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OUTREACH November 2012

November Meeting (NOTE TIME and LOCATION)

         Oklahoma Space Alliance will meet on November 10 at Denny’s on the I-240 access road on the north side just east of Pennsylvania Avenue in southern Oklahoma City. Our business meeting will start at 2:30 p.m. with feature presentations beginning at 3:15 p.m. The street address is 1617 SW 74th Street and the phone number is 685-5414. Claire and I found out in November that it is easier coming from the east to get off at the previous exit (Western Avenue) and proceed down the north access road. You can also exit at Penn, but you have to enter the parking lot from the street north of Denny’s.
         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 in December.

November 10, 2012 - OSA Meeting Agenda

2:30 p.m.

  1. Review Minutes and Agenda
  2. New Mail
  3. Treasurers Report
  4. Report on October OSIDA Meeting
  5. Old Business
    1. Oklahoma Aviation and Space Hall of Fame Nominations
  6.  New Business
    1. Officer Nominations for 2013
    2. Christmas Party

3:15 p.m.

  1. What's Happening With Space?
    1. Skydiver broke sound barrier
    2. NanoLabs News
    3. Aerospace Scholars design Mars rovers
    4. Soyuz Launch Expedition 33 Crew
    5. Bright Particles on Mars
    6. Screams in space
    7. Paintballs may move asteroids
    8. Dragon lands on Earth
  2. Discussion Topic: NSS Roadmap
    1. Part III:  Utilization of Technology
    2. Part IV:  To the Moon
  3. Adjournment

         The theme for Oklahoma Space Alliance in 2012 is “What’s Happening in Space.” People think that space exploration is dead with the end of the shuttle program. We should use our theme as an emphasis for meetings, selection of speakers and topics for agenda items.

Minutes of October 13 Meeting

         Oklahoma Space Alliance met October 13, 2012 at the Denny’s on the I-240 access road on the north side just east of Pennsylvania Avenue in southern Oklahoma City. Attending were Steve and Karen Swift, Russ Davoren, Dave Sheely, Claire and Kip McMurray, Tim Scott and Syd Henderson.
         The Oklahoma Aviation and Space Hall of Fame deadline for nominations is November 1. Bill Pogue and John Harrington are already in it.
         Space Art contest will be divided by Grades 4 – 6, Grades 7 – 9, and Grades 10 – 12. Subject is “If you lived in space, what would your home look like.
         The Oklahoma Space Industry Development Authority will meet October 17 at Hangar 1 at Will Rogers World Airport.
         Claire and Kip showed us photos from the ISDC.
         Quotation of the day: “When all the people collect the wood, you will make a great fire,” (Chinese saying quoted by astronaut Liu Yang.)
         Soft landing of ISS crew in Kazakhstan.
         Biography of ISS Commander Suni Williams.
         Neil Armstrong was buried at sea from the USS Philippine Sea. [Photos of this are at http://www.space.com/17615-neil-armstrong-1st-moonwalker-buried-at-sea-photos.html.]
         SpaceX’s “Grasshopper” reusable rocket prototype took its first hop. Next step to hover at 100 ft.
         California Governor Jerry Brown has signed a measure that gives California aerospace companies immunity from liability if passengers on space flight are injured or killed on board a commercial space flight. [See “Space News.”]
         We watched a video of the 51st consecutive successful launch on an Ariane 5.
         SpaceX launched its first official cargo supply mission to the ISS. There was a minor glitch in one of the nine first stage engine, meaning the secondary cargo was placed in an unstable orbit which since has decayed. The Dragon capsule successfully docked with the space station.
         We viewed a photograph of Titan with its atmosphere. 

         The NSS Roadmap to Space recognizes twenty milestones to the establishment of a space-faring civilization. The ones we discussed were:

  1. Continuous Occupancy in Low-Earth Orbit. Comments: We had a small gap between Mir and the Space Station. There may not be a gap after the Space Station. Bigelow wants to rent his space station for industry.
  2. Higher Commercial Launch Rates and Lower Cost to Orbit. Comment: Last year, Chinese launches surpassed those of the US.
  3. An Integrated Cislunar Space Transportation System.
  4. Legal Protection of Property Rights.
  5. Land Grants or Other Economic Incentives. Comment: the Russians have been paying their astronauts to do commercials in space.
  6. Technology for Adequate Self-Sufficiency.

