OKLAHOMA SPACE ALLIANCE

A Chapter of the National Space Society

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 Minutes of June Meeting

        Oklahoma Space Alliance met June 8, 2013 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, Karen and Brian Swift, Claire McMurray, Don Robinson, Linda Shannon, Dave Sheeley, Walter Hutchinson, Tim Scott and Syd Henderson. Chris Carson was up from Texas.
Quote of the month, from Gerard O’Neill to a congressional committee in 1978: “This tiny Earth is not humanity’s prison, is not a closed and dwindling resource, but is in fact only part of a vast system rich in opportunities.”

What’s Happening in Space:
        Flight engineers Chris Cassidy and Tom Marshburn work on exterior of ISS to replace a pump controller box that was leaking ammonia.
        ISS Commander Chris Hadfield sang “Somebody’s Singing” with the Barenaked Ladies, marking a rare space/Earth music collaboration.
        Sierra Nevada Corporation announced shipment of a Dream Chaser flight vehicle to NASA’s Dryden Space Center at Edwards Air Force Base. [I don’t know if this is the Dryden Flight Research Center, which is going to be renamed for Neil Armstrong, or the test range, which is going to be renamed for Hugh Dryden.]
Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield returned from space.
        We watched a video of a launch of Boeing’s Atlas V. Chris Carson pointed out that the Atlas V is actually developed from the Titan IV rather than previous Atlas rockets.
Planetary Resources announced first crowd-funded space telescope campaign. They raised $500,000 in three days. [They’ve now raised $1.5 million.] Info is at http://www.planetaryresources.com/news-info/.
ATV-4 Albert Einstein module was launched into space by an Ariane rocket which carried 44,000 lb. of cargo. Information on this is at http://blogs.esa.int/atv/category/atv-4/ . One of the astronauts, Luca Parmitano, dubbed it the “Automated Tiramasu Vehicle” because it brought him Italian food. [In another first, it brought lasagna to space.]
        SpaceX’s Merlin 1D engine has achieved flight qualification. This engine is for use in the second stage of the Falcon Heavy launch vehicle.
        A crew was launched to the space station in only six hours. We watched a video of the launch.
        Karen Nyburg gave a video Q&A from the space station and also honored the 50th anniversary of Valentina Tereshkova’s space flight.
        We saw an announcement of opportunities to submit input to study of human spaceflight.
        The cheap rate for attending the 2014 International Space Development Conference expires at the end of June. The 2014 ISDC is in Los Angeles.

        Chris Carson warned us about a new bill in Congress that will seemingly expand the category of munitions to include not just rockets, but things like space hotels that are merely associated with rockets. They would fall under the scope of International Traffic in Arms. This seems to be an unintentional consequence of a badly worded amendment.
         Chris is trying to get the NSS Board to make a statement.

        David Sheely talked briefly about his involvement in the NASA Space APP Challenge. The challenge was to design a cubesat 10 cm (about 4 inches) to a side and with a mass less than or equal to 1300 grams. [See the June Update posted on our web site.

        We watched a video from the ISDC by Zero G Solutions on biotechnology. Their aim to produce new varieties of patentable plant stem cells in zero-G so that desired traits can be used on Earth. No actual genetic modification is used, just artificial selection and different expression of the genes that are already there. Of particular interest is Jatropha curcas, the seeds of which contain 27 – 40 % oil [as well as the highly toxic curcin]. Jatropha curcas produces more oil than switchgrass, which is a prominent potential biofuel source.
        The stem cells don’t seem to revert when returned to Earth. This is also true for stem cells derived from bananas and rice.
        They are also investigating human regenerative medicine, including the growth of connective tissue, which has never been done on the ground. One hope is that a human pancreas can be grown in space. Although some other tissues have been grown on Earth, this has never been done for a pancreas.
        There is also a potential for 3-D printing of organs. This has been done for bladders, and it is hoped it can be done with kidneys.
        Soonercon is in Midwest City in late June. They don’t have a con-operated hospitality suite this time. We haven’t heard anything about panels, but will have a table. [Note: we were eventually asked to participate on a panel.]
Moon Day: Have been invited to participate. It is at the Frontiers of Flight Museum at Love Field in Dallas.

        Chris is trying to organize a big NSS presence at the World Science Fiction Convention in San Antonio, August 29 – September 2.

 [Minutes by OSA Secretary Syd Henderson.]

Notes on June 11 OSIDA Meeting

        The Oklahoma Space Industry Development Authority met at the Department of Transportation building in Oklahoma City. Board members present were Jack Bonny, R. Allen Goodbary, Jay Edwards and James Cunningham. Steve Swift, Claire McMurray and Syd Henderson attended for Oklahoma Space Alliance. Executive Director Bill Khourie was unable to attend, so Jack Bonny presented his information.
        The storms that assaulted Oklahoma in May also hit the Oklahoma Spaceport. 93 mph winds twisted metal, throwing some a distance of two miles. Windows were blown out and the roof was torn off one building. 50,000 square feet of warehousing was damaged as well as Hangar 17.
        The airport is fully functional. The control tower was damaged but is completely operational.
Aeromax LTD is operating at the Oklahoma Spaceport out of the ground level of the control tower. The company is based in Australia.
        The spaceport still can’t get the Feds to remove the derelict warehouses. They are full of two-by-fours. The State is willing to help. [Note: these are old warehouses constructed by the military, not the warehouse that was damaged by the storm.]
        A good foundation has been set for future operation of Raytheon/XCOR out of Oklahoma.
        The OSIDA budget is $394,589, same as last year.
        OSIDA holds its officer nominations in June. Jack Bonny has completed two years as Chairman of the OSIDA board so was term-limited. Mr. Goodbary was nominated for Chairman, James Cunningham for Vice-Chairman and Robert Conner for Secretary-Treasure (per his acceptance).
        The State sent people out to see the new Operations Center. The Fire Marshall has to go there and approve the building. There was some hail damage and some carpet damage that need to be repaired.
        The July meeting is in Oklahoma City. The August meeting is proposed to be in Burns Flat.

 [Notes by OSA Secretary Syd Henderson.]

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

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