one of his international counterparts

Thursday, April 7, 2011 

Panel Session 4:  ISS as a technology development and operational platform for Mars and other destinations beyond LEO      
Moderated by Michael Raftery (Boeing:  ISS Deputy Program Manager)

Panel Session 5: Can commercial activity at ISS/LEO help to advance efforts to move beyond LEO?  Moderated by Richard J. Phillips (President, Phillips and Co.)

Panel Session 6: The ISS Partnership as a the governance model for international human missions beyond LEO and eventually to Mars
Moderated by Lynn Cline (Deputy Associate Administrator for Space Operations:  NASA HQ)

CONFERENCE SUMMARY TALK:  What we have learned and where do we go from here
Current Speakers

Lori Garver (Deputy Administrator – NASA)
Dr. John Grunsfeld (Dep. Director, Space Telescope Science Inst.)
Miles O’Brien (PBS News Hour)
William Gerstenmaier (Associate Administrator for Space Operations, NASA)
Lynn Cline (Deputy Associate Administrator for Space Operations:  NASA HQ)
Dr. James Garvin (Chief Scientist, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center)
Sam Scimemi (Deputy, International Space Station – NASA Headquarters)
Michael Raftery (ISS Deputy Program Manager – Boeing)
Dr. Mark Kinnersley (Director, Business Development – Orbital Systems and Exploration Division – Astrium)
Dr. Richard S. Williams (Chief Health and Medical Officer – NASA)
Dr. Edward Hodgson (Technical Fellow at Hamilton Sundstrand Space Systems Unit – Hamilton Sundstrand)
Bret Drake (Architect, Exploration Missions and Systems Office - NASA)
Joe Cassady (Business Development Director for Emerging Exploration Technology)
Richard Phillips (President, Phillips & Co.)
Lance Bush (Chief Strategic Officer, Paragon SDC)
Tom Shelley (President, Space Adventures)
Dr. Henry Hertzfeld (Research Professor of Space Policy and International Affairs, Space Policy Institute, Elliot School of International Affairs, George Washington University
Dr. Steve McDaniel (Founder and Chief Innovation Officer, Reactive Surfaces, LTD) 

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For further information regarding Explore Mars, Inc., please visit:  Explore Mars, Inc., or contact:

Chris Carberry, Executive Director
Explore Mars, Inc.
carberry@exploremars.org
(617) 909-4425

Space-Related Articles

         “After Earth, Why, Where, How, When,” by Ben Austin, Popular Science, March 2011, pp. 46 – 53, 98 – 102. Man’s distant future in space. Speculation familiar to space enthusiasts, but NSS gets a nod.

         “Crunching the Universe,” by Preston Lerner, Discover, April 2011, pp. 32 – 39. The entire data set NASA collected over its first 45 years amounted to about one terabyte. When Kirk Borne wanted to archive data from the MACHO sky survey, that alone added a terabyte. When the Large Synoptic Sky Survey in Chile becomes operational in 2019 it will produce thirty terabytes of information every night. At this point, we have to go up a prefix and start talking about 10 petabytes per year from one source.
         This is far beyond anything astronomers have ever dealt with, and dealing with the oceans of information will require new means of dealing with data. Astronomers and computer scientists have ten years till information overload.

         Oklahoma Space Alliance Officers, 2011 (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?
            Yes           No.  [See brochure for information.]

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Phone (optional or if on phone tree)                 

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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 ©2011 Oklahoma Space Alliance.