         Contact Senator Capps about getting Oklahoma legislation similar to the California Liability Immunity Act.
         This month’s ISDC presentation was by Mark Sirangelo of Sierra Nevada, which company makes the Orbital Transportation System, Dream Chaser.
         It is time to start selling Enjoy the City coupon books.
         Steve is interested in having the Oklahoma Space Alliance Christmas Party on December 15. He’s contacting Tom and Heidi Koszoru to see if they want to host it this year. Claire and Kip can host it if the Koszorus can’t.
--Minutes by OSA Secretary Syd Henderson

Notes on October 17 OSIDA Meeting

         The Oklahoma Space Industry Development Authority met at Hangar 1 at the Will Rogers World Airport in Oklahoma City. All seven of the board members were present. Steve Swift, David Sheely and Syd Henderson attended on behalf of Oklahoma Space Alliance.
         A snag has come up with the construction of the new Operations Control Center. Brick around the windows will need to be removed to construct expansion joints. The parking lot and sidewalks are pooling water, and need to be repaired at contractors’ expense. This will add 30 – 60 days to the construction time, so the building will not be complete by November 15.
         The new facilities manager is Chuck Haden, who was water superintendent for Elk City. He was head over heels the best qualified.
         Bill Khourie and Robert Cox are working on the NASA grant Space Flight Simulator.
         OSIDA has gotten approval from State Financial Affairs to use a non-standard design. OSIDA is now waiting on a secondary approval to be able to proceed. Look at the website for the Mojave spaceport to see what OSIDA is up against.
         The runway at Spaceport America in New Mexico needs to be extended and needs approval for horizontal takeoff and landing.
         The Oklahoma Spaceport also stores 747s and 767s. The spaceport needs a 125 Repair Station. They need to recruit somebody for this; they don’t have to create their own.
         When operational, the Spaceport will be shut down for launches between 6:00 and 9:00 a.m., but will be open for other business during those hours, and will be able to do regular launches for 21 hours/day. [I believe the shutdown for those three hours is due to unstable wind conditions at that time.
         OSIDA has a request from the Defense Logistics Center, which wants OSIDA to sign for the facility to be used by the federal government in case of national emergency. They would particularly want the tower and some office space to be available. In severe cases they might need cots, ramp and hangars.
         Land lease for VOR NAVAID: They want a fence, but it has to meet with FAA approval; since it will enclose more space, they want more money (from the FAA, I believe). The current fence is plastic and easily knocked down. The matter is now in the hands of the FAA.
--Notes by OSA Secretary Syd Henderson

Space News

         You may be hearing a lot about Comet ISON around this time next year: This comet is very likely to become the brightest comet of our lifetimes and one of the brightest in centuries. It will approach within 1.1 million miles of the Sun in November 2013 (that means it will enter the Solar corona), and in January 2014, it will approach within 0.4 astronomical units of the Earth.
         Assuming there isn’t a spectacular fizzle like Comet Kohoutek, Comet ISON will be many times brighter than Venus and may even be brighter than the Full Moon. And this one will not only be highly visible from the Northern Hemisphere, on January 8, 2014, it will be within two degrees of the star Polaris, hence visible all night long from nearly everywhere north of the Equator.
         The unusual capitalized name is because Comet ISON was discovered by a telescope in the International Scientific Optical Network. The astronomers who discovered it were Vitali Nevski and Artyom Novichonok; unfortunately they waited a day to confirm their discovery and by then other astronomers on the network had seen it. Otherwise, we would be looking forward to Comet Nevski-Novichonok (or Novichonok-Nevski).

         On September 21, California Governor Jerry Brown signed the California Liability Immunity Act, a measure that gives California aerospace companies immunity from liability if passengers on space flight are injured or killed on board a commercial space flight. They’re still liable in cases of gross negligence. Passengers would need to sign this waiver:
            “I understand and acknowledge that, under California law, there is no civil liability for bodily injury, including death, emotional injury, or property damage, sustained by a participant as a result of the risks associated with space flight activities provided by a space flight entity.
“I have given my informed consent to participate in space flight activities after receiving a description of the risks associated with space flight activities, as required by federal law….
            “The consent that I have given acknowledges that the risks associated with space flight activities include, but are not limited to, risk of bodily injury, including death, emotional injury, and property damage. I understand and acknowledge that I am participating in space flight activities at my own risk. I have been given the opportunity to consult with an attorney before signing this statement.”

