Oklahoma Space Alliance HomeWho We Are
Oklahoma Space Alliance is the central Oklahoma Chapter of the National Space Society,
one of the largest space advocacy groups in the country, and has
existed for more than 20 years. Our purposes include promoting the
exploration and development of space, educating the public to current
events in space and the usefulness of an active space program, all with
the intent of promoting a space-faring civilization.
Oklahoma Space Alliance hosted the 23rd Annual International Space Development Conference on May 27-31, 2004. We previously hosted three Regional Space Development Conferences, assisted with earlier ISDCs, put displays in malls, hosted lectures, sponsored television interviews, hosted viewing nights, worked with other space-oriented groups and maintained local contact with the Oklahoma Space Industry Development Authority.
Oklahoma Space Alliance helped out with the 2007 International Space Development Conference which was hosted by the National Space Society of North Texas in Dallas Texas from May 24 - 28, 2007, and put together a commemorative exhibit for the 40th anniversary of Apollo 11. This exhibit ran through July of 2009. (See below for details.)
We do bimonthly newsletters called Outreach and Update to keep our members informed of current developments in space and upcoming events they might be interested in. Editor of Outreach is Syd Henderson and editor of Update is Claire McMurray.
Oklahoma Space Alliance is now on Facebook at Oklahoma Space Alliance.
Oklahoma Space Alliance received a Merit Award (thumbnail below) for Legistlative Outreach at the 2016 International Space Development Conference in Puerto Rico.
July 2016 Outreach (pdf format
June 2016 Update (pdf format)
Space Priorities (pdf format)
July 2016 What's Happening in Space (pdf format)
January 2014 What's Happening In Space (pdf format)
February 2014 What's Happening In Space (pdf format)
March 2014 What's Happening In Space (pdf format)
July 2014 What's Happening In Space (pdf format)
November 2014 What's Happening In Space (pdf format)
March 2015 What's Happening In Space (pdf format)
May 2015 What's Happening In Space (pdf format)
July 2015 What's Happening In Space (pdf format)
September 2015 What's Happening In Space (pdf format)
November 2015 What's Happening In Space (pdf format)
January 2016 What's Happening In Space (pdf format)
March 2016 What's Happening In Space (pdf format)
2013 What's Happening In Space (pdf format)
(Note, during even months, "What's Happening in Space" is incorporated in Update.)
Oklahoma Space Alliance will meet at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, July 9, 2016 at Earl's Rib Palace, 920 SW 25th St, Moore, OK. This is between the 1-35 West Frontage Road and Telegraph Road, a couple of blocks south of Harry Bears. Telephone number is 793-7427.
We were hoping that Congressman Bridenstine would speak at this meeting, but it now looks like that make take place in September or October. OSA president Steve Swift is undergoing medical treatment and won’t be able to preside, so OSA VP Dave Sheely will lead the meeting.
Place: Earl’s Rib Palace
Minutes of June Meeting
Oklahoma Space Alliance met at Earl’s Rib Palace in Moore on June 11, 2016. Attending were Steve, Karen and Bryan Swift, Russ Davoren, Kay Fiel, Jasmine Kendricks, Claire and Clifford McMurray, Dave Sheely, Rosemary Swift, Rebecca Tate, Sue Taylor, Stephanie Thibodeau, Dennis Wigley and Syd Henderson.
There was a launch of the Delta IV rocket on the morning of June 11, too late to make last month’s Update. This is the most powerful rocket we have, at least until SpaceX launches its Falcon 9 Heavy in a few months. We watched video of the Delta Launch.
The Lynx spacecraft is being shelved by XCor, which will result in employees being laid off. They will be building rocket engines for the United Launch Alliance.
We watched the Falcon 9 launch of Thaicom satellite and the subsequent landing of the first stage on a platform at sea. This was their third sea landing and fourth landing overall.
The Bigelow Expandable Module attached to the International Space Station has indeed expanded. There was some delay at first. This module has the advantage that it is covered with several layers of Kevlar, which protects it from micrometeorites.
Antares flights resume on July 6.
Claire and Clifford McMurray went to the International Space Development conference in Puerto Rico. Oklahoma Space Alliance won a special merit award for outreach. The next ISDC is in St. Louis.
NSS Chapter coordination is being reorganized so each organizer has about the same number of chapters to correspond with. [I hope this takes into account the physical size of each region.]
We have $1078.83 in the checking account and $267 in cash.
Steve is undergoing medical treatments that will leave him incapacitated for a while, so Dave Sheely will have to preside over the next meeting.
We watched a video on Economic Basis of Interstellar Flight by Robert Zubrin. Since the cost is a thousand times that of the Apollo program, he estimates we would need a GNP 200 times that we currently have.
Syd Henderson and Clifford McMurray will be on space panels at Soonercon. Claire McMurray will also be on panels, but they won’t be on space. Syd suggested we might consider a space track on Mars at the next Soonercon.
