March 2009 Meeting Minutes

Minutes from our March meeting:


There were six members in attendance at the meeting.


The meeting opened with a discussion of DeWitt Perry Middle School’s ‘space station week’ held on March 9-13th. The Dallas Mars Society, the National Space Society (NSS) Dallas chapter and Bent Tree Bible Fellowship collaborated with Perry Middle School to construct exhibits which were displayed for the students in the library of Perry middle school during the space week.  The exhibits included a moc walk-in space station and a moc mars landscape with a remote controlled mars rover.  Construction of the exhibits began in January of 2009 and concluded in March.  Photos of the exhibits have been posted by NSS at the North Texas Space yahoo group.


NSS member Carol Johnson, author Marianne Dyson, and Dallas Mars Society president Kurt Chankaya gave presentations for the kids during the space week..  Carol spoke to the kids from inside the moc space station via teleconference while pretending to be inside the real space station.  The kids asked a lot of great questions about what it’s like to be in space.  Marianne Dyson talked to the kids about living in free fall and included several hands-on demos.  Kurt spoke on a number of topics to include travel to and the exploration of mars and why we need to explore space and mars. The week could hardly have gone better.  The whole team was pleased at the outcome.  The kids appeared inspired and motivated by both the exhibits and the presentations. 


Perry Middle School has applied for a grant to expand on the design of the exhibits next year and hopes to make space station week a yearly event.


Curtis brought a tape of Marianne Dyson’s presentation for the group to watch during the March meeting.  Thank you Curtis for bringing the tape!  The group enjoyed listening to the presentation.


The Dallas Mars Society is also assisting as members of the TEMPO^3 (Tethered Experiment for Mars interplanetary Operations Cubed) technical team.  The objective of TEMPO^3 is to demonstrate the generation of artificial gravity in space using a tether.  More on TEMPO^3 at  The TEMPO^3 program is in process of changing scope due to lack of funding.  Updates on TEMPO^3 can found on ustream through project leader Tom Hill’s fireside chat at—the-mars-society.  The Dallas Mars Society looks forward to continuing to contribute as the project evolves.