         This is similar to warnings that participants in activities like hang-gliding and scuba diving have to sign. The measure was passed unanimously in the legislature.

         The bright star Fomalhaut (alpha Piscis Austrini) may have a planet after all. In 2008, a famous Hubble Space Telescope picture showed Fomalhaut in the center of a cleared hole in a disc of dust, and a small spot that appeared to move against the dust. However, astronomers using other telescopes failed to find the planet. However Thayne Currie and company reviewed the data with greater precision and found it at three wavelengths, but, oddly, not in the infrared, where a large planet should be detectable. This means the planet must have a mass less than twice that of Jupiter, smaller than that apparently detected in 2008. This means what Hubble probably saw was a cloud of dust surrounding the planet. Thus, although the planet turned out not to be the first exoplanet to be directly imaged, it was the first to be detected through images.

         Uranus, which emerged from the Voyager photographs as a rather featureless sphere, turns out to be much more interesting in the infrared. Despite the coldness of its atmosphere (actually about the same temperature as Neptune’s), it gets enough energy to drive winds blowing at speeds up to 560 miles per hour. Note though that this a continuous stream like a jet stream, not intermittent wind.) Observers also spotted small convection cells at Uranus’s north pole; cells like this have never been seen at Uranus’s south pole.

         Alan Stern, the principle investigator for the New Horizons mission to Pluto, is concerned about the discovery of two new small moons of Pluto. Not so much because five moons have now been detected, but because Pluto passes through the Kuiper Belt, collisions with other Kuiper Belt objects might have produced rings of debris through which New Horizons will have to pass. On the bright side, he has two new moons to investigate.

Oklahoma Aviation and Space Hall of Fame Induction

          The Oklahoma Aviation and Space Hall of Fame Induction will be 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. on December 6 at Science Museum Oklahoma in Oklahoma City. For more information, contact Suzette Ellison at sellison@sciencemuseumok.org. Nominations closed on November 1. The website is http://www.sciencemuseumok.org/hall_of_fame.html

Sky Viewing

         The Geminid meteor shower will peak on the evening of December 13 and 14, when about 120 meteors per hour should be visible. The meteors appear to radiate from the approximate location of the star Castor in the constellation Gemini. And this time, the New Moon arrives on December 13, which means viewing conditions should be perfect, weather permitting.
         If you miss the exact date, meteors should be visible the nights before and after.

         There will be a total eclipse of the Sun on November 13 – 14, beginning in northern Australia and following a path across the South Pacific, stopping short of South America. The biggest city in the path is Cairns, Queensland, Australia, population 150,000. (Since the path of totality crosses the International Date Line, the eclipse begins on November 14 and ends on November 13.
         This will be the first total eclipse anywhere on the Earth surface since the one on July 11-12, 2010, which was deep within the South Pacific and barely touched land at all. The next eclipse is an annular one on May 10-11, 2013, again crossing the Pacific, but this time in the tropics. There’s a hybrid (i.e. part annular, part total) in the mid-Atlantic and Africa on November 3, 2013, an annular eclipse in Antarctica on April 29, 2014, and a total eclipse east of Iceland and Greenland on March 20, 2015. There are total and annular eclipses in the Southern Hemisphere in 2016, another annular in the Southern Hemisphere in February, 2017, then finally we get a total eclipse right across the United States on August 21, 2017.
         The next total lunar eclipse, by the way, is April 15, 2014, and the whole eclipse will be visible from the entire United States except for Alaska and New England (who will still see most of it.) There is a penumbral eclipse on November 28, which means it’ll be hard to tell there’s an eclipse at all.
         We have OSA correspondents travelling to Australia as I write, and we expect a full report when they return.