--Minutes by OSA Secretary Syd Henderson
Claire and Clifford McMurray and Syd Henderson attended Soonercon and were on some of the panels. Clifford and Syd were on "Colonies by the Canals: is a Martian colony even a good idea?" with about a dozen people in the audience (which is why I’m writing about Mars later in the newsletter). Clifford also gave his slideshow on asteroids to an audience of five, and Syd was on “Space in 50 Years” with an audience of eight (not counting the four panelists). Claire was on a couple of panels on filksinging (which is the sf fan’s equivalent of folk singing).
“Space in 50 Years” was rather free-form, since we were moved into a room without tables, so that the panelists were mixed among the audience. My fellow panelists were planetologist John DeLaughter (moderator); Karl Gallagher who worked on satellite orbits and trajectories (and also wrote a novel Torchship) and Joey Rodman who is a writer and astronomy geek. My belief was that we will probably have intermittently manned scientific stations on Mars but likely not permanent settlements and permanently manned outposts on the Moon (possibly speaking Chinese). We will be exploiting near-earth asteroids, and likely will have sent astronauts to the asteroid belt but probably not settled there due to problems of radiation and adapting to zero-gee. This, however, does make some of the larger asteroids appealing, especially if you can increase their rate of spin so that you can live on the inside and substitute centrifugal effects for gravity. See the Syfy channel show The Expanse on what this might look like.
Mr. DeLaughter asked us what we thought the priorities might be among the Moon, Mars, asteroids and oceans. I think in the short run, it’s the Moon, near-earth asteroids, Mars, oceans and the asteroid belt, but in 50 years, the asteroids will be first because we will be exploiting them for raw materials.
DeLaughter posited the next space race will be China vs. India, but I’m a little skeptical about the scale of that race. I think that there’s going to be a rivalry among commercial space companies such as SpaceX and Blue Origin for actually getting people and robots to places where they may actually make a profit.
I’ll be discussing the Mars panel later. The panelists for that were Clifford McMurray (moderator), Mr. Delaughter, sf writers Cary Osborne, Gorg Hugg and Jackie Kramer.
Larry Nemecek had a presentation on the Enterprise in Space project, which is to launch a small space satellite packed with experiments created by high school kids. This project also includes a virtual personal tutor Ali (as in Alison, I think). The idea is to inspire kids’ interest in science through hands-on projects, and having your experiment sent into space should certainly do it. For information, visit http://www.enterpriseinspace.org. The National Space Society has agreed to be part of this this and you can find information on their blog.
This was the largest Soonercon since its 2005 revival and possible altogether. There were conservatively eight hundred people there and likely more.
More on Enterprise in Space from an NSS press release:
National Space Society's EIS mission includes many important 'firsts:'
Outreach & Update
Outreach and Update are the newsletters of Oklahoma Space Alliance. Outreach is published in odd-numbered months and is sent both by post and by e-mail.Update is published in even-number months and is sent by e-mail. The December Update is often replaced by a meeting announcement election ballot, in which case the November minutes will be published in the January Outreach. You must be a member of Oklahoma Space Alliance to receive Outreach by post unless you are on our courtesy list. To receive newsletters by e-mail, contact Syd Henderson at the address at the bottom of the page. The newsletters listed below are slightly edited to turn them into web pages.
Outreach is edited by Syd Henderson, and Update by Steve Swift.
July 2016 Outreach (pdf format)
January 2015 Outreach (pdf format)
February 2015 Update (pdf format)
March 2015 Outreach (pdf format)
April 2015 Update (pdf format)
May 2015 Outreach (pdf format)
June 2015 Update (pdf format)
July 2015 Outreach (pdf format)
September 2015 Outreach (pdf format)
October 2015 Update (pdf format)
November 2015 Outreach (pdf format)
January 2016 Outreach (pdf format)
February 2016 Update (pdf format)
March 2016 Outreach (pdf format)
April 2016 Update (pdf format)
May 2016 Outreach (pdf format)
June 2016 Update (pdf format)
July 2016 Outreach (pdf format)
Earlier issues of Newsletters
Minutes of Oklahoma Space Alliance Meetings
Minutes of January 2015 Meeting
Minutes of February 2015 Meeting
Minutes of March 2015 Meeting*
Minutes of April 2015 Meeting
Minutes of May 2015 Meeting*
Minutes of June 2015 Meeting*
Minutes of July 2015 Meeting
Minutes of August 2015 Meeting*
Minutes of September 2015 Meeting
Minutes of October 2015 Meeting*
Minutes of November 2015 Meeting*
Minutes of December 2015 Meeting*
Minutes of January 2016 Meeting
Minutes of February 2016 Meeting
Minutes of March 2016 Meeting
Minutes of April 2016 Meeting*
Minutes of May 2016 Meeting
Minutes of June 2016 Meeting
*Includes notes on OSIDA meeting
Minutes of previous meetings
Contact person for Oklahoma Space Alliance is Claire McMurray
PO Box 1003
Norman, OK 73070
Webmaster is Syd Henderson.
Copyright 2016 Oklahoma Space Alliance.