         Mercury is currently too close to the Sun to be visible, but by the end of the month will be rising 90 minutes before the Sun. It will be to the lower left of Venus. Venus and Mercury are going to be about 5° apart on December 10-11, and they will be joined by the (thin) crescent Moon. Mercury will be at greatest elongation on the morning December 4, and will continue to brighten afterward. This will be the best chance to see Mercury for the year.
         Venus is currently rising a little over an hour before the Sun, and is magnitude -4, which is relatively dim for Venus, but brighter than any other planet. Venus is approaching superior conjunction on March 28, which means it will be gradually growing dimmer; however, that’s long away, and Venus will still be visible at about the same time for the rest of the year.
         Mars is visible about 45 minutes after sunset and about ten degrees above the horizon. It is magnitude 1.2, which makes it hard to see against twilight, and, since it is at the far end of its orbit, appears very small. Since Mars and the Sun are both setting earlier each night, Mars will stay in the same relative position each night through the end of December.
         Jupiter, in contrast, reaches opposition on the night of December 2, hence is visible all night long. Not only that, this is a particularly close opposition, which means Jupiter is about as bright as it gets, which is magnitude -2.8. It’s also in the retrograde part of its orbit (i.e., Earth is catching up to it), so it’s moving back toward Aldebaran and the Hyades (the horns of Taurus, the Bull).
         Saturn was in conjunction with the Sun on October 25, and is much too close in the sky to the Sun to be currently visible. By November 15, it will visible an hour before sunrise, and will be less than 4° from Venus the last week in November. By the end of November, Saturn will be rising three hours before the Sun, and by the end of December it will be rising five hours before the Sun. Saturn’s rings will be more open to view in December than they’ve been in six years. It’s a shame Saturn’s on the far side of the Sun.
         Uranus is still fairly high in the western sky at sunset, at which point it will be at magnitude 5.7. It’s still in the constellation Pisces where it will be for quite a while.
         Neptune is still hanging out in the corner of Aquarius where it’s been for a couple of years, and is magnitude 7.8 Finder charts for Uranus and Neptune are online at

         This is the best time of the year to go asteroid hunting: Vesta is at opposition on December 9, and Ceres is at opposition on December 18. Their respective magnitudes will be 6.4 and 6.7. Both will be in the constellation Taurus; indeed, Vesta will be not that far below the lower horn of Taurus at the same time Jupiter is above the upper horn. Both are just below naked-eye visibility. There is a finder chart for November through April on page 50 of the December Sky & Telescope and a small one for December alone on page 43 of the December Astronomy. The Sky & Telescope chart is also online at http://media.skyandtelescope.com/documents/WEB_Dec12_CeresVesta.pdf.
[Data for this section from Astronomy, Sky & Telescope and NASA. Information for future eclipses from Wikipedia.]

Viewing Opportunities for Satellites (November 10 – December 13, 2012)

         You can get sighting information at www.heavens-above.com/. Heavens Above allows you to get satellite-viewing data for 10-day periods, and gives you a constellation map showing the trajectory of the satellite. However, Heavens Above has changed its detail view so that you can no longer get location coordinates. On the other hand, it does give very useful maps.
         For this newsletter, I am using Realtime Data from http://spaceflight.nasa.gov/realdata/sightings/. This actually gives coordinates at 20 second intervals from when the satellite rises, not from when it peaks. I’m using one minute intervals. It also doesn’t give you information for Tiangong 1.
         Sky Online (the Sky & Telescope web site) carries International Space Station observation times for the next few nights at skyandtelescope.com/observing/almanac.
         With the addition of the solar panels, the International 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 more difficult to see.  China’s Tiangong 1 space station can get up to magnitude -0.6, which is brighter than all the night stars except Sirius and Canopus.
         Missions to and from the Space Station may change its orbit. The next manned mission to the Space Station launches on December 19 and the next SpaceX resupply mission launches on December 15, so neither should affect the data. However, be sure to check Heavens Above or www.jsc.nasa.gov/sightings before going out to watch just in case. 
         No more missions to Tiangong-1 are planned and it will be deorbited in 2013. No more missions to the Hubble Space Telescope are planned, but it should function at least until 2014.

ISS  November 11, 2012
Time          Position   Elevation
6:33 a.m.      210°           21°
6:34              212            46
6:35              105            75*
6:36                57            38
6:37                52.5         21
* Maximum altitude 77.3°

HST  November 12, 2012
Time          Position   Elevation
6:54 p.m.      219°           21°
6:55              200            27
6:56              173.5         31
6:57              147.5         26.5
6:58              129.5         20

HST  November 13, 2012
Time          Position   Elevation
6:49 p.m.      224°           21°
6:50              205            28
6:51              177.5         31
6:52              150            28
6:53              132            21

ISS  November 14, 2012
Time          Position   Elevation
Appears from Earth’s Shadow
5:41 a.m.      265°           53°
5:41:59         332            66
5:43                28.5         38
5:44                38            21
HST  November 14, 2012
Time          Position   Elevation
6:45 p.m.      227°           21°
6:46              208            28
6:47              181            31.4
6:48              153            28
6:49              135            21

HST  November 15, 2012
Time          Position   Elevation
6:41 p.m.      228.5°        21°
6:42              210            27.4
6:43              183            30.3
6:44              157            26.6
6:45              139            19.9

Tiangong 1  November 16, 2012
Time          Position   Elevation
6:39 p.m.      303°          10°
6:41 (peak)     23           57
6:42:11           63           49
Vanishes into Earth’s Shadow

Tiangong 1  November 18, 2012
Time          Position   Elevation
6:02 p.m.      298°           10
6:05 (peak)   335            76
6:07              115            10

ISS  November 30, 2012
Time          Position   Elevation
6:53 a.m.      294°           22°
6:54              276            38
6:55              217            52
6:56              169            34
6:57              155            20    

ISS  December 1, 2012
Time          Position   Elevation
6:03 a.m.      319°           23°
6:04              327            44
6:05                60            75
6:06              118            39
6:07              125            21

Tiangong 1  December 1, 2012
Time          Position   Elevation
6:43 p.m.      235°           10
6:46 (peak)   151            70
6:49                67            10

Tiangong 1  December 3, 2012
Time          Position   Elevation
Appears from Earth’s Shadow
6:06 a.m.      249°           34°
6:08              334            82
6:10                62            10

ISS  December 4, 2012
Time          Position   Elevation
5:08 a.m.      304°           23°
5:09              295            44
5:10              207            71
5:11              150            38
5:12              142            21

HST  December 8, 2012
Time          Position   Elevation
6:59 a.m.      228°           21°
7:00              203            27.5
7:01              176            31
7:02              149            27
7:03              131            20
The passes of December 9 and 10 are similar, but start at 6:54 and 6:49, respectively.

ISS  December 9, 2012
Time          Position   Elevation
7:11 p.m.      217°           21°
7:12              209            39
7:13              140            71
7:14                64            40
7:15                55            21

         Pass times are from http://spaceflight.nasa.gov/realdata/sightings/, except for Tiangong 1, which is 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 7:03 a.m. on December 8, measure a little over four fist-widths south from due east, then two 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/.

Programming Notice: NASA TV on the Web

         Watch NASA TV (Public, Media and Education Channels) on your computer using Flash, Windows or QuickTime at http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/index.html.
         NASA TV Schedules are available at http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/schedule.html
         November 14, 7:20 a.m.: ISS Expedition 33 Interview with JAXA and Japanese Students.
         November 16, 8:00 a.m.: ISS Update.
         November 17, 1:15 p.m.: ISS Change of Command Ceremony.
         November 18, 12:45 p.m.: ISS Expedition 33 Farewells & Hatch Closure; 4:00 p.m.: Undocking; 6:30 p.m. Deorbit and Landing
         November 30: 6:00 a.m.: Interview with Expedition 33 Commander Sunita Williams.

Space-Related Articles

         “The Evolving Eclipse Map,” by Michael Zeiler, Sky & Telescope, November 2012, pp. 34- 39. Although ancients such as Ptolemy and Babylonian astronomers could predict eclipses, they had insufficient cartographic knowledge to graph a map of an eclipse path. The first map showing the (approximate) path of an eclipse was in 1654 by Erhard Weigel. Although the map had its errors (it had the path going through southern England rather than northern Scotland), it was mostly pretty accurate. He got the point of maximum eclipse mostly correct, as well as its later trajectory through the Middle East. (Part of the problem was determining longitude. North Africa and Europe stretch too far from east to west in the map.)  Weigel also thought the path was straight; it actually curves a little.
         Better eclipse maps followed by Christopher Sturm in 1676 (two eclipses), Giovanni (or Jean) Cassini (yes, that Cassini) in 1699, and Edmund Halley in 1715 and 1724, among others. (Cassini was one of the first to make successful measurements of longitude using the moons of Jupiter). By the beginning of the 19th century, maps were getting pretty accurate, and 1887, Austrian astronomer Theodor von Oppolzer published an atlas that showed eclipse paths from 1200 BC to AD 2161.
          Of course, nowadays you can get extremely accurate maps that show the position of the Sun’s shadow to within a second, but I like poring over these old maps and watching astronomy and cartography advance.

         The 12 October issue of Science has several papers resulting from the Dawn mission to Vesta. Among the findings is that Vesta has some unusual pitted terrain, similar those found around some Martian craters, but not craters on other asteroids. This may indicate that Vesta has a relatively high volume of volatiles. Another paper, investigating a meteor originating from Vesta and found in Antarctica, concludes that Vesta originally had a liquid metallic core, which resulted in a tiny residual magnetic field, which may, in turn, explain why Vesta still resembles a planetesimal from the early solar system: the residual field was enough to protect the surface of Vesta from the Solar wind.

Calendar of Events
         November 9: 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. See http://www.okcastroclub.com/ for details.
         November 10: Oklahoma Space Alliance meeting at 2:30 p.m. at Denny’s on the I-240 access road on the north side just east of Pennsylvania Avenue in southern Oklahoma City. The street address is 1617 SW 74th Street and the phone number is 685-5414. Nominations for 2012 will be accepted at this meeting.
         November 13-14: Total eclipse of the Sun in the Southern Hemisphere. See “Sky Viewing.”
         November 14: [Tentative.] Oklahoma Space Industry Authority Meeting at 1:30 p.m., Oklahoma Department of Transportation Building in Oklahoma City.
         November 27: Saturn is 0.8° above Venus.
         December: First Orbital Services Cygnus mission. This is the Orbital COTS Demonstration mission of the capsule that will eventually resupply the ISS (along with Progress modules and SpaceX’s Dragon capsules). Cygnus will attempt to rendezvous and berth with the ISS.
         December 2: Jupiter is in opposition.
         December 4: Mercury is at greatest western elongation, 21° from the Sun (hence can be seen before sunrise).
         December 5: Launch of three Expedition 34/35 members via Soyuz from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan to the Space Station.
         December 6: Induction ceremony to the Oklahoma Aviation Hall of Fame at Science Museum Oklahoma. See above for details.
         December 8 or 15: [Tentative] Oklahoma Space Alliance Christmas Party. Exact time and location to be announced. Call 321-4027.
         December 9: The asteroid Vesta is in opposition at magnitude 6.3.
         December 12: [Tentative.] Oklahoma Space Industry Authority Meeting at 1:30 p.m., Oklahoma Department of Transportation Building in Oklahoma City.
         December 14: 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. See http://www.okcastroclub.com/ for details.
         December 15: Second commercial resupply mission to the International Space Station. (Again via the SpaceX Dragon capsule.)
         December 18: The asteroid Ceres is at opposition at magnitude 6.7.
         December 30: Pluto is in conjunction with the Sun.
         Sometime in 2013: The student-built nanosatellite, Aalto-1, will become Finland’s first satellite.
         Early in 2013: First Cygnus resupply mission to the ISS.
         Sometime in 2013: China launches the Tiangong-2 space station and the Shenzhou 10 manned mission to it.
         Sometime in 2013: China’s Chang’e 3 rover lands on the Moon, This will be the first spacecraft to make a soft landing on the Moon since 1976.
         January 9, 2013: [Tentative.] Oklahoma Space Industry Authority Meeting at 1:30 p.m., Oklahoma Department of Transportation Building in Oklahoma City.
         January 11, 2013: 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. See http://www.okcastroclub.com/ for details.
         January 12, 2013: [Tentative] Oklahoma Space Alliance meeting at approximately 2:30 p.m. Exact time and location to be announced.
         January 18, 2013: Mercury is in superior conjunction with respect to the Sun.
         February 15, 2013: Asteroid 2012 DA14 will pass within 21,000 miles of Earth.
         February 16, 2013: Mercury is at greatest eastern elongation, 16° from the Sun (hence can be seen after sunset)
         February 20, 2013: Neptune is in conjunction with the Sun.
         No earlier than February 27, 2013): Launch of IRIS, the Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph, which will trace the flow of energy and matter into the Sun’s corona and photosphere. See http://iris.gsfc.nasa.gov/ for details.
         March 28, 2013: Launch of three Expedition 35/36 members via Soyuz from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan to the Space Station.
         March 28, 2013: Venus is in superior conjunction with the Sun.
         April 17, 2013: Mars is in conjunction with the Sun.
         May 23 – 27, 2013: ISDC 2013, the National Space Society’s 32nd Annual International Space Development Conference, San Diego, California. For more information, visit http://isdc.nss.org/2013.
         May 28, 2013: Launch of three Expedition 36/37 members via Soyuz from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan to the Space Station.        
         August 2013: Launch of Gaia (Global Astrometric Interferometer for Astrophysics), the European Space Agency successor to Hipparcos. Gaia will provide data on one billion stars in the Milky Way, including distances, proper and radial motion, and spectroscopic info burying astronomers in data. Gaia will also observe asteroids closer than the Earth to the Sun. For more information, visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaia_(spacecraft) or http://www.esa.int/export/esaSC/120377_index_0_m.html.
         August 12, 2013: Launch of LADEE (Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer). For more information, visit http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/LADEE/main/index.html.
         September 25, 2013: Launch of three Expedition 37/38 members via Soyuz from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan to the Space Station.
         November, 2013: Comet C/2012 S1 (Comet ISON) will approach within 1.1 million miles of the Sun and be visible to the naked eye.          November 25, 2013: Launch of three Expedition 38/39 members via Soyuz from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan to the Space Station.
         November 18 – December 7, 2013: Launch window for the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN orbiter (MAVEN). The project web site is http://lasp.colorado.edu/home/maven/.
         Sometime in 2014: First test flight of the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle.
         Sometime in 2014: India launches Chandrayaan II. This mission will include a lunar rover. For more information, visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chandrayaan-2.
         Sometime in 2014: 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. [Moved from 2012.]
         January 2014: Comet  C/2012 S1 (Comet ISON) approaches with 37.2 million miles of Earth. Sometime between November 13. It should be much brighter than Venus at this point. On January 8, it will be within two degrees of the North Star.
         February 14, 2014: Launch of Japan’s Astro-H X-ray astronomy spacecraft. For details, visit http://astro-h.isas.jaxa.jp/index.html.en.
         April 14-15, 2014. Total eclipse of the Moon visible from North America.
         July 2014: Proposed launch date of Hayabusa 2 to asteroid 1999 JU3.
         August 2014 - December 2015: The European Space Agency’s 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.
         October 8, 2014: Total eclipse of the Moon visible from almost all of the Pacific Ocean, eastern Australia and western North and South America.
         Sometime in 2015: China launches the Tiangong-3 space station. This will eventually become the core of a large Chinese space station in the 2020s.
         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/.
         August 15, 2015: [Moved from 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\
         Sometime in 2016: ESA launches the ExoMars Mars Orbiter. This mission will include a static lander, but the rover will be launched in 2018. For more information, visit en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exomars.
         March 2016: Proposed launch date for InSight, a lander that will probe the interior of Mars. For information, see http://insight.jpl.nasa.gov/.
         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.
         Sometime in 2018: ESA launches the ExoMars Mars Rover. For more information, visit en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exomars.
         Sometime in 2018: Earliest date for the launch of the James Webb Space Telescope.
         January 2022: 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.

Oklahoma Space Alliance Officers, 2012 (Area Code 405)

Steve Swift, President                                                   496-3616 (H)
Vice-President is vacant                                                    
Syd Henderson, Secretary & Outreach Editor              321-4027 (H) 365-8983 (C)
Tim Scott, Treasurer                                                     740-7549 (H)
Claire McMurray, Correspondence Secretary               329-4326 (H) 863-6173 (C)
Tom Koszoru, Update Editor                                        366-1767

OSA E-mail Addresses and Web Site:

(Replace "at" with @ symbol.)

sswift42 at aol.com (Steve Swift)
jtvt at inbox.com (Jim Trombly)
sydh at ou.edu (Syd Henderson)
ctscott at mac.com (Tim Scott)
cliffclaire at hotmail.com (Claire McMurray)
T_Koszoru at cox.net (Heidi and Tom Koszoru)
john.d.northcutt1 at tds.net (John Northcutt)
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 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].

 A Chapter of the National Space Society


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 www.marsociety.org. 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.

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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 ©2012 Oklahoma Space Alliance.